On the morning of the General Election results of 2017, one of my favourite comedians, Mark Steel, declared; “We’re in a new country now.”
I couldn’t help but agree with him. Political awareness and interest has (finally) been pricked here and I take my hat off to the young people of the UK who quickly cottoned onto the fact that their future is now being decided for them and that they can make all of the difference. That they don’t have to feel that the current crumblies running the country cannot be challenged.
But whatever your political leanings on the domestic front and however you think that the terror attacks (at home and overseas) can best be dealt with, one thing is for certain – the UK is entering a new phase of political energy (i.e. yesterday the fella on the chicken counter at Morrisons was waxing lyrical about the infrastructure of Constituency Labour Party and believe me, you wouldn’t have had that 2 years ago. You’d have been lucky to get have received some advice on your giblets.)
The week also provoked some stimulating conversation in our household;
9 yr old boy: That election was brilliant! When’s the next one? Can I have one near my birthday?
12 yr old girl;: (To me) Honestly! He’s such a dimwit. He thinks we have elections all the time. Like, every year!
9 yr old: Oh. Don’t we then? But we only just had that one about the Brexit. And there was that slimey David Cameron who I remember. And then we had Trump – The Man With the Dead Cat on his Head. And then Huddersfield Town won the Premiership too.
12 yr old: Look, you – you div (gestures at brother, tapping side of head) You’re too young to remember much. And we didn’t *win* the Premiership. We just got *into* it. But … but when *I* was growing up, we had elections only ever 4 years. You don’t know what it’s like, you little kids, having to wait forever to kick someone’s butt. And for some reason you see to think that Trump has something to do with our country, too!
9 yr old: Oh. I just thought it was supposed to go … elections on and on and round and round.
12 yr old: No. We’re living in extraordinary times. But it’s going to be, like, really really hilarious at school when they call another General Election and we have to do another mock election at school. Yeah. I still don’t think that anyone is speaking to the teacher who had to act as the UKIP candidate, when none of us kids would do that one.
9 yr old: I bet even his own children don’t like him now. I bet they spit at him.
12 yr old: Don’t feel sorry for him. He didn’t have to volunteer. Anyway, me old mucker* … you keep on hoping for mad politics-city here in the UK, ’cause you’re gonna get it!
9 yr old: I hope so. But I did like the olden days when all we did was watch CBBC and no one expected to help around the house. But I hope Jeremy Corbyn comes back to Huddersfield and stands on my foot again, when he launches his next Fannymesto.
*Endnote: Yes, she really did say ‘me old mucker.’ Similar to the manner in which the boy yells; ‘Christian, old chap – lovely weather what? Absolutely spiffing – eh?!’ when he sees fellow 9 yr old buddies down at The Co-op.’ Too much eclectic viewing material of 1950’s and 60’s sitcom and film, on good old terrestrial telly, methinks.