Written by tjmstroud
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Friday, 15 June 2012

Dear Constituents

I have had a very hectic week

Wednesday was also very embarrassing.

It started when I switched on the Blackberry and found an email request for an interview and a photograph of myself. I was surprised to learn that I had attracted the attention of a certain women's publication. So, thinking that no harm could come from a bit of publicity for my opinions on the low numbers of women executives on the Boards of top companies and not knowing the source of the request, I asked Anthea to check it out.

Unfortunately, it looked like the usual stuff designed for mass sales appeal to those that already buy such tripe. To be blunt, some woman had written what appeared to be a highly sexist article on the appearance of male MPs. But, naturally, my name had cropped up.

I was a little unsure what to do but, thinking it had much to do with my reputation for outspoken views and my swarthy good looks, I asked Anthea for her advice. Even if they hadn't yet appreciated the depth of my political opinion and how photogenic I am, you only have to look at politicians going by the name of David, Nick or Vince to know that a politician called Quentin starts with a huge advantage in the popularity stakes.

Thinking there was nothing to lose, I decided to go along, encouraged by Anthea who said she liked my new, grey suit and thought other women would too.

So, not wishing to be the cause of the magazine missing its print deadline, I cancelled my attendance on the Select Committee looking into the Decline of Hedgehogs. Then I got Anthea to book me a taxi so I wouldn't crumple my suit, blocked two hours out of my diary and arrived at the studio promptly at 11.30.

Before exiting the taxi, I added just an extra touch of aftershave and hair gel and then reported to the reception desk. It was at this point that things started to go not quite as expected.

For a start, I admit I had expected a small welcoming committee to be there waiting for me. Regretfully, I found I had to ring a bell.

A junior clerk wearing jeans and chewing on something that smelled of peppermint then appeared and ushered me upstairs without a word and not even with the offer of a cup of tea. Imagine my further surprise then, that after all the trouble I had gone to, I was told there was no need for any clothing.

Instead, I was invited to enter a cubicle and strip.

How women's magazines get away with such articles when a similar man's one would be attacked for denigration of women I do not understand. But I suppose it's a question of tit for tat, if you'll excuse the pun. Anyway, who am I to object if women want to ogle at a manly physique. But I really had no idea I was such a celebrity.

Apparently I was the first of only three senior politicians they wanted to photograph - I am sworn to secrecy about the other two.

But I found myself surrounded by six giggling women - arty fashion types in knee high boots and fishnet stockings - and a young male photographer. I suspect the photographer himself would have preferred to be wearing boots and stockings as well but he seemed to understand his role and flashed away in a chirpy voice while I stood before his white screen, one minute with only a bowler hat for protection and then with a suitably placed black umbrella. That they assume MPs wear bowler hats and carry umbrellas suggests we have a long way to go to update our image.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I have to admit I was very pleased to find the heater on in the taxi afterwards. During the journey back to the House, as the circulation gradually crept back into my nether regions, I pondered on celebrity culture and its effects on society. So this will be my theme of the day.

Now there are very few who don't now know me. Quentin Kelp has become a household name and I like to think that my immense popularity, especially in the Red Lion in Krupton, is down to my political achievements and outspoken views. Let me be frank. If my popularity ever started to wane it will be due to the unpopularity of the Government's policies, not mine. Anyway, I am sure I could always find a spare seat in Bradford or East London.

But let me explain my opinion on the cult of celebrity worship that now shows as such widespread mass adulation and hysterical screaming in this country.

I put it down to unemployment or under employment. This causes too much spare time and boredom. But it's also materialism, footballers, so-called reality TV programmes and too much pocket money given to children. But let us not go down that last track again - I had enough complaints recently over my doubts that a KFC Special Family Bucket or a Domino's pizza 'two for the price of one' is good enough for kids' evening meals.

Let us, instead, return to my own celebrity status. We all know that the name Quentin Kelp now rolls off the tongue with ease and conjures an instantly recognisable image of respectability and intellect. But many other names are now banded around as if they were equally famous or close cousins. Frequently, however, they leave one floundering to know who they are or what they actually do or did.

They rarely look poor, of course, so one must assume they have found a way to make money. Perhaps, they are cleverer than I expect although I think the word clever is unsuitable. I'm still trying to find a better word. Self- publicity and exploitation are possible but perhaps advertising agencies are running short of other ideas these days and will insult anyone for laughs just to sell a pair of knickers. So perhaps they're just naïve subjects of mass ridicule. I am still unsure and am working on my policy position in this area. Perhaps we will return to this when I have made up my mind.

But you see, Quentin starts off by sounding intellectual as if the owner of the name went to a decent school paid for by his parents before entering Oxford. This may be far from the truth (as it is) but with a name like PiPi, Hi Lo, Wesley, Myleene, Kate or Wayne, I would be embarrassed.

Can you imagine someone in the House being called My Honourable Friend, Wayne Potter?
Can you hear the Speaker summoning Pee-Lo Petherton, the Member for Peterborough?

Today, I read (by accident) on my Blackberry that someone called Matthew had married someone called Camila. Should I be so pleased about the final tying of this knot that I will go out and buy them a new set of saucepans or a rice cooker? You see, I think that's what it is all about? These unknowns have some sort of commercial deal - probably with a saucepan manufacturer. You can bet it wouldn't be an English saucepan and it's bound to be a Chinese rice cooker.

But I don't even know who Mathew or Camila are, let alone what they do for a living. I know one Camilla (spelled with two LLs) but she's with Charles and I bet he feels exactly the same as I do.

And, did you know that (also according to my Blackberry) that 'Last night Suzanne rocked the red carpet.' Does Suzanne, whoever she is, have a deal with a carpet cleaning company? If she'd like to come over to my flat perhaps she'd like to pass her Hoover over mine.

And I also read today that 'Geri smartens up Oxford in knee-high boots'.

All I could see in the picture were the knee-high boots but I'm worried if this might be the same Geri who took my photograph in the studio. It was Geri who kept smiling at me in a funny way as he adjusted my bowler hat and umbrella.

And did you know that, yesterday, "Madge was keeping things under wraps." I asked Anthea who Madge was and she said that if it was the one she suspected then everything's been unwrapped for years.

If it's the Madge I know (the one from the Red Lion in Krupton) then the same thing applies. Everyone knows what lies under Madge Watson's wraps.

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

If you fancy trying your hand at comedy spoof news writing, click here to join!
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