Wednesday, August 21, 2013

When in doubt, Ed Miliband

When nothing's much happening my mind wanders to the areas of life containing potentially entertaining material. Unfortunately for everyone one of the current richest veins is Ed Miliband, who at least has seen the entire media and the majority of his own party pick it up, but unlike his antiopodean rival Julia Gillard I am praying he remains for the next election as it'll save the others doing anything. I make no pretence I am not attempting to become a professional writer. Like the thousands of equally good musicians and actors, only a percent or so make it, although the others are all virtually interchangeable given the chance. I've written for pleasure since the start of primary school and although there are no levels of training like music you still learn formulas and the fact I have been published many times privately shows I'm not like the deluded X Factor singers.

There could be a competition, like Oxbridge entry exams, over who could take the piss the best out of Ed Miliband, faux racism accusations ("You called your cat Sooty, racist!), women complaining there aren't enough women in top jobs, men complaining there aren't enough women in top jobs (paid for by women to do so as they probably make a better job of it ;), multiculturalism (nothing funny there, it's the human equivalent of putting in road humps), diversity (ie giving one legged actors the role of Tarzan, for those old enough to remember the sketch), quantitative easing (there's a real challenge), the Green Party, Julia Gillard ex post facto (no, no idea what that meant either), gay marriage activists (I know they've got it already but they still apparently haven't stopped, someone tell them the bloody war's over), who Palestinians actually are (there isn't a country of that name), Shirley Williams (she's still going, like Brucie), and why people who label themselves 'liberal' work the hardest to restrict free speech?

There could also be a tie break on how to consummate a gay marriage, with extra points for the most inventive euphemisms. My own take would be to begin with looking at the conundrum of entering the opposite side of a mirror. Now Lewis Carroll aside, maths and physics could be prepared, taking the greatest brains in the field, to formulate a method where one is able to physically enter the reverse view part of a mirror. Money could be diverted from important climate projects and diversity promotion budgets among others, and the UN could even set up a department of entering the back side of a mirror, with a potential Nobel Prize in position for the first person to achieve it. Meanwhile men and women around the world are now enjoying their wedding nights, and only to be faced with the equally demanding conundrum of what goes where and how exactly are they supposed to do it. In the end just before the sun comes up most of the men give up and just stick it up their backside. Not ideal but tomorrow's another day to work something out, while the lesbians just give up entirely and go to bed with a headache.

I clearly failed the euphemism hurdle there but it was only a hypothetical entry.  I am considering preparing a script for the potential removal of Ed Miliband as Labour leader, called Ed, the musical. It seems the current trend is to take any random and irrelevant issue, like Gerry Springer or the rise and fall of Jesus (actually that's always been one of the most popular ones), so with the bold decision not to cast Rowan Atkinson in the role, but double the profits with a live reality show looking for the starring role called 'Who's the Ed?'. It would be possible, like the far more competent (insert any name here) and Toby Young to play himself, but I don't have much confidence in him remembering the script and most people probably would have difficulty understanding him. In fact why not do another Life of Brian, merging his rise and hypothetical fall with that of Jesus, however derivative would probably become the best presentation of all. You could start with his schooldays, borrowing scenes from Oliver Twist, while standing at the front of the class when the homework was set, and saying 'Please sir, can I have some more?'. His teenage years and love life, showing his first panic attack when he was informed if he wanted any sexual activity he would have to remove his trousers at the very least and probably show a lady his winkle. He never got over that one, which is probably why he remained unmarried until he became leader of the Labour Party which preferred that as a status.

His brother, who I'd attempt to fill with the American but highly appropriate Brent Spiner, even retaining the role of Data while having Ed as his partially human brother. Waldorf and Statler (as muppets) would play Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson, both retired old farts kibitzing from the wings. The half time closing scene would be played out on the green fields of Tottenham Hotspur, with Ed appealing to the crowd at half time in the match how football should be more multicultural before getting rushed off by the SAS officers while being pelted with rolled up copies of the Daily Mail. The second half would begin with a burning bush, and the voice of the Lord, (I think I've found the role for Shirley Williams) telling Ed even though he really thinks he's joking he's been elected leader of the Labour Party, as the day before some cheeky angel implied God had no sense of humour so had to act sharpish. He then trots off to the only remaining Pullen's in Britain to buy a new set of pants and socks as his mother would be bound to check on his first week and probably year in office at the very least, and spends his final night before his new job finishing off the paintwork on his latest model soldiers and cars so he knows it's done.

The following scene spends an entire day of him being detained by the police officers guarding parliament, trying to explain you need a ticket in advance to visit and just because he knows what brand of toilet paper they use in the ministerial toilets and both of Tony Blair's middle names (Satan and Beelzebub although they weren't declared on his ministerial dossier) doesn't mean he isn't an obsessed fan, and anyway, he's not old enough to be an MP. When his mother finally calls the Prime Minister who has to curtail his innings on the village green to turn up in person before they will believe him, he enters his new office only to find the seat's too high and too hard. Not an auspicious start to his first day as head honcho.

It gets worse in the next scene, when BBC Question Time and Newsnight report the audience laughter records on his first appearances even though they're not supposed to be comedies. The offer from Simon Cowell to audition for Britain's Got Talent did not go down well either. His appeal to the crowd of 'I am not a comedian, I am the leader of the Labour Party' required two members of the audience to be administered oxygen and various changes of underwear. His first parliamentary question time didn't go down too well either, with only a few minutes remaining as the other side were waiting for his brother to arrive before beginning, and every time he said he was the leader telling him to shut up and behave like a good boy. By the end of the day comedians up and down the country were running tapes over and over again to get the nuances right, so they could crack up audiences with 'there is no doubt we are at the mercy of dangerous climate change' and 'no, I don't smell, you do', while various back benchers had to invest in protective underwear for the next performance. Then the fantasy scene, when, like Ebenezer Scrooge, he was visited by the spirits of Charlie Chaplin, Freddy 'parrot face' Davis, JFK, Max Wall, and a guest appearance from Woody Allen discussing how the great traditions of comedy and politics were now impossible to distinguish. Woody Allen made observations such as 'I think on the whole I would have preferred to have great sex by accident than become leader of the opposition', and thought even dead Charlie Chaplin would have done a better job.

Coming back to reality, he decided to hire the remainder of and current Cockerel Chorus, the Tottenham Hotspur team singers of the 70s, to provide an impressive backdrop to his performance. Singing such hits adapted for Ex-New Labour as 'Nice One Edward', 'You'll always walk alone', 'They're not voting any more' etc, he saw his ratings shoot up from a dismal 4% approval to about the same, but a little higher possibly. He goes to bed and dreams of him giving a speech as Martin Luther King, with JFK and Woody Allen coming up at the end to congratulate him, to which he inexplicably replies 'Is it because I's black?'. Clearly cheese and onion crisps before going to bed are not a good idea. Like some of the best cliff hangers the final scenes have two alternatives, depending on whether he lasts till the election or not. The outcome is not different, as we see him having to use a compass and Ordnance Survey folding map to find the nearest job centre (they closed most of them you see), and when he finally joins the queue outside, opposite an old poster still standing saying 'Labour's Not Working' one of the less salubrious members of the queue turns round pointing saying 'I know you!' while he turns his head coyly a la Lady Di, so totally embarrassed to be in such a lowly position while his brother is now advisor to Barack Obama, 'Weren't you at the AA meeting last week?'. How the Miliband falls.

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