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The Elephant in the Room
That James Thurber did not create “the elephant in the room” with one of his superb cartoons ~ a group at a drinks party chatting away and ignoring the huge beast in their midst ~ is a pity, for its origin is unknown and yet it deserves an author. Government today, especially in the United Kingdom, is plagued with elephants, and one that has now forced the Prime Minister to recognise its bulk is his Deputy Prime Minister, The Right Honourable (but revealed as dishonourable) John Prescott, MP.
That Her Majesty’s Deputy Prime Minister is an incompetent buffoon has long been understood by all political commentators. Since 1997 he has held several different senior posts, for some of which government departments have been reorganised for him at great expense, and every time he has left behind him a catastrophe for his successor. His principal interest in life, as he has boasted in a BBC interview, is “class warfare”, and it is to the pursuit of that agenda alone that he has dedicated the political power awarded him.
His undisguised hatred of half the population he represents as Deputy Prime Minister has made him active in areas outside his departmental responsibility. His famous opposition to grammar schools is owed to his own failure to pass the 11+ examination his brother passed, and his war against hunting is based on his vision of hunters as “upper-class toffs”. His most recent ministerial powers (now, as a result of his egregious sexual behaviour, removed) have been used to destroy countryside he believes the middle classes love.
The Prime Minister’s recognition that this huge elephant could be ignored no longer is owed to the publication of his diary secretary’s memoirs in the news media. He has been revealed as an aggressive, bullying danger to his female subordinates, an unrepentant groper who demanded sexual services in his office, vertical behind an open door or horizontal on a desk, while his clerical assistants laboured at their desks a few feet away. He has brought his office ridicule and thereby undermined the dignity of government.
The Prime Minister and the Labour Party ignored the elephant for so long because its presence in the Cabinet Office could be denied while the left wing of the Labour Party saw John Prescott as one who would fight the class war on their behalf. Now, like the wife in the Thurber cartoon above, while insisting on denial, the left wing members concede that the electors may have heard a seal bark. Accordingly, the Prime Minister might find the will to act appropriately. What will he do?
We do not know. However, we have recently been favoured with the leak of the document attached here as a PDF file. Naturally, we cannot speak for its authenticity, and it may well have been produced by canny members of the Conservative Party who, it is now suspected, are striving to protect the Prime Minister because they believe that if he is replaced by the Chancellor the country will quickly be destroyed without hope of every being brought back to health. British politics are very complicated.
Readers are invited to submit the names of any other Jaguar-driven ministers eligible for a feudal title and exile to the northern coastline.
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