...a blog by Richard Flowers

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Day 1949: Lunchtime of the Long Knives


Cue the twinkly music, Daddy, Lord Blairimort is using his MAGIC SPIN again.

In fact he is spinning like TOPSY!

Do you remember how Lord Blairimort came to announce that he was only going to serve one more term as Prime Minister? It was the night before the HARTLEPOOL BY-ELECTION and all through the house nothing was stirring, certainly not the Labour vote…

Lord Blairimort thought he was going to LOSE the Hartlepool by-election to the Liberal Democrats, even though the Labour had fought the DIRTIEST possible campaign (my Daddies still have some of the Labour's leaflets with the cross of St George background saying how the Liberals would let the immigrants in – it was shocking!).

So Lord Blairimort decided to cast his MAGIC SPIN and use it to CHANGE the news agenda – get the by-election OFF the headlines and replace it with his DECISIVE decision to QUIT. Just NOT YET.

Well, SURPRISE SURPRISE, Lord Blairimort is at it AGAIN!

Deciding decisively to PUSH the Local Elections down the news agenda by staging a RESHUFFLE.

So who is in and who is out?

Well, obviously berserk elephant Charles Clarke finally gets his, nine days too late to do any good. If the now former home secretary had resigned immediately last Wednesday on it turning out that he was running the prisons less competently than Maplin's holiday camp, he might have retained a bit of DIGNITY and restored a bit of HONESTY to his profession. No chance of that then!

Then there is Mr Jack (Man'O) Straw formerly Foreign Secretary and now demoted to Leader of the House (aka Lord Blairimort's handyman in the Commons). Some people have suggested that this is because Mr Straw was getting to close to Mr Frown (this is like Lord Blairimort sending one of them to the back of the class to stop them whispering together); some people say that this is because Lord Blairimort got a 'phone call from his boss, DARTH CHENEY, telling him to "get rid of that eejit who keeps sayin' we ain't gonna invade EYE-ran". But I think that the real reason is that since getting rid of his GLASSES, Mr Straw has lost all of his powers as the DEMON HEADMASTER!

Demoted to get out of the way of Mr Straw's downfall is Mr Geoff "Buff" Hoon, now made junior cabinet tea boy for trips to Europe. The days seemed to start with the news that the Foreign Secretary's job was to be split into two legs: HOME and AWAY. Or at least, "Europe" and "Places that Don't Matter". However, this quickly turned out not to be the case. There was some reporting that this had been SPIN by "friends of Hoon" – so, Mr Hoon then. But Daddy Alex thinks that the whole thing was another pratfall from Lord Blairimort: he wanted to give his beserk elephant a sideways job but Foreign Secretary would have been more of a promotion, so Lord B plotted to split it up a bit. But then Charles Clarke said he would rather go to the elephant's graveyard than accept any more favours from Lord Blairimort, and so the PM was left over a barrel and was forced to offer the whole deal to someone or be left without a Foreign Secretary altogether. Actually, he probably gave that a few minutes wishful thought too!

Winners, then, turn out to include ANYONE who was on the TELLY on Thursday night, fielding FLACK on Lord Blairimort's behalf.

Secretary of State for Picking up the Pieces, Dr John "call me an attack dog and I'll bite yer ankles" Reed was the Mr Cross-Patchy Man on lovely SARAH TEATHER's election special show. In the game of Ministerial Monopoly, he's the one who has a card of every colour: he may not be collecting much rent as he goes whizzing around but he sure gets about. As replacement berserk elephant, let's hope he doesn't land on GO TO JAIL, though!

Covering the QUESTIONABLE TIME FRONT was horsy Nosferatu, Mrs Margaret Beckett who gets to be first lady Foreign Secretary. She must be feeling VERY lucky to have been rescued from the DEBACLE that is her ministry of DEATHRAY before anyone started seriously to question why she was totally incapable of getting farm subsidies to farmers even though Mr Frown has no difficulty delivering them their tax demands!

Also on the up is the unblinking half-woman half-headless-chicken Hazel Blears as Ian McCartney is given early parole for ill-health from being Chair of the Labour Party. Ms Blears now gets lots more opportunity to fix us with her unrelentingly perky glass-eyed stare and tell us that everything in the garden is coming up (New Labour) Rosy.

Several of the other ROBOTS (R. Darling, R. Alexander, R. Millipede) have been given job swaps too but it was already PRETTY HARD to tell which one was which anyway! It's like one of those PUZZLES – Lord Blairimort has moved some of the pieces around: can you tell which ones, children?

Unfortunately for Lord Blairimort, it seems that people are starting to SEE THROUGH his MAGIC SPIN and are saying that the reshuffle is only a FIG LEAF to cover his VERY SMALL number of councillors.

It doesn't help that he has upset his NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOUR by pushing aside Mr Frown's friends in order to favour his own. It looks very much like – particularly with "ankles" Reid and "chicken" Blears saying it! – that Lord Blairimort is trying to wring every last MILLISECOND out of the "full third term" that he "promised" to serve.

Oh, there'll be tears before bedtime about this!

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