Saturday, May 08, 2010

And now, the noose


You keep me hanging on by Pants


Greetings from the safe Seat of Pants here in Larrkin's End, Australia. We are the most southerly electorate in Britain. The only thing hung here is Barney. A warning to anyone going into the genetically modified pet business - check the Y-factor in each of your donor species very, very carefully before proceeding. You could end up with more plonker than pet.

Which brings us to the remarkably similar predicament facing the British public. Three losers? Now that is an achievement. Since the country has played a grand misère hand, surely the logical outcome is for Foghorn Clegghorn to be declared winner as he came last in a field of losers. We understand politics even less than we understand cards. The last time a game of 500 was played at Seat of Pants, a state of emergency was declared. They don't even do that here when most of the region is on fire.

However, the question Why and I were educated at a time when children were still taught to count so we feel confident that we can at least provide some useful arithmetic. Barney, despite owning the highly successful Goblet of Fire chain of vodka bars, cannot count but does mix a mean Bloody Mary. His secret? I'm sure he won't mind me telling you. He uses real Marys. Happily for the question Why and me, he has agreed to fulfill this function for the duration.

Are you poised on the edge of your seat? Very well, we shall begin. The question Why and I have been transfixed by the, shall we say, audacity of hype that is exuding from all three defeated camps. Considering each of the potential candidates is competing for a job that falls somewhere between poll tax collector and head of a bottom-of-the-league comprehensive, we observe that they are all remarkably optimistic. The question Why and I are cynical. We freely admit that the only reason we have ever pretended to be 'passionate' about fixing broken Britain ourselves is that we didn't fancy going without our quarterly cross-channel wine buying sprees. This is why we moved to a country with cheap wine. We simply couldn't bear to be compromised any longer.

The first to grab a big slice of that clear blue sky along with his morning croissant was David de Cameron, (to use the historic Norman form of his name). The Tories gained more seats in this election than they have done in the last eighty years, he crowed. The question Why was initially confused by this claim. Hadn't she who cannot be named got 339 seats back in 1979 and 397 in 1983? And didn't she even get 376 in 1987, by which time she was truly despised? How difficult can it be? Yet the de Cameron only achieved 306. And, crucially, hadn't she etc. won enough seats to form a government, which is sort of the point? The question Why does not miss a trick.

We reluctantly park our Bloody Marys and get out our forensic dictionary. Ah-ha, remarks DCI Pants, he said 'gained' not 'won'. The Green Party could make an even grander claim. They 'gained' more seats than they have had before in their entire history, going from nought to one. The Green Party didn't win either. And then comes the carpe diem moment. The de Cameron claims victory by 'moral authority'.

We reach for the Seat of Pants copy of the British Constitution and turn immediately to the 'unwritten' section where we discover that if you win 36% of the votes cast by 65% of eligible electors and you went to Eton and everyone thinks the other guy is a toady, you do indeed get to be Prime Minister. The only problem is, you have to get the toady to move out of his toady hall of his own accord. Damn and blast. Hell takes lessons from Gordon 'Scrooge McDuck' Brown on how not to freeze over.

Over at Downy Street there aren't too many blue sky pieces in the McDuck election jigsaw, unless you count all the ones that came crashing through the ceiling. However, a fine-print scouring of the sitting tenant rules regarding Prime Ministership brings some cheer. It seems you're still PM until the Parliament throws you out. In point of fact, you have a 'duty' to dig your heels in and refuse to budge. You have two weeks left! Of course the entire world economy could collapse in that time but what is that compared to a man's devotion to, er, duty? Besides, you can always blame it on the Greeks.

Now the question Why and I turn our attention to the Glegghorn. What's his game we wonder. Brushing off the net loss of five parliamentary seats with a jaunty, 'Many, many people during the election campaign were excited about the prospect of doing something different, but it seems that when they came to vote, many of them, in the end, decided to stick with what they knew best.' The question Why and I beg to differ. It seems to us, looking at the figures rather than attempting to intuit the situation through a fog of imagined zeitgeist, that quite a few people did something different, they just didn't do their respective different somethings in the direction of the Liberal Democrats.

Undeterred by boring old stats and fusty old conventions, the Glegghorn has launched his hat in the direction of the de Cameron ring. What is this about, the question Why and I wonder. Enter Barney, mercifully carrying another round of Bloody Marys and a plate of eggs Vladivostok. Barney may not be able to count but he is blessed with an abundance of low animal cunning. He won the last game of 500 played in this house and is largely the reason the state of emergency was declared so he is not without a capacity to influence.

It is Barney's view that the Glegghorn is playing both ends off against the middle. He is trying to make the McDuck jealous. We know this is not difficult to do. He will flirt with the de Cameron until the McDuck is driven almost mad with rage. Also not difficult to do. Then he will make a deal as long as he gets to be PM. It's what Barney would do, and he very nearly got the opportunity but that's another story.

Mmm, the question Why and I muse. It makes sense. We have done some maths in our head and we think there are enough minor players to get a McDuck/Glegghorn alliance over the line. We think McDuck might take a demotion back to Chancellor since he is so determined to secure Britain's future. They could stave off the Tories for a year, maybe two? They might even manage to get proportional representation through in that time and keep the Tories out forever. Then they could shoehorn David Mild'n'bland into the PMship next time round. Oh Jolly. The question Why and I will have to polish up our Mr Bean jokes.

Meanwhile, the Glegghorn, having been Prime Minister of Britain for a few months could go off and run some odious multinational or useless commission. It sounds too perfect to be true. Thanks Barney. By the way, someone called for you. I think he said his name was Deep Scrote. Does that sound right?