“If liberty and equality, as is thought by some are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost.”
Once again the General Election is upon us (it’s been 5 years already?!) Barely an hour can pass by without one of the political parties doing something, making some attempt at persuading us they should be in charge of the country. This year promises to be one of the closest elections and the chances of any one party winning an overall majority are, it seems, slim to none…So we have even more reason to vote. However, amongst the Witchcraft community there seems to be a real sense of apathy expressed towards politics. There is a great deal of disinterest in politics in the UK generally, yet for some reason many folks of the ‘pagan persuasion’ especially seem to keep politics at arm’s length. I have even read a very well-known and respected writer say once that Witches shouldn’t even involve themselves with politics and that the workings of government are at odds with Craft principles. How can this be when so many governments (past and present) seem so keen on destroying our green spaces and sacred landscape through exponential building and promoting industries like fraking, or prey on the most vulnerable people in society, promoting the needs of the wealthy few over the needs of the poverty stricken many, or governments threatening more and more of the freedoms our ancestors fought so hard for? I would think Witches would be among the most concerned about many of these issues. We have a responsibility to fight the injustices wrought against our lands and voting is one means to do this. I write this blog to beg, plea and implore any of you from the UK to vote on the 7th of May.
Not so long ago the likes of the poor and certainly all women were denied the right to vote, so many people died trying to challenge the status quo, people who many of us may even be related to, somewhere in our distant family histories maybe the memory of a since forgotten suffragette! Regardless, I believe we owe it to the men and women who rebelled against the system, who fought for proper fair democracy to use our vote…it is one of the only shots we all have to voice our opinion. It’s true we are individually just one voice among millions, and I’m not about to tell people who they should vote for, I simply want to encourage people to vote…to get up, go out and take 5 minutes!
Witchcraft and Politics are not at odds, I’m not suggesting we start working to magically influence elections but we are citizens of these islands, we have a vested interest in those who would lead and make decisions which will determine the state of our lives and the land, regardless of our individual beliefs and practises. I don’t even know who I will vote for but I do know that I will be making my mark on that slip of paper out of respect for my ancestors and to have my say in the fate of this land I call home.
When someone’s income doesn’t match expenses, our children don’t have a school place, we have to wait 24 hours in an A&E department, our elderly parents or grandparents cannot get the social care they need, we need to ask local food banks for groceries, our rent is sky-high, our wife or husband loses their job or your teenage son or daughter can’t get even one, or perhaps when the woods where you practise your craft are sold off to developers, your community is subject to increased flooding due to climate change, the local authorities build a domestic waste incinerator behind your home and the next time you switch on the news you learn of yet another war, another atrocity or another animal become extinct… I ask myself, why on earth would a Witch not vote!?