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Dazed view: we must vote Labour

Jeremy Corbyn and his party offers the only genuine choice for this country and the only vision of a future that cares about you

We’re close now – and it’s there in the air, isn’t it? That tangible sense that something could genuinely change in Britain, a nation that feels as though it’s been governed by people we don’t know, don’t understand and don’t like, for, well, a long time. The feeling of possibility has been in part been brought about by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party, which has run a campaign against the Tories, a ghoulish collective of powerful demons who all seem to amalgamate into one grey, sentient, pernicious worldview that there are people in this country, and in the world, that do not matter.

Jeremy Corbyn has outlined plans to scrap tuition fees to ensure that everybody can go to university, a minimum wage of £10, a plan to build a million more homes, a radical investment in the arts to ensure children can learn to play instruments, a focus on ensuring our creative industries are protected, and a hike in corporation tax to fund it. Corbyn has promised to have “difficult conversations” with Saudi Arabia, the country that our government arms in return for money so atrocities can be committed with our missiles, just not in our name.

He’s promised to extend abortion rights to women in Northern Ireland. He’s called Donald Trump “a danger to the world” while Theresa May holds his hand, invites him for state visits and refuses to defend London’s mayor Sadiq Khan as Trump is deliberately misquoting him and calling him “pathetic” on Twitter, two days after the city suffered a terrorist attack. May’s refusal to call Donald Trump what he is is borne out of fear for her career and the knowledge that the government is alienating our allies.

Theresa May turned away child refugees, despite promising to bring in 3,000 under the Dubs Agreement. Since the Conservatives came to power in 2010, there are 6,600 fewer nurses and doctors working in mental health. The Tories want to sell our NHS – one of the things we should absolutely be most proud of. Boris Johnson drove a red bus up and down the country promising to fund the NHS with £350million a week.

I know someone whose mother, a cancer nurse, voted to leave in the referendum on account of that promise. That one story is shameful, but there will be thousands more. These are, like cuts to disability benefits and an increase in food poverty, literally matters of life and death.

“Jeremy Corbyn has outlined plans to scrap tuition fees to ensure that everybody can go to university, a minimum wage of £10, a plan to build a million more homes, and a hike in corporation tax to fund it”

Theresa May’s campaign has dangled one particularly rotten carrot on a stick in front of the electorate – that she’ll be “strong” in Brexit negotiations. Not only has she proven herself to be a politician exposed and frozen by the headlights like a rabbit about be run over, it’s offensive to run a campaign based on a miserable political gamble taken by her prime ministerial predecessor David Cameron. It was your party that got us into this mess – Cameron used it as a way to secure power and then failed to provide real information about the consequences of leaving the EU – don’t you dare make “saving us” your solemn promise. Don’t shoot me in the legs and say you’ll drive me to hospital.

May said that she was too busy focusing on Brexit to debate Corbyn on TV. A reminder – it is May that called this general election. Her refusal to appear on air is not just down to her inability to project a sense of warmth or genuine humanity, it’s because the Tories have nothing to offer, nothing to say beyond attacking Corbyn for “weakness”. The true frailty is the ideas vacuum that consumes the Conservative party, and its compassionless policies.

It’s been an odd campaign – one blighted by two horrific terrorist attacks on this country – but out of it has burst a palpable feeling that dissatisfaction is beginning to turn into anger and hope among the country’s people. Whatever happens, the two are a dangerous combination for a government whose mask is beginning to slip.

There are ways to keep out the Tories through tactical voting (read here for more on that), but a vote for Labour is a vote against the right-wing papers, against a deathly collection of callous politicians, against the idea that nothing can change. Go out and vote for something and, crucially, for others.