Written by tjmstroud
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Friday, 1 June 2012

Dear Constituents

I have had a most hectic week.

Tomorrow I am due to make a public appearance at a Garden Fete and Jubilee tea party.

It doesn't start until 2pm so I'll squeeze in an hour signing letters before a shortened "Meet your MP" session in the Red Lion.

After that I'll work on a few words to say at the Fete or, most probably, dig out the speech I did last year if I can find it.

Last year, my speech went down extremely well. It was a warm, sunny day and the young children were gathered around my feet in their fancy dress gazing up at me as I stood on the stage before the microphone. I must have appeared a political colossus to them in my navy blue suit and tie but I never did find out who put that ice cream on my chair when the woman from the parish council told me my time was up and I sat down.

Anthea, my PA in Westminster, recovered by the way. I told her to stop thinking about her hay-fever and concentrate on her office duties. I did have to warn her, though, about allowing her nose to drip onto the pile of letters I was due to sign.

But, as I recently promised, let me turn to the complicated area of genetic engineering and depleting fish stocks. I know how important these subjects are at present. One of my constituents, a Mr Wheatear, even emailed me this week suggesting that MPs undergo genetic modification to improve their performance. He suggested that trials be held in a field somewhere in Hertfordshire and that if I was the first to undergo tests they might yield some interesting improvements. Always eager to raise my performance to even greater levels of efficiency, I emailed Mr Wheatear to thank him for the suggestion and asked Anthea to check where Hertfordshire was.

However, let us now look at the problem of fish stocks.

As part of my effort to deal with this on-going problem, I am aiming to introduce a new law allowing the shooting of herons on sight.

It will not matter whether the shooting is carried out from behind the garden shed or from behind curtains in the upstairs bedroom. The fact is that the goldfish in my pond have all disappeared. They were given to my son, Hector, for his birthday by his Aunty Gladys. Six inch goldfish are not cheap. But one minute they were there, the next minute gone. Hector claims he saw a big bird with wide wings and long legs trailing behind it, soaring skywards one morning. We checked it in the I-Spy Garden Birds book and there it was - a huge bird with a beak like a dagger and an evil yellow eye standing right next to some other poor child's fishpond.

Hector's little row of upper teeth with the gap came down onto his lower lip as he fought back the tears and pointed at it. "That's him, Daddy," he cried, "You need to speak to the Prime Minister."

I, too, found myself fighting to control my rage.

"But, Hector," I said, trying to calm him, "What about all those other millions of little fish that get caught at sea by humans. Look at all those bad, Spanish fishermen using undersized nets off the coast of Cornwall. Those boats are what are left of the Spanish Armada that escaped the patriotic attentions of our own Sir Francis Drake, that brave English seafarer who lay down his cloak for Queen Mary. Yet still they cause havoc off our rocky shores. And yet our own poor fishermen can barely hook a tiny mackerel for their tea. These foreign boats are a menace on our shores. We must fight them on the beaches. …….."

Sometimes, I hone my better speeches by practicing on Hector.

"Yes, but what about my goldfish," said Hector.

Hector isn't easily distracted like other boys of his age with their short attention spans and fizzy drinks.

"OK, I'll buy a few more," I said with emotion. "Here's ten quid, see what you can get down at the pet shop."

But the problem of securing our fish stocks is not one that we can forget about by a deft brushing under the carpet or even solve with ten quid. It needs international co-operation on an unprecedented scale.

I hate Pollack. It's easy to see where the name came from - the Spanish again. They also hated them and thought they could palm them off on us.

"Ay, senor, you wanna buy my fish? I 'ave a big load of pollacks 'ere."

They think we don't understand Spanish swear words.

And I hate those fish called Ling. Have you seen them? They're like thin, underweight cod and with a name like that they must have swum all the way from China and so be full of MSG.

Chips aren't the same when served with pollacks. The British need proper cod. Cod have lived as our neighbours for centuries. We have nurtured them and fed them and we even put them back to grow if they're not yet big enough. And when they are large enough we venture forth into the icy waters of the North Sea to find them and bring them home where they belong.

But what happens nowadays? Some foreign boat, probably Spanish and already full of pollacks, comes along at night and fishes them back out again before they've had a chance to make their escape.

So my next plan is a highly innovative one.

I intend to combine the problem of falling cod stocks with genetic engineering. As your MP I am determined we should stay ahead in biotechnology and genetic engineering. This is despite the antics of those green hooligans in wellington boots. Oh yes, I watched them on TV and I am sure one of them was that woman with the shawl, long skirt and fluffy boots who dumped leaflets on my RSPCA table last weekend.

By the way, I saw her once with a hand knitted, woollen hat on.

"That wool's made from specially bred Highland Sheep," I said, "They're a cross with Mongolian camels - size of sheep, hair of camel." She turned on her worn out heels and walked away and I saw her take the hat off. But I digress.

So, while I'm having my own tests done up in Hertfordshire I'm going to ask them to start research into crossing British cod with Conger eels. The Spanish won't recognise the result or will assume it's something nasty to do with Sellafield and tip them straight back into the sea.

That'll give these new "codeels" - Latin name, Gadus Kelpus - the chance to grow longer and longer until such time as we (the British) decide they're long and narrow enough to fish out and turn straight into fish fingers. If we also introduce a gene that makes them produce breadcrumbs instead of scales - Latin name Gadus Kelpus var. breadcrumis - we won't even have to process them. They can go straight into Birds Eye packs.

I wish all my constituents a happy Jubilee weekend.

By the way, Aunty Gladys bought Hector some more goldfish so that'll save me ten quid.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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