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Keep Hope Alive

You may hear some people say “why should I vote?” We know the Suffragettes, the Chartists and Nelson Mandela fought for the right to vote. If they were around today, what would they say? They’d probably say don’t succumb to cynicism. Don’t believe that it can’t get any better. They’d say don’t believe the lie that says “don’t risk change”.

Right now, things are just too bad not to take a risk and to hope for better. There’s just no basis for believing all parties are the same when the manifestos are so starkly different. And even if some voters believe some politicians are just in it for themselves, when you look at the party leaders surely it is possible to find one that’s in it for you and the community you live in?

We hear the statistics – 14 million people in poverty including 4 million children, 1.5 million elderly without the social care they need, 4 million on the hospital waiting lists, a doubling of homelessness, rising destitution and inequality. We know the reality of working harder for less reward, burdened with debt and little chance of buying a home to raise a family. The promise of working hard and getting ahead had gone because the game is rigged by those who have grown filthy rich.

We’ve been badly let down so there are many reasons to be cynical but we need to keep hope alive. This is a crucial message in this winter election where turnout will be crucial. The need to combat the hopelessness of low expectations that cannot imagine better public services, better job prospects or greater opportunity to live well.

Those that sacrificed all so that we have a vote would want us to have hope going into this election. To keep hope alive and believe that now is not the time to fear change. This may not apply to you, but almost certainly will to someone you know. Why not go through your phonebook and message friends and relatives who might need encouragement?

Lester Holloway is Communications and Events Officer at CLASS