The Corbyn Effect
Or how I became galvanised
On April 18th Theresa May with a twenty-point opinion poll lead decided to call a snap general election to give her a stronger mandate for Brexit. What happened next was nothing short of a political earthquake. The UK general election results of June 9th 2017 shocked the country, Theresa May did not have enough MPs to call a government. Jeremy Corbyn, the supposed communist terrorist-sympathising leader of the Labour Party, whose own party turned against him, had delivered a miracle.
While he didn’t win, he has fifty-five seats fewer than May, the result certainly felt like a victory to his supporters. After a media campaign to crush his reputation and an embarrassing blunder by a key shadow cabinet member, the result of the Tories not having a one hundred seat majority is an incredible one.
It’s important to remember that this election didn’t have to happen — it was called out of sheer arrogance. Theresa May could have governed with a Conservative majority for another two and a half years.
The momentum generator
Jeremy Corbyn campaigned on the kind of political platform that people have been crying out for for years, a platform of integrity. While his opponents dove into using personal insults, Corbyn didn't. When his opponents lied about him, Corbyn didn't. When his opponents refused to speak to the public, Corbyn did.
Instead he campaigned on social justice, youth empowerment and economic equality. For years we’ve had austerity, high tuition fees, high-cost housing and the poorest in society simply being neglected and now finally there’s a man that’s willing to address these issue. A man that made a lot of us feel compassion even on issues that didn’t affect us.
For me, I have never felt so impassioned by a political campaign before. At the beginning of the election, I was a member of a different party and never thought of voting Labour. However along the way something happened, I began to see through the lies the media were saying and really paid attention the Labour message. It resonated with me, it felt like this was an opportunity to really turn the tables in this country.
Unfortunately of course, Labour and Jeremy didn’t win but the impact is clear. Youth turnout was at its highest in contemporary UK history, Labour gained seats, the Tories lost their majority and Theresa May’s reputation is in tatters.
It doesn’t end here
Another election is likely and the Tories are freefall. I ended my membership with the previous party and I am now a Labour Party member. When the inevitable election comes, I’ll be spending part of my free-time campaigning for the Labour Party, doing what I can to bring a party that cares for people into government.
As well as this, I realise that while it’s great to be campaigning for social justice, it’s also important to contribute towards that. This is why I’ve extended the time I give to my community, currently I spend two hours a week providing STEM education to children at a local library. Now, I’m working with an additional charity helping sexually exploited women in my local area as well as looking for further charity work.
It’s time for change in this country, and we the youth of this country can be the ones that make that change.