As anyone living in the UK will know, today there is a General Election. Opening the shutters this morning to glorious sunshine rather than the grey rain of the past few days, I wondered to what extent the fine weather would influence the end result, encouraging more people to go out to vote.
Suddenly an old playground skipping rhyme popped into my head. The rhyme probably represents the dawning of political consciousness in my childhood – that and the fact that our local MP, Edward Heath, had been persuaded to open my brother’s school’s summer fete.
While I’m usually glad to hear my daughter (11) play clapping or skipping games that I recognise from my own childhood, this is one that I hope has by this election become obsolete. it’s a group game, played with a very long rope, with children lining up for their turn to jump in. The name in the verse changes, according to who is skipping, and the last line is shouted as the skipper leaves the turning rope.
Vote, vote, vote for little Debbie
Calling Debbie at the door
For Debbie is the lady
Who is going to have a baby
So we won’t vote for Debbie any more!
CHUCK HER OUT!
A decade after I last jumped to this rhyme, our country’s first female prime minister was elected: Margaret Thatcher (aka “Milk Snatcher” for abolishing free school milk for children while Minister for Education). I was astonished to discover just now that she was a year younger than me when she came to power. That would have precluded her from having babies during her term of office. Which might be one reason it took us 13 long years to chuck her out.
Whatever your political affiliations, if you are a British citizen of voting age, please make sure you use your vote. Elections really aren’t a game, as I learned from my grandmother (born 1900). She had to wait till the age of 28 to be allowed to vote. Read more about her experience and influence on my political thinking in a post that I wrote during the previous General Election: I Wear My Vote On My Sleeve