Three blind mice - see how they vote
Author Philip Pullman, interviewed on breakfast television this week, talked about the importance of children learning to love books.
He said that if he was to run for parliament he would stand as the Nursery Rhyme candidate because the folk songs and verses, learned at mother’s knee, spark children’s interest in words and language.
What a great idea...
And so, as the Nursery Rhyme candidate for Cloudland North sets out on the campaign trail - running through the town; upstairs, downstairs in his night gown, kissing the occasional baby, we look at the main points of party’s manifesto.
• Social care: No more old women will live in shoes with so many children they don’t know what to do. New-build will ensure adequate accommodation for large families. A bread allowance will make this staple food available with broth, before bed. By addressing the poverty issues, it is hoped the old woman will cease beating her offspring (see below).
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• Family values: No corporal punishment (see above); no child labour, as in the case of Jack, injured in a fall after he and his sister, Jill, were sent up a hill to fetch water
• Religion: There will be zero tolerance of incidents such as the notorious Goosie, Goosie Gander in which a an old man who wouldn’t say his prayers was thrown down the stairs.
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• Bullying: New initiatives combating inappropriate behaviour will be aimed at young people such as Geory Porgy who kissed the girls and made them cry.
• Animal welfare: Kindness to animals is a mark of a civilised society we would therefore seek strong legal recourse in the case of Little Johnny Flynn who put pussy in the well, knowing full well the cat had been instrumental in cutting down the number of mice on the farm. (Flynn remains on remand in custody despite allegations Johnny Green or Johnny Hare may have been the perpetrator). Any person failing to feed a pet - as in the case of Old Mother Hubbard - will face a lifetime ban from keeping animals.
• NHS: Areas without a GP cover will be guaranteed adequate medical cover. Local needs were highlighted when Dr Foster stepped in a puddle in Gloucester and never went there again.
• Economy: The UK will continue to be run on free market lines as in the supply/demand model demonstrated by the pieman who wanted a fair price from Simple Simon; the rejection of price-fixing for hot cross buns - available at one or two for 1d; the promotion of paternalistic capitalism - as in “please put a penny in the old man’s hat”; and maintenance of the Civil List in order that the monarch may spend time in the counting house, counting out the money.
Equality: Little girls are just as likely to be made of slugs and snails and puppy dog tails as little boys. Equally, boys can be made of sugar and spice and all things nice.
Vote Nursery Rhyme - it makes as much sense as anything else.