Sunday, 22 November 2009

What women want...according to the Independent on Sunday

Well, there's never a quiet moment in the Almost Average household, even on Sundays, especially as I woke up this morning to find my face in a double-page-spread of the Independent on Sunday, along with David Cameron, Gordon Brown and three other bloggers, Liz at Violet Posy, Sandy Calico and TwentySomethingMum Claire, all members of the British Mummy Bloggers network.

The feature which discusses the importance of the female vote to the outcome of the next election comes hot on the heels of Tory leader David Cameron's live Mumsnet chat on Thursday. The online version can be read in full by clicking here.

Compared to the length of our interviews, our quotes in the Sunday paper are rather short. In fact I am billed as "Let-down Lady", due to my concerns with the current Labour party after being a long-term voter. And it's true, I don't have faith in Gordon Brown's leadership and if the election happened tomorrow, I am undecided about which party I would vote into government.

In my interview with the reporter, I had commented at length about the current reductions in funding for education and my worries over how this will impact on future generations, as schools are our foundation for the future. I also discussed the issues at the other end of the spectrum, with my worries over the long waiting lists in Wales for my mother to get treatment for her health problems. Neither she or my stepfather are at the age where they would have to sell their property to go into a care-home, but the older they get that is something else we will have to confront and I worry about their future welfare too.

On matters of the environment, I also mentioned that sustainability should be at the heart of government policies, no matter which party is elected as it is paramount that our country's resources are managed effectively across public and private sectors and in our homes.

But I also praised the hard work of the current government on pushing recycling targets and the move towards zero waste, and said if the conservatives came into power, how I hope they would build on this rather than undermine it. The Tory plans on this appear to be pushing the right buttons - and following my last blogpost, I have emailed David Cameron with an invitation for him to provide further comment.

I have to admit that it hasn't been an entirely comfortable experience discussing politics in public. I am normally the kind of person that keeps my opinions in this area firmly to myself, probably for fear of looking an idiot and the assumption that actually everybody else knows better than me. I am not a natural moaner and prefer to offer up-beat praise instead.

However thanks to my recent appearance in the "live commentary box" at the Times Online's Alpha Mummy blog and the publication of today's feature, I feel like I've finally "come out".

Maybe it's also a sign that I have finally grown up, with a desire to provide the best possible future for my children as well as others across the country who need the government's support.

How about you, are you a political animal or someone like me who has traditionally preferred to watch others have their say? Maybe you're a bit of both. I'd love to know.

So what DO women want when it comes to the next election? when I rang my mother this morning to get her position, all she had to say was...

"Well, they're all as bad as each other!"

So it looks like Dave and Gordon will have a tough job getting my mum's vote too.

Politics eh. Well now that I've had my two-penneth, I'm off to empty my bin!



Linda said...

Really interesting! I've not said anything about party politics on my blog, I worry, I think needlessly, about problems this could cause. There's a political blogger who actually works for the "opposite" party from the one I have always voted for and I suppose I should say out loud, I always will, and we have talked to each other with respect online though her readers did once tell me to piss off! I think that we would all agree that we want the best for our families and children, and all children, but as in real life will disagree with how to go about getting it. Beyond that I personally think that it's daft to ask what women want, waht mums want, what bloggers want etc as if we are all one big group with the same characteristics. So it was good to read this post talking sense! x

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Linda - thank you :) Yep, I've always stayed well away from politics until now. Judged it to be much safer. I love your comment and I hope it will be easier to make up my mind the nearer it gets to the election.

Local Girl said...

I'm with you, I've never been comfortable talking about politics other than arguing with hubby. Maybe it's not what 'nice' girls in our generation did? But I'm now considering us 21st Century Suffragettes we have to fight for the environment, education, and health of our families. And more importantly getting people out there thinking and voting. So I'm proud of us x

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Liz - glad it's not just me. And I think you're right about many of us in our generation. But having children has most definitely made me think more about this and want more change to happen. Having got engaged directly this week has been great. 21st Century Suffragettes - I like it - and I also think we are turning into an online version of the WI. Perhaps we now need a new blog badge LOL

san said...

It's great that we have our blogs to expand on what we actually said, although I ran out of time when I was writing my post, so you'll have to imagine how dazzling I was in my interview!
Thanks for letting me use your photo :-) x

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Sandy - you're right. Blogs are great back up devices at times like this. It's great that we all managed to take interview took place on a busy road as I walked into town. Glamorous life eh! You're welcome re the photo - glad it's got more than one use :-) x

just Gai said...

I'm afraid I have never understood the British reluctance to discuss politics. It's so fundamental to our daily lives that everyone's bound to have views on it. So why are we so reluctant to express them? I'm a socialist by persuasion and have been a member of the Labour Party for over 20 years. This is not to say that I agree with all its policies or admire all its leaders, nor does it mean that I don't respect the views of people who support other parties. In fact I have several good friends with whom I have had fairly heated discussions/arguments without ever falling out with them.

I can't help thinking that if we were to discuss our political views more openly our politicians would take us more seriously and be forced into delivering better policies.

So good on you, Almost Mrs Average, for laying your cards on the table. Let's get the debate going in the run up to next year's election and vote in the government that will succesfully tackle the issues dearest to our hearts.

Anonymous said...

I think I've become less overtly political as I've got older. I remember being much more vocal as a teenager/student!

I've always been more focussed on particular issues than political parties though- animal testing, boycotting Nestle, writing letters or signing petitions etc.

I'm definitely undecided about the next elections. I was saying to DH the other day, that for the first time ever I can agree with something that the Tory party is saying. I'm hoping they've moved further L than I've moved R... Specifically, it was about the mess that Labour have got into with their extended gvt. As DH and I both work in the public service sector we have first hand experience of what the bureaucracy in the police/NHS/schools does. Oh well, I've got 6 months to think about it!

A Modern Mother said...

Watch out, she's out! There's no stopping you now!

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Just Gai - thank you. That's exactly the confidence boost I needed. I think I had my most active political in my mid teens. I was up revolt at home and as a point of rebellion (in a very socialist family) I threatened to join the Young Conservatives. You should have seen the arguments that pursued. If I think about it now...I can see how that experience affected my political voice. But you're right, the more involved people are, the more validated the result of the election will be. Thank you :-)

Hi Hazel, I think many people will be able to relate to your experience. This election is going to be very interesting I am sure. And during the six months that are left, I will most definitely be reading their policies in depth....I must say for the first time ever...before I have simply glanced at the policies in a tick-box kind of fashion. :-)

Hahaha A Modern Mother. LOL. Indeed :-D

John Costigane said...

Hi Mrs A,

Great to see you on a national newspaper, spreading the good word on Zero Waste.

I share your reluctance to take a political stand point since our trend is open to people of all such views. Choosing one party would alienate those of another party, thus reducing our potential numbers.

The election campaign will saturate the media, making an apolitical perspective all the more welcome.

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

I've stayed away from politics on my blog for the most part because I discuss it constantly with my husband. And woe be the person who for the sake of the debate takes the opposing argument (usually me)! If I don't have footnotes to my counterpoints, he calls me on it. It makes me a better writer for work (don't tell him that) because I now routinely research the pros and cons of the things I write and blog about.

Funny thing, he's much kinder (AKA not demanding footnotes) to the host of the podcast we occasionally appear on.

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi John - yep, I know what you mean. Interestingly though, since the article was published, several people have approached me thinking I'd previously voted Green. Not that there's anything wrong with that but fascinating about the stereotyping eh? Actually, regardless of who I vote for next election, I will continue as I have done, remain politically agnostic during other times. All parties actually have positive ideas that can be brought to the table and achieved within their local areas of influence. :-D

LOL Condo Blues - oh dear you poor thing. But as you say...there are benefits regarding your work. Now as for the podcast, if I were you I'd complain! :-)

Unknown said...

What real happiness means for you? Weighting a little bit less is not that impossible? But I know, how to lose weight!

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