Rosie Johnson Illustrates
Freelance illustrator

Notes from the studio (it’s a shed)

A plea. A slightly wild-eyed plea.

Today's short blog post is going to be about the UK General Election. 

"Oh Rosie! You draw pictures and teach small people. We didn't come here for politics!"

Well tough. I know politics can be dull, but elections aren't. They're our best chance to change the systems we live in every day. I'm not going to use my blog to tell you how I'M going to vote. I'm not going to presume to tell YOU how to vote. I AM going to tell you to get involved. 

You may well be fed up with hearing about the election, but it'll be over really soon and if you've had no say at all on the outcome then you'll be fed up with YOUR LIFE. This stuff is important. It permeates every part of every day. You may not trust politicians, but like it or not, they are the ones making decisions, so you'd better choose the ones whose decisions you agree with. Not voting doesn't allow you to opt out of the consequences of this election. A third of those eligible didn't vote last time. A third. If they'd all voted, they would have made a massive impact. Every vote is counted and every one counts.

Here's the other thing: Take 15 minutes out of your day to really think about who you're going to choose. This quiz based on policies is a great start. You'd spend longer picking out a decent pair of jeans. Trust me, this is worth it. I have heard some well meaning people say, "People died for your right to vote. It doesn't matter who you vote for, just vote!"

I understand the sentiment, I really do- but nope. It matters MOST who you vote for. The inimitable John Finnemore put it best in this excellent sketch from his radio show. Have a listen. 

I know I'm getting a bit CAPS LOCK about this but it makes me so twitchy when people say it doesn't matter or they don't care.

Young people in particular; 18-25 year olds. You could be forgiven for wanting to wash your hands of the lot of it. We've taken you out of Europe, hiked up your tuition fees and made it impossible for you to own your own home. Why should you trust anyone? Fair enough. Boot us out. The only way, in this current system, is to get involved in the democratic process. 

I'll apologise for being pushy once it's over (I won't), but for now, download this free poster encouraging voter registration.

It's got Princess Leia on it which probably means some copyright infringement but it's free and for a good cause and a spell in prison might raise awareness... 

Stick it up in your window, get talking to people and find out about your local candidates. Please share the poster or this blog. DON'T MAKE ME GO ALL CAPSY.