The Blog

Let Children Guide Your Vote


Still undecided about where to make your mark on May 7th? Local politics has inevitably been eclipsed in the run up to Thursday by close scrutiny of the main party leaders: who carries props at televised debates, who prefers group hugs and who can't navigate a small step.

I went to speak to two individuals with no preconceptions of politicians, to hear their views. This is what Rosa (3) and Keir (2) had to say about Natalie Bennett, David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband, and Nigel Farage.

Me: Rosa, so next week, Mummy and Daddy and I get to choose one of these five people to run the country- not literally run- but be the leader of the country-

Dad: Be the boss like me.

Me: Be the boss. Who do you think looks the kindest?

Rosa points to Natalie Bennett.

Me: Natalie? Why Natalie ?

Rosa : Because she's happy.

Me: Who do you think would be the best at sharing with you?

Points at Nick Clegg.

Me: Why Nick?

Rosa: He's happy.

Me: Rosa, what is 'sharing'?

Rosa: Sharing toys.

Me: Do you just share toys? What else do you share?

Rosa: Sammy (Points to her baby brother).

I can only assume this is an indication of the impact of austerity, that families in London are now having to share children.

Mum: You also share your bedroom, don't you?

I presume Rosa shares her room with other families forced out of their own homes by the bedroom tax.

Me: Which one of these five people might be mean to strangers?

Rosa points to Nigel Farage.

Rosa: He's got a cheeky face.

Me: Who do you think has the most money?

Rosa points to Ed Miliband.

Me: Why Ed?

Rosa: He's got his finger up.

Me: Do you think he's counting his money? One million...two million....

Dad: How many kitchens does he have?

Rosa: Ninety...

We all agree that ninety kitchens probably makes you the richest person in the world.

Photo: Carmel King 2015

Me: Okay, who do think is the best at dancing?

Rosa points at David Cameron.

Me: Why did you pick David?

Rosa: He's counting.

Me: Yeah, great rhythm . What sort of dancing would he do?

Rosa: Star jumps.

Presumably she has heard just how pumped up David Cameron has been this week.

Me: Who got into the most trouble when they were at school?

Rosa: Nigel.

Me: What did he do?

Rosa: Put banana skins everywhere.

Me: Naughty Nigel. What should we do to him now if he's naughty?

Rosa: Go 'raaaaaa' at him.

Me: Go 'raaaaa' at him?


Me and Mum: Raaaaaa!

Rosa: Raaaaaaaaaa!

She is clearly very Draconian in her attitude to punishment. But rightly she has identified a threat to our democracy.

Me: Do you think he has many friends?

Rosa: I think he has one friend.

Me: Who would his friend be?

Rosa: You.

I feign horror, although secretly I am genuinely offended. Rosa's card is marked. I am plunged into self-doubt.

Me: Does Nigel get on with any of these people?

Rosa: No, they're not his friend at all.

Keir, 2, enters the kitchen from the garden, where he has been busy with a bucket.

Rosa: I bet she is your friend. (Pointing at Natalie Bennett)

Me: I would love to be friends with her.

Keir is very taken with Natalie Bennett's picture, and is gripping it with delight.

Keir: Cheese! Cheese!

Mum: Is she saying 'cheese'?

Me: Who do you think Mummy and Daddy should be friends with?

Keir: Cheese, cheese...

Rosa points to Cameron and Clegg.

Me: David or Nick?

Keir: Cheese....

Me: Who should Mummy and Daddy have round for dinner?

Chooses Nick.

Me: And who should Mummy and Daddy never be friends with?

Rosa: Cheeky Nigel.

Dad: (Holding up Cameron) What does he look like?

Rosa: You!

Keir: Cheese, cheese...

Rosa: He looks like ham. They all look like ham. (Pointing) Ham, ham, ham ham ham.

Keir: Chee- chee- eese.

Photo: Carmel King 2015

We then fall into a David Lynch-esque dream sequence where Rosa tells us in turn that we resemble different components of the human face. I apparently, look like ears. Clearly Rosa's nursery ignored Gove's demands to memorise Chaucer and instead focused on Picasso's cubist phase.

Keir has moved on to gripping Ed Miliband, and tells us that he likes his neck. He is reluctant to explain why, demonstrating a more sophisticated, Mulveyan, understanding of the human form that is beyond the rest of us. Perhaps to undermine the Male Gaze, Keir goes back to cuddling Natalie Bennett.

Keir: Cheese, cheese.

Me: Do we like Nigel, Keir?

Rosa: I don't like him at all, any bit.

Unfortunately Keir has seized on Nigel Farage's picture, seemingly believing it's his granddad, much to both parents' dismay.

Keir: Papa, Papa!

Keir is kissing the photo of Nigel Farage.

Me: Rosa, before you go outside, what is the most important thing in the world?

Keir: Papa, Papa...

Rosa: Cups.

This must be code for the cuts. Perhaps she is in favour of austerity after all.

So here's your choice: Cheese, Neck, Ham or Papa. Clegg's just coming for dinner.

You decide.

Photo: Carmel King 2015

Huge thanks to Rosa, Keir and family.

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