Last night former Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury (World Bank, hint hint!) Gordon Brown said that he would still be Prime Minister if the News of the Swirling Wurlitzer revelations had occurred 18 months earlier. His reasoning was that Andy Coulson would have been arrested and David Cameron would have been fatally damaged by the publicity surrounding the arrest of his Director of Communications. I put Gordon Brown's ideas to the test by taking our dusty old Monopoly board from the basement and started to play.
The game thus far. Tony Blair had retired from the game and had given all his money and property to Gordon Brown who owned 45% of the properties on the board and had over 10,000 in cash. David Cameron had 1500 in the bank and was in danger of being wiped out by the Coulson revelations. Sure he had hotels along Park Lane and Mayfair but no one had landed on these properties for ten complete circuits of the board- or about ten years in human terms.
The Liberals owned the yellow and green properties and had led a charmed life in the game thus far, with every single Chance and Community Chest cards being birthdays, bank errors in their favour, beauty contest wins, insurance maturities or advances to Go.
It looks good for Gordon right? So let's start with all the players at Free Parking and put a date in human terms-perhaps December 2009 if we take Gordon's hypothetical 18 months at face value. Go!-think General Election- is thus half the board or six months away.
Gordon rolled snake eyes and picked up a chance card which read, 'advance to Picadilly-Lib Dems with Hotel-Oops! Cameron also rolled a two, picked up a chance card and went to Pall Mall as directed and landed on his new hotel. Clegg rolled a six and landed on Leicester Square and stayed for a night at his hotel. Despite that poor start the Tories somehow arrived at Go! in one piece.
Clegg at Leicester Square rolled 3 and stayed with Gordon at his hotel at Picadilly. Clegg then rolled 4 and picked up a Community Chest Card which said he had won a crossword competition, yet again! Then he rolled a five and landed on super tax which is usually fatal-but not in 2010 and a pair of snakes eyes saw him safely to Go!
Gordon had had an amazing run of bad luck on both the Chance and Community chest cards up to Free Parking/December 2009. He had to pay doctors fees, conduct repairs on all properties and pay school fees but it still looked good. However, in retrospect, it was that single Chance card that really wiped him out. He advanced to Picadilly-Lib Dem with Hotel. Could things get worse for Gordon than that? Absolutely, because when the gods are against you they whip up a perfect storm.
Now you would think that landing on Picadilly Circus-Lib Dem- with a hotel is bad enough. If you were Tony Blair you would have rolled an eleven and advanced straight to Go. Not poor Gordon who rolled 2, then 3, then 3 and then 3. In other words, he landed on Regent and Bond Streets-Lib Dems with hotels, and then Park Lane-Tory with hotel before finally arriving at Go! Ah Gordoooooooooooooooooooon! We pity you, we really do.
Gordon, David and Nick than all went to the balcony which was on the 5th floor of the building that they had been staying in and then took a flying leap. Such, such are the joys of British General Elections. Gordon landed on the road below and the road was badly damaged because Gordon is a big guy. He had clearly forgotten that he had always managed to fly through the air when he was holding the hands of Saint Tony, a man who could part waters, raise the dead to life and even persuade Tyrannosaurus Rexes to become vegetarians. Alone, however, Gordon was nothing. And what about David Cameron and Nick Clegg? They had managed to land on a huge bouncy castle and it shielded their fall and so both survived.
There are many morals from this tale. How do make you a small fortune? Start with a large one and then give it to Gordon-certainly springs to mind but then that would be churlish and insensitive to the man who sold several hundred tons of our gold reserves for next to nothing.
Of course, this is all rather unscientific and so we phoned up a Professor of Logic at Pembroke College-note the word, 'broke'- and we put Gordon's hypothetical situation to her. After thinking for two seconds she said,
'If I had been a cat, then I could have been a dog.'
And just in case there are some Tories having a good laugh at our former Prime Minister's expense, then I have a message for you:
If you roll a two,
Followed by a three
Then another three
Followed by a three
Then beware for
Whom the bell tolls
For it tolls for thee
Had you landed on Picadilly
See also Help Me I Am In An Alien Spacecraft! , Are Murdoch and Brooks Lovers? and also Rebekaaaaaaaaaaah Brooks Missing.