Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Election Diary - Day 2: Everybody Wants to be a Demo-cat

Tuesday 31st March
Day 2 of the election saw the start of the campaign-stop merry-go-round, and there were many surprising stars: Clegg, Cameron, Balls, and Essex1.

The postman had come early, and Sandi Bristow was excited. First Tuesday of the Easter Holidays, and she had all the time in the world. Soon, she would be back under the covers, with a cup of tea, catching up on the very latest on One Direction’s split. Her heart was still broken, but it made her feel better to read about it and to know everything she could.
However, when she opened her subscription of Heat, she found not Zayn Malik staring back at her but a smug-faced, un-buff male model, who she dimly recognised. She flicked through the pages to discover who this person was. Whoever he was, he knew all of the words to “Let It Go!” from Frozen (well, yeah – who doesn’t?), he nearly stripped off to wrestle a rat in his kitchen, and he can’t do two things at the same time because he’s a man (so true, she thought whilst not feeling crassly manipulated in the slightest).

Sandi was confused, and so she turned on the telly.
The smug-faced male model was there again. His face was, if possible, even smugger, and rather than breaking out into hits from Disney, he kept on talking about 1,000 jobs a day, which she thought was an impressive work rate for a man who couldn’t do two things at once.
Sandi didn’t understand what this guy was about. The newsman kept on calling him the Prime Minister, which sounded important: like Simon Cowell, but less so. However, he wasn’t talking about Zayn Malik, he didn’t seem to know what TIDAL was, and why was he wrestling rats anyway?
What was this guy up to? Sandi’s day had got off to a very strange start and she was a little unsettled. In need of comfort, she did what she always did: she put Frozen on, and tried not to imagine the smug-faced model as Elsa.

7.25am (BST); 9.25am in Moscow
Vladimir never misses an edition of Heat, but this was one of his favourites, like, for-evs. Dave, from London, was giving an interview, and what he had read was very interesting, for Vladimir identified a lot with what he read. He too admires Ed Miliband (having felt a distinct chill in his spine when he heard “Hell yes!” last week), and he too thinks Harry Styles is the fittest member of One Direction
However, one thing caught his eye, which really intrigued him, for Vladimir too liked wrestling animals in the nude. He quickly rang through to London.
“Hello David,” said Vladimir, in his intimidating monotone.
“Vladimir? Good God – what have you done now?”
“Nothing David. I never do anything. Anything you think I have done, I have alibi for.”
“Well, I’m rather busy Vlad. I’m between interviews right now.”
“Why so many interviews?”
“We’re having an election.”
“Ah. I congratulate you on your victory.”
“I haven’t won yet.”
“Of course not. But how much will you win by? 60%? 70%? 80%?”
“It doesn’t look like I’ll win outright at all Vlad.”
“I don’t understand David. If you want, you can use my election supervisor. He has many addresses and an army of people who sign their name with an X.”
“It’s fine Vlad.”
“But I did not ring for this. I see that you like naked animal wrestling too?”
“Rats are not really animals David. You must become like me. I wrestle the Russian bears. You must wrestle your English lions. I can train you. Next time you are in Moscow, I shall take you into special room in Kremiln. We shall start you off with ferret, then move you onto elk. You will become strong, alpha male leader, and not at all in a – how you say – homoerotic sort of way. David, are you tough enough? Come on: give me a “Hell yes!””

“And who the hell is Joey Essex?”, asked Nick.
He was up early to give a speech. The venue said they could only squeeze him in at 8 o’clock, and he had to be gone by 8.45 as they needed to set up for bingo.
Now he was told that Joey, of The Only Way is Essex (a constructed reality show, and not an autobiographical work), felt that it was very important to get the youth interested in politics.
“Can’t I just sing a bit from Frozen?” sneered Nick to his advisors.

“Bloody hell, Caroline. Even Plaid Cymru are getting on the BBC. What do we have to do to get an interview?”
“I know, Natalie. I know. However, when we do get an interview, are you sure you know what you’re going to say?”
To which, Natalie promptly broke out with a very unfortunate and very brief bout of tuberculosis until she was left alone.

“Mate, you’re sick”, said Joey to Nick.
“If only he knew,” thought Nick to himself, but it soon became apparent that Joey knew very little at all.
“Yeah mate. You and the Liberal Democats.”
“Demo-crats,” Nick corrected him, but he wished he was leading the Liberal Democats. Or any other kind of left-of-centre animal collective. Maybe he could have the otter from yesterday in his team. Arnie was his name, and Nick had fallen in love with him at first sight. He wanted to be back there. Anywhere but here.
“Well,” said Nick, “it’s nice to meet you. We may not win this election, but we will fight for the most vulnerable in society.” (By which he meant the otters.)
“I like you mate,” said Joey. “You’re honest.”
Even Nick had to supress a laugh.

David Cameron walks tentatively into Sainsbury’s, but this seems like a good call from CCHQ. Not too up-market to cause unwanted photos in a Simply Food. Not too risky for him personally as Aldi or Lidl.

George Osborne, meanwhile, has ventured out to Hove to make an American Hot at Pizza Express. No-one knows why. He wasn’t even hungry. He promptly walks out and talks about the increase in living standards. No mention of the pizza. It wasn’t even an elaborate set-up for a terrible pun involving the word “dough”.

Now Clegg’s making pancakes. That must be for comfort-eating, surely? Or maybe the election is going to be decided by Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry.
If so, the following photos show that Clegg is doing well, but also that he is now a model for Panasonic. Well, once Joey Essex’s said you’re “not bad looking”, things move quickly.

The big debate of the day is whether or not living standards have improved. Labour says they haven’t. The Tories say they have. Well, it's Robert Peston to the rescue, as he confirms that they have, to the tune of 70p. That’s 70p per household, which, due to inflation, is enough to buy 35 1p sweets.

The Labour party’s star of the day is the unlikely figure of Ed Balls, who was centre-stage, giving a big speech this morning, albeit in Swindon, and starring in a double-page interview with London’s Evening Standard.
The aim seems to be to soften his image, which he tries to do by accusing David Cameron of being a “troll” (presumably of the twitter sort, rather than the lives-under-a-bridge variety, but he leaves that dangling). This is likely to resonate with his core audience, but he tries to convert people with human interest elements, such as his love for The Sound of Music and the fact that he has his haircut at home. Bizarrely, it transpires that he is a good friend of arch right wing Tory and MP for the 19th Century, Jacob Rees-Mogg.
However, to really get into the inner sanctum of Balls, we must know of how he is as a lover, and he duly obliges. The article reads: “In Olive’s, an Anglo-Turkish cafĂ© festooned with coloured-glass lamps, Balls chuckles as the owner feeds him halloumi and baked beans and tells him she likes to flirt. The chat turns to Labour’s plan to cut rates for small business, and increase the minimum wage to £8 “or more”, says Balls.”
Romance is not dead. As the youth of Joey Essex would say: “he’s got chat”.
We’re then told that “After 10 minutes, he’s tickling a two year-old to stop him crying.”
A warm image perhaps, until you realise that the article doesn’t elaborate on which two-year old this was and why he was crying?

A furious start gives way to a sedate evening in the early Spring sun. Politicians across the spectrum are all wondering what Joey Essex thinks of them. Celebrity is all over the campaign. Mr Essex today. Martin Freeman yesterday. Even one of the major party leaders has been on the cover of Heat.
Speaking of the Prime Minister, he must be weary after his early start. He stops off for a moment of privacy, and maybe a bite to eat. As he makes jam on toast, he catches a glimpse of something: a scuttling shadow across the floor. He takes off his cufflinks, undoes his tie, unbuttons his shirt. There’s a rat in the kitchen, and it’s on.
Sandi meanwhile is waiting for dinner, and as she enters the kitchen she sees Joey Essex on the telly.
“Why’s he on the news, mum?”
“There’s an election, Sandi.”
“What’s an election, mum?”
“It’s when we decide who runs the country, Sandi.”
“And Joey Essex is a part of this?”

Sandi sits down, feeling confused and depressed. The world was a far stranger place than the one she had woken up in.

1 Events depicted may differ from actual events. In fact, this is a work of fiction, with some facts. But mostly, it's nonsense.

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