Tuesday 13 June 2017


I sat down to watch the TV at 9 pm on Thursday 8th June, having placed my vote, hoping the Lib Dems would wipe out our Tory MP. Reading the Indy headlines the night before meant I hadn't slept well. They predicted a May (Tory) landslide.I'd hope she might only manage a working majority of 30 ( ie 326+30 seats).

I was convinced the other polls were inaccurate. Corbyn and Labour couldn't have caught up as well as they predicted in the days before the election, could they? After all we'd had the shock of the referendum - I believe even Cameron was shocked by the Brexit vote. We've seen the inauguration of Trump in place of an extremely capable candidate in the form of Hillary Clinton. Surely this just wasn't the time to hope for a left-wing upsurge.

And then a programme of support, love, helpfulness and compassion was broadcast. It made me feel we weren't a hard-nosed Tory-led island race after all. What was this programme?  In the build up to the BBC Exit Poll at 10:00 I was watching DIY SOS.

I can only rejoice at the timing of this perfect piece of television. I was weary of viewing nattering MPs - some hell bent on destroying this country's sense of compassion for the ill, disabled, unemployed or those otherwise in need - but Nick Knowles showed us another way. Seeing a splendid couple taking on - with great love - the upbringing of four adopted children - all with difficulties - restored my faith in humanity. The fact that countless builders, electricians, plasterers and others gave their time, gratis, for the worthy cause of building a specialist house for the family of six was the icing on the cake. As the programme ended and I dreaded five more years of Tory cuts, I anticipated a very different BBC-SKY-ITV exit poll to the one David Dimbleby announced. 

From 9:00 to 10:01pm that night I felt the understanding of the needs of others had been restored in the UK. DIY SOS was moving and practical. It shows what can be done.This excellent slice of humanity at its best was followed by the best exit poll ever! A hung parliament.

 May was going to have to rethink. Maybe austerity would come to an end and the support services, one-one tuition, SEN provision, NHS funding - all required by Nick Knowles' family - would be 'fashionable' again.Moreover funding might be delivered. 

I didn't sleep that night either - but for quite different reasons. I am a literacy, KS2 SATs & special needs teacher. I am bound to think disabled, ill, weak or academically challenged children need support. I believe in giving help to children who find SATs tests or reading books hard. Austerity measures have let children who need extra tuition & medical support down. A wealthy country like the UK has the resources for such a family as the one Nick Knowles and his team were helping. But where's the political will? 

This was most impressive broadcasting. The only landslide that night was shifting soil, a result of the diggers making tenches and foundations for the new build. It was a new home for the most deserving of families.