I have to be a little careful about what I say, seeing as how my little emporium is situated just a stone’s throw from the Mother of Parliaments. Oh, I know I’m just a poor shopkeeper and in that sense not really a proper just-about-working hard-managing-family at all. And I’ve never owned a Mondeo or a white van, so I shouldn’t really expect to be listened to.
But even so - and let’s keep this between ourselves - I’ve never been quite convinced about this ‘democracy’ thing. In fact, while Pavlina was out at her UK citizenship course last night (Unit 16: Advanced Passive Aggression) I took the opportunity to look the word up in her learner’s dictionary.
Just as I thought, democracy is something about making sure we all have exactly the same influence on the big decisions. And you really can’t fault the government there - it really is scrupulously fair in ensuring that everyone is exactly equally ignored. For example, I happened to mention to Mrs James the other day that her bosses’ policies will probably mean no electric lights for me this winter. Or heating. And to give her her due, she gave me precisely the same consideration as she would any other voter! She even forgot her 17p change when she ran out of the shop. Then she came back for it.
Now don’t get me wrong - I wouldn’t dare to disagree with, say, Mrs May’s view that the clear mandate of the one in four UK citizens who voted to leave the EU shouldn’t be allowed to trample everyone else’s view underfoot. But democracy still troubles me. If it really does mean that everyone has an equal say, doesn’t it also require us to have some idea of what we’re talking about?
As I say, I’m just a poor shopkeeper.