Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Election Diary - Day 17: Farage to Voters: "Are you local people?"

Wednesday 15th April
Good morning! I’m Ant or Dec, and welcome to Britain’s Got Bridesmaids! The show where leaders of the smaller parties make their pitch to be the Deputy Prime Minister, in a move which will hammer their electoral futures in five years’ time!

This morning we have Nick, from Sheffield-via-Westminster School, and Nigel, out of Royston Vasey from The League of Gentlemen!
Nick’s act comprises of announcing a manifesto! Wherein he pretends that anything bad that’s happened over the last five years was all the fault of the other lot.
Nigel’s act comprises of announcing a manifesto! Wherein he pretends that anything bad that’s happened over the last fifty years was all the fault of people who aren’t local.
Nick’s manifesto is called “Please listen to me!”, whilst Nigel’s is titled “I’m not racist, but…”.
So, on with the show…

The hour is fast approaching for Nick Clegg to make his case to the nation, and he will do it in a trendy venue in Battersea. It has been a rough campaign for the Lib Dems, and indeed a rough week. Not only are people ignoring strong performances in debates and TV interviews, but yesterday their battle bus broke down as well, leading to many obvious jokes at their expense. Nick strides out onto stage filled with energy and vigour, and gives a characteristic performance from this campaign in that:
a) He is confident.
b) He is gutsy about his record.
c) No-one is listening.
“We will add a heart to a Conservative Government and a brain to a Labour one,” says Clegg, suggesting that the Lib Dems are a sort of Frankenstein’s Monster of British politics. “We will add a gall bladder to David Cameron, a spleen to Ed Miliband, and an appendix to History.”
Clegg plays it safe afterwards and decides that questions from the press would only complicate matters. He takes one from a Financial Times journalist and then only points to party members. That is until his microphone fizzes out and blows the power, leaving Clegg in a most symbolic position: unwatched, unheard, alone in the dark.

UKIP have chosen to launch their manifesto in a Thurrock hotel that specialises in Fawlty Towers nights. Farage has always admired Basil Fawlty for his incompetence, anger and constant mistreatment of immigrants (and he gave the Germans what for and all).
Farage gives a little bit of stand-up, bringing laughter from all the way around the room, before handing over to Suzanne Evans, who wrote the manifesto, to give the lion’s share of the policy detail.  It’s around 11.30, and Nigel’s not a man for the detail. He’s a man for a quick one before lunch.

Nevertheless, Farage does need to make sure that his blood is up, because he has been challenged to a honest-to-God duel by a Polish prince. The man in question, Yanek Zylinski, is a British Citizen and is tired of Poles being blamed for many things, and especially traffic jams on our motorways. And quite right too. Everyone knows that traffic jams on our motorways are the fault of election battle buses breaking down.

Speaking of which, the Lib Dems’ campaign coach breaks down for the second time in two days. In the seat of Hornsey & Wood Green, which the party’s Lynne Featherstone is desperately trying to hold. Apparently the queues in the traffic are trailing all the way back to the polling station.

The BBC has been running a Big Ideas Panel throughout the campaign, and my word we need them. So they gather notable people to talk about the ideas behind the election, in a relatively independent manner. So, which members of the Brain Trust are on today?
Heather Rabbatts, Peter Stringfellow, and Brian May, all of whom we know have magnificent minds. I mean, look at what their brainwaves do to their hair.
As it happens, everyone turns on Stringfellow. Can’t imagine why.

Nick Clegg begins his way home after the longest day yet. Away from the cocoon of the party masses, he knows that things are hard for the Lib Dems.
Or are they? Because in his constituency of Sheffield Hallam, a former Tory candidate there is campaigning for him, so that the Lib Dems can stop Labour. How times change.

Nick hears this and smiles wryly. He smiles a lot these days despite everything. Why? Because at the moment, he is the person most likely to help form the next government.

 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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