Wednesday, 1 July 2009

See that man over there? He started it.

Grit has never been particularly active in local politics. Don't count that year I bought each person in my meat-eating, stand-for-the-queen, respect-the-land family an annual membership to the Vegan Society, Republic, and Hunt Saboteurs Association. No. That was called Youth and Look at the expression on my father's face.

But now things are different. Now, I have children. Here's one of them, pointing the finger at the guilty.

You see? Things are different. Now, I have to be serious when taking sides.

That's a tough call. My head is mangled already and some days works only with medication. But it has not made sense. Because here I am, thanks to Balls, considering voting Tory. My heart may stop, my brain close down, my disloyal hands drop from my arms inside that voting booth, but there is the fact.

The problem, the real, big, deep problem is the centralising, controlling, paranoid heart of the Labour party.

My God! I voted for them! Did I know I was asking to be eaten alive by some monster that wants to control, monitor and inspect us? It's the Labour party that wants to manage our family life through 40 pages of form-filling bureaucracy, then report back on us through the prying eyes of state officials.

Did I realise the Labour party will provide, thanks to Lackey Badman, penetrating powers to small-minded officials, and those powers stab right to the heart of my individual freedom, the integrity of my family and our civil liberties? Was I warned about that?

Well now Grit's gone all political. Partly through guilt at having brought this on her own head; partly because she is a bloody-minded old trout not going without a fight, but mostly because that little finger-pointing person up there is one of three most precious, loved people in my world. And Balls is not going to lay a hand on them.

But I'm at an age where I can no longer endorse slipping dead fish in privet hedges. Even though my heart says yes to that, my body can't run quick enough. So I have complained to the press, written a letter to my MP, and demanded Early Day Motions* are signed.

You could argue this is all a good thing. I'm learning a lot more about parliamentary process, and the kids are getting a fine education in how to become a thorn in the side to your MP; how to express your dangerous ideas, and how to use your vote.

Yes. That is a good thing. Unless you are in the Labour party.

If I make it out the polling station, I shall probably be struck dead by my mother's curses from beyond the grave. I may have only two options. Vote Green, again, or spoil my ballot paper.

Which some people say is pretty much one and the same thing.

* These are our rights, and I'm keeping them.

Early Day Motions here. MPs from here.

EDM 1785

Mark Field

That this House acknowledges and celebrates the hard work of the many home educators in Britain who teach their children to an exceptionally high standard; recognises the excellent value they represent to the Government; notes with concern the conflation of welfare concerns with education issues in Government statements on home education; further notes with concern the recommendations of the Badman Review which suggest closer monitoring of home educators, including a compulsory annual registration scheme and right of access to people's homes for local authority officials; and calls on the Government to focus on its own ability to fulfil the Every Child Matters objectives rather than undermine the independence and integrity of home educators by enforcing the Badman recommendations.

EDM 1784

Timothy Farron
That this House recognises that an estimated 45,000 to 150,000 children are educated at home; believes that parents should be allowed and supported to home educate; notes with concern the proposals put forward in the recent Badman Review; expresses particular concern at the lack of consultation involved in conducting the review; considers it unacceptable that local authorities are able to circumvent their responsibilities to pupils who are being home educated; accepts the need for a system of support to ensure that home educated children receive a good quality of education without creating an excessive and damaging degree of bureaucracy; and calls on the Government to strike the right balance between allowing parents the freedom to give their children the widest possible educational opportunities and ensuring that all children receive a well-rounded education.


Anonymous said...

Grit for Prime Minister!!

The Green Stone Woman said...

I feel much the same as you do here in the Netherlands, but for different reasons. I'm going to vote for the Green Left Party out of strategic concerns, because everybody else is laying down on the job and are various bunches of bureaucrats and little dictators who have lost sight of serving the public. Nobody seems to listen anymore and sails a course of their own reckoning and none of us asks them to.

Firebird said...

Not totally happy with Timothy Farron's one, "striking the right balance" is a phrase I've come to distrust, but Mark Field F*ing ROCKS! :-)

Maggie May said...

I feel slightly guilty as well, as I voted the blinking government in too. Blair NOT Brown though!
Never seen so much debt and bureaucracy as there is now.
All parties are much of a muchness though!

Maire said...

Me too, voted them in and was delighted, who knew it would turn into one's worst nightmare!

Just had a big row with my sister about it, seems no one except other home edders understand.

Thought Shark might like this, found by my tcchnically schooled but really home edded 17 yr old.

screamish said...

hurrah for politics!!! women bloggers need to talk about this stuff more. There seems to be an unwritten rule that we should only blog about babies or funny family anecdotes...there's a LOT to talk about...

Angela said...

I absolutely agree with Screamish. Let`s talk about politics and make loud suggestions and tell our people´s representatives (haha!)what we expect from them. Can I vote for you from Germany, Grit? The East German people forced down their bureaucratic dictatorship by marching through the streets and shouting: WE ARE THE PEOPLE!! Which is simply the truth, but hard to accept for our so-called "leaders", hey?

Casdok said...

I was also not particularly policaly minded either until i had C and learnt sometimes you can make a difference.

Grit said...

mud! you can be chancellor!

hi irene! i would love to see the green party rule in the uk. it would be chaos and fantastic fun.

i agree firebird, fallon's is weasly by comparison. i would be darn surprised if my MP signs either of them. spineless creep.

maggie may, so it was your final vote that swung it! i feel better now. i thought it was mine.

hi maire! we have just spent 30 mins looking at ugly animals. what better way to start the day!

screamish, i agree. where politics is concerned i have only ever voted green EXCEPT for the one time i voted labour. i am not letting this happen again!

you are right angela, those people in power are there by our agreement only. now i do not agree, and i'm not worried about saying so.

thank you casdok!

Jax said...

hm, the last time I read the green party's policies they scared me, they were very controlling as well. Can't actually find any mention of home education in their education policy at all, does anyone know what their stance is?

I am afraid that I am going to have to vote tory, and it is not a pleasant though.

Grit said...

jax, you are right about this, and it comes to a really sad point now in my life to agree with you.