Election fatigue? Join the club
Exhausted by the media frenzy of accusations, lies, fake news and political bias? Unsure of who and what to believe?
With just thirteen days to go until Election Day, you’re on the brink of mental implosion, whilst acutely aware you need to stay engaged and inspired enough to make the most important decision ever, on December 12th.
You're not alone.
Fake news furore
You can’t work out what’s fake news and what isn’t. Beaten down by the conflicting views, the bias, and the fall-outs with family, friends and colleagues. You want to debate but you don’t feel equipped.
The desire to bury your head under a pillow, to wake up and it all be over, is a natural emotional response to the political chaos we find ourselves in.
We didn’t get here overnight and we’re questioning our own resilience.
How much more can we take?
The intensity from the media with stories that Corbyn’s an anti-Semite or that he'll plunge the country into economic disrepair, or that Boris Johnson will sell the NHS to Donald Trump and that the Tories are controlled by the Russians, is all too much to process.
It’s psychological warfare.
You try to listen to people you’re connected with, who’s views you respect, who’s guidance you follow and they’re all saying Corbyn will bankrupt the country.
Why wouldn’t you listen to them? They appear well-informed and have an influential role in your life.
It feels safer to stick with them than dare to challenge those who might belittle you, those on the left who make you feel ill-informed and uneducated. We on the left are guilty of this.
And what’s more, you don’t like Jeremy Corbyn. One thing's for certain: You can’t vote for Labour.
Time for some self-contemplation. After all, knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.
The guiding principles of...
If you're a Tory, your fundamental values are Conservative. You believe in free-market capitalism, devoid of scrutiny. You believe we’re all born on a level playing field, and that people are suffering through their own poor choices.
You’re satisfied with Boris Johnson’s long-term plan for Brexit and the risks to the NHS.
You consider your circumstances in silo, and you have an alternative plan for when you need state funded health and social care. You would never vote Labour anyway.
If this is you, fine. Probably no need to read any further. Have some integrity, uphold your values, and move on.
If it's not you, you know deep down that the risks to the NHS are too great to gamble with; you care about others, the future of our public services which you're likely to need, and the future of our children.
You want to believe in the promised socialist utopia. You know that if all this is true, then life will get a whole lot better for you and your family on December 13th and you’ll be presented with the opportunities you've always desired.
You want to dare to dream.
So, you need to ask yourself why you don’t like Corbyn and why disliking him and wanting Brexit is so important to you.
Why do these matters take precedence over other, more pertinent and relatable issues that will directly, and positively, influence your life?
Find some balance.
Ask yourself: What do I understand about Brexit? What do I understand about antisemitism?
What in the Labour manifesto will directly benefit me? What in the Tory manifesto will directly benefit me?
How do I feel about the NHS? How do I feel about Boris Johnson?
Knowledge is power
To everybody undecided, or those already committed to not voting Labour because of Corbyn, I say this: Come up with a balanced view point. Make an informed choice by knowing all the facts.
It's empowering to be able to say what you're doing and why you're doing it.
You don't need to discuss your plans with anyone, you just need to spend a few more minutes scrolling down your phone, on the train or over your morning coffee, reading the links below.
For every bit of anti-Labour stuff you read, hear or watch over the next fortnight, give yourself a counter argument. Find the facts. Research, read, dig deeper.
Consider the personal values and the voting records of your local candidates.
What have they done for your community? What have they promised to do?
The floods; public transport; the outside spaces; the environment; homelessness; food banks; local schools; employment opportunities; mental health services - the list for consideration is endless.
Think about how you’re going to feel on the morning of Friday the 13th, in less than two weeks time. Think about the potential consequences of your choice in five years’ time for you and your family.
Now is the time to put the effort in, because it'll be over before you know it. Don't regret not having researched the information, or retracting from the debate, or not finding the confidence to ask questions.
Don't regret your choice, and whatever your choice, be comfortable knowing that you made it with knowledge, courage and conviction.
8. The Mirror
Kate Anstee is a Freelance Campaigner and Debate Facilitator. Contact here for more information.