Sunday, 24 January 2010

Teaching the kids about politics

Hey! Cute Squirrel! You've got a great line in argumentative backchat.

How about dumping the aspiration to be a poncey ballerina and becoming a proper knuckle-dusting politician instead?

Squirrel, politics is more fun than dancing. Politics is about noble ideas like honesty and integrity. Dancing is prancing about a stage foaming in pink.

Politics can be about more interesting stuff, too. Like screwing the system for everything you can get. Then, when you've made something of yourself, or you're thrashed on election night, you could forge a career as an after dinner speaker, publish your memoirs, take a cushtie job in Europe, or front up a BBC2 history show. Howabout that? Much better than starving yourself to fit into a tutu and hoping to open a suburban dance school on a minimum wage.

I can tell you're interested Squirrel. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Black is White, and White is Black.

Squirrel, you face tough times being a top politician. You must stand in the House of Commons and say the opposite to what you know to be true.

You are right. That is shocking. And lying. But it is called presentation.

You have to do it with a straight face. You may get away with it. If the opposition is weedy, drunk, misinformed, or couldn't be arsed to show up for the debate, that helps. If you do get away with your presentation, remember not to pump your fists in the air or high five the Speaker.

Let's look at Two-Tongues Ed. Ed is a master. Listen Squirrel, and learn.

Say you asked over 5,000 people whether they thought some strange geezer from the local authority should have the right to march into your house, say your learning isn't good enough, and whisk you off for a proper grilling.

You'd say no thanks, wouldn't you? Of course. Like 94 per cent of people did.

People like mummy Grit, who said No thanks. We're not inviting strangers into our home. He might be Mr Spooky from the corner. He might be a retired head teacher who thinks you all should sit down for 25 hours a week colouring in pictures of Anne Boleyn.

But when Ed hears that 94 per cent of people say no thanks, he replies, The vast majority of parents would be happy to let that happen. Didja hear that? Like 94 per cent turns into 9POINT4 per cent! Fantastic eh! Black is White, and White is Black!

But that's not all. You have to do more than two-tongue your way through a situation, Squirrel.

You have to mix up black/white with statements of fact and part-truths. Then add a sprinkling of prejudicial language and some crafty grammar.

Yes, I agree, that is difficult. Let's look to our master A-lister. Once more.

Ed spoke in the House of Commons on the 11 January this year. He said adding penalties would further inflame the minority of home educators who do not like the current provisions in the Bill.

There. It is true that home educators would face no financial penalty if they do not comply with the government. What Ed said is true. But he failed to mention that if parents do not comply, their kids automatically get a School Attendance Order! Off you all trot to the local primary! No argument!

Squirrel, don't cry. Potential politicians don't snivel.

At the moment, Squirrel, I have a legal right to argue that I am providing an education for you. But under Two-Tongues Ed, that right is removed. He is taking final control of my educational decision. But hey! While you're colouring in a picture of Anne Boleyn, we won't be fined a grand! So cheer up!

Anyway, here's a tissue, and I shall leave you to ponder political opportunity, dear daughter. But finally, I just want to tell you to be careful. Because every politician must deal - not only with the smelly hordes called voters - but with the tunnel-dwelling army that is the civil service.

These scurrying, studious workers can be on your side. Or they can be working to undermine you. Do not underestimate them Squirrel. They have agendas. Like the release of documents strangely at variance with the political timetable. Perhaps timed to maximise your embarrassment. That's right. They can make you look like a prat. We will think on. But for now, lesson over.

Thank you for the tutu. I can see you're the sort of feisty gal who won't need that. Now, here's your homework.


MadameSmokinGun said...

Give the girl her tu-tu back you monster!

It's all a show.

Let's just hope that for the Labour Party, it's the End of the Pier Show, and for the finale - a tumultuous crashing into the sea for all eternity.

Down, down, down....... plop.

sharon said...

You may not want to put your daughter on the stage Mrs Grit-Robinson but to encourage a life in politics? NOOOOOO!!!

Remember the big foot from the title sequence to The Monty Python Show? That's what's needed to stomp out the New Labour dickheads! More satisfying than booting them off the end of any pier ;-)

Grit said...

mme sg, i am grudgingly giving squirrel back her tutu. only if she can tell me the provisions of the treaty of nanking. this is an education dammit! and are you voting tory? i am watching them closely right now. michael gove may feel my eyeballs staring into his forehead.

sharon, you're becoming fantastically belligerent. i can imagine you right now, windmilling those arms, knitting needles at the ready.

sharon said...

He-he-he! I find as my years increase my patience with crass stupidity decreases exponentially.

My beloved has suggested that maybe I should stop watching news and current affairs on the TV as it is bad for my blood pressure ;-)