By John Brindley - Staff Author
IMAGINE this. You walk into a supermarket and feel compelled to buy a tin of baked beans!
Perhaps you’ve fallen foul of advertising and can’t get ‘Beanz meanz Heinz’ out of your mind or, for some reason, you actually like and believe in baked beans.
You look on the shelf and there are two types of beans – Blue Heinz and Red Heinz.
You pick up a tin of Blue Heinz and head home for your tea. Somehow, however, the beans don’t quite hit the spot. Those great expectations from watching glamorous celebrities falling in love whilst eating beans on your TV aren’t fulfilled.
So, what do you do? You head down to the supermarket next day and snap up a tin of Red Heinz. Why? You want change so you choose something that looks different… logical?
Yet you suffer the same sense of anti-climax. The beans might be packed very differently but when the food hits the mouth, they are fundamentally the same.
So you carry on swapping between the only two brands available and continue to get the same lack of results. What’s that quote about insanity being doing exactly the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.
There comes a time when your life has nearly ‘been’ and gone. And guess what? Your choices have made zero difference to the quality of beans. Both Blue and Red Heinz are still in business, still promising never delivering, and you’ve been left with a permanent sour taste in your mouth.
That’s how most of us approach the party political system in this country.
Ok, you do see the occasional additional tin of beans on the shelf.
Today many people are choosing Brexit Beans. There’s nothing on the label, nobody knows what they taste like. But they can’t be any worse than the others, right?
Experience should tell us, however, that the new beans will probably be here today and gone tomorrow. Usually the choice is between the two main varieties. As recently as the 2017 General Election, an astonishing 83 per cent of voters opted for Blue or Red.
Those who tell us ‘people gave their lives so you can vote’, ‘your vote makes a difference’ and ‘if you don’t vote, you can’t have an opinion’ are, usually unconsciously, the very ones who keep both Blue and Red in business.
For, as long as we are buying into the system by picking up their products from the shelf or putting our X anywhere, it doesn’t matter where, on the ballot paper, there’s no reason for them to change.
They’ll keep churning out the same beans and the same tired old policies year after year after year and there’s nothing you can do ab out it?
Wrong! You could give up beans – not easy, of course, and you might go through many sweats just yearning for your next fix, but it can actually be done.
Perhaps worse than the blow to your taste buds is the verbal lashing you will get from bean addicts.
‘You haven’t got ANY beans, don’t you care what happens to the bean manufacturers?’ ‘Don’t you know about your ancestors who sacrificed everything just so you could get your daily beans?’ ‘You shouldn’t be allowed to eat – if you don’t take part’….
That puts you in a vulnerable position if you’re one of the bean-free minority but, imagine, us has-beens suddenly become the majority.
What would happen to the bean industry if nobody bought the sub-standard beans?
Two alternatives. Either they’d go out of business altogether. Would we miss them? For a few days perhaps before we realise we can live quite happily without them. ‘Man should not live by beans alone’….Or perhaps alternative companies might start providing better beans, prompting the original duo to mend their ways also?
So by not eating beans, we could actually make a difference!
If only more people realised that truth. Today and tomorrow young folk will enter the world of politics with wide eyes and huge expectations.
“I’m going to make a difference. Together we can fill the shelves with the best beans in the world!”
If only these people would talk to those who have gone through the system before.
Soon enough, they will hit their first major hurdle. “I love your enthusiasm for beans – so which are you going to choose Blue or Red?”
They’d love to start something completely new, but to get on in the bean industry they will have to tow the line.
And the higher they go in the political world – as MPs, MEPs, Ministers perhaps, the narrower will be the choice.
‘It doesn’t matter what you think privately, our bean policy is this – take it or leave it!’
So they get whipped into the Red or the Blue queue and never realise the world outside is actually longing for something difference.
Why should they? Because we are continually giving them the false message that Red and Blue is fine by co-operating with the system.
Some will simply never ‘get it’. They’ll live until their last breath convinced Red or Blue is best.
Then they’ll be transported into the sky and live ignorantly and blissfully ever after with their god – Mr Bean!
And that will be a result of their own choice…..