The Mummyfesto

The women at number 10 are ready for the mother of all battles.

Surely running the country couldn’t be any harder than running their own lives?

When Sam, Anna and Jackie successfully campaign to save their children’s school lollipop lady from the axe, a TV reporter asks if they fancy standing in the general election.

It is, of course, a crazy idea: Sam’s youngest son has an incurable disease, Jackie is desperate for another child and her mum is struggling with Alzheimer’s, Anna’s teenage children, and marriage, are in danger of going off the rails.
But sometimes the craziest ideas turn out to be the best. And just think what they could do if they got to run the country . . .


Like many people, I watched the leadership debates during the 2010 general election campaign with an increasing sense of disillusionment with mainstream politics and the men in suits who were leading it. Where were the women? Where were the radical ideas? Where were the policies which would really improve the lives of ordinary families?

I bored my husband silly talking about where the major parties were going wrong and how a bunch of mums could make a better job of it. One night, desperate for some sleep, my husband suggested that instead of attempting a one-woman political coup, I should write a novel about someone else doing it. The ploy worked; he got to sleep, I began plotting a fictional revolution.

I started to write a synopsis about three mums who, having led a campaign to save a lollipop lady, are asked by a TV reporter if they fancied standing in the general election. I worked on the backgrounds of my central characters, Sam, Jackie and Anna, friends who had busy, stressful lives trying to juggle work and family commitments, whether it be caring for a child with an incurable disease, dealing with teenage children in crisis, or struggling with an elderly mother who had Alzheimer’s.

They all had a reason to want to make things better and despite all the obstacles in their way, the passion and determination to make it succeed. All they needed was a cause they could believe in – something which would resonate with other mums across the UK. Something which had the potential to change the face of politics forever.

I began putting together a Mummyfesto, allowing each character to devise policies which they felt passionately about. Some were serious; the government to fully fund children’s hospices, a dementia care plan, tough anti-bullying measures. Others were not quite so serious; privatising the royal family, The House of Lords replaced by Mumsnet, Chequers turned into a spa retreat for carers.

Eventually my characters had a Mummyfesto which they were ready to go to the country with. And so the Lollipop Party was formed around Sam’s kitchen table at number ten Fountain Street in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. The battle for number ten Downing Street was about to begin. It really would be the mother of all battles, both personally and politically for my characters. I laughed and cried in equal measure as I accompanied them on their journey. And at least I can now say that I was instrumental in starting a revolution – even if it was a fictional one.

Linda Green