Friday, 20 June 2014
Well owl be!
Poor old Ed. Yesterday I wrote about his ‘spad’-gun politics – short range, poorly targeted and makes everybody look like a twat – then, real life trumped even that with the owl incident. “Everybody should have their own owl” tweeted @labourpress. They later claiming they’d been hacked, but not before social media did what it does so well and had extracted several tankers’ worth of hot, steaming piss out of the hapless opposition party.
But in yet another fact-stranger-than-fiction turn of events who would have guessed for one moment that large birds were, indeed, on Labour’s ‘re-connecting with the people’ agenda. At first Ed was unconvinced but reluctantly agreed to go along with the project after focus groups generally responded with a “Yeah, all right then” verdict; the closest Labour has had to a hit policy on its hands since Gordon Brown gifted tax credits to everybody using their own money.
The scheme, it emerges, goes like this: Ed on his own in interviews, or in front of a crowd at conference, or on his soap box mingling with ‘the ordinaries’ is a gangling, gurning public relations atrocity requiring the spinning skills of a dozen Campbells to even make him look vaguely human. The bright idea? Ed was to be trained to handle a colourful talking parrot – what’s not to like? The photos would look great, the kids would all love it and whenever Ed’s self-confident intellectualism started to lose the crowd, Polly could spring into action and squawk a couple of well-worn slogans.
Anyway, the Labour politburo decided it should be trialled on friendly territory, so earlier in the week Ed was secretly flown up to the most rigidly entrenched sector of his constituency in the Doncaster Gulag. On the scabby patch of what used to be grass at the heart of a sink estate of welfare dependents, Ed appeared, parrot on his arm, to pow-wow with his people. A small crowd gathered and stared at Ed as he cleared his throat, put his notes away and addressed the crowd in his most down-to-earth way. “When I learned dialectical materialism at my father’s knee…” he began, whereupon the crowd, unused to lasting for many syllables without the punctuation of profanity began to get restless. “Gerroff!” shouted a scrawny youth in a tracksuit.
For a moment Ed was floored and struggled to regain his composure but Polly, trained to pick up the pause screeched “Double yer benefits! Double yer benefits!” at which the crowd cheered as if with one voice. When the approving noises calmed down, Ed began once more. “Our One Nation Britain must do the right thing for hard working people,” he explained, but the crowd’s mood had already shifted down a gear. Once again though, Ed’s colourful companion ruffled up her plumage and recited, “Dole not coal! Dole not coal!” and once again the throng vocally approved.
Now they had the measure of the thing the assembly quietened down to hear what would come next. Ed began, “We have to tackle the cost-of-living crisis” he said, “it’s the right thing to do and Britain can do better than this!” Before any dissent could be expressesd the parrot sprang to Ed’s defence, “Free scratch cards! Free scratch cards!” she sang out, “Every one’s a winner!” at which the crowd positively erupted in jubilation. Spontaneous dancing broke out and amid the ensuing carnival atmosphere Ed allowed himself a wry smile. At last he had found the popular touch.
I'm an eagle!
Raising and lowering his outstretched hands he managed to get them to quieten down and in what was for him an inspired ad lib he asked if there were any questions. A voice from the back shouted out, “That’s fucking brilliant! Where did you get it?” Before Ed had a chance to gather his thoughts Polly squawked back “Westminster. They’ve got hundreds of ‘em!”