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Constitutional Teacakes, May 2010  

While all eyes were on Chancellor George Osborne's Commons statement on bringing people in from the fields to swing the axe in the back room, over at No 10, important constitutional platitudes were on the agenda for David Cameron and the leaders of the devolved administrations north of Watford, and over to the left a bit, writes Gypsy Rose Rune Reader our Political Editor and Sex, Sex, Sex, Sexy Body Language Expert.

The fact that the PM chose to personally chair the meeting, rather than send one of his beaters, showed his determination to look as if he is interested in the northern Bolsheviks who habitually reject everything his party stands for.

At the meeting Mr Cameron set out the full agenda of inter-governmental posturing, which also included a robust discussion of how high the fossil fuel bills are when you live in a Georgian rectory.

Following the meeting the PM's spokesman said:

"It really is an utter bind for us to do this, especially since we had to dig the best china out from the very top of the rosewood cabinet in case the jocks got whingey. We've also had to get a tonne of extra biccies, mostly own brand, tho' we did get some of those Tunnocks thingies in the shiny wrappers since they are actually quite delish."

The fact that the coalition confirmed that Tunnocks were on the table during the talks is another sign of the PM's determination to get the small cultural references right. A sign that will not have gone unnoticed by people like me with quite a bit of space to fill at this time of night.

The PM's spokesman went on, and on, ' The PM affords the leaders of the parish councils as much respect as he can muster. We are determined to offer them all the co-operation they can stand, because we believe that we might be able to cuddle up to them and maybe get a few more seats at the next Scottish Parliament elections.'

Sources close to First Minister Alex Salmond confirmed that the PM's decision to have actress Martine McCutcheon serve tea and sing 'You Tak the High Road' was significant and something that could be built on if the circumstances and mood music were right, and the lights dimmed a bit.

The First Minister later released a statement saying:
"I told the PM I would take his respect agenda at face value, particularly because I sincerely do not believe a word he says. Also, when I brought out my wish list he did roll his eyes and say I might be more comfortable on the feather bed upstairs which surprised me given that I was clearly fully dressed."

"I pressed him firmly for more powers, and pressed and pressed, but nothing happened so maybe I wasn't pressing the right bit. I am happy to confirm that the Tunnocks were a nice touch, but still the man's accent is awfy pan loafy."

It was also later confirmed in a desperate statement to the Press Association that Scottish Secretary Michael Moore, who made a point of dressing to the left for the occasion, was asked to sit down at the table after he introduced himself and confirmed that he's not the man that made the film about Roger.

Gypsy Rose Rune's blog: My take on why Salmond's eye bags are portents of doom and what sitting funny means for the markets.

Proust Questionnaire: Candidate for Leader of the Labour Party, David Miliband 

Today the Absurdist is delighted to welcome leading candidate for leader and leading light of the Labour Party Mr David Milliband MP, to take the (abridged) Proust Questionnaire. (with apologies to Vanity Fair.). In a politicial career spanning his whole life, Mr Milliband has been a progressive figure in the Labour Movement, urging the party to go forwards, backwards and over the Irish sea, whatever it takes.

Which historical figure did you like to dress up as when you were little?

Since Ed was Napolean I would have to say the Duke of Wellington. Though I have the utmost respect for Ed's abilities and was very glad that he threw his hat in the ring at Waterloo since without him I wouldn't have had a famous victory.

Which living person do you most admire?

All of my able and diverse fellow contenders in the Labour leadership contest.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

My ppor spelling.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Their tendency to idolise me.

What is your greatest fear?

The left wing.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Praise for all my fellow leadership contenders.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Being beaten in the leadership contest by all the other funny, fabulous, fantastic contenders. Or when my knee touched Hillary's at that summit that time.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?


On what occasion do you lie?

Whenever there is a new contender for the Labour leadership contest.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?

That I am so handsome and tall and my domed forehead housing my giant brian. (To the M! To the I! to the T! Go MIT! Yay!)

Which living person do you most despise.

Despise is a strong word, Mr Proust. Oh all right, nobody.

When and where were you happiest?

When Dianne received all those lovely nominations from my supporters.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Turning the poetry of values into the prose of real change.

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?

That Ed would be better looking and more successful than me.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Building 1,000 community leaders out of Lego only this morning.

If you could choose one of the three tenors, which would it be?

To eat? Or to listen to? Gosh! That's a hard one! They're all pretty great. Um, let's see *taps forehead* Mario Lanza.... Or is he Formula 1?

Who are your favourite writers?

Mark Twain, Shania Twain, Avanti Popolo.

What is your favourite film of a book?

Great Expectations.

What is your nickname?


What is your motto.

Thunderbirds are Go!

Well thanks Mr M, we can confirm that you have a politicial age of 2001.

The Electorate’s Just Not That Into You,  May 2010 

Int: Drawing Room in Fife suburb

GB sits staring out of the window, his chin resting on one hand. In the other he cradles a half drunk caramel frappe. His eyes are red from crying. He is dressed casually in a TopShop romper suit and havianas. The doorbell rings. GB slouches over and opens it. Peter "Mandy" Mandelson, Douglas Alexander and Ed Balls enter. Mandy, rocking a turban and harem pants, flings his arms round GB. Douglas, in a Pringle twin set and Betsey Johnston skirt dabs at his eyes with a lace hanky. Ed is eating a chicken leg. He is squeezed into a DVF wrap-around, cos he is such a weird shape they don't know what else to put him in.

Mandy: Oh Honey, come here, come to Momma.

GB: It's just so unfair! I give them 13 years and then to be dumped at the altar, for those snooty bitches! What did I do wrong?

Douglas: You didn't do anything wrong, sugar, it's not you, it's them. You did everything you could to make it work, but in the end they'd had enough mince and doughballs and voted for filet mignon.

GB: (wailing) I'm not doughballs!

Mandy: Pumpkin, mouth breathing and hush puppies is doughballs, live with it. Anyway talking of dough balls, guess what I did last night?!

ALL: Mandy! (rolling eyes)

Mandy: (patting turban) Whaaaat?! You haven't heard anything yet! Anyway, some Russki had a thing? At the place? You know the one. Anyway, there was the cutest bell boy, and my his bags were full!

Douglas: Mandy, you are awful and I don't like you. (Pursing lips and smoothing down frock)

Mandy: Oh don't get your sporran in a bunch, McMunchkin. I am what I am and what I am needs no excuses. I'm just tryin' to lift your spirits a little GB. Here, Babe, we got you something.

Mandy produces a large box tied with a ribbon.

GB: Cupcakes?!

Ed: With your ass dimples? I don't think so. And don't call me cupcakes. Though I could stand a bite of something... (He starts rooting around in the fridge.)

GB rips off the ribbon and rifles through the tissue paper inside.

GB: OMG! It's the Keir Hardies I've been lusting after! Thanks guys!

GB straps on the Keir Hardies and admires them in the mirror.

GB: (Frowning) But d'you think they're a bit last century?

Douglas: Honey, they're classics - and they give you a bit of stature.

Ed: GB, are you eating this crow in the icebox?

GB starts crying again.

Mandy: Jesus Ed, you're all heart.

Ed: (Fiercely) Well someone's gotta tell it like it is. Face it GB, they're just not that into you. If they like you, they're coming up for a fourth term, simple as. You might have floated the life boats for the global tsunami, but you took your finger out of the dyke in the first place. Well you're not the only one staring at life without a driver you know! Last night I had the most awful dream, I turned up to speak at the NUT conference, but they put me in a side room and the door locked and they found me two weeks later eaten by Alsatians. (Buries his face in his hands.)

GB: (Sobbing) But I'm not an Alsatian! And it wasn't just my finger and it wasn't just my dyke! Tchaikovsky couldn't even reach, the little runt, till I handed him a stepladder.

Mandy: (Sighing) Not Tchaikovsky, GB, Sarkozy.

GB: Whatever, the one with the wife that plays piano in the Waldorf. I know they loved me once. I was the velvet fist in an iron glove.

Mandy: Christ GB, I write them, all you have to do is deliver them.

GB: What did I say?

Douglas: Didn't Alastair write that one?

Ed: No, it's too clunky to be one of Alastair's.

Mandy: Look Butch, I'll do the jokes okay?

GB: I couldn't give a holy crap who wrote it. I had substance! I had bounce! I was Prudence, they wanted to see me smile!

Ed: Not on the youtube thing they didn't.

Mandy: Hark at Austin Powers.

Ed: What's that supposed to mean?

Mandy: I've seen better dental work on a Doberman Pinscher.

Douglas: Guys! This isn't helping. If only we hadn't let Bunny Darling put that dust ruffle on the tax credits, the instructions were so complicated.

Mandy: Listen haggis muncher, if I want macro- economic advice from little Jeanette Kranky I'll ask you.

Douglas: (Stamping his foot and shaking his ringlets) I'll have you know I've grown into the job.

Mandy: No sweetcheeks, that's the just the cork wedges.

GB: I. Just. Can't. Bear. It. The thought of the two of them together, helping themselves to my favourite ginger nuts, ...

Ed: (throwing his hands in the air) Oh yeah, ...now he tells us, ...now, when it's too late.

GB: ....off to Delmonico's in their top hat and tails, cold pheasant, champagne and a limited programme of electoral reform. And if it all goes pear shaped they'll say it wasn't their fault, they'll say I ruined it for them, that the economy could never grow again - because of ME! And what about TB? Waltzing off to his rubber chickens with his perma tan and his moral conviction, and leaving me with the fuzzy end of the lollipop, the self righteous laser eyed pixie...

Ed and Douglas: Hur, Hur, "laser eyed pixie", yeah we always liked that one....

GB throws himself face down on the sofa, a little awkwardly, due to the Keir Hardies . Mandy kneels beside him and pats him gently.

Mandy: Hey, hey, now. You had a pretty good run you know. School building programme, record NHS investment, reform of the House of Lords, devolution, the progressive social agenda. Hey, they'll never know the joy of a civil partnership. (Er, what happened to the laughs? Ed.)

GB looks up with a watery smile.

GB: You really think so?

Mandy: I know so. But the fact is we've gotta keep moving. I met someone at Highgrove the other day, Chopra, I think his name was, interesting guy, fabulous sandals, anwyay he said "Never apologise, never explain, it is what it is and just remember that our shit don't stink." And it gave me an idea.

All: (Expectantly) Yes Mandy?

Mandy. I think we need a change of scene... perhaps a change of cuisine...

All: We're going to Europe!!!

The four BFF's hug and stride arm in arm to Rosyth docks to board the ferry to Zeebrugge, leaving behind a legacy which they are assured will have their place consigned to the history books. (Is this last bit right? Ed.)