Labour’s win

I have to write down my thoughts here whilst they are still fresh. There’s a feeling in the air which is full of such hope, optimism and change.

As I watched Keir Starmer stand outside Number 10 and make debut speech, and the next day hold his first press conference, something hit me. For the first time in a long time, I realised this was how government should be conducted. It should have professionalism and be “politics as a service” for the people. For so long, we have become used to almost a self-interest for the few and scandal after scandal so suddenly being presented with a new way of doing things was really something quite special.

I had become used to the last few years of the Conservative way of conducting themselves so the expectation in this press conference was that questions would be avoided by answering in a very fluffy or convolted way. Starmer gave a resoned responsed and set out a solid plan.

In the weeks leading up to July 4th, I had been out canvassing, mainly running the board. I had heard on the doorstep a very good number of people voting Labour. But what concerned me is the number of non-voters that proudly declared themselves so and some ardent Tory supporters – they could not explain why – and a significant numbers of followers of Reform. I had of course seen the numerous polls which suspected a huge Labour win but there was still a bit of worry. In years gone by, I had misread the national mood and I wondered, considering the rumblings I had heard on the doorstep whether the win may be watered down.

On Election Day, I had work until mid-afternoon and then made my way across to Eastwood where some data told someone somewhere the team were needed. A big group of us, split into two by my presence, canvassed a couple of rounds. Then we made our way to Hucknall where we had officially signed up to help.

We had made this sign up a few days before when we went along to meet greet Starmer. He came up to support Michelle Welsh, standing in Sherwood Forest and whilst there, answered some media questions. They wanted some people in the backdrop so Seb and I made our way there! We wanted to see the future Prime Minister!

After having an emergency McDonald’s after canvassing, Seb and I went back to mine with only 15 odd minutes to go before the exit poll. As we walked towards my door, Seb exclaimed to look up. We were presented with a single rose poking up which I had never seen before. It was a sign!

We got in and turned the telly on for the exit poll. It was a fantastic result for Labour. In light of what I had heard, was something not quite right? For a couple of hours, we watched a few results come in and then made our way to a Labour gathering at the former Raleigh headquarters, watching the results on a big screen.

It was confirmed that the exit poll was quite right! By about 4.30pm, feeling sleepy, we woke ourselves up and cycled the few minutes home where we watched a few more results and then headed to bed.

Next morning, we awoke to Rishi Sunak in Buckingham Palace resigning. It had been raining. It was beautiful testament that the sun came out for Starmer as he made his way to the palace and then back to Downing Street.

That evening we were invited to Nick and Maggie’s house for dinner. It was a lovely occasion to mark the occassion with passionate supporters of Labour!

On 10 Downing Street’s YouTube, they put out this video. I cannot fully describe the feeling. I haven’t felt it in years.

This may sound half sharp, but I said to my friend how long 14 years actually was. It is enough time to cause devastation to a country. It is enough time for the psyche of government to be one of almost ‘that will do’ and for it to pervade throughout the country.

Watching the speech, the press conference and seeing some content since, Starmer presents himself differently. He sounds different. There is this confidence in power and the way he is that comes about from Labour winning by so much. This way of being way not presented in the campaign.

Times have changed. This new era begins.

I am so hopeful.

Samuel x

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