Coun Paul Bellenger: The future is in your hands, not those of politicians
Coun Paul Bellenger writes: I was brought up to think that my vote didn’t count and that we would always see someone in power who didn’t support the working class of the North.
Little did I know that one day I would fully understand how important my vote was and that politics really does start at grass roots level and not with those in Westminster.
It is upsetting to see that many in today’s society still have the same mind-set as I once had, and my parents had.
Why is this, I wonder, and where did it go wrong?
Apathy, lack of trust, respect, and confidence in politicians doing what they promise are a few of the reasons I believe the turnout at elections has diminished over the years and why it will continue to do so if things don’t change.
The chicken and egg syndrome comes to mind with the determining of our country’s future. Things won’t change unless you make them and that’s by voting, yet you’re reluctant to vote because you’re not happy with the current situation.
Many people over the years gave their lives to win the right to vote and sometimes I think how different society might be today if it wasn’t for them.
Sometimes we must take a leap of faith, and this is exactly what I did when I started voting.
Then, by joining a political party, I took the opportunity to make a difference where it mattered most to me: helping the people around me, everyone who lives within the ward I represent and then, of course, the people of Calderdale.
Taking my leap of faith made me realise just how important voting is and that nearly everything we do throughout our day is shaped by the decisions made by politicians – people like myself at a local level, MPs and Lords and Ladies at a national level.
Our future will eventually be in the hands of our children, which means it is down to us to lead by example and show them, either through education or parenting, that one day the decisions they make will impact on their children and their children’s children.
The future is in your hands today either by placing a cross in a box on polling day or by putting yourself forward to make that difference and stand for what you believe in.
Our mind-set needs to change for us to be able to do that.
The best thing is that in four years’ time you can make the major changes again.
Remember the future is in your hands first, not politicians’.