Written by tjmstroud
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Friday, 17 August 2012

Dear Constituents

I have had a very busy week and should really take a break away from the pressure of constituency work. But duty calls and, anyway, my wife thinks we should visit her mother in Macclesfield.

My impending visit to Greece in time for their next bailout or complete exit from the Euro sounds like my best chance for fun before Parliament re-opens.

By the way, explaining where all this EU monopoly money comes from to my loyal constituents who turn up to my ever- popular 'Meet your MP' sessions in the Red Lion is proving very difficult and so I have resorted to Euro-speak.

This is the language used by the likes of that depressing Portuguese upstart, Jose Manuel Barroso and all of his cronies. Euro-speak is used when it is necessary to suggest you know far more than your ordinary peasant working on a factory assembly line and so should toe the line.

Speaking that way ensures that the peasants drift into a sort of mindless stupor and you can get away with anything. It's like wrapping up a dead cat in a black plastic bag. You can't see it and you can't yet smell it but once you've opened it up ………

I've tried to find a Portuguese word for talking bullshit but there are so many choices that I suspect Portugal was the place where it was invented. But "merda" will do, as in monte de merda - a pile of shit.

It was Barroso who shouted at the Greeks a few months ago to "deliver, deliver, deliver, on key structural reform." Bearing in mind that his, own country has been on the brink of bankruptcy for years this is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. I've not been able to find any Portuguese expressions that include kettles and pots, either, but as hypocrisy was invented by the Greeks is it any wonder the Greeks recognise hypocrisy whenever they hear it. The Greeks smelled the dead cat even before they'd opened the black plastic bag.

But this all leads to my theme of the week: Blissful Indifference

Most of Jose's cronies are, as we speak, blissfully sunning themselves on exotic beaches somewhere. You probably won't find them in Eastbourne or Barry Island but wherever they are, you can bet they are trying to forget the Euro crisis and hoping it'll go away.

Either way, they'll be blissfully ignoring things whilst dreaming of being a few weeks closer to the day when they can claim their pensions. I've actually set Anthea (my PA) a task of trying to find out where all of them are sunbathing so that we can descend on their hideaways in placard waving hordes. I can think of nothing better to make the long days of silly season news stories and utter boredom go by quicker. It's certainly better than going to Macclesfield.

It was this vision of stirring my loyal Krupton constituents into an angry, riot-ready frenzy that was behind my thinking for last weekend's 'Meet your MP' session in the Red Lion. Painting a picture of fat, sunbathing unelected bureaucrats to stir up widespread street violence was what led to the loud cheers that could be heard as far away as Swindon - although, I admit, it also coincided with Mo Farah winning his race.

What they liked was my Power Point presentation that I had rigged up next to the wide screen TV in the bar. (The Red Lion always provides choices for its evening entertainment and so we had Mo Farah on one side and my Power Point explanation of the Euro crisis on the other.)

But this was no ordinary Power Point presentation - it was more like a pub quiz. I flashed up pictures of European politicians and other meddling individuals and, for a £10 deposit there was a competition to say who they were. The person who got all answers right won all the deposits and if no-one knew who any of them were I'd win.

As they were all fired up by post-Mo excitement, this was when the fun started. First I showed them a picture of their President.

"Don't be silly, Quent, we don't have a President, "shouted Fiona. "We've only got Dave and, and, and....what's his name."

"Oh yes you do," I said. "That's President Herman von Rompuy of your European Council - doesn't he look powerful, Fiona? Do you fancy him? He's such a dynamic mover and shaker that he even brings goose bumps up on my neck every time I see him."

Kevin said he looked like his old Maths teacher - the one they used to throw paper darts at.

"Never go on looks, Kevin," I replied. "This man is power personified. Have you ever met the Russian President Vladimir Putin? Putin is like that guy who plays Rambo - looks big on a screen but in the flesh is only five foot six in high-heeled boots.

"Herman might look like your old maths teacher but I bet your maths teacher never had the Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold, did he? And Herman was Prime Minister of Belgium for a whole year so he easily got the job of President when they decided how to divide up the jobs between them. "

"But I can't remember ever voting for him," said Betty from behind the bar.

"Oh, no, you don't vote for any of them, Bet. They're promoted on merit and for adopting the style of Uriah Heap. Handwringing is what they do when stressed or are hard pressed to come up with fresh bullshit. After the handwringing they start the blame game and keep this going for as long as possible while their pension funds grow."

"And who's that, then, Quent" shrieked Wendy as she sipped her rum and Ribena and stared at the projected images from my Power Point.

"That, Wend, is your high profile representative on the world stage - your High Representative."

"You mean, like Bert, the Krupton Town Crier?" shouted Steve. "But Bert's a bloke. This one is a woman. I've never seen her in my life before. I see and hear Bert every Saturday morning."

"A woman she may be, Steve, but, nevertheless, she's your High Representative." I said.

"But she's not known for saying too much let alone shouting about it. As your High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and formerly the High Representative of the Common Foreign and Security Policy, this ex member of "Ban the Bomb" who was supposed to be your Union Minister for Foreign Affairs is now your EU Foreign Minister. She is like a bigger version of William Hague with a bigger budget to match.

"Did I vote for her?" asked Betty and added, "I've never seen her in my life."

Don't be silly, Bet," I said, bringing up my next Power Point slide, "That's because our little town of Krupton is a long way from Hertfordshire, Betty. You see, your High Representative was once the chair of the Hertfordshire Health Authority. As a result she is probably so embarrassed at now earning only 23,000 Euros a month that she tries to keep out of the limelight. But the valuable experience gained running Hertford Hospital means she can now run European foreign policy."

And so my little game went on until Mo was awarded his gold medal.

Finally, "Who are they?" shouted Dave pointing at the images of an overweight, sunburned man and woman lying in a deck chair holding glasses of something with a red cherry."

"Ah, that, Dave, is an ex banker and a lady friend lying in the sun somewhere on a beach in the Caribbean and enjoying his bonus and her index-linked pension funded by EU taxpayers. It might be raining here in Krupton, but the sun shines all year round where they are and it's not far to the cash point in the Cayman Islands."

PS Under the rules of my game all their £10 deposits were lost and I won £150.
After all, I need to cover my expenses somehow.

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

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