Friday, 24 September 2010

The Brothers Grim

Once upon a time there were two brothers named Ed and Dave. And they had a father called Ralph who was a famous academic. Ed and Dave wanted to be different from their father and forge a "new style of politics."

Dave said: "We're better read than Dad and we know politics is about tough decisions."

Ed replied: "Yes we need to make our own way in life and to be seen to be young and thrusting."

Dave, who was a neophiliac replied. "I agree, brother. New is the new old."

Ed then added: "Or is old the new new?"

Dave looked troubled and said: "Maybe you're right brother. But then again, who cares? We just want to get into power."

The truth was that neither brother was really that new. They had both been part of a gang called the "New Has-Beens" which had made a name for itself maxing out credit cards and engaging in globalised gang warfare. When the old gang leader called Gordon decided he'd had enough of this warfare, the brothers Grimiband (as they were known) fought to take over the gang. But first they had to take on the might of Ed "Absolute" Balls and "Steak" Diane, who was so-named because of her fondness for steaks. They also had to take on Andy Birnham Wood, who wasn't much of a foe, so they ignored him.

But the stakes were high. They knew that by leading the gang they could make loads of money. So they set out to raise their public profiles by turning the leadership election into a soap opera. They saw that this approach had worked for their predecessors Tony and Gordon. And so it should work for them.

"I'll pretend to be on the right," said Dave

"And I'll pretend to be on the left," said Ed.

"And then everybody will think we're more interesting." they proclaimed in unison.

But the truth was that neither brother was very interesting. They had both been "yes-men" in the Gordon's gang and had never really distinguished themselves. Their idea of "new thinking" was employing the services of "think-tanks" which peddled lots of redundant ideas that were ultimately responsible for the decline of their gang. But they didn't really care. They knew they could still make lots of money for themselves and their friends, because they had a secret weapon. It was called the "Magic Revolving Door". And that was the ultimate prize of leading gangs.

"Never forget the Magic Revolving Door, brother," said Dave. "And if we continue with this soap opera, we will one day achieve it."

"Yes," replied Ed. "All I think about all day is the Magic Revolving Door. For that is what leading the gang is all about."

"But I've just had a thought, brother."

"Yes, brother?"

"Maybe we should call it something else - so people don't suspect we're just greedy."

"I agree brother, but what should we call it?"

"I know," said Dave. "Let's call it the New Magic Revolving Door."

"That's brilliant brother. No one will ever suspect."

And so the brothers set out to portray themselves as young and thrusting and very, very new and very interesting, and everyone knew that one of them would win the crown one day. And one of them inevitably did, but that is the subject of the next chapter as we shall discover.

Sleep well, everyone.