FOUR FINGERS AND THIRTEEN TOES – IT’S PARTY TIME
A rather strange craze has been sweeping through our locality over the last 10 days. On the commute to work or school it has become clear that a certain kind of gremlin has been at work during the hours of darkness.
Almost overnight, gardens have cultivated a most exotic of species of plant – the election hoarding!! Oranges (sometimes rather faded where in the interests of recycling they are propagated to rise, like a phoenix, every five years); blues, with a fetching flash of white; Reds and yellow blend nicely with the Cherry blossom, and occasionally you see a yellow daffodil on a background of green, that Tom Jones would be proud to call the green, green grass of home.
The number of these hoarding appear to grow daily, and in some cases householders are brave enough to display their political/horticultural skills in more than one part of their garden.
However, even the most democratically minded family in the land, cannot fail to be tired of filling their recycling with glossy leaflets from candidates telling us how good they are, or will be if they can count on our support. But, what has crossed my mind during this election campaign is that the older you get, the mellower you become in terms of how you view what happens in politics. Don’t get me wrong, I am and always will be an activist when it comes to disability issues.
But when I look back, only a few… well quite a long time ago actually (!!) to when I was a student, I relished the cut and thrust of Student Politics. Those of you, who have read my book, will recall my tales of student union jaunts to Blackpool. The good times spent campaigning for rights as a member of the National Union of Students are now a distant memory. In those days, Blackpool held a special kind of appeal. But when Steve decided to whisk me off to see the world famous illuminations, some years before James was born, it just didn’t have the same kind of appeal as in the “good old days”.
So, when we were watching the Television news broadcast the other day, James and I started to have an interesting conversation about what we would do “if we came to power”. We talked about forming new political parties and what our manifestos would be.
In typical teenage fashion, James declared that he would form the “BULL” Party – headstrong; with firm views on abolishing this, that and the other; a minimum wage sufficient for everyone to own and afford to drive an Aston Martin DB9; and, with an opt-out clause to skip GCSE’s and go straight to University!!
Steve decided the time had come to form the “SWAC” Party (Stop Washing and Cooking). His reasoning was that on the day we started this discussion, he had spent an inordinate amount of time cooking copious amounts of food for a ravenous teenager, and then whiled away the rest of the evening loading and unloading the washing machine of clothes that said teenager had barely worn, but had decided he could not possibly wear again until the “whites were whiter than white”.
I took a more gentle view of what I would seek from my Party. It would have to be a colourful Party. Lots of bright colours would be needed for a funky rosette – I like bold colours – nothing conservative or liberal for me!!
Everything in life has a cycle – a beginning, middle and an end, and so my Motto would have to be the “Circle of Life”.
My election manifesto could be full of promises, pledges, proposals, encouragement, guarantees, measures and reforms –
- on the economy
- on schools and families
- on health
- on social care
- on transport
- on employment
- on the environment
- on crime, justice and immigration
- on political reform
- on personal finance
- on the armed forces, and
- on diversity issues.
But instead, my policies would also be quite simple. If we take care of our children, then they grow up to be responsible young people, who in turn become caring adults. These caring adults then look after those in society who are most vulnerable and, when the time is right, allow new life to start the cycle all over again.
I would call my Party the Butterfly Party.
The image of the butterfly holds many symbolic ideas. However, setting aside the more extreme of these, the butterfly is seen as the personification of a person’s soul; butterflies also symbolize rebirth into a new life after being inside a cocoon for a period of time. The butterfly represents the Circle of Life. With its bright colours it deters enemies and is seen by many as an icon of love and hope.
In so many ways, the election campaign that we see being staged, is represented by the three core values that I think would make an ideal political party –
- Respect for life
- The need to have a bright vibrant attitude to the future, and
- To embrace hope.
Whichever party wins on the 6th May, they all have the same problem – how to bring all of those ideals together, to make a country that we can all be proud of – and I think I have the answer.
That dreaded political omen of the “hung” parliament may be no bad thing. Never mind about Coalitions between the reds and yellows, or blues and yellows – or any other combination of colour for that matter. It is not a question of there being a right or wrong colour to use, but rather that each blue, red, and yellow is different, and produces a different result when mixed – Sometimes with only subtle differences.
So what I propose is this, all three main parties are amalgamated. I am given a Peerage – Baroness Moriarty-Simmonds of Cardiff will do quite nicely as the title – The new party would be known as the Butterfly Party, with me as its leader. There is no doubt that the country would benefit from the input of another feisty female – after all we’ve had the Iron Lady so why not Madame Butterfly.
When the technicalities of bringing all three main political parties together have been concluded, I would be able to start work on bringing my policies to fruition through the Butterfly Effect. The fluttering wings represent a small change in the initial condition of the system, which causes a chain of events leading to large-scale alterations of events (similar to the domino effect).
As I appear on the world stage for the first time outside the newly ramped entrance to Number 10, I would, like most esteemed Statesmen (and women), echo the words used by previous prominent world leaders when they reached the dizzy heights of political stardom.
In my case I would chose the words of President John F. Kennedy (who with striking irony was also an Irish Catholic) …
“All of this will not be finished in the first one hundred days, nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.”
Let’s just see what happens after the 6th May. Maybe, by some coincidence, someone in the corridors of power will read this blog and take heed of my proposal.
Then Madame Butterfly, leader of the Butterfly Party can flutter her wings and cause the Butterfly Effect.