We have two days until we waltz into our local polling stations and stick our marked cards into a ballot box, hoping, once again, for a better Britain.
But who will you be voting for?
This time four years ago, I put my fate into the hands of Nick Clegg, a “man” who promised me personally that he wouldn’t raise tuition fees. This was the only reason I voted for him because, as a student in 2010, that was what mattered most to me. As much as I wish to deny it, I was tricked. In broad daylight I’ll have you know. I will blame it on being a naive 22 year old, but really, he was just a liar. So here I am, in a blue country, governed by a ruthless, miserable government, feeling a little bit disillusioned by the system.
So what do I do now?
Well, to start with, this time I won’t be fooled.
I will admit that I was – albeit temporarily – tempted by Brand’s plight. What can I say? I’m a sucker for long hair and a pair of skinny jeans. But once I remembered I actually had a brain and enough of him babbling on about the revolution that wasn’t to be, I decided (once again) to give our potential leaders the benefit of the doubt and actually hear what they had to say for themselves.
Over the past few months, I have tuned into every live debate, read almost every newspaper I could get my hands on and scoured manifestos, grappling for an answer to the question of who to vote for on 7th May. And the thing that I’ve come to realise most about Miliband is his passion. I have hated that word “passion” ever since I was told at school never to use it in a cover letter or university application. But Ed? Not so much; he loves it. He has sat, stood and fought, for months on end, answering questions and dodging bullets fired from Paxman’s pistol. He hasn’t done it with ease either; his hands trembled and his voice shook. His words failed him at times with his intentions hidden behind an ill-timed stutter. But far from making him appear weak, this just showed me how much he wants it. He has sat on the edge of his seat with excitement, the way you probably do when something you’ve wanted for so long is within your grasp. Basically, he gives a shit.
He has never been arrogant. He has never been seamless. He finds it hard to sit still and I think I might be better at public speaking than him. But that’s what I like about him. We’re not like our pristine friends across the pond, here in Britain. Like Ed, we’re shabby, a little bit goofy, but fiercely loyal and super strong despite our small stature. And that’s why I think he is our perfect choice.
If you haven’t already guessed it, I’m voting Red, and not just because it’s my middle name.
I want to save our NHS: an institution that saved my brother’s life and looked after my grandparents in their dying days. I want to protect its vision to provide better mental health care to those in desperate need and to continue to never turn anyone away because of the few pennies left in their purse. I am voting Red because I want tuition fees to be lowered and apprenticeships to be seen as a worthy “other” option for those who work equally as hard. I want more housing for those who need it, want it and deserve it. And I want benefits to be available only to those who are willing to give something back – and two years is plenty of time to do just that. Equally, I want to provide refuge to those who are scared to go to sleep in their own homes and wish to protect their children from the devastating effects of war and poverty, to start a new life, just as many of our parents and grandparents did many moons ago.
So stop going on about how much he looks like a cartoon character made from plasticine and how weak you think he sounds, you’re acting like an idiot. Mo Farah doesn’t exactly look like The Hulk and Gandhi wasn’t ever going to be Britain’s Next Top Model and look what they’ve achieved.
Britain loves an underdog. And I think Ed could be our best yet.
Whoever you’re voting for, please make sure you do. Particularly if you have a vagina, because, women’s rights and that.
I’ll be posting other people’s preferences over the next couple of days, because it’s only fair. Stay tuned to hear further thoughts of some more twenty-somethings living in the capital…
See you at the Polling Station on Thursday, I’m excited!