Robin’s Election Manifesto, 2015

24th April 2015
Ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to welcome back to Endymion once again the distinguished A. Robin, Esq, for a very topical guest post - especially for those of us here in the UK ahead of the forthcoming General Election - in which he kindly presents with his own unique election manifesto. Over to you, Robin ...
photo of small robin, head raised
A. Robin, Esq. (official portrait).
Now, being a high-born sort of bird I don’t normally have much time for politics. But seeing as everyone is getting excited about the forthcoming General Election here in the UK, I’ve decided to issue my own manifesto - including a number of important issues I reckon we need to get sorted as a matter of urgent priority:

1) Affordable Nest Boxes

There just aren’t enough affordable homes being build for birds these days. All those fancy nest boxes they sell in the garden centers aren’t any use at all. We need simple, open fronted, well-shaded boxes. We want plenty of ‘em. And we want ‘em now!
small nest box for birds, wood
We should be building more!

2) Health

All of us birds are living longer. Don’t ask me why, but that’s what they say. So with an ageing population of birds, we need better measures to ensure hygiene. Anyone therefore found not having cleaned out the bird-birth in their garden and replaced it with fresh water within a period of five days is to be put in the pillory overnight. And anyone putting out stale bread with all them green mouldy bits on the edges will be imprisoned in the Tower until further notice.
small owl sitting in a birdbath
Keep bird baths spotless - or else!

3) Defence

In recent years there’s been an alarming increase in reports of attacks on small garden birds from domestic cats - or ‘moggies.’ (am I allowed to say ‘moggies?’) We need effective deterrents therefore. There should be more gardeners issued with water pistols by local authorities - or, in extreme cases, armed with catapults. That’ll teach ‘em!
width="420" height="401" black cat with nose to water spray
En Garde!

4) Migration

In my opinion, we ought to be putting a limit on the amount of foreign birds coming into the countryside each summer – especially them starlings. They can't sing properly, anyway, not like us robins. And with the first sign of a bit of cold weather in the Autumn, they're off again. Disgraceful!
flock of birds, probably starlings in sky at dusk
Look! There's millions of them!

5) The Welfare State

Welfare State? – don’t give me that! It’s more like the ruddy Farewell State round here at times, people are so indifferent to us birds! We should be setting up lots more food banks where birds can get emergency aid, especially in winter. After all, you never know when you’re going to be down on your luck. Supposing you hurt your wings, or get a sore foot? How can you be expected to hunt for worms in that sort of condition? We have to protect the less fortunate among us. Even them Magpies and crows. (Well … perhaps not going that far. But you know what I mean.)
robin feeding on nuts from a suspended feeder
This bird has fallen on hard times and needs help (and no, it's not me - how dare you!).

6) Environment

This Winter was one of the warmest in living memory – which can go back as far as three years for some of us robins. And that must be significant. So I say we should stop cutting down our trees - which we need for nests and for perching on anyway when singing. And while you’re at it, if you're cold, you should just try running round a bit more and put on an extra woolly jumper - even if it is getting warmer (I think that makes sense). Anyway, whatever it is that’s going on with the weather, it must be your fault. So stop arguing and pay your bills!
red triangular road sign warning of tree cutting
Stop! We need our trees.

7) Education

Not enough is being done so small garden birds can receive a proper education. Most of us can’t even read or write yet, and we’re lagging behind other species. For example, scientists already reckon they’ve got monkeys and dolphins to understand English, so why not small garden birds? If you can count the berries on a bush, you know what sort of winter to expect. More berries = colder winters. We all know that, but it would be nice to have a pie chart and a graph sometimes to prove it with statistics. Or even an app. That’s education for you. And robins have every right to it.
double image shows dolphin and monkey
If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for us!

Closing remarks ...

And so there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. That is my manifesto for the forthcoming General Election. I shan’t be standing as a candidate myself, because robins don’t have the vote yet and therefore cannot enter parliament. But you – yes YOU can vote. And don’t forget, come polling day, that you make the effort.

No matter how quirky, corrupt, intellectually challenged or just plain daft some of the politicians might seem at times, you should still do it - because people in the past have sacrificed lots so you can have a say. And that’s important.
old newspaper cutting refering to suffragette incident at racecourse
Epsom racecourse, June 1913.

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