I am having trouble with this item!
It began simply enough with the idea for a piece on a particular and well-remembered event from my schooldays (Yes, school AGAIN!).
Actually it wasn’t even what you would call an “event” – just something I was reminded of by current events!
You see, in a couple of weeks time we in the UK (along, presumably, with the rest of Europe – I neither know nor care!) go to the polls for the European Parliament elections to elect the corrupt weasel of our choice to serve on the Brussels gravy train!
To digress slightly, I am REALLY looking forward to the day someone leaks the MEP expenses claim details in the same way that they’ve done for Westminster! The anger of the Great British Public has been wonderful to behold with regard to our own Members of Parliament – that awaiting MEPs ought to be AWESOME! After all we are talking about an organisation that’s so “straight” that the auditors have refused to sign off its accounts for 14 consecutive YEARS now!
Anyway, this forthcoming election has brought forth an amazing array of smaller parties – sometimes it seems that all you need is an opinion and five blokes from the darts team who agree with you and suddenly you’re a candidate!
In the interest of fairness (and even though I can feel my readers falling away in droves!) I list below, in alphabetical order, the parties standing for the seven vacancies in the Eastern Region where I live:
Animals Count (contesting 3 out of 7 seats)
British National Party (contesting all 7 seats)
Christian Party “Proclaiming Christ’s Lordship” (contesting all 7 seats)
Conservative Party (contesting all 7 seats)
English Democrats Party (contesting all 7 seats)
Jury Team (contesting 6 out of 7 seats)
Liberal Democrats (contesting all 7 seats)
No2EU: Yes to Democracy (contesting all 7 seats)
Pro Democracy: Libertas.eu (contesting all 7 seats)
Socialist Labour Party (contesting all 7 seats)
The Green Party (contesting all 7 seats)
The Labour Party (contesting all 7 seats)
United Kingdom First (contesting 5 out of 7 seats)
United Kingdom Independence Party (contesting all 7 seats)
Independent (contesting 1 out of 7 seats)
Apologies for that! I heroically refrain from passing any comment on any of them until I know what they are about BUT – think of the amount of junk mail I’m going to be getting from THAT lot!
Time was when just about the only nutters to stick their heads above the parapet on these occasions were Screaming Lord Sutch and the Monster Raving Looney Party! They’ve given up now because they simply cannot compete in total daftness with the so-called “serious” parties!
SO, three questions remain:
Why is this piece called “Memory”?
Why am I having trouble with it?
What’s it got to do with school?
Well they are all tied together.
When I started this I was going to mention a boy in my class at school, Peter Bridger by name, who was the only one of us even remotely interested in politics. An election was coming up and so, in the great tradition of our group, he did not do anything commonplace or straightforward such as declaring for one other of the three major parties!
Oh no! He decided to throw his weight (not that there was much of THAT, I remember him as quite a small lad) behind a man named Freddie Baker. He was the candidate for the “East Anglian Nationalist Party”!
Both I, in my earlier piece “The happiest days….” and my fellow classmate and blogger “Cornelius” (see links at the bottom of the page) have remarked upon the revolving blackboards fitted in all our classrooms and the uses to which they were put. When Mr Bridger got going there was hardly a lesson went by without a teacher pulling a new area of board into view and displaying “Vote Freddie EANP” or similar already written over it! It made a nice change from personal remarks about the teachers and stylised side-on doodles of male genitalia that usually appeared.
Now I decided that I would try to put a date to these events, which I remember perfectly clearly, and tried looking up Freddie Baker and the EANP on Google. And THIS is the reason for the other two questions above:
There was only one General Election in the UK while we were in attendance at Prospicimus Secondary Modern and that was in March 1966. Now that would put us in only the second year (year 8 by today’s reckoning) and I would have said this all happened one or two years after that! There were no European elections in those days (happy thought!) and it is extremely unlikely that it related to a local council election.
Furthermore, if it WAS the 1966 General Election the FULL results are online and Freddie isn’t listed in those for Ipswich! Plus – no mention WHATSOEVER of an East Anglian Nationalist Party!
So now we get to it! How is it that I can remember the boy involved, the candidate’s name and the party he represented when the available evidence says that it DIDN’T HAPPEN?!!! If my subconscious made that lot up then it has needed a good sweeping out for a number of years now!
Help! I am urgently in need of the “old-boy” network to assure me that I’m not cracking up!
And to tell me that THEY remember it too!