2019 General Election: Make Your Vote Count

A personal view by Dick Filby

Here we are on the eve of a momentous day in the UK. If, like me, you are totally fed up with the current state of UK politics, you will be really pleased that this election will soon be over. Thank goodness, I hear you echo, but please remember that our crazy electoral system means that it will be a minority of voters who will elect a government tomorrow. Only one MP gets to represent everyone where you live, on everything, and usually that means more people vote for other candidates than for the one who actually gets in. First-past-the-Post works fine where there are only two parties, so whichever side of the fence(s) you are, Voting Tactically is now an unfortunate concept that has understandably gained traction. In almost every constituency there are only two candidates with a chance of being your new MP. The government formed off the back of tomorrow’s vote, that can maybe run the UK for the next 5 years, will have free rein to do whatever they can “get away with” until a couple of weeks before the next election! Call me a cynic, but it’s what happens and we all know it!

There are many headline issues in this Election, including Brexit, which I loathe, The NHS which I use, and Elderly Care which I hope I will need, but only in moderation. You will be relieved to hear I am not going to pontificate on any of them, strong and passionate though my views are.

However, the reality today, more than ever before, is that we need action for the environment. Urgently. Everything else is self-indulgence.

We all surely now know that there is a climate emergency, and nature is being decimated across the planet. Anyone who rejoices that their car windscreen isn’t being splattered with insects all summer long just doesn’t get it. That is but one of many self-evident truths of how much we have destroyed in the few years that I have been around. More than anything else, its nature and the health of the planet that matters to me, and I hope, to you too. We should leave this world in a fit state for the next generation, and the sooner we prioritise that, the better.

Your choice tomorrow will affect what action is taken to help the environment. We need to get on with trying to ensure that this earth, the “third rock from the sun”, is a place worth inheriting.

How we actually plan to get there has never been less clear. The disingenuous bare-faced lies that have permeated this election campaign from the top down are simply disgraceful and soul-destroying. Politicians have faced little scrutiny of what they have been purveying. Social Media is wonderful, yet terrible at the same time, revealing fact, stories, science and events that we may otherwise have never heard about, but also where downright lies and rumour are presented as believable truths by the untraceable and the unaccountable. Stories which we might lap up if they reinforce our views, and sometimes repeated by those we trust too. Truth and honesty is in distressing short measure and ever-harder to identify.

My abiding thought for you today, is, whoever forms our next government – please do your utmost to hold them to account on their promises about the environment, we should at least see a lot more trees very soon!

I hope the future is brighter on Friday, and I look forward to going birding at the weekend. I hope you can too.

Thanks for your indulgence,


Dick Filby
Rare Bird Alert founder

Share this story







Latest articles


Weekly birding round-up: 8 - 14 January

Stuart Piner brings you a comprehensive roundup of the week's best birds from around Britain, Ireland and the WP. More here >


Two new taxa added to the British list

The British Ornithologists' Union Records Committee (BOURC) has added Taiga Merlin and North American Horned Lark to the British List. More here >