From next year, the traditional Party Election Broadcast will be replaced by a blipvert that operates below the threshold of human conscious perception. ‘The old party political broadcasts suffered from a terrible flaw,’ explained Tory party strategist Lynton Crosby. ‘As soon as anyone realised they were watching one, they immediately switched over.’
Under the new rules, each party will be given a number of prime-time TV slots to access the nation’s subconscious by flashing up a brief image of their leader lasting less than 30 milliseconds. David Cameron might pop up in the middle of Eastenders grinning and waving some money, Ed Miliband could suddenly appear on Coronation Street looking sternly at an electricity bill, while Nick Clegg may turn up on Hollyoaks under a big neon sign flashing the word ‘Sorry’.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage has also been allocated a couple of blipverts that he will use to flash-frame the image of an invading army of 485 million zombie immigrants.
Ed Miliband has welcomed the move. ‘I have been using subliminal tactics for some time,’ he said. ‘In fact I am so below the radar of public consciousness, most people have no idea they have even seen me.’ Nick Clegg also likes the idea of being able to make any future pledges subliminally, so that no-one will know for certain when he inevitably breaks them.
However, concerns have been raised after a pilot study in which viewers exposed to the ads complained of terrible flashbacks. Some people kept seeing David Cameron’s big pink face looming ominously towards them, an image so disturbing it caused a number of victims’ heads to explode.
‘Subliminal ads do carry the risk of post traumatic party political trauma,’ said psychologist Dr Raj Persaud, ‘but the modest risk of spontaneous cranial combustion is more than offset by never having to sit through a normal length broadcast.’
To ensure fair play, the ads will be regulated by the Subliminal Advertising Standards Authority, an organisation about which most people have no awareness. If a blipvert is deemed to have broken electoral guidelines it will be immediately followed by a special ‘cleansing ad’ that will automatically erase the subconscious memory of the first one.
‘Subliminal adverts are the future of political campaigning,’ said Crosby. ‘And very soon everyone will agree with me, even if they have no idea why.’
September 4, 2013
Plans to contain the entire Westminster village within a vast geodesic sphere are almost complete. The multi-million pound Odium Project aims to collect every variety of politician, lobbyist and political journalist and keep them in a safe, temperature controlled environment.
‘We hope that by containing all the different types of political species we might be able to learn something new about how they operate,’ said Project Director Dr Marcus Pennington. ‘It will also keep them from interacting with the real world, which, as we know, can be disastrous.’
Within the bubble there will be two enclosures, or biomes. The topical biome will allow politicians to run around briefing, counter-briefing and making ill-informed comments about a hot topic in the news. Meanwhile, a second dome will give them something to claim expenses on.
The Odium Project is set to become a popular visitor attraction where the public can come and watch politicians operating in their natural environment. ‘We encourage visitors to look at these strange creatures, but not to touch them or try to give them food,’ explained Dr Pennington. ‘They might appear cute but they easily get excited and things can quickly escalate into a full-scale feeding frenzy.’
Dr Pennington also revealed plans to cross-fertilise certain species of politician to create entirely new varieties. ‘We currently have a very weak strain of Miliband that we are hoping to cross with a hardy perennial, the Dennis Skinner, to create a much more outspoken Leader of the Opposition with an endless supply of abusive comments.’
A more controversial scheme is the plan to create a new Tory hybrid, the Boris-Tebbit. The end result will be a politician that gets on its bike and looks for photo opportunities.
Meanwhile a conservation program will help save endangered species such as The Lesser Spotted Clegg, a rare two-faced chimera currently on the verge of extinction. However, so far, this proposal has seen a notable lack of funding.
The Westminster Bubble will be secured and vacuum sealed next month when all the air will be pumped out leaving the inhabitants to exist purely on the oxygen of publicity.
Downing Street has confirmed that David Cameron will now be charging a fee for anyone to ask him a question in the House of Commons.
‘This is all perfectly legal and above board,’ said Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Lightning Conductor General, ‘but it’s only reasonable that Mr Cameron is fairly remunerated for his work at PMQs, especially now that he has to pay for his own dinners.’
The revelations came to light when former party treasurer Peter Cruddas was secretly filmed hanging around outside the House of Commons offering MPs a chance for a ‘quickie’ with the Prime Minister, plus the possibility that ‘Samanfa might watch’.
Under the scheme MPs can choose from a range of packages. The entry level Toady Club offers members a chance to ask sycophantic questions such as, ‘Wouldn’t the Prime Minister agree with me that he is doing a simply marvellous job?’ Meanwhile, The Wannabe Leader’s Group offers the opportunity to ask Mr Cameron questions about his record or personal integrity, with prices starting at only £10,000 each. Questions by Dennis ‘Beast of Bolsover’ Skinner have been set at a modest £250,000.
‘I shouldn’t have to pay good money to hold the Prime Minister to account,’ said Opposition leader Ed Miliband. ‘Given my performance, if anything, he should be paying me.’
However, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he thought the charges were quite reasonable. ‘If I had known it was this cheap to get access to Mr Cameron I wouldn’t have needed to sell my soul.’
People watching PMQs at home will now also be subject to charges. Under the new Prime Ministerial Paywall, subscribers to the basic package will get access to all of PMQs plus repeats of classic Cameron on Dave Ja Vu.
Meanwhile an adult channel, Cameron Blue, will offer viewers the chance to see the Prime Minister in his Downing Street flat performing a sexy pole dance and talking dirty about tax cuts. This service is expected to be very popular among merchant bankers.
Mr Maude denied that Cash for Prime Ministerial Questions would undermine the democratic process. ‘While people will be paying for the chance to ask Mr Cameron questions he won’t be providing any answers,’ he promised, ‘and there is absolutely no way we would ever allow a question at PMQs to actually influence government policy.’
The Prime Minister today surprised political and musical commentators alike by appointing 75-year-old singer Englebert Humperdinck as his new director of strategy at No.10. ‘Englebert is a valued addition to the team,’ said Mr Cameron. ‘He has sold over 150 million albums which is far more than Steve Hilton ever managed, and he is just the man to help me appeal to the ladies.’
‘My first task is help sex up Mr Cameron’s image,’ explained the septuagenarian pop sensation. ‘To appeal to that all-important female demographic, David is growing a nice pair of mutton chop side burns. He is also making good progress on his gyrating hip thrust, which should make all the difference at PMQs.’
‘Englebert will also be helping me to relaunch the Big Society,’ said an already crooning Cameron. ‘This time round we are planning to set up a range of community choirs who will sing the Humperdinck back catalogue while they gleefully sweep the streets and pick up litter.’
Humperdinck is already a firm favourite in government circles. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley is well known for his version of ‘A Man Without Love’, while Business Secretary Vince Cable is regularly to be seen wandering the corridors of Westminster singing ‘Please Release Me, Let Me Go’.
Not to be outdone, Labour leader Ed Miliband has approached Tom Jones for advice. ‘Tom recommended I don a pair of tight leather trousers,’ said Miliband. ‘They chafe a bit and I’m not too sure about the frilly shirt, but I will do whatever it takes to help me connect with the voters.’
The appointment of Humperdinck to such a high profile position has seen a rapid response from other European nations. France has already called in octogenarian Charles Aznavour, Ireland has appointed the double headed think-tank Jedward, and Greece is currently contemplating the tactical deployment of Demis Roussos.
Meanwhile, in other news, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has been confirmed as Britain’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, where he will be performing his heartfelt rendition of ‘Puppet on a String’.
January 30, 2011
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls is regarded as so dangerous that whenever he appears in public he must wear a face mask, straitjacket and be wheeled everywhere on a trolley.
‘It was a risk to promote him,’ admitted Labour Leader Ed Miliband, ‘and safety is our first concern. Especially mine. That’s why he must wear the mask at all times and remain under very close supervision.’
Balls, a clinical economist, is well known for his frightening ability to get into the minds of his opponents and cause them great psychological distress through the use of embarrassing statistics and traumatising lectures on supply-side economics.
‘The man is a monster,’ said Chancellor George Osborne, ‘last time I saw him he made me break down and cry simply by whispering the phrase “neo classical endogenous growth theory”. I won’t go anywhere near him.’
When not being wheeled out to savage the government, Mr Balls will be kept in solitary confinement at the high security wing of the House of Commons; there he will listen to Bach’s Goldberg Variations and dream of the day he will get an office with a view. Mr Balls will be regularly visited by his wife and cabinet colleague, Yvette Cooper, who will try to get him to explain Labour’s economic policy through his preferred method of cryptic clues and psychological games.
‘People misunderstand Ed,’ explained his wife, ‘he only ever attacks people he doesn’t like or who get in his way. Most of the time he’s a pussy cat, which is probably just as well because he ate ours.’
Mr Balls gained his reputation as a psychopathic monster over many years. Firstly, working under Gordon Brown where he learned the ancient art of scowling, brooding and angrily throwing things round the room. Then, as Shadow Education Minister, when he would regularly tear chunks out of Michael Gove. ‘That was bad enough,’ said Gove, ‘but once he invited me to dinner, paralysed me with a boring lecture on education theory, before cutting open my skull and eating bits of my brain. Thankfully, it hasn’t affected me in any way.’
Mr Balls rejected accusations that he had recently threatened to eat George Osborne’s liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti. ‘I don’t drink Chianti,’ explained Balls, ‘Everyone knows that I am much more of a Champagne Sociopath.’
January 14, 2011
Labour leader Ed Miliband has revealed that he will take a vow of silence and convey his political message entirely through the performance art of mime, using his body as a political tool.
‘All the polls show that we do much better when Ed stays quiet,’ explained deputy leader Harriet Harman, ‘he will therefore focus on communicating his ideas through corporeal movement and a variety of facial expressions.’
The new strategy will see Mr Miliband appearing at Prime Minister’s Questions with a white painted face and wearing a tight black Lycra bodysuit. He will then proceed to ridicule government policy by silently prancing around the dispatch box and pulling a range of silly faces.
‘This represents a new form of political communication,’ said Harman, ‘but I am confident that Ed can get his message across to David Cameron through the use of hand gestures alone – a method I understand the general public have already been using for some time.’
Mr Miliband has already mastered a number of classic mimes including ‘walking against the wind’, ‘the brick wall’ and ‘up shit creek without a paddle.’ However, he still struggles with more complex mimes such as explaining his position on tuition fees, something that regularly leaves him rolling helplessly around on the floor tied up in knots.
Members of Mr Miliband’s team will also employ performance art to convey their message. Shadow Chancellor Alan Johnson will use origami to communicate his understanding of economic theory by taking a blank sheet of paper and then screwing it up. Meanwhile, Shadow Foreign Secretary Yvette Cooper will unnerve William Hague through the use of provocative modern dance.
Speculation has been rife as to why Miliband had been so quiet in the last few months. ‘Everyone thought it was because he was nervous,’ said political commentator Matthew Parris, ‘but it turns out Ed was simply miming his opposition to government.’
Mr Miliband has also been developing a range of special ‘looks’ that he will use to mercilessly undermine the Coalition. ‘He has already perfected the ‘rabbit staring into the headlights,’ said Ms Harman, ‘and he is making good progress with ‘man shaking his head in disappointment at whatever the government just did’. He is now believed to be working on ‘man with bright idea’ and ‘man pulling finger out of arse.’
Mr Miliband launched his new strategy at the London International Mime Festival where he attempted to communicate his grand political vision. ‘He just stood there for while flapping his arms around and staring off into space,’ said one disappointed visitor, ‘it’s certainly nothing to shout about.’
Olympic mascots Wenlock and Mandeville have become the front-runners in the Labour leadership race. ‘This pair of strange, amorphous, genderless beings are exactly what the party needs,’ said acting leader Harriet Harman, ‘they add colour, diversity and a touch of magic to the leadership campaign.’
The shiny, one eyed mascots launched their bid for the Labour leadership at a school in East London where, like all the other candidates, they proceeded to stand there, flap their arms around a bit and say absolutely nothing.
‘Wenlock is probably favourite to take the post having had greater experience in foreign affairs,’ said BBC political editor Nick Robinson, ‘however, many people believe that Mandeville looks cuter and could be more fun.’
Despite being related, both mascots have pledged not to criticise the other. ‘Wenlock and Mandeville love each other very much,’ said their mother, Lord Coe, ‘and they will compete fairly for the Labour leadership, very much in the Olympic tradition.’
The support for Wenlock and Mandeville is seen by many as a direct response to the recent decision by the Conservative Party to adopt their very own fluffy mascot, Nick Clegg. ‘The Labour Party clearly needs a mascot of its own,’ said Lord Mandelson, ‘especially one that I can climb inside and operate myself.’
The arrival of Wenlock and Mandeville has raised expectations that other ‘dark horse’ mascots may also throw their hats into the ring. Other laughable candidates include a running, jumping Big Ben, a giant spinning teapot and Ed Balls.
Lord Mandelson rejected suggestions that the Labour Party might be resistant to another one-eyed leader: ‘They may only have one eye,’ he said, ‘but Wenlock and Mandeville have a singular vision for Britain.’