Brian Monteith: Tall tales continue to miss their Mark

Prime Minister David Cameron outside 10 Downing Street. Picture:Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

Prime Minister David Cameron outside 10 Downing Street. Picture:Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

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THE three men pulled their chairs closer together in the Downing Street drawing room. What they had to discuss was delicate and they didn’t want any less than loyal police officers overhearing what they were about to discuss. The Prime Minister spoke first.

“Listen Lynton, we’re in a real bind. We’ve thrown everything at them, never mind my maid’s kitchen sink, we’ve thrown the Aga at them too and the damnable voters still want to leave. That last poll put them at 51 per cent, and with their turnout likely to be keener we’re sunk.

“That means I’m toast, and not just me, George here won’t last five minutes either, as he’s even less liked than me. You must help, Lynton, you’re the master of these black art things, you’ve got to save us.

Lynton Crosby had just returned from the Palace after being knighted for political services and sat there like a Rodin statue, with a cool acerbic demeanour contemplating their fate.

“I’m not sure how I can help. You’re not telling me you’ve ran out of scare stories, there’s always more of them. You just need to think of an event you wouldn’t like and then double it!”

PM: “Listen, we’ve had the IMF, the OECD, the Bank of England, the Treasury and countless bankers all saying how the bottom will fall out of the economy but no-one’s believing them. Our private polling says the public thinks they’re all part of our establishment club.”

LC: “Well they did all work at Goldman Sachs at one time or another and they’ve funded your campaign with £500,000!”

PM: “Really? Well we tried some retired generals, and secret service types, to talk about security and that’s had no effect either. It still looks like we might lose.”

LC: “Why should that work? For every general or spy chief that says one thing there’s always another two that will say the exact opposite, and Dearlove was much more convincing at it.”

PM: “Oh come on Lynton, give us some ideas, we’ve tried Obama and Hilary Clinton, but the polls then got worse. We’ve talked about migrant camps in Kent, and losing the Falklands and Gibraltar, we’ve run out of ideas. Sam Cam suggested we say Waitrose would close down but we’re scared Asda would then switch sides and say Brexit is a great idea!”

LC: “You need a double whammy. Go really over the top and say it will result in war and genocide. Then you need to say there will be a ‘recession’. The ‘R’ word will do it. People understand that. You need to find someone that can say what you want but isn’t a Tory, a foreigner but not a Yank. I know, how about the Governor of the Bank of England? He’s Canadian; nobody has anything against Canadians, and he looks independent but he’ll do as he’s told!”

It was then that George Osborne spoke up at last: “There’s a problem, actually.”

Cameron glowered at the Chancellor, “What, how could Carney be a problem.”

“He’s ex-Goldman Sachs, he was there 13 years, he’s a gold-plated international banker, just like the rest of our masters”

The shoulders of the three men sank, they had no one else to turn to and would just have to hope no one looked Mark Carney up on Wikipedia.

Who’ll keep wolves from our door?

WHEN the Prime Minister announced we would have WWIII and genocide if we vote for Brexit I thought he had Scaremonger of the Week in the bag, but it’s so ridiculous I decided against it. Instead the most deserving recipient this week is a group award to the nation’s satirists who are now parodying the Government by inventing the most outrageous scare stories.

Newsbiscuit reported “Brexit would lead to an increase in Flatulence, says Osborne”, or “UK could be at the back of the queue for the next WAR, says Obama” while the Daily Mash said “Massive wolf coming to eat all our sheep, warns Cameron” while The Commentator told us “Household pets could die in event of Brexit.” That’s what you call catching the zeitgeist.

Bear necessity to tell pandas joke

The joke doing the rounds in politics is that Edinburgh Zoo is having to extend the panda enclosure to accommodate more pandas now that there are 31 Tory MSPs at Holyrood

Alex Salmond used to boast there were more pandas in our zoo than there were Scottish Tory MPs (true) but that rings rather hollow now. It was no surprise to hear the Prime Minister get the joke in at Question Time, but he shouldn’t be so cocky.

So far pandas haven’t been too good at multiplying, and for the Tories what goes up could always come down.

Wish you were here again...

It was lovely to see Spring arrive in Edinburgh before it can be declared over! When I was a youth any sun like that over two days was officially declared a heatwave.

That meant you jumped on the 26 bus to Joppa and fought for a square yard of sand.

There were always lots of Glaswegian accents from the daytrippers who thought it great fun to come to Porty sur Forth rather than grace Largs or Loch Lomond.

Somehow I don’t think we’ll ever see those days again. Not because of the lack of sunny days, we get a decent share of those, but because we just never know when they will come.

Cheap flights to Lanzarote are more predictable.