Your Community Needs You (for QX MAGAZINE)

Usually when given a soap box I charge full steam ahead, all guns blazing and sometimes people disagree (which is great) but I really am stuck for words on attempting to shed light on this Election kerfuffle - am i the only person who feels incredibly confused?

I was brought up in a loyal New Labour household - not surprising considering I was born on the same day as the Brixton riots in the hight of industrial action as thriving yuppies minced the city. I wrote a letter to Downing Street when I was 8, I was really annoyed that cigarettes were on sale in the UK so I decided to take it upon myself to contact John Major and ask him to stop importing them - I received a letter back from some very important civil servant explaining how incredibly busy Mr Major was - which only fueled my love for Neil Kinnock.

Fast forward 5 years and I'm camper and at Secondary School and Tony Blair has just been elected - that dreadful M-People song is being played everywhere on the radio (what was that all about?) - and I become more aware of Labour's policy on LGB (T wasn't on the agenda then) rights because as soon as they were in the age of consent was equal - I remember talking to boys on faceparty about it and feeling like some huge weight had been lifted and I wasn't part of the freak show (not yet anyway) - Now for all the older folk reading this thinking 'you don't know the half of it!!' - I am aware that I'm part of 'that' generation who are lucky enough not to really worry that much about social stigma attached to our sexual preferences, when we came out it was more about if your parents were going to accept it and if you were going to get AIDS.

When I was 17 and looking for employment the equal rights law came into place - it all felt very much like the Labour party was doing this all just for me. Up until the war in Afghanistan I wouldn't mind raising my head above the parapet and saying 'Yes I'm a Tony-ite - they've done a lot for me and my community'  - but WAR - that was the first time a party I was born to believe in felt tarnished - but something magical happened - i discovered 'people power' - children walking out of school, demos, protests - the lot, this overwhelming feeling of the power of justice and anger kicked in and I realized I had become 'politicized'.

Now I don't want this to feel like a rant about New Labour, or any other party for that matter - but that tarnished feeling has spread to all political parties, MEPs and significant others - since Conway set the ball rolling on the expense scandal it all feels... well, tarnished. Am I alone in feeling let down by people we once thought were fighting for our greater good? I unlike many of my peers want to believe in a political system that echos our feelings - but the system has failed and with it our respect.
When watching Question Time over the last few weeks I've been getting this feeling of impending doom - I just feel the Tories are going to get in and that makes me feel, well not angry but upset. I  feel like I don't want to live here anymore and thats really unlike me. I love London, but now I feel like the way we used to raise our eyes at Americans when Bush was in power - the tables have turned and we are the ones with egg on our face and they are raising their eyebrows at us standing behind Barrack.

Do I think this is Gordon's fault? No, not really - the whole thing has gone tits up, Cameron stammers over basic questions on the rights of our community, Grayling wants us out of their B&Bs, Nick Griffin wants us hidden and away from children, UKIP want to send us back from where ever we came from, Greens are socialists so think of that what you will and the Lib Dems - well who ever knows what they think?!

Whatever you do on 6th May don't feel coerced into using your vote via propaganda, the important thing is to just USE your vote and use it wisely - your community needs you.

United we stand etc. etc. etc.

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