Vote. Because I can’t.

NS May 6th, 2010

I haven’t ponied up the £800 needed to become a British citizen yet (things are a bit tight after I quit my job to become an at-home parent to my own two British citizens — cough) and so I will not be voting today because I’m not allowed. I sent off my husband’s postal ballot last week so at least I know he was able to exercise that right since he’s away on a business trip right now. All I can do now is watch, wait and hope that the British people don’t let the Conservatives back in. If you’re still on the fence about who to vote for, read this and this and particularly this. A little excerpt:

The Fawcett Society have today released the results of a survey of parliamentary candidates, including the party leaders,  asking whether they would support action on women’s inequality in their constituencies and nationally (1)

Of the 3 major parties 23.1 per cent of Labour candidates and 19.9 per cent of Lib Dems and 2.6 per cent of the Conservatives committed their support. (2)

Candidates were asked to say yes or no to whether they would support local and national action on tackling the gender pay gap, improving support for women rape victims and assessing the impact of deficit cutting proposals on women. Both Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg are amongst those candidates that answered yes to all three questions. David Cameron responded with the Tories policy position in the relevant areas ( 3)

The figures aren’t great for any of the parties but 2.6 per-fucking-cent?! You’ve got to be kidding me. As the Fawcett Society report notes, the support they were asked to commit was for pretty uncontroversial things like support for rape victims and equal pay. If the Tories aren’t even willing to come out in support of that, what else will we find they don’t support? I fear know that a Conservative government will roll back at least some of the gains we’ve made in the last decade and prevent gender equality from progressing any further.

If you care about women, children, education, the arts, community, health, the poor, the disadvantaged, the downtrodden and the vulnerable, remember whose interests the Tories really serve (rhymes with ‘schmorforations’) and the 97.4 per cent of them who refuse to support even such basic rights for women like rape crisis centres and pay audits to address the unconscionable epidemic of the gender pay gap (which is really a mother pay gap).

Come on, Britain. Speak up for those who, like me, have no voice and no choice in this election.  I am a proud, tax-paying immigrant. I am a woman who demands equality. I am a mother deserving of support and recognition as I help raise the next generation of British workers and pension contributors. I am a feminist who will always be there, breathing down the necks of those who cling to the last vestiges of white, male, Christian hegemony.

I may not be officially British, but I am Britain. I dare the Conservatives to tell me otherwise.

12 Responses to “Vote. Because I can’t.”

  1. My biggest fear is that people will vote with their hearts instead of their heads and we’ll get the worst possible scenario. I hope you’re able to vote next time.
    Liz (LivingwithKids)´s last blog ..Looking forward to the new SATC movie? My ComLuv Profile

    NS Reply:

    @Liz (LivingwithKids), I hope people use both! Will be a close result no matter what. Quite exciting/terrifying!

  2. frank says:

    Have you seen the Sun’s front page today? SOB.
    frank´s last blog ..Election 2010: Sit back and enjoy the videos… My ComLuv Profile

    NS Reply:

    @frank, Oh. Dear. God. They did NOT try to compare Cameron to Obama. Fucking hell.

  3. It is so important to vote. Hope you will be able to vote next time, so frustrating to live somewhere (for a couple of years too) and not have a voice in how that area is run. Hope you get the chance to make your mark next time (which may well not be that far away).
    PantsWithNames´s last blog ..The final post. Well almost. My ComLuv Profile

    NS Reply:

    @PantsWithNames, It is very frustrating, especially as I’ve been here nearly 8 years. I have ‘become a citizen’ on my list of must-do things this year. Just wish it wasn’t so bleedin’ expensive.

  4. Luschka says:

    How come you can’t vote? I’m not British, and I can vote?!
    I decided right in the beginning I would not be voting conservative. The reason? They had one of those party political ads on tv and in the entire 2 or so minute ad there was not one woman or one person of any other colour/shade than white, middle aged and male. Who runs an ad like that in this day and age!

    To be honest, I’ve still not decided who to vote for – none of them inspire me much. Tick tock tick tock tick tock….

    As for that £800 – i feel your pain. I’m in the exact same boat! Never mind my British husband or child. Why on earth is it that expensive for us?? I’ve already spent 1000s just on visas to BE here!
    Luschka´s last blog ..365-112 to 365-118 A Week in Pictures My ComLuv Profile

    NS Reply:

    @Luschka, I can’t vote because I’m not a British citizen, nor a citizen of a Commonwealth or EU country.

  5. April says:

    totally feeling your pain about the £800….
    and the hundreds of £’s spend on visas….
    Here’s to voting in the NEXT election!!!

  6. Sandrine says:

    I get your frustration – I moved to Britain just before my 18th birthday and stayed for 11 years. I would gladly have voted there (but wasn’t sure about changing nationality) and didn’t feel comfortable voting in France as I had little to do with what was going on. So now I’m in Turkey and still not voting anywhere…and my British husband can’t vote because he’s been out of the country for 10 years! Maybe if he paid 800 pounds…
    Sandrine´s last blog ..We want to have a house there. My ComLuv Profile

  7. Abby says:

    Yes, I also saw the cover of the Sun today and it made me feel quite sick.

    Your last paragraph took my breath away. You and me both, sister. You and me both.
    Abby´s last blog ..Blakeney Point My ComLuv Profile

  8. troutie says:

    Shit! If only I’d have known you couldn’t vote. You could have had my partner’s vote as he never votes. I love the way that you can walk into the polling station and say “Hi, I’m Mickey Mouse” and they give you a ballot paper but you need a goddamn passport and a gas bill to collect a parcel from a post office.
    troutie´s last blog ..Portrait of a Curious Trout My ComLuv Profile