This evening I put this as my Facebook status. If you're reading this in the future (get you swanky pants future folk!) I'll add some context. The date is 16/09/2014 and the Scottish Independence Referendum is in 2 days time.
Almost immediately I received these 2 responses:
I'm voting Zoe for first minister!
Zo for prime minister/first minister/zsar/supreme over lord!!!!
Flattering but deluded dear friends.
However it got me thinking. What would I do if I were in charge? If I were First Mistress of Scotland (I realise I'd likely be called Minister but Mistress makes me giggle so I'm sticking with it!)It's easy enough to hate the policies of others but what's actually important to me?
Let's get the serious politics out of the way. I'm a NO voter (and a postal one so don't worry about changing my mind). I've lived in Scotland, Wales and England, I love them all, I want us together. We can talk about that kind of thing another time.
I've chosen the picture above as my campaign photo because I'll never look like a politician, I want to look as human as possible and my top sums up my party free campaign.
So here it is. My basic manifesto. In fact, fuck it WOMANISFESTO as First Mistress.
I'm going to be blunt.
There isn't enough money for brilliant schools AND great pensions AND a perfect NHS AND police on every corner.
But I will tell you exactly how I'm spending the money, OUR money. And when I'm making cuts and if there's a choice to be made I will listen to a reasoned debate from people from all affected parties.
If I get egged in the street I will do it knowing that I never lied to you.
These are my cats.
To be honest you're lucky I haven't posted half a dozen pictures of them already! I readily admit that I love the furry buggers more than is healthy. But they make me happy and I think healthy. I'm a firm believer that pet ownership massively improves lives. They calm you, are an excellent first big responsibility and turn a house into a home.
But as a private renter pet ownership is hard! Landlords assume all pet owners have a pack of door eating dobermans who will destroy a residence in an instant! It's really hard to find anything affordable and available in the pet friendly rental market.
So I'd be giving tax breaks to pet friendly landlords and letting agents. I honestly think we'd be generally calmer society if we had the option to have a furry/feathered friend at home.
I've grown up as quite a judgey person and would like to correct this in myself and in society in general. We're not as different as we think and we can get along better if we just learn to do so.
I can think of no better way to do this than by combining PE and Drama lessons at school. At my school they were diametrically opposed like no other subjects. The students loved or hated the classes in a marmite esq way and few people sat in the centre of the Venn diagram of love.
Making them work together would teach young people things about tolerance and cooperation that it took me decades to learn. Also, I believe if sport became a little less competitive in this environment then more young people would keep it up. And hopefully more people would realise theatre could be for them and our lovely arts establishments would gain support.
This one's just for you Edinburgers.
We used to hate the trams. Now we just don't care about them. We certainly don't seem to use them.
So I need to make them more attractive.
I will turn one carriage in each tram into an art gallery. Local artists can apply to have their work displayed there and tram users can see it for free. More culture as part of out everyday lives can only be a good thing.
I will also provide affordable cups of tea on board. No more than 50p a cup, tea is mainly water and doesn't cost much to make. And it won't take ages to make like frothy coffees. And I love tea. And I want the people of Scotland to love it too.
I touched on this one in my FB status but I'd like to extend it to a weekly affair.
All Fridays will have a theme, and it will always be brilliant, and it will always be about other people. Compliments day, dancing day, listening day etc. We will come up with these days together, test them out, enjoy them and bond.
And on the last Friday of every month there will be a free cake for everyone. Because cake is important too.
I think that's it, my plans in a nutshell.
Let's be honest.
I might not have thought through the finer details.
I'd probably fuck it up terribly.
But I can't name a single politician I admire right now, so maybe it's time for me and the cake revolution!
x x x
Ps I'm also aware that politicians get perks. I will require a pink car, one of those Nandos cards that gets you free food everyday and an unlimited supply of products from Lush.