The Lockwood Party

The Union Jack Flag with broken and peeling sections.

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.

So.

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 NoesΒ 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).

OR

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…….

 

 

39 comments

    • Ha! Welcome aboard πŸ˜‰ I didn’t realise it was her at first, but I had commented to my co-gigger that she looked very much like Kate Bush. It was only during an interval that we realised it WAS her because people were coming into our row to squeeze between us to lean over to request autographs. Apparently she was a Pink Floyd ‘protege’ in her early career. She’s stunning in real life. Face like a porcelain doll. Just beautiful.

      Liked by 2 people

    • There does seem to be a shift in focus in some schools, let’s hope those generations take even better care of each other and the planet than is happening today. I see you’ve posted something, I’ve fallen behind on blogs again, so I will get round to it and hope all well with you and yours. Thankyou for dropping in πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

      • I hope you are right! I have two newborn grandsons, and you can beat they will be taught that everyone, EVERYONE has their own shit to deal with and that they should NEVER look down on someone unless they are helping them up

        Liked by 2 people

  1. I’m a “Yank”, so my involvement in the issue of Brexit is nil. And I probably ought to keep my mouth shut, because I have no ‘right’ to blab about something that will never affect me. But. I’m gonna make a few comments anyway. A) Your plan sounds lovely. Just one warning. Don’t OVERDO it, because if America has done nothing else, we should be a huge example of what it means to be ‘overly politically correct’. That state of being cripples EVERYONE. We’re so busy being thoughtful that common sense has disappeared almost entirely. Well most of us anyway. Those that aren’t? Are the reason one might need to pull out one’s worst behavior side and give it free reign. If Trump (#notmypresident) has done one thing for Americans, it’s to have united those of us with common sense in maybe actually DOING something instead of droning on about what an asshole and waste of skin that peckhead IS (he is). And we’ve given the world an example of what it means when ennui and apathy take hold. Some slimeball will sneak in and take over. Don’t let England do that. Now I’m sure your treatise is meant as an exercise in sarcasm and poking fun at a really worrying situation, but oh how quickly things deteriorate. Maybe you should ACTUALLY put some of these thoughts forward with someone who can get them heard (like your ideas about schools. It’s the same over here, only more whitewashing goes on I think).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hear ya! No chance of me being too nice. I’m not enough of a people person for that πŸ˜‰ Thankyou so much for this comment and insight. Yes, we have to be careful what we wish for. We couldn’t have predicted THIS day 3 years ago. We couldn’t have predicted this day last week! Crazy stuff. Some of the progressive school ideas I have read about are in America, so there is hope out there. Good luck to you and your fellow Yanks in the search for sanity too πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Clusterfuck indeed.

    I think they only press the button, without giving a shit, or thought, for that matter.

    Btw, my blog is not private so if you click on it, you’ll be asked for permission to read from moi, that is if you still want to read me. Do you want to read me?
    Hope to see you there.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I do indeed want to keep reading you! Though I’m a bit behind at the moment. This mess is occupying so much of my thought processes, trying to understand how we got here and what will/could happen next. I fear the damage is done regardless of how this now plays out. The button should never have been pressed without plans and assessments. And truth! What hope have we ever for some honest politicians. A few gems have shone through, but none that are in charge!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. It turns out that today was quite a lot like the first time the PM’s deal was voted against, and the second, but did have the distinction of being slightly closer then either of those were.
    Mostly like your manifesto, could do with more cake though.
    And don’t be too hard on what our schools are turning out, my experience, from how my kids are, they ARE tolerant, understanding and compassionate and understand the world, it’s the rat race they join afterwards that soon kills all that off with its avarice and cynicism.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I definitely think schools are way better than my day. My experience of today’s teens are on the whole very positive. I worked somewhere that had a high school/college/uni customer demographic and they outshone most adults for courteous behaviour. My worry is the establishment isn’t moving fast enough for their need of a useful relevant curriculum. Hopefully your kids will be part of a new breed that kills off the rat race instead. I will look into the cake situation. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It is bizarre isn’t it? I strongly suspect that they spent two and a half years hoping it would all go away! It is embarrassing which ever side of the fence you sit. It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.
    The MPs don’t have to think about how to vote – that’s what the party system is all about.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. If this bloody foreigner could vote in your sovereign elections, this bloody foreigner would push the button for Lockwood! Even if you dispensed of the manifesto (which I’ll get to in a minute) I would vote the party line based on the Pink Floyd video. How come Pink Floyd knew so much about what the world should do, and what it alternately would do, so long ago? And, by the way, which one’s Pink?

    And, now, because I haven’t been writing lately, I’m going to post an extra-long reply to your manifesto, to get this whole “Tom hasn’t posted anything in a while and he’s getting antsy” bit out of my system. Take frequent breaks and bring water (BYOW).

    [The Environment]

    I was listening to a town hall thingee the other day when one of the people who was not AOC (though she was there) said something like “can’t we all just get together and tackle this climate change thing first, since it’s so obviously important to the future of mankind, and then come back later and get after the whole UBI and universal health care stuff?” I was floored that a Democrat would say that, and even more floored when I realized it was a Republican. Look, there is no single issue more important to us (and them) than this global warming stuff. Nothing is more important than Planet A, because without it there is no need for a universal basic income, health care for all, better gun laws, or marijuana in grocery stores. Because nobody gonna be here, anyway. Full stop, as they say.

    [Free Sunscreen]

    This reminds me, I gotta get to the corner store. #SummerIsComing

    [Robots]

    My favorite writer, Yuval Noah Harari, warns of the three big game changers we face: global warming (which we’ve mentioned), nuclear war (which would be bad), and technological disruption (robots). The Lockwood Party is on the right track. Within a few decades we’re gonna be so bleedin’ automated that we’ll have the option of (a) paying for the poor outright, which at that point will be some incredibly disproportionate number of the societal whole, or (b) letting ’em die. Harari sees a possible future where the privileged, with all their money and fortresses and robots, simply pulls the plug on the “useless” class. Since them up top don’t need those down below for digging ditches or fighting in trenches, why do they keep them around? So unless we figure out some sort of UBI, some measure of societal equalization, robots are quite likely to wipe out a good deal of humanity, and they won’t need a single Terminator to do it. The robots will, ironically, pull the plug on us.

    [Education]

    This is your magnum opus (is that the right phrase?) or your “manifesto magnus” or your … I don’t know … I’m still working on that. Blame my education. Anyway, I love what you’ve done with the place. Somewhere between the absolute regimen of teaching Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmetic and allowing the inmates to run the asylum (kids can be treacherous little twits) is the Goldilocks style of education, where youngsters learn about themselves, learn what makes their hearts and minds go patter, and become what they would have become had they been neither locked in a box or fully unrestrained. Humans need direction; school should help with that very thing. I did not fit in back then, and nobody could tell me why. And how in the world is a parent gonna teach a child how to engage with themselves when no one taught them? Brilliant. Do go on.

    [Parliament]

    I don’t even know how to spell the word. I’ll be brief here (cuz time constraints; a robot ain’t taken my job yet!) and say that the way we’ve always done things is no reason whatsoever why we should do things the way we do. We are not robots. What we should instead focus on is the better way to do things tomorrow and start going that way. I know, that’s ludicrous and who would go for it?

    [National Service]

    “I wanna be an airborne ranger; I wanna live a life of danger!”

    That’s a wrap from across the pond, dear sister. Know that could you have my vote, you would, but instead I’ll have to write my own manifesto and run for my own party lead and maybe we’ll sit across from one another at a summit someday and laugh at the silly way “things used to be.” Sure, we might be doing that in hex-shaped little pods circling the moon, and we might be cheering with protein paste, but at least we’ll be able to say we tried. How many people can even say that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awesome reply, or should I say Guest Post πŸ˜‰ ! I wanted to acknowledge I’d read it and get it up here on the big screen. I shall return Monday when I have time to respond with the respect it deserves. Peace out. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

        • It’s Monday. I’m back. Yes you had something to say! And thankyou for saying it here πŸ™‚ This whole comment thread, including your own well-thought out response, just warms my soul. Although my post was originally destined to be a sarcastic stab as well as a silly, fun read, I couldn’t help let it get serious in places, and the replies have been superb. As a serious post, I think I could’ve really got on my soapbox, at the risk of losing viewers πŸ˜‰ But knowing that people are connecting and singing from the same Pink Floyd hymn sheet is beyond hopeful. ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ is over 45 years old. FORTY FIVE YEARS OLD! And it couldn’t be more relevant. The sadness that brings has to be buried by the good that’s being done. And there is SO much good being done. As I seem to remember on one of your posts, we’ve commented before about the literal ‘dying breed’. Sounds like such an awful thing to say out loud, but I hope the upcoming generations, like Bryntin’s kids, like Grace’s grandsons, like AOC, are representative of an enlightened breed that shows much more compassion for every human, every animal and the very ground we walk on.
          Well, here we are at what could be another tumultuous couple of weeks in the UK. Like the last 3 years haven’t been :/ I’m tearing myself away from it until the next round of voting for fuck knows what happens this evening. In the meantime, I have seeds to sow and plants to put in the allotment part of our garden, just in case fresh fruit and veg supplies dry up in a couple of weeks. Oh, if only I were joking. And maybe I’ll see you on the Dark Side at that Summit πŸ˜‰ .

          Like

    • I think I officially now have more political refugees willing to sign up to a fake political party, run by a fake newspaper, than a breakaway group that have recently formed in our own Parliament! A little bit scared I might have started something. Your free Cocktail is on its way. I’ve also taken on board members’ request for cake so may put you in charge of that. I can’t promise to reimburse any expenses incurred. This political party is going to be pretty…….errr…….political. But you will get free access to puppy GIFs along with 362 days annual holiday. πŸ˜‰

      Like

  6. Love the education ideas! Alex is in high school now and loves it, but he rarely gets a chance to interact with the other students or the teachers. They all have to cover so much material in so little time that they don’t have the opportunity to really get to know one another or build lasting bonds, which is so sad. He comes home feeling happy that he interacted briefly with lots of different people, but he definitely wants more and not everyone joins clubs. Even in high school, kids really crave that interaction and face-to-face time. I wish they’d build more of that into the day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • One of the bloggers I follow gave an insight into her young child’s school, where they culture inclusiveness that spans the school day. For example, all children greet each other individually at the start of the day and they are encouraged to cheer each other on, especially in tasks that are outside of a child’s comfort zone. It’s good that you have the kind of relationship with your son where you can talk about his hopes and disappointments. Sadly, not every kid has that which is why I think schools have a far more important role to play. My partner worked in a Research & Development role where much of the ‘brainstorming’ was done during tea-breaks. Of course there needs to be structure and fixed curriculum, but there’s a lot to be said for also making time for a relaxed set-up, maybe what Alex is hoping for, where people are acknowledged for their strengths AND weaknesses (to me that’s just contrasts and complements). Learning critical thinking, problem solving, compromising, all really important skills that will solve our world’s issues. And skills that would probably have prevented the UK getting in the mess it’s in now! Thankyou so much for your interesting comment. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    • The fact that our Parliament can ‘whip’ or force their Party to vote a particular way has never sat comfortably with me. The whip takes varying degrees, the strongest being a member having to resign if they went against their Party Leader’s instruction. The recriminations make for depressing reading, the way members vote is public information, so accusations fly. I understand that members should be voting along the lines of Party Policy, otherwise maybe that Party is not for them, but it also means we’re never going to get a true representation of stance. Our own votes are anonymous. Perhaps it’s to hold up accountability, and so that as constituents, we can see if/how our elected representatives are reflecting our views. There have been so many resignations on principal. If nothing else, we have a better understanding of how our Parliament works!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I think I can sign up to this one, but I think maybe we’d do a bit better if we closed all the many subsidized bars inside the building where Parliament meets. Because some of what goes on can only be explained by the presence of so many places that serve cheap booze.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed! If nothing else, I think we all have a better understanding of what goes on in the Houses of Parliament, and I look on in horror at some of it. It can get a bit messy. So, as they’re all adults and I assume usually able to act as such, you could be on to something; cheap booze is the only explanation! Thankyou for reading and commenting. Although I am offering free cocktails to all new members of The Lockwood Party, it is just one per person, further indulgence will not be subsidised πŸ˜‰

      Like

    • It’s beyond belief this is happening isn’t it? I posted this the day we were due to leave the EU. But now 3 months down the line, having been through another election and facing another Prime Minister, still not one person can say IF or HOW we will leave. Too many ignoring the smell of their coffee. I’d switch off from it if it wasn’t so utterly distressing and important. Welcome to The Lockwood Party, the party for the disenfranchised. Your free cocktail is in the post. 🍹☺️

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