Today is – would’ve been – a very big day for the United Kingdom. Today was the day we were due to leave the European Union. Three years ago, the UK voted to leave to become an independent sovereign nation (spoiler alert; we already are).
I am not here to argue for either side of the Brexit debate. Full respect towards all my fellow Brits, regardless of which camp, or not, they are in. The one thing that does appear to have united us all though, is the agreement that this has turned out to be a clusterfuck of the highest order.
TODAY, the day we were due to leave, and for the benefit of my overseas visitors;
NOT ONE SINGLE CITIZEN, not even The Queen, knows IF or HOW we will extract ourselves from the EU. There are not words in the dictionary to describe this situation.
Here at The Lockwood Echo, we were chatting during our lunchbreak (me at 9am with some fizzy pop and a bag of ready salted), and wondered if we could do any better than those currently occupying the seats in the House of Hex*.
*Hex is a ride at Alton Towers Theme Park. It looks remarkably like our House of Commons. They both have the ability to spin your head and make you feel quite nauseous.
It was decided we couldn’t do worse, so this is a Party Political Broadcast on behalf of;
THE LOCKWOOD PARTY.
We (me, a HB pencil and the back of my shopping list) have produced our Manifesto (random thoughts on stuff we think is important).
ENVIRONMENT: All our spare cash will go to funding better ways to produce energy, save energy, learn about cute animals, learn about ugly animals and hammer home how every single living cell is connected. Upset one, you upset it all. We are but custodians of Planet A. There is no Planet B.
FREE SUNSCREEN: Following on from above; it’s vital we look after our skin, because it’s getting hot out there.
ROBOTS: Despite political ambitions here, We (I) are minions. We (I) can therefore vouch for how many shitty jobs there are. Automation is already in full swing and we are aware it ultimately leads to a loss of jobs, so we need to create a balance. One in which the robots do the shitty jobs whilst everyone else is employed doing something delightful. Minions can still minion, but only if it is their preferred role.
EDUCATION: Ok. Serious one. This one’s personal. I hated school. It seemed to be one long lesson in humiliation, interspersed with droning repetitions of useless information. It was not an easy time for me and I couldn’t wait to get the hellouttathere. I can (and do) really get on my soapbox about this one. School is a given. It’s the ONE PLACE we are all gathered together in as children. A literal captive audience. I feel the time could be used far more productively. Let’s teach our children to be kind and inclusive. And to care. About everything. Let’s take some trouble to find out who each child is, what makes them tick and help them to understand and care about those they encounter who tick a different way. Do this really early on and I think we’d raise a generation that would better understand how the world works. Some schools are really switching onto this. If we’d spent just an hour of pythagoras learning about different personality types instead, I would have found myself in a school that was much less hateful and mean. It’s so easy to say that parents should be teaching their little ones about life. But not all parents have those skills, or the time. Some children are growing up in really difficult domestic situations, let’s make school a stable, nurturing environment that maybe then helps them to help their struggling parents. I’ve read how so much of what’s being taught today will no longer be relevant for school-leavers, the world having moved on. The Lockwood Party would lay the foundations for an education system that focused as much importance on being human and becoming good citizens as it did traditional academia.
PARLIAMENT: Again, mostly for the benefit of my foreign readers (bloody foreigners, visiting from cyberspace, reading my content, and doing so in an encouraging and supportive manner), here is how our politicians vote;
A proposal is put forward.
The Speaker (referee) of the House, verbally asks for those in favour or against.
A lot of shouting takes place.
Assuming there isn’t an obvious winner, the Speaker yells ‘DIVISION. CLEAR THE LOBBIES!’ (an instruction for anyone loitering in the Lobbies, where the voting takes place, to bugger off somewhere else for a bit).
Everyone shuffles out of Hex.
A Division Bell(s) rings throughout the House of Commons as a call to Members of Parliament to vote. They get eight minutes to do so. They walk through either the ‘Aye’ (pronounced eye) lobby, which is on the right hand side, or the ‘No’ lobby, to the left. They have their visit noted as their vote.
After eight minutes, doors to the lobbies are locked. You had your chance.
All votes are counted and verified and presented to Parliament who have now re-seated themselves back in Hex.
The Speaker clarifies the result by shouting (example);
‘Ayes to the right 202. Noes to the left 432. The Noes have it, the Noes have it. UNLOCK!’
The unlock refers to unlocking the lobbies so that people can continue to wander around looking for the loo.
The whole process takes about quarter of an hour (the vote, not the loo search, though I hear the Houses of Parliament are quite extensive).
They could just press a button on their mobile phone like we do when we vote for someone on ‘The Voice’ (standard network charges apply, please read full terms and conditions).
Just imagine how much more work could be done if they didn’t go through this archaic procedure? Apparently, calls for electronic voting have been made, but no consensus could be reached. Why does that not surprise us? The Lockwood Party would introduce a way of voting in Parliament that meant no doors needed to be locked or unlocked. We’d be sure to lose the bloody keys anyway. Visitors would not be interrupted during their search for a toilet. And there would be far less shouting.
NATIONAL SERVICE: This isn’t as controversial as it sounds. Maybe we need to work on the marketing. The Lockwood Party’s version of National Service would involve a National Database of Skillz. YES, WITH A ‘Z’! Because it would be a cool, happening, hip database where we can all offer our own unique talents. For instance; We could look for someone to come teach us how to fry an egg without sacrificing a pan. In exchange, we would show them how best to avoid doing any housework, because that’s something we’re really good at. Win win.
So there we have our initial pitch for The Lockwood Party. It’s a Party in progress, but it’s already clear there ain’t no Party like a Lockwood Party.
Please contact us for subscription details. Free Cocktail or Mocktail for each new member, with a discount on scented candles if you introduce a friend.
Here ends this Party Political Broadcast.
Dear Friends, nationally and internationally. Today is potentially a momentous day. As have been the previous hell knows how many. The uncertainty is crippling. Please send thoughts and prayers.
In the meantime, my head keeps going here. So much division, in so many places. I was at this gig. Kate Bush was sat directly behind me, making this whole experience even more incredible than it already was. Close your curtains, turn off the lights and turn up the volume. I recommend every single sound and word. This is fifteen minutes long, the same length of time any definitive vote could decide our future. Lose yourself for fifteen minutes, but if you don’t get goosebumps or a chill down your spine, you might want to check your Pulse.
I’ll see you…….