For three and a half years now, I have felt like a piece of chattel, a bargaining chip. Today no less so. As an EU citizen, I am not allowed to vote in the general election. So I am once again powerless in determining the future of the country and my own life.
I did get settled status approved a couple of months ago and you might think that that would be a relief. And in one way it was, because I expected to have to supply extra ‘evidence’ but thankfully I didn’t have to do that. So I was relieved to have settled status.
But settled status is not in itself a guarantee. Not to me, anyway. I do not trust that the Tories will not try to get rid of it, and get rid of us. And you do not get any solid proof of your status, no letter or id card. If someone, an employer or landlord, for example, needs to check your status, then it has to be checked online. The Internet connection could be down or the government website could be down (this has already happened on atleast one occasion). So this is highly problematic.
Also the fact that we are here legally already but we have to APPLY for settled status, not just register. It is appalling. It is offensive. People who have been here for years, decades. Working, paying taxes, caring for sick and old people, teaching in schools. Starting their own businesses and creating jobs.
And all of a sudden we are no longer welcome. Citizens of nowhere. We have “treated this country like our own” for too long according to Johnson. Because it IS our country. We have chosen to be here, to work and pay taxes and make a contribution.
I do not trust the Tories to look after my interests, as an EU citizen.
And I do not trust them to look after vulnerable people or the environment. I do not trust that they will not sell off the NHS or underfund it even more. I don’t trust them to give children an education. I do not trust that they won’t continue to underfund fire, police and other public services.
They do not care about people. They do not care about the environment. Both are in crisis but the Tories Do Not Care.
People will die under a Tory government. Plain and simple.
And Brexit will only make it worse. It will mean years, decades, of economic and social turmoil. The only people who will benefit from brexit, in any form, are rich people.
So please, go vote today. Every single vote counts. Go to https://tactical.vote/ and check how your vote is best used to unseat a Tory. Vote Labour or Lib Dem or Greens or SNP etc.
You may not love Corbyn (I would prefer someone else to be perfectly honest) and wouldn’t vote for him to become PM under normal circumstances. But these are emphatically not normal circumstances. People’s lives are at risk. People’s jobs are at risk. Children go to school hungry under the Tories, people die on trolleys in hospital hallways, nurses have to use food banks.
Democracy is at stake. Please safeguard it by using your power to vote. Polling places are open until 10 pm tonight.