Friday 3rd AprilThe aftermath started early, and the shocks from Salford were not heard in every lulled and dumbfound town, but they may well have been heard in Windsor.1
The Royal Family had been up all night playing The Debate Bingo Drinking Game. The Duke of Edinburgh was in the whisky cellar with Harry because he'd struck out, having had topics such as The Corn Laws and The Ship Tax on his card. Harry, meanwhile, was in the whisky cellar because… it was the whisky cellar.
Prince Edward had had to retire early. He thought he was safe with his card, which had simply had the acronym AIDS plastered all over it. "Surely no-one will mention that," he thought. As such, he had had to down a bottle of tequila, and was being nursed to sleep by the Countess of Wessex whilst he was singing “Torremolinos”.
This left a happy band, led by Her Majesty who had given into her rampant socialist sympathies. “My favourite was Mr Wilson. We agreed on so much. I told him “As its chief recipient, I am all in favour of the Welfare State.” But this man Miliband is a shower. I like Nicola Sturgeon. When Scotland eventually gets independence, I’m going to move my official residence to Balmoral and hold the Prime Ministerial audience by telegram.”
“But you’ll be dead by then,” said Charles.
Liz smiled at him and lit up another cigarette.
“Is everything alright Dave?”
“It’s fine Samantha,” said the Prime Minister staring moodily out of the window into the Salford night.
“Dave, what is it?”
“I just didn’t know he could hurt me like that.”
“Nick. How could he say all those things? Doesn’t he remember the good times? The Rose Garden. The Cabinet meetings. The night we drank champagne after Chris Huhne got sent to the slammer.”
“Oh, darling. You really loved him didn’t you?”
“I thought he was a fag to me. But he wasn’t. He was more than a fag. He was like… a butler.”
“You did swoosh around to the camera a lot.”
“Yeah. You’d suddenly turn on it as if you had a cape behind you.”
“I was just turning to the audience.”
“Yes, but then you sort of stared at us and it was a little like you were trying really, really hard to seduce us.”
“Those were my come-hither eyes.”
“I know, Ed. It was like our first date all over again, just on a national scale.”
“Well, that worked didn’t it?”
Back at Media City, things are finally winding down in the Zanussi Spin Room.
George Osborne, Douglas Alexander and Paddy Ashdown have just finished their umpteenth post-match interview, which is a bit like Match of the Day holding interviews with the kit men of Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal, rather than with Mourinho, Van Gaal and Wenger.
“That was a load of nonsense,” says Paddy after it’s all finished. “Prepared lines. Claim and counter-claim. It was little more than football chanting. Why do we do this?”
“Simple: if you guys are going to be there vacuously backing your guy, I’m damn sure I’m going to be there doing the same,” replied George. Or Douglas. It doesn’t really matter.
In the bowels of a Manchester Police Station, Victoria Prosser, better known by her Batman-esque nickname, “The Heckler”, is sitting, awaiting interrogation.
“This is outrageous,” she thinks to herself. “I just wanted to speak my mind. They have no right to detain me. No right.”
Suddenly, the door opens and a tall, well-built man strides in. He looks at her intimidatingly, but she’s a brave girl and she stands up to him.
“I have a right to free speech. I have committed no crime. I want a lawyer.”
“Don’t worry, love,” replied the Chief Constable, in a surprisingly camp voice. “You’re not here because of that. You’re not in trouble.”
“Oh. Well, why am I here?”
“I just had to know where you got that gilet from. It’s fabulous.”
“Oh. River Island.”
“Fantastic,” said the copper. “Now, my uniform. Do you really think I’m pulling this hat off?”
Very firmly in the morning after the night before, and the Nationalists have returned to their nations. The other leaders are staying put in Lancashire, and Lancashire has responded in the traditional manner, by which I mean to say that it’s pissing it down.
First, to the papers, and The Daily Telegraph has got the mess sorted. The headline: “Miliband flops as outsiders shine”. “Ed Miliband was left in a humiliating fourth position last night having only scored 15% in our post-debate poll, whereas Prime Minister and blue-tie model David Cameron roared into a commanding third place.”
The predominant sense is of a total mess, no clear winner, and the certainty of a Hung Parliament. Four polls were conducted last night, each one listing different winners and losers, and so the question turns to coalitions. Labour have ruled out all coalitions, whilst the Conservatives refuse to rule out a coalition with UKIP. It’s bad enough that the Tories are evading this valid question, but they’re getting Michael Gove to do it, which is unbearable because he is, to be frank, a terrible politician. At least when everyone else is asked a straight question, they have the decency to give you a straight lie.
In Labour Party Headquarters, there is a huge commotion.
“Shit, shit, shit,” cries David Axelrod, Labour’s imported campaign strategist. “They’re wearing the same clothes. Cameron and Miliband. They look like Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dumber.”
Everyone huddled around a screen, where, indeed, you could see the two men in different places but both wearing a dark jumper over a blue collared shirt.
“They look like brothers,” said Axelrod, unaware that this was a major faux pas in Labour HQ.
Dave & Ed this morn: that awkward moment when you're wearing exactly same as bloke you are trying to be different to pic.twitter.com/wF6XIctEXw12.01pm
— Jess Brammar (@jessbrammar) April 3, 2015
As the Prime Minister continued on his merry way, Nathaniel nudged Piers to show him a tweet.
“They’re wearing the same clothes, Piers.”
“I know, Nathaniel.”
“This is awkward, Piers.”
“I know, Nathaniel.”
“Should we do anything, Piers?”
“I don’t know, Nathaniel. After all, they are the ones who want to be alternative and we’re the ones who are saying stick the course. I say, stick to our long-term plan and let them be radical.”
“He needs to look alternative,” chimes Axelrod. “What can we do?”
“Maybe a Shoreditch vibe,” suggests an aide, “with collarless shirt, chinos, funky shoes, cool glasses and a modern, short-back-and-sides haircut.”
“Good, we’ll take it. He needs it straight away. Are there any good hairdressers in Blackpool?”
“I don’t know. Never been. I’m from Islington.”
Everyone’s a little tired today. Nick Clegg is having tea as he prepares to campaign in his newly marginal seat of Sheffield Hallam across Easter weekend. Once again, this comes from Lib Dem polling data suggesting that people liked the idea of a Clegg Roast.
As the politicians ease off the gas, the Royal Family are nursing their hangovers. Prince Edward is still abed, and the Queen is mulling over her options.
“If Farage ends up on the Privy Council, I’m abdicating,” she shouts.
Charles hears this and starts writing some letters.
1 Events depicted may differ from actual events. In fact, this is a work of fiction, with some facts. But mostly, it's nonsense.