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"We the people were what mattered in this election"

RESPONDING TO VOTERS: Prime Minister Theresa May (left) and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

IT’S ALL over.

But on reflection, the past seven weeks was not just about May or Corbyn. It was about who really run t’ings – babe and sucklings or the wise and foolish in a country divided between those who are old enough to own their own homes and those who are waiting for their parents to kick the bucket.

Inexplicably, the Tories didn’t get this when they threatened a ‘dementia tax’ should we need health care in our dotage. The first rule of politics is that you don’t stick the boot into your own customers. Unless, of course, your old-age customers have nowhere else to run to.

Same way Labour used to take black Britons for granted, but are now trying to ‘unlock’ our potential. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the old farts who forced a u-turn from the Tories. I was talking to one of the polling company YouGov’s reps a week before polling day and he was saying despite the Conservatives’ old folks’ faux-pas, Freedom Pass holders didn’t budge in their overwhelming support for the blue rinse. It was the young that got up, stood up and fought the dementia tax. Not on behalf of their elders, but on behalf of themselves. Yeah.

Youngers all over the country saw their inheritance disappearing down the black hole of dementia faster than centegenarians in a nursing home can say 'supercalifragilisticexpeeallidocious'
backwards, and weren’t having it. Especially those who had been waiting patiently for some time for their elders to pass the baton on in that relay race to the sky.


HAPPY CLAPPERS: Philip (left) and Theresa May welcomed back into Downing Street by staff

Don’t get it twisted. Youngers assure me that it’s not that they don’t love their parents, far from it. It’s just that there’s a lot of pressure on housing down inna the inner city ghettoes, and what’s the use of man and man just living out their seemingly everlasting breath in a three-bedroom former council house in the ’hood when the younger man and mans dem have pure pickney to run and need a yard in which to run dem. Pickney need homes more than they need grandparents. Who can argue with that?

Remember, these are not my views. They are the views of some of the Jobseeker’s Allowance yutes that I’ve been speaking to, some of whom voted for the first time ever when faced with the possibility that they may have to hand over their parents’ property portfolio should they live for decades with Alzheimer’s instead of kicking the bucket.

T’ings change.

The first election since we voted to leave the European Union. Youngers who never voted in last year’s referendum and now realise that the world is not their oyster showed-up alongside people who remember voting to be members of what was then called the EEC and, by the time they got grey-haired, had had enough of it with the realisation that they would never drive through Paris in a sports car with the cool breeze in their hair. In other words, they’re past it.


GOOD PROGRESS: Jeremy Corbyn arrives at Labour's HQ after running an admirable election race

Britain is full of past-its. But they still get to vote. To the frustration of their juniors. But because they vote they run t’ings. T’ings nuh run them. The system is the system. Even if you’re 116 years old and on your death bed, your vote is as valid as anyone else’s vote. And if the politicians know that you are going to use that vote, they will go out and canvass for it – even on your death bed.

And before you say 'No, they wouldn't do that', let's remember that they have wheeled MPs in to Parliament on their death beds in order to be able to cast their votes in some crucial election on which a government with a tiny majority is depending. That's what younger voters have got to get their heads around. Until there's more of them than there are of us - unlikely given the cost of having children currently - or until every single one of them voting age goes to the polls, it is us veterans that will continue ruling their world; despite a massive 72% of 18-24 year-olds turning out this time.

Why on earth would we do what they did in Scotland and lower the voting age to give kids a say? But let’s not divide and rule. The people will always be the people. Old folks will always cite “the mess dem wotless pickney have got us into”. Dem wotless pickney will always note that it was us oldies that caused the war, the famine and pestilence and anything else that is not right in the world.

No doubt the Conservatives, the Alzheimer’s Party (even though Corbyn is eight years older than May – one of the many contradictions of this election), have got us into a whole lotta mess as far back as I can remember. But it’s the kinda mess that old people support.


THEY THINK IT'S ALL OVER: Yesterday protestors took to Parliament to voice their displeasure at the final result

But Labour, arguably the Kindergarten Party, have also been responsible for untold mess. But youngers don’t seem to mind their mess.

In short, politics is a messy business. But your own mess never stinks as bad as somebody else’s. The youngest baby gets that. Especially if that baby is breast fed as opposed to some other baby who is on the bottle – talk about poo!

Let’s be real. It’s the government that screws us once they get into power. And that’s what this election should really have been about – who is paying for it. Regardless of Labour or Conservative. It’s not about them, it’s about us.

Regardless of who drives the car, we are the ones who are paying for it. And that’s what really matters. We pay for the car and, at the very least, the designated driver needs to have some respect for that and treat us like we own it and, therefore, we run t’ings.

But they are only going to give us that respect if we claim it. We should be telling them from day one of this new government that we run t’ings, t’ings nuh run we.

Dotun Adebayo is Britain’s most listened-to black radio talk show host. He presents Up All Night on BBC Radio 5 live Thursdays through Sundays on 909/693 MW, The Sunday Night Special on BBC 94.9FM and Reggae Time on BBC London 94.9FM on Saturday evenings. Tune in if you’re ranking!

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