Are you afraid of Policy Makers?

January 19th 2016

I began this year with an irrational fear of getting locked into loos. It was brought on by an incident on Christmas Eve when I got locked in the nursery loo at our Playhouse Nursery. All that flashed before my eyes was the image of me being stuck in there for Christmas whilst my family would be sitting around the Christmas table with no food as I had been unable to go and get the shopping owing to my latrine imprisonment.  As it happens the nursery team were a resourceful bunch and used a hammer with great effect. So I might end up with coprophobia, cleithrophobia or just plain claustrophobia.

I then flew to Glasgow last week for a meeting of social entrepreneurs. Funnily, I was able to meet people I have been trying to meet in London all year.  We were guests of Kibblelink a social business training and developing young people. The centre we were using for our ‘what’s facing social businesses for 2016’ was ‘The Experience,’  a catering academy, Go Kart track and all round fun place, it also had laser shooting, a huge Scaletrix and half a jumbo jet attached to the front of the building.  Seeing how flimsy the metal that protects you at 3000 feet is, it worried me no end as we flew back into Gatwick  through high winds and turbulence. The cause no doubt of many people’s aviophobia, yes you guessed the fear of flying clue!

David Bowie died this week. He was so much a part of my adolescence that his death stopped me in my tracks. I remember first listening to Starman with my equally smitten friend Tres down in Kinsale. David Bowie brought quite a lot of excitement to 1970s Cork. Whether that be the cross dressing ‘Ziggy Stardust’ or ‘Alladin Sane’ although my all time favourite album was ‘Hunky Dory.’ What was yours? Just as I was getting my head around David Bowie’s death I heard Alan Rickman had also died; another great favourite of mine and it was enough to send me into thanatophobia.

During the week I went to listen to Sandy Toksvig, Caitlin Moran and Jo Brand big up the importance of equality as they launched an appeal for the Women’s Equality Party. Ms Toksvig was on fine form and if I had been a man in the audience I might have felt a little gynophobia. But in fact the slogan is, ‘because equality is better for everyone’; a view I entirely share.

At the end of the week we heard that Nick Clegg is going to Chair a cross-party committee investigating inequalities in educational attainment. The Works and Pensions Select Committee have asked for evidence and there is a new APPG looking at nursery education (nursery schools minus the rest of us!) I began to feel a touch of politicophobia.  Yes my friends, fear of government politicians.

So how do we cure politicophobia?

  • Avoid them as much as possible
  • When reading policy and speeches or watching them on the TV use calming breathing techniques.
  • If everything they say makes you perspire, use more deodorant.
  • When you are so frustrated or amazed that you can’t remember what to say; be quiet and tweet or write a blog.
  • When you feel a dry mouth, make sure you have a bottle of water and that way you can also pour cold water on their ludacris ideas
  • If all else fails take a leaf out of the David Bowie’s book and dance around the kitchen in a Onesie to “Lets Dance”.