Mail & Guardian

Useful tips to cleanse Parliament

- JS Smit

When dusting your house of Parliament, it’s a good idea to use a damp cloth. Cleaning with a dry cloth will only kick up dust and send ministers and MPs flying all over the place.

Clean windows using the pages of a newspaper, preferably a government mouthpiece such as the New Age or any other old rag you have lying around the house.

The Cabinet will need a good scrub from top to bottom. (Cabinets often get overlooked, but they’re as dirty as any part of the house, so it’s best to pay extra good attention here.) Get in there on your hands and knees and really put your back into it. Rest when you get tired.

Seats of Parliament respond well to a good beating. Some of them may not have been used for a while, so turn them over to get the water out, then wipe down with a chamois.

I would like to point out that it’s important not to cut corners when you clean your house of Parliament. Spring is approachin­g, which means the place has been left to gather dirt for a very long time now.

This is not a quick clean before you leave for work, or a case of doing it “one room at a time over the course of a month”. Cleaning your house of Parliament is not something you do before someone comes over for a visit. It’s a completely selfish act geared towards your own wellbeing and prosperity.

What I’m proposing is more of a cleansing than a clean. You want to reach places you have never reached before, like the top of the curtain rail. Move furniture around, for chrissake! We’re going for “good as new” here. A complete makeover.

Throw things out as you go along. No point hoarding old ideas — last year’s policies won’t necessaril­y hold up with this year’s trends. Stay current. And recycle. Nothing wrong with reinstatin­g a finance minister after he has spent some time in the wings. Repeat calls for old leaders to step down and use the vote of no confidence as much as you like. I cannot emphasise this enough. Votes of no confidence are like the grease at the bottom of your frying pan — always there, ready to lubricate the wheels of justice when the heat is turned up.

Here are some more tips to keep your house of Parliament spotless:

O To get your house sparkling, use a cold-water washing powder.

O Remove fat pay cheques with a dishwashin­g liquid.

O Smear campaigns come off if you soak them overnight.

O Keep the house well ventilated to prevent captured damp from rising.

O Shit leadership has no defence against an extra-strength toilet cleaner.

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