It probably hasn’t escaped your notice that we have a General Election happening here in the UK. I’m over 60 years old and I have no hesitation in saying that it is the most important General Election of my lifetime. If the Tories are still in power on Friday the consequences for anyone who isn’t a moderately well-off straight, cis, able-bodied person of English descent will be quite terrible. They will be particularly bad for people of colour, people who moved here from Europe and their families, and for trans people. They have, of course, been terrible for the very poor, for disabled people, and for anyone associated with the Windrush generation, for some time.
I’m delighted to see so much discussion of tactical voting happening on social media. I hope it works. Personally, however, there is little I can do. For most of my life in the UK I have lived in constituencies where it would take a political earthquake of immense proportions to unseat the incumbent Tory. I have comforted myself with the thought that having so many Tory voters in one place is a good thing for the rest of the country.
In my current constituency, the sitting MP, who is Brexit Party in all but name, got 60% of the vote at the last election. The next best performance was by Labour who got 26.5%. It is probable that some of those Tory voters will follow the lead of John Major and Michael Heseltine and vote for the LibDems, but I can’t see half of them doing so. I normally vote Green, but will be voting Labour this time just in case.
The opinion polls have all been uniformly depressing and point to a significant Tory majority. I am hoping that they are as wrong as the rest of the mainstream media coverage of the election. But even if we do end up with a coalition government led by Labour the prospects for trans folk don’t look good. Diane Abbot and Dawn Butler have been very supportive, but John McDonnell has made it clear that he expects Labour to roll back trans rights. I think the best we can hope for is that they will have far too many other things to be doing before starting on us.
This certainly isn’t the sort of situation I expected myself to be in at this point in my life. But then again when I began the transition process I didn’t expect to live much longer anyway. To have survived for 22 years has exceeded my wildest expectations. So I’m going to try to keep busy and not worry too much about things. I will trust those of you who have a more useful vote to do the right thing. And I plan to thoroughly enjoy the holiday, because it will probably be the last one I get to spend in this country.