An election to end all elections?
Though billed as an election to determine who is the best candidate to lead Britain into the Brexit, none of the leaders have been able to explain to us what a soft or hard Brexit is about and we are none the wiser how it will affect us.
Some of us, however, believe that the real reason for this election is that the Prime Minister has real problems within her party. This is the party that had problems with Thatcher and Maastricht, worried Major over Europe and whose cabinet split over Brexit causing Cameron to resign and resulting in the election of May, a Remainer over a Brexiteer leaning Conservative Party. That split has not been healed and May and her Team want the endorsement of the whole country to enable her to assert her influence within her party.
But all is not well on the Labour front either. Their leader has not been without challenge from his parliamentary colleagues. First, they tried a coup, it failed. Then they tried a leadership challenge ostensibly because he did not perform well over the Brexit referendum, and he came back with an increased majority; then they tried again to resign their positions over the article 50 vote but he was able to see off that challenge as well.
So, we have in this election two leaders who have problems within their parties and the country has been called to adjudicate, an opportunity that is the very essence of democracy.
At the time the election was called, the result seemed to be in no doubt but as the campaign has unfolded we have seen the Prime Minister lose her poll position in the polls, launch and relaunch her campaign three or four times. May has moved from, Theresa May’s Team to Strong and Stable Leadership to the Best Brexit Deal and with this there have been some notable U-turns and a reluctance to debate the other leaders.
We have seen the Labour leader increase his stature with confidence to the extent that he has become dapper and sharper. Corbyn has made mistakes of his own but the fact of the matter is that for too many of us, his manifesto resonates with all the people.
So what we must do as active citizens is to get out there and vote. For the first time this is an election that provides us with stark choices of where the parties and personalities stand on issues: whether it is about education, about health and social care, about taxation, about pensions, about immigration and even about our foreign relations, we know what the options are and we must exercise our right to have our voice heard so that we can influence the results.
Whilst the personalities and policies are different the important thing that comes across is that this country will be a much better place with Corbyn at the helm of a Labour Party as Prime Minister over Theresa May.
The campaign has shown to us that the traditional media must not be allowed to shape our views on who we must vote for, that the people are now a lot more savvy in deciding for themselves and that the traditional media has now been reduced to report that results of the polls and the surge in support for Jeremy Corbyn across the country, rather than in influencing it as they have done in previous years.
It is ironic that the traditional media, who should be encouraging more people to exercise their right to vote are hoping that enough young people and people from ethnic minority communities will not vote in this election because if they turn up in their numbers they will certainly affect the results.
Whatever the results this will be a salutary lesson that there is no crystal ball as to when to call an election, that an enormous lead can be cut into single figures and that eventually, it is the people who decide who will run the country.
So for me I will be voting Labour because they provide a better hope for the future of the many disadvantaged in Britain, they will be the best to heal the divided country and they provide the best promise for the large number of young people and dare I say older people to have an enhanced quality of life in the United Kingdom. I will be voting for Corbyn because he presents the only hope of realising the vision of a cohesive Britain and he has proved it in a hard-fought campaign where his ideas have been far superior to those of Theresa May.
Let us just get out there to vote, it is not too late for us to determine the course of the future.
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Ade Sawyerr is a partner at Equinox Consulting, www.equinoxconsulting.net a management consultancy that works on social and economic issues affecting disadvantaged communities in Britain. He passes comment on social cultural and political issues of African heritage people in the Diaspora. He can be followed @adesawyerr or at www.adesawyerr.wordpress.com.