Sunday, 9 May 2010

Why I fear Tory Rule

I've said before that I don't think of myself as a political person - in the past 40 years I have really never taken much of an interest. But this months election has stirred something deep inside me and re-awakened old memories of bad and unhappy times. And it has made me realise how deeply ingrained ones political beliefs can be, even without you knowing.

The last time the Conservatives were in power my family had a tough time. I was a child then and didn't undertand the implications of what their government did, but now I am an adult, a parent and a home-owner I understand much better what my parents must have gone through.

In 1977 they bought a brand new house in a beautiful village in rural North Bedfordshire. They both came from North London but couldn't afford to stay in the capital so gradually moved away, first to Northamptonshire (because in the early 70s it was cheap and there were new estates springing up everywhere) and then to Bedfordshire.

We watched the house being built. We would go over and look at the plot at weekends, and saw it develop from just a concrete foundation to our new home. In 1977 the mortgage interest rates were around 7.5%. By November 1979, just 6 months after Margaret Thatcher came to power they had doubled to 15.75% and my parents had long been unable to afford the home they had bought. In Decemebr 1980 they peaked at 21.5%

Then in the 80s my dad lost his job. He was unemployed for more than 5 years. We couldn't afford to run a car, and as we lived out in a village he needed to travel to Bedford every fortnight to sign on. Rather than pay the bus fare he would walk or cycle the 10 miles each way.

I spent my childhood wearing second hand clothes, never going on holiday and getting very little for birthdays and Christmas. During this difficult time both my parents suffered with depression which had a lasting effect on everyone in the family.

Now I am fully aware that this story might all sound a bit dramatic and melancholic. It is not meant to be that way. It is purely meant as an explanation as to why I could NEVER vote for a Conservative Government. Why I felt so despondent when I woke up on May 7th and saw that the political map of our country had turned blue overnight. And why I genuinely fear for my home, my children's future and that of our public services. And also for my own sanity.

By all means people have the right to demand change - but not change for changes sake. And not at any cost. People are quick to blame, quick to judge and equally, it seems, quick to forget.


jfb57 said...

A very moving post. It shows how the politics of the past will always influence the politics of the present & probably the future.

Emma said...

This post is so true for me too
I can emphasise so much with post
Except we were lucky enough to live in Stewartby and even though my dad lost his job in 1982 we kept out house as sitting tennets. We struggled a lot.

geekymummy said...

A sad story.
Where in north Beds were you? I'm from North Bucks (Olney) but went to school in Bedford!

Beth said...

This is something I think many many many people are feeling at the moment. And with the news tonight that David Cameron is prime minister after Gordon Brown's resignation, I'm feeling rather uncomfortable and uncertain about my family's future.

I hope that there is uproar over the next few months and another election is called. :(

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