My So-called Life: My six cheesy election pledges

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The Independent Online

Is there any party worth voting for come the general election?

Is there any party worth voting for come the general election? I can't see it, which is why I have decided to found my own political party, which would have been called Veritas had the name not already been taken by some other creepy loon- damn! - so it's The Crouch End Peoples' Party. This party, like New Labour, is committed to moving forward, not back, in the firm belief that not being able to see where you are going may result in injury and several years circling the Whittington Hospital in the vain hope of actually finding somewhere to park (ha!).

Now, just to let you know where we are coming from, The Crouch End Peoples' Party likes cheese of all kinds, for no other reason than it does, as well as Crouch End Clocktower, which is a fine example of 19th-century something or other, and Desperate Housewives. The party does not like Ugg boots, because they are daft and Moomin-like, and has lately gone off ER because it's just getting boring.

The following is an outline of some of our policies as worked out by our policy unit based in my left sock:


A good, integrated transport system is essential for our quality of life and continued economic success. People need to be able to move within and between communities, in a way that respects our environment and all our local cheese producers, without whom we would not have any local cheese.

We are determined to manage our transport networks more efficiently, particularly making better use of roads and, most urgently, tackling congestion and those who selfishly hold up other motorists. As such, we will ban those elderly men who wear tweed caps and sit very low in their seat and drive painfully slowly with their noses pressed up against the windscreen, even on the motorway. Older women in headscarves tied under the chin who dither at roundabouts - particularly the tricky one between Middle Lane and Priory Road - will be dealt with in a similar, no-nonsense fashion.

Also, L-plated cars would no longer be tolerated. We do not know what it is about drivers from Luxembourg, but they do seem fond of constantly performing unnecessary three-point turns while stalling for much of the time. They really shouldn't be allowed on the roads until they can drive properly and have passed some kind of test.

As for the workmen who have been digging up Park Road for what seems like the last 79 years, should anything untoward happen to them that prevents further digging, like sudden death, The Crouch End Peoples' Party will not prosecute the perpetrators and may even give them a shiny medal and a hug on the quiet. As well as some cheese.


We say: "Education, education, education, education, education, education," which is twice as many "educations" as any party has said before, so we must be serious. Certainly, education is central to our mission to deliver social justice, equality of opportunity and the cheese makers of the future.

We are committed to extending high-quality education, personalised to each and fair to all but fairer to the white middle classes who will be given instant access to the best, most advantaged schools to prevent that mad scramble which is unseemly, bad for the complexion and can lead to mothers fist fighting at the aforementioned Clocktower. ("What do you mean Charlotte sat for X school? You said she wouldn't be!" Smack.) Anyone who claims to be white and middle class will be ruthlessly checked to prove that this is so. Checks will largely consist of inspecting skin colour by experts and then seeing if they purchase their bread, and other bakery needs, from Sable D'Or (posh, automatic entry to best school), Dunns (aspirational, borderline) or Greggs (the world's least artisan baker, so you might as well forget it).

Sats tests will be abolished in favour of Weds tests so that children are not required to come in at the weekend. Plus, class sizes will be smaller, at least half the size they are now - say, 10ft by 5ft - which means the pupils are going to have to squash up a bit. As for teachers' complaints that their days are now ridiculously prescribed, almost minute by minute, we will allow the curriculum to be suspended at any point if such a suspension furthers the interests of cheese, and perhaps even involves a cheese-making demonstration. Lastly, those from lower income households will be encouraged to go onto higher education by asking them to pay for it. Obviously.


This is very important as without it there is every chance you may be ill. We will offer greater treatment choice to patients, which will inevitably boil down to absolutely no choice at all. We will also promote smoking in all places at all times because smokers are much more fun than non-smokers even though they smell. We will up the current "five-a-day" to "40-a-day" because, let's be honest, if you are going to smoke you might as well do it properly. To facilitate access to health care, the Whittington Hospital will be demolished and replaced by a multistorey car-park. The Crouch End People's Party anticipates few objections.


We accept that Britain has a proud tradition of offering safe haven to those fleeing persecution, but we will not tolerate abuse of the asylum system, even though it's rather shabby and, we believe, in urgent need of an overhaul. Ultimately, we certainly do hope to redecorate it, perhaps in pinks and creams, but this has by no means been decided. Tories who give you the creeps and are found to be descended from illegal Romanian immigrants will, in particular, not be tolerated, and the British public will be encouraged to pull his tie and poke him in the eye whenever they should chance upon him. To not do so will be a punishable offence. Cheese, by the way, will always be allowed to come and go as it pleases.

So, vote for The Crouch End People's Party. Aside from anything else, we also plan to give South London away, because there is just no point to it, and tart up Wales, perhaps with dado rails and borders which, if the right adhesive is used, should prove secure. Also, I should add, you will never find a party that cares so much about cheese. I can personally guarantee it.