Voting for Tomorrow

DEAR Granddaughters,

Lots of us grown-ups will be doing something a bit silly tomorrow. We will go into a building in a nearby street and be given a piece of paper. We will take the piece of paper over to a cubicle. There’s a pencil there. You pick it up and draw an X in one of the squares on the paper. You then fold the paper and put it in a large, black, metal tin, with a slit in it, like a post-box.

Then you go home again.

It’s a bit like a test at school. And a bit like putting your hands up to choose which person in your class you think would be best at doing an important job. All the crosses people draw look more or less the same. It’s easy-peasy really.

Tomorrow we grown-ups will be putting these crosses on these bits of paper in order to show which party we like best. No, not birthday parties. We’re not choosing between going with loads of your friends to the Fun House or a trip to the cinema or a party with a clown and Pass-the-Parcel and a cake with candles on it. We grown-ups are far too serious to have proper parties!

These parties are groups of people who make the rules. They decide stuff. They think they know what’s best for everybody. They will decide how to spend lots of money. They are in charge of lots of things like schools and hospitals, roads and trees, the police, and old people like me.

Some grown-ups will draw an X on their bit of paper to show that they like the party that says everybody can be rich; or the party that says too many people from overseas live in Britain; or the party that wants those who are already rich to give more to those who are poor; or the party that can’t make its mind up about anything.

You only get to draw one X. It’s all a bit dull really, because there’s no place on the piece of paper to draw your X if you’d like a party that remembers what the best things in life are – like love and laughter; leaping like a leopard or lazing like a ladybird; libraries, Lego, lasagne and lullabies. You can only draw an X, not an L, tee hee.

As you know, I’m getting old now. I’ve been doing this silly thing with Xs and bits of paper for years and years. This time, I’m not going to draw an X for what I like, but for what I’d like for you three.

I hope, dearest granddaughters, that when you’re my age, you will be living in a better world than the one I see through my fading eyesight. I hope the air will be cleaner, the waters clearer, and that land and sea will still sing to the songs of beautiful bees and wonderful whales.

I hope that people won’t be in such a hurry all the time, that they’ll stop fighting each other, and that nobody will need to feel hungry. I hope there will be less shouting, fewer alarms, no poisons in the sky, and that people will greet people they don’t know – on the street or in the park – with friendly grins and warm handshakes.

You can’t take your own felt-tips when you go and draw your cross on that piece of paper. If you could, I’d take a green one. That’s because it’s the colour of growing things, like the leaves of a sapling, or a caterpillar, or those vegetables Mum knows are good for you.

I’m voting for tomorrow tomorrow. For you. It’ll be like having a party, because drawing my one X will be like drawing Xs not only for you three, but for children the whole world over.

Love you,
Granddappy xxx



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5 Responses to Voting for Tomorrow

  1. Chris says:

    The flat rate pension will leave many grandchildren with premature loss of grandparents,
    from the total loss of state pension for life, that is sole food and fuel money for many,
    for women born from 1953 and men born from 1951

    Even someone turning 80 in 2016 will lose the tiny top up to a even tinier part basic state pension

    No political party is offering to repeal Pension Bills 2010-2014 that does this to millions of people 60 and over.

    Half over 50s are either within the working poor or unemployed, mostly due to disability and / or chronic illness. And benefits fast disappearing, with parties offering anything up to tens of billions of further cuts.

    As 97 per cent of the benefits bill is the working poor and unemployed, the loss of state pension payout to women means a couple lose 7 years of payout at a time when low wages are stagnated a decade into the past.

    The poor have suffered a far, far higher inflation on energy bills and food prices, than any other income level.

    People 60 and over without state pension payout are also not listed in the unemployment figures by the government. You can be 60 and disabled and suffer many months long benefit sancitons, when it takes about one month to starve to death.

    It is telling that the United Nations has postponed investigating early deaths caused by welfare reform in the UK, until after next year’s general election.

    So far, no political party offers the state pension payout back to women at 60, lost since 2013 (so about £30,000 of our money paid at 12 per cent of our wages all our working lives), but The Greens offer a hope of food and fuel money by replacing all the cruel benefits regime causing starvation, with their 2015 manifesto pledge of:

    – universal Citizen Income, automatic to each citizen and non-withdrawable

    – Bettered State Pension, higher than Citizen Income, paid as a full state pension to all citizens, leaving no-one with nil food and fuel money in old age, as the flat rate pension is doing

    Both of these will have a supplement for those living alone and for the disabled.

  2. Felicity Jackson says:

    You’re not OLD, Marcus…just entered phase 3 of life!
    Agree with your sentiments, though

  3. Pingback: Snell-Pym » You Fib, Voting and Representation

  4. Teleica says:

    Oh I wish you were my granddad, you sir rock hard!

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