Vote for me and win a Ford Fiesta!
Hello there. My name is Doctor Adolphous Bongo, twice named runner up in the coveted 'Warmest Hands of the Year' category by the readers of Amateur Proctologist.
Not that I'm an amateur, of course; neither, strictly speaking, am I a proctologist, but there's no harm in keeping your hand in. The point is, they don't bestow awards on just anyone. That kind of recognition is only enjoyed by the most upstanding and trustworthy of citizens, and the fact that I have photographs of the editor of that august publication in the act of - coincidentally - 'keeping his hand in' is entirely immaterial.
Standing for election
"But hang on Adolphous," I can hear you saying. "You're standing for election? Proctology awards are all very well, but does this really qualify you for parliament? Surely, an MP's duties amount to more than inserting a carefully warmed digit into the correct orifice?"
Well firstly, less of the Adolphous - it's Doctor Bongo to you, fart face. Secondly, yes there's more to this politics lark than fingering bottoms, but as an entry-level qualification, you've got to admit that it's a good place to start.
Nevertheless, I appreciate that a dubiously acquired award, dished out by an obscure periodical, will not necessarily be sufficient to secure a majority. No, it's going to take more than that - but, happily, not much more. I remain supremely confident of success, not least because I understand you. Yes, you, the electorate.
I know who you are, because I see you shuffling your fat, pendulous forms into my surgery every week. I know you have a problem with body odour and exhibit the kind of flatulence which would render the keeping of canaries a practical impossibility.
I know that however often I tell you to stop eating chips and start taking exercise, you will refuse to fritter away your time in pursuit of an active life and instead devote your waking hours to steadily moulding your gelatinous backside to the shape of the sofa.
And, good grief, why ever not? You live in a fusty little semi-detached house that you're not quite happy with, with a wife whom you find slightly irritating and two and a half kids whom you suspect are probably not yours. You have a painfully large overdraft, a tedious echoing void where your social life used to be, and derive little satisfaction from your pointless job, the extravagantly obscure title of which may sound impressive but really just conceals the fact that you don't do anything at all.
Don't you deserve a little 'me time'?
If slouching for hours on end in front of TV talk shows and trashy talent competitions is what it takes for you to regain some of your self-respect, then go for it. Knock yourself out, why don't you?
More importantly, I know what you want. You don't want some politician who is going to take account of your best interests and work to improve your life and those of your fellow citizens. You just want someone to blame when everything goes tits up; some thieving, lying career-obsessed shit with his hand in the till, whom you can point to when things get tough and shout, "It's him, it's him, it's all his fault! He's the reason my life is crap!"
You don't want a politician who will represent your views in parliament, because you have no views other than a few nebulous notions on the subject of international diplomacy, a passionate and unwavering faith in Arsenal's back four, and an unshakable belief that everything that's wrong with this country is down to illegal immigrants, young people, old people and everybody else that isn't you.
What you want is someone you can elect to office and not have to bother about for another five years, because democracy is something that only ever happens during a General Election. Whatever naughtiness they get up to in the intervening time, whatever deals they break, havoc they wreak or crap they speak must be allowed to pass unnoticed other than to provide the meat for disapproving gossip and the gravy for tabloid scandal.
None of which really matters anyway, because these details will fail to lodge in your beer-soaked, nicotine-stained brain for longer than it takes to utter the phrase 'they're all the bloody same'. By the time the next parliamentary popularity poll comes around all will be forgiven and forgotten and you'll vote them back in because the leader of their particular 'gang' has the biggest, brightest smile and is offering you the shiniest trinkets.
I don't like you
So why should you vote for me? Well, I'll be honest with you. You don't like me and I don't like you, and your reward for making me your MP will be to have your taxes squandered, your public services shattered and whatever faith you have left in government utterly smashed.
Nevertheless, you'll vote for me because I will take advantage of every little fiddle I come across, and am confident that I'm more than equal to the task of inventing ingenious new ones.
You'll vote for me because I promise whole-heartedly to take no interest whatsoever in the affairs and concerns of my constituency, and am unlikely to even visit, unless there's money in it.
You will vote for me because I will lobby on behalf of the highest bidder, vote according to my own business interests, court publicity purely in order to further my own career and explore levels of sexual deviancy that I had hitherto never thought medically possible.
But more than this, the real reason that you'll vote for me, the thing that cannot fail to swing this whole election in my favour is that when you put your cross next to my name on that ballot paper, you'll automatically be entered into a free draw to win a brand new shiny Ford Fiesta. You see what I mean now when I tell you that I know people?
Copyright © Paul Farnsworth 2010