I will have you know that I’m currently singing “let’s get political” to the tune of Olivia Newton-John’s Let’s Get Physical, so that’s where I’m at right now.
I’m not usually one to get political on my blog, but with the election looming there are a few things that I think we need to talk about.
I’m going to start off by saying that no matter what your political views are, this applies to you.
Now, the thing that really grates on me about politics is that people get so defensive about everything that their party does – they don’t try to understand the basic concept that there are pros and cons to each point of view. I’ve seen Labour and Conservative supporters alike utterly convinced that their party leader can solve all of the world’s problems like some kind of magical politics fairy. But, sadly, it doesn’t work like that.
To assume that the party you support is completely without flaws and everyone from all walks of life should support them is a very narrow minded and naive way of looking at things. No party is going to make everybody happy, no matter who becomes prime minister. Die hard Conservative voters completely disregard the merits of Labour, and vice versa, and there seems to be a general belief that one party must be completely angelic and the other is simply satanic, when that isn’t necessarily the case. People are quick to shun any opinion that doesn’t line up with their own in an attempt to make themselves look superior, and refuse to even consider the benefits that another point of view might have. Not everything that the Tories have done is evil, and not everything that Labour has done is a waste of time and money. It’s about trying to have a balanced view of things without automatically going out on the attack. You may not agree with certain policies, but the problem is that the majority of people don’t even try to understand the reasons behind the choices that politicians make. They don’t just go around making these big decisions willy nilly (although sometimes it might feel like it) – whether you agree or disagree with the choices they make is absolutely fine, but at least try to understand their reasoning before you lash out. You may not be happy with it, but at least you’ve made a conscious effort to see what they’re trying to do.
It’s okay to have strong views. I’m not saying that you should umm and ahh over something when you’re confident in your political stance, but what I’m saying is that you should be able to appreciate and respect other people’s opinions and political standings, rather than come out with generalised statements like “all Tories are heartless” and “all Labour voters are scrounging drug addicts”, because we all know that both of those statements aren’t true. Try to educate yourself on each stance in a balanced way before you let a few angry Facebook posts influence your decision.
The other thing that really grinds my gears is the way that people try to lug unnecessary and irrelevant information into politics, and try to use the pettiest of things to big up their own views and drag down somebody else’s. To be honest, I don’t care what shoes Theresa May is wearing or how Jeremy Corbyn chooses to groom himself, and you shouldn’t either. What do these things have to do with the way they will do their job? Are you really going to make such a big decision about who you’re going to vote for based on a pair of shoes or a suit? What matters is what they’re going to do for our country and how they’re going to make our problems smaller.
I try to be level and fair when it comes to politics, and I like to think that I can give each party praise where I think they’re deserving of it, and criticism where I think it’s necessary. No one is perfect, and in the same way nobody is completely flawed either, it’s all a matter of bias. Not everything you read on social media is true. Question the things that you read, check your sources, and do your research, because it’s all too easy for someone to make up any old nonsense in a feeble attempt to sway a few Facebook friends or bag a few retweets.
It’s also important to be careful of the way that you discuss politics with others, whether online or in person. Some attacks on those with differing political views are getting a bit too personal. The party that somebody chooses to vote for is not an excuse to be abusive towards them, or generalise them as being a malicious or senseless group. Somebody choosing to vote for one party over another does not mean that they are any less intelligent or don’t work as hard as you, and it is rude and misguided to make these assumptions. How are we supposed to work together to improve the way we run our country when we’re all pitting against each other?
Politics concerns everybody, whether you like it or not, and that needs to be taken into consideration. You need to understand that not everybody is in the same situation as you, and therefore they’re not going to think or vote in the same way as you. By all means, debate and challenge each other, but leave the petty, irrelevant comments and mindless abuse out of it.