The night before election day I was full of anticipation. Hoping this time would be different; the negative press pendulum had gradually swung away from Jezza and was hurtling towards Theresa.
‘Let June be the end of May’ was plastered all over Facebook and Twitter feeds and I was starting to believe this rhetoric.
Nowhere was this more obvious than my own village Facebook page; a site which is normally littered with posts about litter (I kid you not) and the two delinquents in the village. Taking courage from a few other political posts, I decided to ‘come out’ and post about the parlous state of general practice and the NHS. There were minority mutterings asking for the dog poo posts to return (I swear someone posted this), but the majority of villagers in a Tory strong hold were demanding we save our schools and our beloved NHS. This ripple of uprising gave me some hope that perhaps the public was finally turning their back on austerity in favour of a fairer society.
Although my village continues as a Tory stronghold, this majority has shrunk significantly, which I think this is largely due to new housing developments full of young people. I have previously written about the younger generation of GPs being our only hope, and I am filled with the same aspiration again, as record numbers of the under-24s turned out to vote on June 8th.
This leaves me with no doubt that we will form a Labour government in the near future. But what about the present? What about the fact that a Tory alliance with the DUP may be a fate worse than a Tory majority? An alliance with a party whose views on abortion and LGBTQ rights make Donald Trump look like a liberal.
So although I feel optimistic about this shift in political landscape, I don’t feel like celebrating right now. I don’t feel like a winner… do you?
I don’t feel like a winner when I reflect on the future for my kids; a future of savage cuts to our local secondary school and a future without free higher education.
I don’t feel like a winner when I think about my profession. We are dying a death of a thousand cuts, and soon it will become completely unsustainable to have a career within the NHS. In order to continue providing holistic care, we will be forced down a one-way private road with little hope of finding a roundabout.
Finally, I don’t feel like a winner when I remember my patients. These are people hidden in the fringes of society who have no voice. The addicts, the mentally ill, asylum seekers… all those people demonised by our right-wing media.
But then I experience a jolt of excitement when I remember my husband and kids are dual nationals. We can start a new life in a new country, free from the politics of prejudice, the politics of envy and the politics of greed.
And then I remember that country is America…