At the chalkface: Election day dreams

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Midnight will approach. Optimism will blossom. I’ll panic and pour myself a triple to brace against those first nerve-shredding exit polls from the dread key marginals. I’ll kill all hope. Despair’s the softer option. The tension will get higher. Talking

I can’t quite see this. I’ve even pondered voting “The Alliance for Green Socialism” party – they seemed very nice fellows and stand for “the people and planet before profits and growth”. Rather. And universal peace on earth. A jolly good idea. It never seems to catch on. Why is it so unpopular?

Still, it’s probably a wasted vote. I must recognise the world of realpolitik and vote Labour. My mum, an Aneurin Bevan fan, would turn in her grave if I didn’t. I’d really like a Coalition of tough Labour and some of that lovely Green Socialism. Just imagine.

New Jerusalem at last. It seems so simple. The rich bankers and city flashboys would all get taxed and incarcerated. Trident would get cancelled. The consequent billions would go back to the poor and take care of and educate our children. All will be rendered literate and numerate.

There’ll be a return to Sure Start, Childcare, proper nurseries, community comprehensives, big libraries, small classes, story-tellers, special needs teachers, level playing fields, Latin, philosophy, Shakespeare, art, dancing, drama and every child will learn an instrument. Why not? 

And there’ll be no more private schools, national curriculums, Ofsted, tuition fees, baseline tests for embryos, SATs, Cats, Bats, levels, labels, targets, tick boxes, academies, not so free schools, immigrant children in prisons, starving babies on streets, or shivering infants with sad traumas.

And education will be run by the likes of Ken Robinson, Michael Rosen, Phil Beadle and Zadie Smith. And the old, pagan, generous, liberal Albion will return and we’ll be rid forever of this present shrivelled, craven, middle England.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, I imagine that party. The tension will be worse than an England penalty shoot-out. Knife-edge stuff. Midnight will approach. Optimism will blossom. I’ll panic and pour myself a triple to brace against those first nerve-shredding exit polls from the dread key marginals. I’ll kill all hope. Despair’s the softer option. The tension will get higher. Talking heads, swing meters, pundits, psephologists and prophets will occur on screens.

A voice will pronounce: “The exit poll will soon be in.” I’ll leave my desperately optimistic chums and hide in a garden. Half plastered, I’ll pray to all the lefty gods. My champagne socialist chums wave their fizzing glasses. I prepare the hemlock, belladonna, opium. 

“If it stays like this,” says the Dimbleby, “we’re looking at a coalition of the...” I pass out...

  • Ian Whitwham is a former inner city London teacher.

 


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