Monday, 30 November 2009

The ruddy petition

This is possibly one of the worst days of my year.

The first thing to get me heaving is the dread and icy thought that today I must deliver the home education petition of evil to the member of parliament for pointlessness.

How do I explain my involvement in this? Where do I begin?

To my wide (and thinly spread) audience out there - many of whom I know do not give a toss about home education - all I can say is this is just one more example of Grit attempting to take a responsible role in our democracy.

We are all entitled to do that in this country, theoretically, and Grit wants it to stay that way, thank you very much.

Suffice to say, apart from turning out in the rain to scrawl an X in a box once every four years, you can do other things to make your voice heard, like deliver petitions about anything you want to your local MP, and arm twist the bugger to read it out in parliament.

In theory, becoming involved in petitions and parliamentary procedures on the streets is great fun.

You can go round with an excuse knocking on doors.

When your neighbour opens up, you can say Hi! Nice to see you! Shall we have an argument? After fifteen minutes, shorter if you are lucky, you can reach the point of seething resentment and near blows after discovering your neighbour is a closet Nazi when you thought they were nice. It only took the issue of gravel extraction or speed bumps or Tesco to reveal the profound chasm of non-negotiation. When the neighbour has told you to shove your poxy petition where the sun don't shine, you can contemplate creeping back after dark and shoving rotting sardines through their letterbox. This is an example of our political life bringing the community together.

In a moment of madness I actually volunteered to be the local idiot bringing the community together, by taking on the job of delivering the home education petition of evil.

If you are a home educator you know which petition it is and I won't need to explain.

If you are not a home educator, I guess you couldn't give a toss about the petition. You just read to find out if this month I end up in prison or in a ditch. I may yet do both, and for you there is hope.

So I take the petition of evil that no one will sign, because apparently it is not taking part in a democracy, it is written with ink made from the festering BILE OF SATAN and it is EVIL and DANGEROUS, and I have to deliver it by hand to the constituency office.

If you have a local MP like ours, they will ignore you. They never reply to your emails, and all contact becomes strangely 'lost'. Well I am one of the constituents here and this little Labour party creep has turned their back on me. They are probably much more concerned with their own career and position within the local party. We have got to the point where I could stand in front of them, disembowel myself and hand them the throbbing gristle of my steaming innards and they would be gazing somewhere to the left of my shoulder idly reading the bus timetable pinned on the wall.

This is not only my experience. Take a read of these words used by another appellant to describe a visit to our lovely MP, and you have a flavour of what we're up against: 'they were confrontational, unenlightened, unsympathetic, were small minded, weren't interested in developing understanding to better understand our concerns, talked of HE parents controlling their children, and HE children not getting opportunities to interact with others'.

So this is my day today. I arrange for the petition of evil to be hand delivered to the MP of pointlessness.

I want to forget it, because it is so miserable. I want to remember it, because when I come to scrawl my X in the voting booth, I want to score it with venom and acid revenge, and know exactly WHY.


Rachel M. said...

I like the categories at bottom of blog "random shouting is back".

Firebird said...

I used think living in a safe Tory seat was a BAD thing. How times change! Our MP is lovely and has been very supportive. Here he is visiting our local group

Heather said...

Id have signed it for you. Your mp sounds like a prat. Ah. democracy, people have died to bring us this wonderful system.

MadameSmokinGun said...

All MPs are suspect. By the very fact that they want to be an MP. Groucho Marx said that he wouldn't want to be a member of any club that would have him as a member - such integrity is extinct in the world of MPs. As for actually putting a X of support for any of them is gut-wrenching. Especially the very idea of voting Tory! And then having to sit back and see if they really will keep their promises! (My stomach can't take this abuse). It's funny now tho' that so many of us lapsed politicos from the good (what?) ol' 80s are coming out of retirement again - readily participating in random shouting.

Clare said...

Sorry you had such a crap time with the petition. Well done for volunteering to do it.

On a completely unrelated note, I read this article in the Times yesterday and thought of your three!

Sally said...

Bad luck Grit! Mine is no more a rebel, but he loves to look good on his website, so he jumped at a photo opportunity.

Grit said...

hi Rachel. the government make me do it. these days, i cannot help myself. it is like having bladder control issues.

you are RIGHT firebird. MotherGhost will stand behind me in that polling booth and try to wring my neck if i even consider putting an X against that tory box. but the thought has already passed my mind. i cannot yet bring my hand to do the deed.

yes, heather, simon de montfort is a hero round here. all kids should learn about him.

that is true, mme sg. i am sure some of them start out with good intentions. and then we see the reality of power...

thank you for that, clare! i'll raise some of those sisterly issues with the little gritlets. one has just stomped off upstairs in a huff.

sally, i really cannot understand what is motivating our mp - certainly not the he'ers in the constituency. but i usually see them on the annual town walk, coming up soon. i'm looking forward to that.

sharon said...

Labour/Socialist parties the world over seem to have turned into a bunch of nasty tinpot dictators hellbent on controlling our every move. I say move because making any decision for ourselves appears to be forbidden already.

HE is still alive and seemingly well in Oz but no idea how much longer that will last. Our State now wants to bring in testing for children at Kindergarten!

Grit said...

hi sharon; i fear your are right; there is a europe and beyond wide movement towards greater control, regulation and monitoring. we all do what we can to take up and argue positions within it. sometimes i feel bleak.

kellyi said...

I can cope with the rude ones, because they are rude to every one. It's the ones that think it is a good thing that we are going to be put under the microscope that I found demoralising.

I've quoted bits of your blog to some of them (not the rude, sweary bits!) and that has helped to put things in perspective.

Grit said...

yes kelly, i have also argued against a couple of voices who say it is right that every parent should be inspected at any time. because 'if it saves one child...'

arguing against an emotional angle then makes me sound like crippen's sister.