As something of a political geek and a total loser, I’m often attempting to befriend journalists and insiders who might treat me to some governmental gossip. Over a few drinks, they’ll humour me with things they’ve learned that, for one reason or another, haven’t made it into the public domain. I find this kind of tittle-tattle incredibly stimulating and for that reason I am no longer welcome in several London pubs.
Some of these Westminster whispers (also the title of my Boris Johnson erotic fanfiction) are totally believable – the suggestion that Michael Gove has been largely absent from this election because he has been returned to the wood elves comes to mind – whereas others are totally ludicrous – the rumour that Jeremy Corbyn has bought a third suit smacks of fantasy.
Last night, after studying his Twitter and Facebook feeds to monitor his movements, I randomly bumped into a young Guardian columnist at an Islington pub. The writer and activist, who I shall henceforth anonymise said something to me that simply didn’t add up. ‘I think Theresa May really wants to win this thing’ Jones Owen told me.
‘That’s nonsense’, I replied. ‘She couldn’t care less and she’s throwing the whole thing away.’
I was poised to dismiss Jones’ suggestion as yet another craft beer Corbynista conspiracy but suddenly he did something very strange. Jones scanned the pub before surreptitiously opening his messenger bag. ‘Look’, he said and passed to me a binder labelled Theresa May’s Diary. I was shocked.
‘How did you …?’ But when I looked up he was gone. Vanished. ‘How odd’, I thought. Then I noticed he was actually just leaving, having returned his empty Punk IPA bottle to the bar.
On his way out, Jones gave me a look which seemed to say, ‘Please selectively edit and publish extracts of this document. I know your largely dormant blog will provide a better platform for this explosive material than the Guardian ever could.’
It is a request I now intend to honour.
18th May – Conservative Manifesto Launch: A total success
This was my opportunity to bring my brand to the people and it couldn’t have gone better. For years, my party has been accused of pandering to over 60s at the expense of the young. I am the woman who has ended that. By introducing a death tax (the papers seem to have gone with ‘dementia tax’ but in a way that’s even better) I’ve proven that I’m not only mercilessly tough on the young but also on the old. The Iron Lady mark 2! Giant majority, here I come.
19th May – Strong and stable wins the race
I’ve come under a lot of criticism for my dementia tax. The country will soon see that clawing extra money from the deceased is a far fairer way to fund social care than a small increase in corporation tax. Those suggesting I row back will be ignored. The lady is not for turning!
I have decided a partial U-turn on my social care policy is the best course of action.
31st May – Leaders’ Debate: A superhuman performance
People have started to doubt whether I’m strong or stable enough to deliver the Brexit that Britain needs. This is worrying. I am at my strongest when calling for the total withdrawal from the European single market that so many British exporters are crying out for. Unable to win them over with this strength, I have decided that at tonight’s leaders’ debate, I will show off a new power. Invisibility. I will be omnipresent (and constantly talked about) without actually appearing. A foolproof plan!
1st June – Time to bring Boris back?
The public don’t really seem to be getting my brand. I’m a responsible Conservative who won’t be drawn on figures. I’m a visionary that won’t answer questions. I am strong and stable but also highly amenable to pressure from my own party, the right-wing press and just about everyone else. What is is about this that they are struggling with? Jeremy Corbyn is consistently promising them everything and I am promising NOTHING. What’s not to like?!
Back in the pub, I stared at the diary. It was true, Theresa May really did want to win this election.
A prominent (but again, anonymous) Labour backbencher sidled up. ‘What you reading?’, asked Ed. ‘Nothing’, I said, quickly stuffing the diary into my bag. ‘If it’s her diary, I’ve seen it’ said the former Labour leader.
‘Why would she stand for an election and give the public no reason to vote for her and every reason to vote for her opponent?’ I asked. ‘No wonder the polls are getting tighter’.
Ed looked me squarely in the eye as he finished munching a pringle. ‘You can’t trust the polls’, he said with a deathly stare. ‘Get out there and vote for Jez’.
On June 8th, I shall do just that.
James Evans is a comedian and public speaking coach. For more of this nonsensical rambling you can follow him on Twitter or join his mailing list.