Last week we were amazed to hear a very funny joke on "The NOW Show" on Radio Four.
Remember Mrs Bucket the foreign secretary's preferred holiday? They guessed that the only way to get in touch with her might be one of those emergency messages that are sometimes broadcast after the news with Charlotte Green:
"This is an emergency message for Mrs Margaret Bucket of Derby, believed to be caravanning in the south of France. Would Mrs Margaret Bucket please get in touch with the foreign office, it is concerning her foreign policy which is dangerously sick."
(We suspect Mr Rory Bremner, being their special guest star, may have helped them write this joke.)
This week it turns out that Mrs Bucket should have listened!
Thirty or forty of her own local party have decided that they have had enough of her and are leaving her caravan to head on over to join Sir Mr the Merciless.
Caravan? We will need a BUS to fit them all!
Defections at a local level from one party to another DO happen all the time. But usually only in gangs of one or two. Thirty or forty at once is quite out of the ordinary and will be something of a BLOW to the Labour, and to Mrs Bucket in particular.
At the last general election, the Liberal Democrats overtook the Conservatories to become the main challengers to Mrs Bucket in her Derby seat, and reduced her majority to 5,657 or 13.1%. You would have thought that this was pretty safe, but that is no reason to be careless about losing a LARGE CHUNK of your local party! Perhaps Mrs Bucket needs to spend some more time LISTENING to the people she is supposed to represent, and not OBEYING the will of Lord Blairimort.
As one of them said: "When Margaret Beckett refused to back a ceasefire and instead sided with George Bush it was the breaking point for us."
Foreign policy is DIFFICULT. Sometimes, the people that you think of as friends behave like TOTAL NUTTERS! (Looks hard at the Monkey-in-Chief, for one.) It is at times like that that you need to be BRAVE and tell them that they need to calm down and stop EXPLODING people.
The war in southern Lebanon has not worked out very well for anyone involved. This should not be surprising because war is not USUALLY a very good way to sort out problems.
Mr Ehud Omelette, the Prime Minister of Israel, has ended up with egg on his face after trying to be all HEROIC and WAR-LEADER-Y. The army reservists are protesting about being dropped into BATTLE with no proper plan. And the Israeli military is left having to admit to a FAILURE.
Meanwhile, The Monkey-in-Chief, by basically letting Mr Omelette let off as many bombs and missiles as he wanted to, has made it look EVEN MORE like he does not give two hoots for peace in the Middle East, the so-called Road Map. Even the Minister for Magical Accidents has had something to say about that!
(Being the Magical Minister, of course, it was something RUDE!)
Lord Blairimort, of course, surprised nobody by doing exactly what the Monkey-in-Chief wanted, which was nothing. And Mrs Bucket didn't get where she is today without knowing when to keep her trap shut. (And even if she DIDN'T know that, there is still the object lesson of what happened to Mr Jack Man-o-Straw when he spoke out against the Americans! I say spoke out, more like whispered. I say whispered, more like didn’t support them strongly enough…)
Thank goodness that Sir Mr the Merciless was there to speak up for common sense and the need for a United Nations backed ceasefire.
It is no wonder that Mrs Bucket's local party have unhitched from her caravan and come to join the wagon train of the LIBERAL DEMOCRATS!
Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'… Rawhide!