Thursday, 14 May 2015

Where next?

If I am honest I put too much hope in the election result, in a change of government, in a change of culture and approach.  The exit poll and subsequent results have knocked me flat: I am honestly not sure how I am going to cope with another five years of Conservative government.  Another five years of being described as a "scrounger" and a "shirker", another five years of the poorest in society suffering the most, another five years of fear and blame and divide and rule.

It is not that I hate the Conservatives per se, or that I hate Conservative voters.  I do hate the campaign they ran, filled with fear, fear of the Scots, fear of the economy, fear that if you do not grasp all you have you may lose it.  I hate the idea that all that matters is you, you and your hard working family, nothing else matters.  I hate the idea that the poor deserve poverty, that it is a matter of personal responsibility, if only people tried harder they would not be poor.  This is blatantly untrue: it ignores all the structures that keep people poor.

I am filled with dread of what £12 billion of welfare cuts are going to mean to my community, to the disabled, none of whom chose their circumstances, what is going to happen?  How are we to live?  What is it going to mean for the increasing numbers of children growing up in poverty?

There is so much that concerns me, scares me, angers me, I feel so passionately about what is happening.  But, but, I am ill, I am exhausted, the anger and anxiety make me more exhausted and sore and ill.  How can I make a change?  How can I get involved and fight and campaign?  To be sure, if I were well, I would be out there, doing everything I could to make a difference.  Instead I feel like my arms are tied behind my back, my feet tied together and my mouth gagged: I feel silenced and made invisible by my illness.

So where next?  I am at a loss.  I am trying to keep an eternal perspective, trying to pray, trying to find hope in God, but the present feels so overwhelming.

I may head back to the Psalms, it feels like a time for lament.

4 comments:

  1. I can exactly understand how you feel Stephanie. My daughter has been pestering me with questions, "But WHY do they think that's okay?" etc. My own take on the election results in England is that people voted out of fear. I think that poverty, illness, disability and any form of "weakness" makes many people even more fearful, even more grasping. Some people will go past a homeless person and think, "That could be me" and have compassion, but many will run past, terrified that it might be them and they had better get away.

    I think pouring out your heart to God is exactly the right response. And try to keep your focus on what you know is good and true. This too shall pass, and God is by your side and will never leave you. I hope that doesn't sound shallow and trite.

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  2. Thank you so much for the encouragement, I truly appreciate your kindness and wisdom x

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  3. I read somewhere that many people don't know anyone who is disabled, so have trouble having any grasp of what it could be like. I was surprised, having grown up with elderly relatives who needed help with things, and parents who worked in the NHS, and going to church where all sorts of people also go, I couldn't imagine that. So many disabilities are "hidden" too, so people may have no idea they do know someone who is disabled. I think it shows a lack of imagination, and of empathy, and also restricted social circles, where people only hang out with "people like us".

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