I am not the best person to teach anyone about politics, which in turn makes me think I’m possibly one of the best, especially when it’s H I’m teaching.
My parents never brought up the subject of politics with my sister or me, and I didn’t want it passed down. We never went with them to vote (or maybe we sat in the car while they did), and were never involved. I was brought up in a Lib Dem house, almost certainly, although my dad got so fed up with all the parties he was pretty much voting for the Monster Raving Loony Party before he died.
I wish I’d talked about it with him more. So I had to make sure H knows how important it is to vote. When I hear people saying they don’t vote because they don’t agree it frustrates me. Here in Carshalton/Wallington our seat was a marginal one; a Tory seat for many years. Our LibDem Councillor got in with a higher majority last time around, and “hurrah!” we all thought as that kept the Tories out. Oh.
So she needs to know how important it is to vote. So I’ve been collecting all the pamphlets of all the politicians, so she can judge for herself.
So that’s Lib Dem’s, Conservatives, Labour, Green and UKIP. I laid them all out in front of her and asked her who appealed. She immediately went for UKIP. I asked why. “because the man is in a wheelchair” she said. I told her they were the baddies, and explained how they want to make changes to immigration – and that somewhere there may be another man like her daddy who wants to come and live in the UK, and actually, their policies would possibly stop that happening, and stop there being another little H from existing somewhere. She didn’t like that. So UKIP are out, phew.
She then went on to the Lib Dem’s. “What’s that in his mouth?!” she asked, when seeing Tom Brake’s wonky front tooth. I explained what it was and she seemed satisfied enough with that. Yellow isn’t her favourite colour so she swiftly moved on.
Red, that’s her colour. Siobhan Tate is our Labour MP and she kept going back again and again. “Why is there a lady doing this?” she asked. She doesn’t know whether it’s a lady or man thing, it’s just everyone else is a man. The leaflet would be put down and picked up again. Something was dragging her back to it.
But I know Blue is her favourite colour. But she didn’t like the Tory man’s face, so that was immediately discounted. Greens were rejected due to being green, although the man looks “friendly”. (I’m not so sure about their copyright proposals, personally)
So far nobody has come knocking on our door to ask for votes or support. I feel kind of neglected.
My friend Emma keeps getting loads of letters from the Lib Dem’s – so many she’s thinking about taking out a restraining order.
So what has H learnt about politics? UKIP are baddies, our Lib Dem candidate has dental issues, red is her favourite colour and she likes a lady writing about things, plus she was interesting. Blue isn’t to be, as is green. So going on her first impressions she’d vote Labour.
I’ll take that!
Anyway, on Thursday at some point she will come with Shaun or I, or both of us, and watch us vote. It’s important. If she doesn’t get used to it, how will she know what to think about when she gets older? Will she even get how important it is? Eventually.