Why I joined Labour after voting for Boris Johnson in 2019

The Tories are out of touch and have underfunded mental health

When I joined the Conservative party in 2014, ‘Brexit’ was an unknown word, and the state of the world was very different to that of today. I was young, with little understanding of real life struggles. Growing up in a Conservative voting family in Wiltshire, joining the party seemed a logical step for someone with an emerging interest in politics.

In 2017 though, following some health issues that lead me to heavily depend on the NHS for a few months, I began to realise that perhaps I wasn’t aligning myself with the right political party.

From this point onwards I became more disaffected with the Conservative party. I reluctantly voted for them in 2019. I wanted to move this country past the divisive and damaging Brexit debate and I was weary of Corbyn’s inability to lead the country and represent the centre ground. 

As we have come into 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic has taken hold though, we have seen a complete lack of competence from not only the Prime Minister, but also from those he surrounds himself with.

We have seen dither and delay, which has no doubt cost thousands of lives. On top of this there has been a complete lack of compassion when approaching these decisions. The government has focused almost entirely on economic performance and failed to consider the detrimental impacts of their actions on the social wellbeing of much of the population.

And now, almost a year on from the start of the pandemic, there has been barely any commitment to support those who have been hurt mentally by the restrictions. 

I currently work in a pub and am aiming to be a chef and business owner. Small business owners have been hung out to dry and. whilst grants are available, they are minimal and many in the industry are beginning to really struggle as restrictions tighten and support is reduced. 

I am someone who has suffered both mentally and economically from this governments’ actions. I have always been susceptible to low points, however towards the end of the first lockdown it became clear to be that my mental health was suffering.

I reached out to my GP for help and was put onto anti-depressants and told to contact my local borough’s mental health support team. The wait for any sort of talk-therapy was 24 weeks: almost six months of having to get through it myself.

NHS wait-times have always been a topic for improvement, however given the millions of people struggling to deal with the stress of the pandemic, the underfunding of UK mental health services could not face the increase in referrals.

The Government failed to realise that not only did they need to pump money into the economy but also into the social systems coming under huge strains due to the pandemic. 

In my opinion, the only party fighting the Government on these topics, and whose MPs have witnessed these struggles first-hand is the Labour party.

Unfortunately, we still see a large number of out of touch Tory MPs like Bill Cash, who I doubt have ever come close to meeting anyone who has used a foodbank, let alone used one themselves.

I cannot associate myself with a party run by people so removed from the people they are meant to represent. I have joined the Labour Party as I feel Keir Starmer and his team are competent and committed to fighting the injustices in modern day Britain, neglected and exacerbated by the current Tory Government.

Harry Cromack is a Labour Party member in Wiltshire

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