People are cynical about politics, and with good reason, but this election is different, writes student Jamie Wright
John Lennon famously urged the people to imagine a different and better world.
Two simple ideals that have proved almost impossible to achieve.
In Britain, the twenty-first cent has been scarred by the scourges of war and poverty. Britain’s involvement with the so-called ‘War on Terror’ has forced its armed forces to become entangled in military conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria. Billions of pounds wasted, and hundreds of thousands of innocent lives lost.
At home, over one million emergency food parcels are now handed out by charities each year to support struggling individuals, couples and families.
This is not due to personal individual failure as the Tory government and their cheerleaders in the media would like you to believe. These problems are structural. They are systemic to the entire neoliberal project which has concentrated obscene amounts of wealth in very few hands through the impoverishment of the majority.
Under New Labour, this cruel ideology became hegemonic; little wonder that when asked of her greatest achievement, Margaret Thatcher replied “Tony Blair and New Labour”.
But it wasn’t just Blair’s vision of Labour that internalised the logic of neoliberalism. Ed Miliband, standing in the 2015 General Election advocated for the continuation of austerity, thereby positioning Labour’s camp only marginally left of David Cameron’s right-wing Conservative Party.
The choice then? Tory or Tory Lite.
It is not surprising then that faced with no meaningful alternative, over 15 million eligible voters chose not to vote in 2015.
The result? A majority Conservative government was formed despite only 24.3% of the eligible electorate voting for them.
But this time, this time it’s different.
Labour under Jeremy Corbyn represents a marked change from the neoliberal status-quo of endless wars and increasing poverty and inequality. Its manifesto promises of; free university education; an end to austerity; investment in the NHS; investment in housing; the renationalisation of the railways and an end to blindly following America’s military adventurism has proven to be overwhelming popular with the electorate.
As a result of Labour's popularity with ordinary people, the Tory-biased media are doubling-down on their commitment to discredit Labour’s policies and ridicule of Jeremy Corbyn. This represents a naked and shameless attempt to try and convince voters that change is impossible.
However, this arrogant position serves only to highlight the reality that change is in fact very possible, even probable; and just how weak of a grip on power the corporate-elite actually have.
This is the real reason why the corporate-funded media are so hostile towards Jeremy Corbyn. They are painfully aware that if only a small percentage of those whom have never voted, signed up and registered to vote – especially the young - the slim majority government achieved by David Cameron’s Conservative’s in-part by fraudulent means; would crumble under a victorious Labour landslide.
Jeremy’s popularity with voters is visible up and down the country, and as he talks passionately of an end to business-as-usual to crowds of thousands of enthused supporters, those defending the status-quo are becoming increasingly concerned.
We can do this. It is already happening right now.
Result polls have consistently shown that Labour has a significant lead over the Conservatives amongst 18-34 year olds. And, although voter turnout has been notoriously low within this age bracket, this time, it could be different.
Since Theresa May called a snap General Election last month, there has been a dramatic surge in the numbers of people registering to vote. Latest figures show that since April 18, a total of 1,038,877 applications have been submitted with almost two thirds coming from those under 34.
Come June 8, the eyes of the world will be focused on us. Those desperate for a break from the neoliberal economic order will be eager to see if Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party with a membership greater than all rivals combined can overcome the sustained attacks by the Tory-biased media and enter Downing Street.
This vision could be realised very shortly if only enough people register to vote.
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