General election day is nearly upon us here in the UK and, whilst we’re hearing an awful lot about the male leaders of the main parties, what about their wives? In her hilarious book, Never Marry a Politician (recently chosen as The Sun’s ebook of the week), Sarah Waights explores the plight of the politician’s wife through the character of Emily (wife of would-be Prime Minister, Ralph).
Here are the ten commandments for a politician’s wife, taken from the novel and updated for the 2015 election. Enjoy, and also spare a thought for Samantha, Justine and Miriam when you cast your ballot on Thursday
- Thou shalt participate in ludicrously contrived photo calls – usually in your kitchen, (in the case of multiple kitchens choose the most humble). Here you will drink tea from a mug the design of which has been agonised over for weeks by the political advisers. Whilst doing so, you will miraculously convey via your facial expression alone that you consider your husband to be a) wiser than Solomon, b) more touchy-feely than Oprah and c) hot.
- Thou shalt give up thy career – which was the one thing that made thee feel like an adult but proper careers are not really acceptable as there is a danger voters will discover you are cleverer than your husband. As another option, you could consider the following commandment;
- Thou shalt choose a career which makes thee look saintly – thereby casting a glow of sanctity upon thy husband by association. Looking after sick children would be good, although being a nurse is politically sensitive because of the union issues and being a doctor means thou art a bit too clever. Perhaps run an animal rescue centre or similar as being nice to small, furry animals is definitely a vote winner.
- Thou shalt give up the right to make even the simplest decisions on thine own – leaving such weighty issues as which supermarket to shop at, which car to drive and even names for thy children, to be endlessly dissected and analysed by a focus group which will tell thee precisely how to do absolutely everything.
- Thou shalt gaze adoringly at thy husband at all times whilst in public – even when he is making the most boring speech in Christendom. Actually, especially then. And no yawning. Ever.
- Thou shalt cheerfully attend an endless series of constituency fundraising events – where members of thy husband’s constituency and team will talk about thee as though thou aren’t there.
- Thou shalt deputise for thy husband at all the constituency surgeries that he can’t be arsed to go to himself – even though this involves sitting for hours in draughty village halls listening to old people moaning about waiting lists for hip replacements, the solution for which is entirely beyond thy power.
- Thou shalt not beat thy children – as thou art required to be a far more perfect parent than anyone else in the world. This is mainly in case thy husband is called on to speak in support of a smacking ban or some other entirely unrealistic parenting policy thought up by people who don’t have children.
- Thou shalt not allow thy children to misbehave in public – a particularly difficult commandment given the restrictions imposed by commandment number eight. By the way, thee needn’t think drugging them into submission is an option either because this is also frowned upon by those pesky childfree policymakers.
- Thou shalt believe that the end justifies the means – in practice this translates to a devout and unquestioning acceptance that how things look is considerably more important than how things are.
And this is the word of the Party.
Never Marry a Politician is available to download on Kindle HERE.
Follow Sarah Waights on Twitter: @SarahWaights