It's an awful thing when you know it's coming and you can't stop it. I remember several years ago making BLEURGH noises at the thought of Boris Johnson and Donald Trump in office at the same time, something that was predicted would happen in 2019. And then I stared at my election ballot paper yesterday and thought: there's no way to stop him. It wasn't just that Boris was going to win, it was that he was going to have a landslide victory, thus inflating his already ballooning ego to mammoth proportions. I'm not that naive that I can't understand why the Tories have won. I understand perfectly well.
I just don't want to have to understand. I don't want this to be.
When I heard the news this morning, I went numb. Then I noticed my fingers were shaking while I frantically typed out messages to my daughter on Hangouts. Then I started to cry. I couldn't get dressed. I kept finding myself at the window, staring out at the dark grey day. The sun refused to come up. It feels like Friday the 13th and I'm the one who scoffs in the face of superstition. My apocolyptic thoughts led to Infinity War. This election result, I thought, was like Infinity War without the hope of Endgame.
And then my daughter reminded me of something extraordinary. Endgame took place five years after Infinity War. In five years time, whether they like it or not, the Tories will have to call another election (five years is now the maximum length of one term; remember the good old days when it used to be four?). And then things will have to change.
It's going to be hard. If you have any kind of socialist conscience, you will understand just how hard it's going to be. If you have a job and are comfortably off, you'll be fine. But please spare a thought for those who are truly struggling. In the wake of devastation, the only thing one can do is help. If Captain America was willing to help others in a small way during those terrible five years after Infinity War, then we can too. Help doesn't have to be big. It doesn't have to be a grand gesture. That's for politicians. It's the small stuff that counts.
In the pre-dawn light of a new decade, we need some hope.