Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Mother Ghost, I do not deserve your fish

Mother Ghost is chasing me with gutted fish.

I don't care if gutting trout is a dying kitchen art. I don't care that women nowadays don't properly belly cut a mackerel.

She knows I cannot stand the grisly sight. Its oily blood and flopping bladder. She knows that to escape, I would squeeze my entire body through the miniature ventilation window in the bathroom, rather than pull the lock on the bathroom door, creep back through the house, across the kitchen, past the red drain, see the dead heart and the terrible staring eyes.

But when she catches me, I know she is going to rub my face in its turned out innards.

That will be her punishment on me. She is one furious Mother Ghost, and it's just deserts for what I've done.

And worse, a bit of my conscience thinks I do deserve me. Oh yes. Because when I heard that a posh and privileged baby-faced Tory boy was Prime Minister of this country, my heart filliped a double somersault, I fist pumped the air, felt like I lifted my body two meters off the ground in jubilation, and screamed YES!

Mother Ghost, forgive me.

My mother was born in 1920. She had no childhood in a mining village in Yorkshire. She shook her head in memory of the tin bath, the candlewax, the kettle. No nostalgia there. She grew up watching a Conservative government lower taxes for the rich, and in a family poor enough to worry how to pay for the doctor to call. She watched women campaign for social reform, she saw the birth of the Communist Party in Britain, she saw her mother weep in the General Strike. She voted Labour, most of her life, because there were people who cared about her, and the society she hoped for.

And I, Mother Ghost daughter, just celebrated a Tory taking power. You can see why a part of my soul is shrivelling up with the shame of that betrayal. I may as well dig up the Mother Bones and sell them because this would amount to the same thing.

Now excuse me while I dodge the swinging blows of that punishing and vengeful fish. The Mother Ghost face is mean, and she doesn't smile when she swings that weapon in my disloyal direction.

Mother Ghost, put the fish down, and listen.

Look at my alternative. The Labour Party is not the same. They have pushed and pushed into our community, into our lives, and right to the door of this house. Sometimes I swear I have gone to sleep at night feeling their body weight creak against the windows. I've woken up, eye to eye with that dreadful bill, championed by Ed Balls, with so much horrendous implication for us as parents, educators, citizens.

Then I watched that awful bill make its steady walk to Law. With each step, coming closer, bringing with it the right of judgement by government minister. Giving up my rights, to a stranger who can walk into my house, inspect our home, demand paperwork, licence me, identify fault, interview your grandchildren without me, then force my compliance, and deny my freedom of choice. That was the Labour Party, eighty years on. And the thought of that bill re-emerging again, as ministers promised it would, if only they could return to power, chilled me to my heart.

That is why I celebrated the Tory win. I felt excited about that news, scared at the same time. I hope - and that is a pointless, foolish feeling, but I still feel it - that the most eager of the Tories are hindered by the Liberal Democrats. Perhaps the worst of what the Tory party can do is made less harmful, less bitter, less divisive, less fearful. Maybe it won't last. Maybe it will last long enough to cause disaster. Maybe they'll be stumbling men, tied together in a three-legged juddering stop-start circle, and will hobble on, eventually curling off to a new direction.

Mother Ghost, think about how times have changed. I have not wronged you. We need your protection. Your gutted fish will be better placed round another's head. You could turn your wrath to a worse one than me, and worse for us all if he takes the throne.

The arch-schemer, the long-game player, the strong-armed bully. Please, Mother Ghost, not me. Take your gutted fish to Morley and Outwood, and there, slap it round Ed Balls.


Maire said...

That is a lovely image : )

Big mamma frog said...

Ed Balls is so slimy and slippery he'd probably not notice he's been slapped around the face with a fish. 'Oh look, one of my friends just gave me a kiss'.

Firebird said...

Yeah slap him with a fish ... but a big one like in the Monty Python fish dance :-)


Firebird said...

or even the even bigger metal one on a bike featured in my avatar here {evil grin}

Deb said...

Grit -

I am an American home educating mama and discovered you a few weeks ago after becoming concerned about the battles home educators have been fighting in your country. Congratulations to British home educators on these last few victories - the constant fight is exhausting, but we must keep it up. Good work and three cheers for all us Smug Home Educating Bastards.

I enjoy your writing very much and have been working my way thru the archives.

Kelly said...

Must go pick Ramalamadingdong up from art, but just had to say, great post. My daddy ghost is very annoyed with me for having married a Yankees fan who produced four more little Yankees fans. He and Billy Martin are having a big dustup right now in the great beyond, I am sure.

Grit said...

hi folks, thank you for your comments. the monty python fish dance! i must keep that from shark. she will be in tears!

hi deb, and you are welcome. it's a mixed bag here, but i hope helpful (if only as another way to be distracted for 5 minutes!)

MadameSmokinGun said...

Hey - Ed Balls has put himself up for the Labour leadership! Is this hysterical or terrifying?

Jacinta said...

I have similar feelings about a Conservative govt but given what Labour wanted to do to home educators it's the best option. I know a number of people who have always voted Labour and this election they have either not voted or voted Conservative, just because of the what was proposed for home education.

Grit said...

mme sg, ed balls for leader is such a horrible thought, my brain is imploding.

hi jacinta. really, they all terrify me. tories are cruel and have no hearts. And labour has no heart and no brain either. the liberal democrats might have bits of brain and heart. but do you think they are in the right places?

emma said...

Ed Balls for leader is a brilliant idea. 'twill make them unelectable for ever and ever.