It was the local elections yesterday and much as they only gently agitate the waters of village life, I shall be glad to see the back of the feeble, if persistent, campaigning. I felt a new low had been reached when what looked like two handwritten letters dropped onto the mat for myself and my husband. I opened mine to find two small sheets in a slightly immature hand in which the main topic of concern was the tricky traffic junction where mothers and children get snarled up at home time. At first I just thought it was just some local resident whose passion for the cause had got out of hand, until it struck me that there were other issues raised, including the provision of a recycling bin. Light dawned. It was a campaign tool, but one that was blunted somewhat by the fact that I couldn't read the signature of the hapless candidate. And it would have helped if he'd mentioned which party he belonged to.
Politics in this country is in such dire straits now that I have long wanted (but lacked the energy) to start a whole new party embracing a completely different perspective. Out would go the vanities and the lying and the spinning of contemporary politics, and the u-turning and the manoeuvring. It would be a party that if it said no, it meant no. Yes, it would be The Mothers' Party. Our battle slogan would be 'Stop Your Nonsense And Just Get On With It'. There would be no more wars ('I don't care who started it, you're all in trouble!'), no more inequality ('It's about time you learned to share nicely!'), health and education would be sorted in a trice ('Come along now, you can do better than that!'). We could reintroduce culture to the nation ('Of course you'll like it; it's very good for you!') and our nation's heritage would be preserved ('If I've told you once not to touch….!'). What a brave new world that would be. For Prime Minister I think the perfect candidate would be Tanya Byron of House of Tiny Tearaways. What a diplomat! And such compassion! Admirable straight-talking! My only real concern is that on a bad day it could veer dangerously close to faschism ('Why? Because I told you so!'). Still, it's got to be a plausible alternative.