Monday, April 6, 2015

Election Diary - Day 8: David Had a Little Lamb

Monday 6th April
Easter Monday is a time for family, for thankfulness, and for roast lamb. However, if you're fighting a general election. it is a time for break-ups, retribution, and very un-roast lamb.1

Labour’s Monday morning roundtable was in full swing, and there was much to cover, but one thing was dominating the discussion.
“Do we need a lamb policy?”
“No – don’t be ridiculous,” said Labour’s Media Director. “This is nonsense. I don’t know why we’re talking about it.”
“But, he’s all over the front pages.”
“So what? Sure he looks cute, but people aren’t going to change their minds on the basis of pictures of him trying a lamb before he buys.”
“He wouldn’t do that to the lamb!”
“He’s done it to spare bedroom owners.”
“I think you’re wrong here. I think we need to come up with a response. Ed needs to do something.”
“No! NO! We are not having a photo shoot with Ed Miliband and a small animal. This is a man who couldn’t handle a bacon sandwich. Give him a lamb or a goat and someone could die. I am not having this discussion anymore.”
A silence descended.
“Well, in other news Mick Hucknall…”
“Oh God, him again,” lamented the Media Director. “How does he want to help out this time?”
“Well, he’s said he supports the Coalition.”
There was a pause before the MD laughed with joy. “Ha ha! We’ve finally got rid of him!”

The Conservative Candidate in Hull West and Hessle has defected to UKIP, who are naturally claiming it as a “hammer blow”. Which it is, if a hammer blow is having someone who was sacked last week defect to you in a safe Labour seat.
Nevertheless, Nigel "Call me Thor" Farage is trumpeting this from here to Asgard, but the Tories keep stressing that the candidate, Mike Whitehead, has not been their candidate since last week. Except, the defector was still listed as the Conservative candidate this morning both locally and on the main website. Now he’s listed as Error 404.
Poor website maintenance or saving face? Either way, the good people of Hull West and Hessle will watch all of this with interest before voting for Labour’s Alan Johnson anyway.

Today, meanwhile, is the start of the new tax year, but more importantly it is PENSION FREEDOM DAY!
How are you celebrating? Cashing out all of your nest-egg and blowing it on a bet on the Grand National? Because the Treasury would prefer it if you blow it on a flat-screen TV and some cider. Just as long as you blow it – that’s the spirit of Pension Freedom Day.
Some worry that all of this spending of pension funds will lead to people losing all of their retirement money. But The Daily Telegraph, the national newspaper of pensioners, has moved to allay these fears by informing us that “Prudent over-55s won’t blow pensions”.
So that’s alright then.

Nick Clegg is heckled at a campaign event (again), and responds by singing Simon and Garfunkel's “I am a Rock”.

Danny Alexander is an interesting figure in this election because he is doomed. He has nothing to live for. He is a Scottish Lib Dem MP, and in the face of the SNP surge, the loss of his seat is almost inevitable.
Many of us, in such a situation, would take on a monastic silence, preparing ourselves for the abyss. Not Danny Boy, for though the pipes, the pipes are calling, he is firing wildly into the air.
However, whilst he could be doing this in the manner of the Sundance Kid, he’s actually doing it in the manner of a High School gossip.
Today, he has been talking about his ex, who, like, totally said to him in Cabinet "you take care of the workers, we'll take care of the bosses". However, Danny has many exes, as does Nick (Vince is a confirmed bachelor): it was a very polyamorous environment. Unfortunately, what happens in Westminster doesn’t stay in Westminster, and Danny will not say which one of his floozies said this bit.
So, Sayid Javid, (one of Danny's jilted toy-boy-Tories), is hitting back. He’s been saying that this claim is rubbish, that the reason why Danny won’t say who said it is that no-one said it at all, and also that Danny never comes to parties and is a selfish lover.
Very bitter chaps. Very bitter. The Lib-Con section of this election is turning into the dinner party with the couple that are clearly on the rocks. And we’re all invited! Everyone bring a bottle of merlot, and try not to look entertained.

Nick Clegg is handing out Easter eggs on a train, because that really is what it has come to.

You’ll be pleased to know that David Cameron, like a lot of us, is enjoying a simple, family Easter Monday, with a barbeque in the first real day of Spring sun.
Of course, also like a lot of us, his simple, family Easter is attended by photographers from the national press. I mean, they’re the source of most of my Instagram posts.

Hope springs eternal as Nigel Farage trails in a poll in his constituency of South Thanet by a point. However, he claims that the poll (which was conducted by UKIP donor Aaron Banks) actually had UKIP five points ahead, but was subsequently re-weighted.
So, is this bravado, or is Farage such a cheeky bastard that he’s trying to set up the whole country for a fall? Frankly, it could be either, but it really is immaterial to Nigel. He needs a 2% swing, so that’s probably about another 200 pints. Keep on chugging Nige.

As the day slips into a beautiful evening, the Labour MD gets an unexpected phone call.
“Eric! Eric, it’s Tarquin from Tory HQ.”
"Did you have a good Easter?"
"I worked all the time. Did a spot of business with the Telegraph."
“Me too. So, about Mick Hucknall.”
“Oh, no. He’s yours now.”
“Take him back." 
"Please. I’m begging you. I’ll give you my pension. I cashed it out this morning.”

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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