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Election Reactions: Now We Need to Encourage Political Engagement Outside the Ballot Box

by Emma Proctor

I’m really worried about the UK heading into the next five years. I don’t know if we got here through an outdated voting system or having a really high number of colonial-hangover ham robots motivated by nowt but rational self-interest in our midst. Either way, it’s frightening and clear that a lot of people are (understandably) taking this result hard.

Labour need to accept that unless they’re going to pull together a solid, oppositional identity very fast, they will need consensus and coalitions to govern. They can’t rely on picking up voters just by ‘not being as bad as the Tories’.

I’d like to see a stronger counter-narrative being written: austerity challenged at its ideological roots, and neoliberalism decried as the economic, social and environmental clusterfuck it is.

But right now? Never mind the 2020 election and party politics. Politics is not limited to the ballot box. Alternative political engagement must be welcomed and encouraged, and made easy to access to people who’ve never gotten involved before. Direct democracy, getting involved with local campaigns, prefigurative politics, and donating time or money to the organisations who are going to be on the front line for another five years.

Rebellion, solidarity and resistance are the only response now, but I hope that the generations coming are better at holding the powerful to account than we have been. I don’t have any deep insight as to why or how this happened, but I’m not going to let these people be my uncontested voice for another five years. Fuck the politics of fear and fuck austerity; this isn’t over.

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Published 8th May 2015

This work by Novara Media is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence

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