There you have it. Good luck Eastleigh; you'll need it. Not long to go now; just grit your teeth, cling on to the rocks and do your very best to not get caught in the wrong net.
Thursday, 28 February 2013
Give a man a fish and he’ll eat tonight. Teach a man to fish and he’ll be gone all weekend. So, let’s talks about the price of fish... specifically Eastleigh fish. Right now a host of fishermen have assembled in Eastleigh, all eager to over-fish the same depleted stock of votes in the hope of making a career-best catch. The little fish of Eastleigh, meanwhile, are desperately hiding anywhere they can from the attentions of earnest canvassers and media crews eagerly recording vox pops of the most pointless kind.
Looking at the motley band of anglers dangling their wormy charms into the waters it’s good, yet somehow depressing, to see that hope springs eternal – according to Wikipedia, no fewer than fifteen deluded nutters are standing, representing... well, gawd only knows what they represent. Here, in no particular order I present to you a voter’s guide to the parties at the, er... party.
Liberal Democrat – the big trawler, churning up the sea bed, desperate to catch every fish, no matter how insignificant and with no regard for what anybody thinks about their decimation of political stock in ever murkier waters. This may be the last full net they ever land.
English Democrats – the rarest of breeds, taking to choppy seas in a leaky old rowing boat and looking to gaff one or two the last surviving examples of a near-extinct species.
Wessex Regionalist – Far from the madding crowd, Gabriel Oak is no longer smiling... Bathsheba is long gone, so he may as well dangle his fictitious lure far and wide; plenty more fish in the sea.
Elvis Loves Pets – no shit, seriously - obviously on the hunt for the rare little British goldfish but more likely to land one of our more numerous little brown fish.
Peace – fishing with an unbaited hook; the barb filed off and the point blunted– they may as well be using a stickleback net and a jam jar. Peace? Gertcha!
Monster Raving Loony – now a mainstream stalwart of the fringe and trying a little too hard to corner the mermaid market.
Beer, Baccy and Crumpet Party – actually catching the odd mermaid... the odder the better.
Conservative – the purse seiner of the local fleet, delicately skimming the surface; trying not to cause unpleasant ripples. The trouble is, the fish here are cruising deeper waters, though they are a LibDem stronghold so obviously not all that deep.
UKIP – They are OUR fish – hands off! Will readily throw back any non-native species and throw a cordon around our shores. Only true British cod will fit the bill. British fish are, after all the finest species in all of Europe.
National Health Action –coughing and wheezing and lying in dirty bandages in their bivouacs on the bank in a fever-ridden stupor and listening to the real action on Radio Free Tooting.
Christian – fishers of men – Simon, who is called Peter – never use your real name - cruising the gay bars and looking to net whatever he can. If he’s not successful this time he can always come back another day... as Paul.
TUSC - Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition – All fish are equal, but some are more equal than others, brother. Unlikely to ever leave harbour as long as champagne and smoked salmon sandwiches remain.
Independent – a bloke with a bamboo can and a bent pin. He’s only out fishing because his wife seemed so keen he should take up a hobby. I mean, really keen. Meanwhile her latest ‘hobby’ is the talk of the cul-de-sac.
And finally, the rusty old tub that is Labour – dipping into everybody else’s catch while nobody is looking, then lying about it. It’s worked so far, you never know, but the joke’s wearing thin. They need new scriptwriters and might as well field a comedian –anything for a cheap laugh.