I was hoping to write something about the latest politicking on benefits and two earner families (will hopefully be getting round to that in a bit) but as I am currently being deafened by shouts of “Axe axe the bedroom tax!” from the cot upstairs I thought I would document for my children some evidence of their early brain-washing.
1) The chants. Your child is familiar with a variety of chants which are altered to suit and bellowed anywhere other than on an actual protest. Mine have taken great glee in changing the cut back fight back chant to “When they say poo poo we say wee wee” and treating the neighbours to a chorus of it.
2) The nasty men. Forget fairy tale monsters – they know who the enemy are and can identify an array of cabinet members by saying “it’s one of the nasty men”. Both of mine know David Cameron on sight and can list a number of crimes, including “taking food from poor children” and “being nasty to poorly people”. This follows in a tradition which saw me, my sister and our friend Elizabeth putting together a plan where we were going to throw treacle sandwiches at the Iron Lady back in the 80s.
3) The shameless mic action: They have debuted in public speaking by the age of 5. The joy of kids as speakers is that they instinctively limit themselves to a few choice words, something which could well be followed by others. Ben was one of the most popular speakers at the first big brum bedroom tax rally back in March. His friend (also Ben) was more recently a big hit at the UAF counter demo when the EDL came to town last month, commenting on how stupid it was to be bothered about the colour of someone else’s skin. Guaranteed to make right wingers (and some liberals) foam at the mouth.
4) Choice words. Instead of Uncle/Auntie, they address favoured adults with the term “comrade”. OK, this actually hasn’t happened yet, but I think I’m going to start working on it!
In all seriousness, there have been concerns expressed over the last few years as to the extent to which I am subjecting my children to anything from Stalin-worship to political exploitation. My response to this would always be that I am smart enough to know you cannot create a politically neutral upbringing, and if I can get my kids to understand this much they will be on the way to thinking for themselves.
So – got any more signs for my list?