At the Baffler website, journalist Laurie Penny reflects on the emotional toll of the major defeat suffered by the Labour party in last week’s UK parliamentary elections. A Labour supporter herself, Penny describes the feeling of suddenly discovering that many of your fellow citizens are much less compassionate and fair-minded than you thought. She also describes the shock of realizing that blantant lying seems to have become a route to electoral success in the UK’s degraded political sphere. Check out an excerpt from the piece below.
Right now, it’s OK to be angry. It’s OK to be scared. Those are honest feelings, and it’s better we feel them now than let them fester and eat away at us from the inside. There is a difference between being tired and scared of some of your fellow citizens—as many of us in Britain are today—and legislating on that basis. That, in fact, is still the difference between political tendencies. Anger is allowed. Hurt and fear are allowed. Feelings are allowed. But treating those feelings as facts is a terrible, terrible plan.
Which is exactly why it’s alright to be angry today. It’s necessary, even. Because today we’re not fighting an election. We’re in recovery. And part of recovery is feeling all the fury and fear and confusion and moving on, rather than letting all that ugly emotion fester and eat us up from inside. It’s alright to be scared. It’s alright to rage, because very soon, we’ll need to start the fightback, and that means we’ll need every spare scrap of compassion and more. The nights are drawing in. Buckle up, turkeys. Christmas is coming.
Image of Boris Johnson by David Sedlecký - own work, CC BY-SA 4.0. Via Wikimedia Commons.