Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Mums' Manifesto: does it exist?

Toli means a juicy piece of news/ the talk of the town and this cloud comes to you courtesy of Koranteng Ofosu-Amaah. He is Ghanaian so some of the references given are not particularly English but they give a richness of their own and they are one person's take on what politics is all about.
I am gripped by the election fever in more ways than one. As a founder member of Judith's room, all of which happened by chance, I now have made connections with many cybermums and the odd dad online via twitter. How I love social media. As some of you also know I write for a couple of magazines from the Mum perspective; and when I started planning out my series of articles, I asked Mums via Judith's room what they would like to hear about. One of the topics which featured was the media portrayal of Mums in relation to politics as many were incensed by how they had been portrayed by our media. If we believe the pundits, one of the groups of voters to focus on are cybermums and there has been endless discussions about how Mums' views on the the Mumsnet discussion with esteemed politicians, were trivialised by the media. Add to this Libby Purves recent comments in the Sunday Times which suggested that cybermums represent at most 1 million of the 8 million Mums and therefore in her view do not count, there is quite a range of opinions flying around. The last point to make before I comment is that I have been the Mum representative on the Politics Show as part of the People's Panel since November, which has involved commenting on policies, parties and so on as we get closer to the election.
Let's start by saying that as an older Mum, apparently I do not come into the relevant age category (25-34) so does that mean my views do not count? If I think about this logically they probably do not. Why? Well they could put up Emu as the Tory candidate in our constituency, and the Conservatives would still win. It is an incredibly safe seat because we are in a rural area with lots of arable land. If we put the election in perspective then there are only a few areas where it is worth getting into a lather about it all and that is the marginal seats. It is in these places that the election will be fought and won. Finally sitting here, there is all to play for because neither of the two main parties has come out with a decent set of policies yet, rather most of the air time has been spent on slagging each other off. What we all need to do whether we are Mums or not is to pay less attention to our egos and get out there and start asking difficult questions and demand answers because it is our democratic right. If we do that then we may end up with a government which is more accountable to its people.
I have to come up with two questions to put to MPs on Sunday so if you have any burning issues you want me to ask then leave a comment below or tweet me on @wholeself. Thanks.


  1. Addendum: Sad that the two commentators on the post could not get their comments to post. Ah well. I now have my questions which have been submitted and one covers low regard in which politicians now find themselves and the other covers my passion the environment and how politicians are going to deal with the finite nature of fossil fuels.

  2. One of the key issues, it seems to me, is how to get people to re-engage with the democratic process.

    I am very interested in the political process, but I find way it is presented: adversarial, spin, storm in a teacup, point-scoring all very alienating.

    I'm sure I am not alone in turning the radio off when politicians are interviewed, and I'm probably at the more interested end of the spectrum. I'm a member of a political party and I do things like write to my MP, attend public meetings and get involved in community activities.

    I haven't joined in the expenses-hysteria, but I recognise how damaging it has been. How can we do politics so that most people can engage with it?

  3. This sounds like a great opportunity to get proper views across - part of me is cross that mothers are being pigeonholed in respect of this election but another part is glad that our agenda is finally being recognised