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“Onward”

“Landslide victory for Labour.” Today is a good day for the UK, my home away from home. After more a decade of Conversative leadership, it very much was time for a change. My best friend and I had been waiting for this moment for a long time.

Unlike the US — or Europe to a lesser extent, the Conversative leadership had opted for austerity politics in response to the financial crisis of 2008–2009. Anyone who knows a little about Keynes knows that this can be recipe for disaster. Cuts were made where it was least visible in the short-run but extremely so in the long-run. Long waiting lists in healthcare and crumbling roads are just the tip of the iceberg. Spending on higher education was also slashed by two thirds, thereby depriving future generations of educational and economic chances.

Only through the Erasmus programme, which Mr. Boris sadly decided to leave post-Brexit (even though being open to non-EU countries), I had met my best friend. Admittedly, Erasmus, financially, mostly served middle-class. Yet, it also institutionalised student exchange, and thereby significantly lowering mobility barriers. War in Europe, never again, was and still is one of the core motives behind the ever-closer Union. And, how could anyone who had made friendships all across Europe ever again go to war with them?

I vividly remember how, in 2019, Connor and I tried to make our way up to Notting Hill Gate — a bit like Anna Scott. Who’d have thought that London Underground can be so confusing? We kept going back between District and Circle line, only to end up at Earl’s Court over and over again. Two young lads, both of whom were on track to obtain an Oxford PhD (not that this means anything), not being able to figure out trains. We had the best time. Every since, we only travelled London via Uber, since we no longer trusted ourselves down there (and also, more seriously, because of my friend’s knee injury).

Upon arrival at Notting Hill Hall, we stopped by Granger and Co. — which apparently was the current favourite among the high-earning hipsters in the hood. Following local traditions, we ordered (my first) avocado toast and ended discussing all important matters regarding world politics. Connor ended up sharing the vision of his political ambitions with me. Despite all the negative developments, he has this immense hope for this country whose (Blairian) ambition is so marvellously portrayed in another Richard Curtis film, Love Actually — open, equal, and not afraid of the future.

Towards this vision (although he wasn’t motivated by the film — this is me running free), the motto of his campaign, Connor shared with me, would’ve been “Onward”. If he was still around, I wouldn’t have had a doubt, he could’ve made it work. He was, and still is, the most remarkable human being that I’ve come across.

Hence, brother, I hope that this change in politics resonates, in some way, with you. Onward, ever.

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