Today are the elections for the EU Parliament and so it’s time for another post on why voting matters and why you should do it and more importantly (this is my blog after all!) why I’m going to vote even though politically, I haven’t felt this despairing since 1992….
Everyone who knows me, knows that I vote, I vote in every election I’ve been asked to vote in. Actually, I’ve only missed one since 1991 (when I turned 18) and that was a referendum on whether London should have a mayor and I’m still ashamed of missing that one. My family are working class, and until 1918 working class men get a vote and it wasn’t until 1928 for women. So basically, only three generations of my family have had an automatic right to vote from the age of 21 (and my generation is the only one that got to do it from the age of 18!).
If you’re born in the UK, you don’t have to take a pledge or oath of allegiance before they give you a passport but if you weren’t, you do. This is the pledge:
“I will give my loyalty to the United Kingdom and respect its rights and freedoms. I will uphold its democratic values. I will observe its laws faithfully and fulfil my duties and obligations as a British citizen.”
One of my mother’s mantras when I was a kid was that ‘rights come with responsibilities’ usually deployed when I didn’t want to be responsible but also wanted to be able to do what the hell I wanted. Right now I’m sick and tired of politics, these elections are probably the last time I get to vote in EU elections and a huge part of me wonders what the hell the point is. I’m tired of people like Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and Stephen Yaxley-Lennon aka Tommy Robinson, pontificating about the ‘will of the people and democracy’ without actually understanding what that means. I’m fed up of the people who vote for them and believe their nonsense. I’m beginning to think that you should have to pass a test (that I get to set) before people are allowed to vote. I’m ashamed and worried about what is happening to my country and to the people that are letting it happen.
That’s the test, it’s my right AND my duty to vote. So that’s what I’ll do…