I was asked to draft an article for a website about how it feels the morning after your party lost an election. The website is collecting people’s thoughts on the election in series of letters.
Dear Abigail and Lucy,
At the moment, it’s easier to imagine writing a letter to you both than it is to write a normal blog post or article about the election result. You might never read this article, but it’s a helpful way to untangle my thoughts.
Mummy and Daddy have been very busy this month. You know this because we’ve delivered leaflets together and you’ve stood next to us as we knock on hundreds of doors.
You know that our friends Oliver Coppard, Louise Haigh and Paul Blomfield are on the Labour team and that Mummy and Daddy are both City Councillors and try to help people in Sheffield.
You also know that we voted yesterday, because we did it as a family on the way up to school, with everyone else from our village.
The sun was shining. We were full of hope.
But when you both woke up this morning, Mummy and Daddy were already awake because we had just got back from where they count the votes.
You both ran in and asked if “your friend Oliver” had won and we said he hadn’t.
Then you asked if Labour had won, and we told you they hadn’t.
You made little faces at each other and skipped down the stairs, talking about school and breakfast.
Mummy and Daddy won’t show it to you much, but we are very sad about what happened. Lots of our friends are sad too. It is very painful for us – like you have been let down by the country, by Labour and by us.
You deserve better.
* You deserve to live in a country where people are rewarded for their work, not used and discarded through zero-hours contracts that exploit people.
* You deserve to know that if Mummy or Daddy or a friend are ill, they will get the best care in the world, not just be used to help companies make money.
* You deserve a home when you’re older, where you don’t get punished for having too many bedrooms or have bad landlords who hike up your rents with no warning.
* You deserve to live on a planet with a stable climate that isn’t burning up because we used too much fuel in pursuit of short-term, one-off profit.
* You deserve to live in a country that is generous, diverse, inclusive and fair, not one that is unequal, angry, sneering and resentful.
Labour didn’t win yesterday, so we can’t do the things we wanted to. Like lots of other people, we are worried now about what this means for our family, our city and our country.
So we will knock on more doors and deliver more leaflets soon. We will keep trying to bring people together to make things better.
And if we do that, then, one day, Labour will win. And we will build the sort of country all our children really deserve.