Sorry for two posts in one day, but I’ve been wanting to write this for three days and the longer I leave it, the more obsolete it has the potential to become.
Quite a few commenters have asked over the last few days, what shall we do?
My initial reaction is to trigger the plans my children made in the event of a upcoming zombie apocalypse. We have two choices in this scenario. Firstly, we go through our neighbours’ back gardens, commando stylie, and make for Tallulah’s school which has a lock down area in the arts department. This also includes the cookery and textile classrooms so we should be alright for food and clothes for a bit. Secondly, we could just go to the Winchester, have a beer, and wait for all this to blow over.
Or we could go for my Seventies, ‘When The Wind Blows’, plan, which is to build an underground bunker out of old doors, and survive on tins of Spam and Fray Bentos steak and kidney pies whilst weeping into a lifetimes’ supply of Mellow Birds.
Or we could just end it all now in an apocalyptic death cult type pact in the hope that the alien craft will really suck our souls into nirvana.
There are other things we could do, and which I am doing in a scattergun attempt to plug all the leaks in one go whilst looking like a contestant in some deranged Channel Five game show. All the time being aware that Boris Johnson wearing an Anneka Rice style lycra onesie is holding the stop watch and shouting at me.
Firstly, I have joined the Electoral Reform Society. I wanted proportional representation in the last election. I am fully aware that had we had it, UKIP would have gained more seats, but the disenfranchised would have seen their voices represented, and we could have dealt with it in a more governable fashion than what we have to deal with now. I think it’s important to push for it in the next election. It is time that people in this country were more fairly represented.
I’ve written to my MP, the ever patient Jon Ashworth, who I write to with increasing and frenzied regularity. He has, in the past, pulled the stops out for me with regard to my NHS campaigning, so don’t think it’s worth not writing to yours. You never know. The best thing I learned from writing to MPs is that you need to tell them specifically what you want them to do for you, so they have something to aim at. It’s no good writing because you want to moan. That’s what blogs are for.
You can find your MP on the parliamentary website if you don’t know who he/she is. If you email them, you must include your address and postcode so that they can verify you as a constituent. You can only write to MPs who are not your own and expect a reply if they are doing some other job that directly impacts on your campaign/issue.
As you know, I joined a political party. I was already a member of the Women’s Equality Party. Now I am also a member of the Labour party. I consider WEP to be my party of choice. They campaign for equality for everyone, not just women and they believe in working using cross party co-operation where possible. I feel that their way is practical and builds bridges where other parties seek to isolate from each other.
I was already a supporter of the None of the Above campaign. It argues that for those of us who feel disenfranchised and yet want to take part in democracy, that all ballot papers should include a box to tick which allows you to choose ‘None of the above’ and that it be counted. I think it’s a brilliant idea.
I have signed a petition which asks for 16/17 year olds to be given the vote. If they can get married, pay taxes and drive cars, they should be allowed to have a say in how our country is governed.
I signed another petition calling for MPs not to be allowed to campaign on lies.
I signed a petition to ask that schools add to the national curriculum a mandatory element in life skills/civics classes that includes how our political system works and what voting actually represents. I shall also be writing to my children’s schools individually.
I have, in desperation, and more in an attempt to slow things down in the hope that some fucker will come up with a plan, signed an EU petition begging the EU to take pity on me, a poor norphan of the storm.
I have bought and am wearing a safety pin to indicate my solidarity against racism and show that I will not be turning a blind eye to any shenanigans on my watch. I’m fully prepared to jab the sharp end into the eye of any fascist twat weasel that crosses my path.
I emailed my local council through Amnesty, to do their utmost to act against race hate in my city.
I am hoping to go along to our city’s Eid celebrations that will be taking place in my local park next week to show solidarity.
I realise that this makes me look like the Outraged of Knighton petition signing queen, but sometimes this is where you have to start if you want change. I am actually doing things too. There’s NHS campaigning, the literacy support, the rallying around local causes to try to strengthen our community and bring it together.
There will be stuff like this in your area. You can search on Facebook for events and groups and causes.
And then there’s the talking, the sticking your head above the parapet. I will not be good, be quiet, shut up, stop being a nuisance. Why would I want to do anything that would make it any easier for you to disenfranchise me further? Oh, that’s right. I wouldn’t. Keep shouting. Stand up. Be counted. The more they shout at you, the more frightened they are. It’s often a question of who shouts the loudest and longest. Luckily, I have a bellow like a bull and the tenacity of a terrier chasing a particularly juicy rat.
Protect what you treasure before someone takes it away from you. It’s easier to keep what you have, than try to get something back that’s gone.
I’m off to the Winchester for a pint. See you there?