Skip to content

Election Day 2024

4th of July 2024 at 8am: 

Today is Election Day

I took my daughter with me to vote this morning.  I had been warning her there was an election coming, because I wanted her to feel as she grows up that she had choices, that she had some kind of agency in how our small piece of the world is run.  I didn’t want her to internalise that sense of frustration that so many adults around me express when they say ‘there is no point voting, as nothing ever changes.’  That sorrowful, melancholic refrain, which does nothing more than enable the worst of the political elite to carry on with their lack of morality and their unethical treatment of so many.  So, I took her with me. I showed her what I was doing.  We talked to the people working there on the day.  And I voted.  As much for her, as it was for myself.  I voted. 

A friend sent me Smith’s (Smith, 2024) newspaper article outlining her, and I would like to surmise many other people’s, hopes for the end of fourteen years of tory rule.  In this well written article, she talks about how things were for her so many years ago, when this political horror show started.  The pain of the deterioration of the National Health Service, one of the core aspects of her story which touched me most of all. 

Watching these past fourteen years has been a bit like watching a bad horror movie, whilst knowing that there was no way I could get out of the Cineworld Cinema.  I was trapped there, and had to endure the hours, days, months, years, rolling before my eyes.  The horrors of waiting lists, deportations, anti-Trans hatred, anti-Black hatred, propagated by a rightward moving political elite who preached solidarity with their working-class brethren, whilst also simultaneously fleecing them financially through their varying capitalist machines.

This has been an extremely painful period for myself therefore, as it has been for so many of us, I am certain.  So, I wanted to use this pain, be with this pain, and learn from it in this the second of my political blogs for this period.  Whatever the result (and at the time of writing, I honestly do not know how this will all turn out) I wanted to feel the pain, the pressure, the trepidation, maybe even the joy, that did, could, might, maybe arise out of these forty-eight hours of political pain.

4th of July 2024 at 2.30pm: 

These past few days I have felt blocked, bloated, as if I am holding something not so much of mine.  Moreso of the collective.  When I sit with it, I realise that I am deeply tired.  Tired of the hate, the division, the splitting up of parts of the country, of cultures, of races, of families of friends.  Over Brexit, over migrants, over Covid-19 and lockdowns.  Division and its power to dominate, the politics of divide and rule, whilst an elite lined their own pockets, bet on election dates, gave their mates PPI contracts, squirreled themselves into the House of Lords and so many other horrors.  I recall, when tRump came to power that I had a dream of the far right hate to come.  A dream which woke me, which shook me, to my core.  I wonder about tonight and if I will finally wake up from that nightmare.   

As I watched the Exit Poll, and then stayed up into the early part of the night to watch the first results roll in, something important occurred to me.  It was that throughout this campaign, as much as I wavered in my support of Labour, there was one thing I could commend new Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer for.  It was that the era of Performance Politics was now over, and that the politics of personality, comedy, and performativity gives way to a more serious kind of politics.  Even with Sir Ed Davey’s high jinx trying to show him as a man of fun and of the people maybe gaining the Liberal Democrats some votes, there was a return to the serious edge of political life.  One where, and this is my hope, debate replaces polarisation, where we hear as much as we speak, where we can sit in the more mature grey areas of relational discursiveness over the immaturity purely black and white thinking. 

There is the chance here for a recovering, a rediscovering, or a recognition of a new type of politics of policy and productivity, maybe?  I would like to think so.  After these past fourteen years of wrangling and political dislocation, where our standing on the world stage has become diminished as other nations have witnessed our political immaturity, it would be nice to see and to feel that we are about to turn a corner, both politically and psychologically, towards something more constructive.

5th of July 2024: at 7am

I had a deep, painful, therapy session last night, which stayed with me overnight.  I could feel the weights in my stomach, I could feel the tears behind my eyes, deep-seated emotions as much raised by this sitting with these last fourteen years.  The Exit Poll brought something weariful up within me.  That melancholia of realising that the battle, that this particular war, may be finally over. 

In some ways, as much as I agree with Smith, I also think this descent into political darkness has been the making of myself.  I undertook my doctorate during the time of tory rule, and was as much motivated by their not so gentle creep to the political right as I was by my own personal drivers to explore the political within psychotherapy.  It is not that I owe them anything, it is to say that waking up on the 7th of May 2010 to the Cameron and Clegg, of the Liberal Democrats, chittering on about working together to take the country forward, meant that I could no longer rely upon culturally or racially sleepwalking my way through life, or through my political life.  I had to stand up and be counted.  I had no choice anymore. 

This doesn’t mean the Black Mirror circus of the Right has gone away.  Quite the contrary.  The rise of Reform is a threat, as is the political shifts to the right across Central Europe and in the United States of America.  What this does mean though is that for myself, and I will argue here also for a good number of those reading this blog, this hothousing event of the past fourteen years has forged a good number of psychological politicians.  It has raised to the surface therapist activists, engaged in the political in their practices, engaged with the political in their personal worlds, and not afraid to admit as much. 

So whilst I therefore will not miss these past fourteen years, I begrudgingly have much to thank it for.  In some ways, it has made me who I am.

It has shown me the way forward. 

5th of July 2024 at 12pm

These last fourteen years have been a labyrinth.  A Grecian tragedy riven with myriad minotaur’s, rivers of fire and hate, and pits of depression and despair.  To be trapped within this labyrinth has been awful, but transformative.  Transformative in the fact that I know we cannot go back.  That whilst I may look wistfully at the past, I have to recognise I have changed.  That as I emerge out into the sunlight of a Grecian summer, I have to recognise that I have been forged by said labyrinth.  Forged for whatever will come from next from the right.

I feel fire.

I feel prepared. 


Smith, Z. (2024). ‘Here comes the sun’: Zadie Smith on hope, trepidation and rebirth after 14 years of the Tories. Guardian Online.