If Labour wins we could pay-per-view Jeremy Corbyn meeting Donald Trump and fund the NHS for a year

Mark Steel
Peter Mandelson would have to pretend he was pleased Corbyn had won - another reason to vote Labour: PA

The consensus in these perilous times appears to be we should be thankful for the Conservatives, for they have proved themselves capable of giving us the stability and unity we depend on, amidst difficult times with Europe.

Because as soon as you think of the words Conservatives and Europe, you ease into gentle thoughts of stability and unity, which is why Boris Johnson whispering "Conservatives on Europe" is used on meditation tapes.

Firmly and with no fuss, it was a Conservative Prime Minister who reassuringly called a referendum to silence his enemies and accidentally lost, wrecking Britain’s economic strategy over a 50-year period, then maintained the stability by resigning while his rival from Eton stood to take over but was knifed by another rival who in turn was dumped by some other faction, leaving a woman who’d spent years telling us we mustn’t leave Europe in charge of insisting we’ll be much better off leaving Europe. You can’t get more stable than that.

This is why all sensible people agree the Prime Minister embodies the consistent thinking essential for uncertain times. As well as maintaining, through the years, her steady line on Europe that we’re better off either staying in it or leaving it, definitely doing one or the other, she’s been just as firm on her stance about holding this election.

Statements such as “Of COURSE we’re not calling a poxy election for Christ’s sake, NO NO SODDING NO, how many more times NO!!!! I’d rather wet myself in public”, were subtly phrased to allow her to call an election without contradicting herself.

Even then, she insists she only changed her mind because she went on a walking holiday and had another think. This is true leadership, to be capable of adjusting your strategy when faced with momentous and unforeseeable events, such as a ramble in the woods.

When she’s facing tough Brexit negotiations, Theresa May will stare back at Angela Merkel and demand Britain concede nothing on trade or access for British business. Until she has a stroll across the garden, then she’ll change her mind and let Belgium take control of Wiltshire, but until then she’ll be absolutely firm.

Labour is blamed for being chaotic over Europe, because in the referendum, not all their MPs were on the same side. What a contrast with the Tories, who have only brought down 93 of their leaders over the issue, and always perfectly amicably. So whatever the Prime Minister arranges, the rest of her party will support her, maybe even suggesting helpful amendments such as "clause 19 b) ii We don’t want your shitty foreign cars anyway!"

Similarly we should be proud this election will revolve around a measured debate. The Tories have brought back Lynton Crosby, the strategist from last time, so we’ll see newspaper stories such as "Corbyn to force Dame Vera Lynn to become Muslim". And "Corbyn to demand one seat on the board of all major companies is reserved for a bird of prey, to replenish the population of species such as the osprey".

During the second week they’ll warn us Corbyn is planning to sell off the navy and replace it with spring onions.

Then at some point a newspaper will tell us that the “‘shape of Corbyn’s arse shows he’ll bankrupt Britain inside three weeks' says Britain’s leading arsologist, who has successfully studied the arses of over 40 people, proving a link between the shape of someone’s arse and their ability to not surrender in a trade agreement with the Spanish”.

This must be why most of the coverage so far suggests there’s hardly going to be an election at all. News reports start with lines such as “The Prime Minister announced today that on 8 June she will decide how big a majority she would like. At the moment it’s rumoured she’ll choose a majority of 211, but she may change her mind as she’s due to go on a walk by a lake.”

Theresa May might persuade the TV companies that as she’s certain to win, the debates should be between her before and after she’s been for a ramble. So she starts off by supporting the single market and increasing spending on the health service. Then she wanders up the side of a canal and back, and denounces everything she said in the first half.

Sky News will declare the after-walk Theresa was the clear winner but Channel 4 will dispute the figures, and in the last debate she’ll go for a swim as well and come back supporting the armed wing of the Animal Liberation Front.

In these circumstances, maybe Labour should stick to two or three definite ideas, such as nationalising the railways, or bankers pay being decided by an episode of Deal or No Deal.

Or they could reverse the Tory poll lead by insisting a victory for Labour would be the sensible choice in the current situation, because it would be funny. The entire establishment, the stock market, the press, everything, assumes the Tories will win by 80 per cent, so regardless of your political views it would be marvellous, like when Leicester won the league or if a rhino accidentally won first prize at Crufts.

Peter Mandelson would have to pretend he was pleased Labour had won, until he hyperventilated and David Dimbleby helped him put his head between his knees.

Jeremy Corbyn would have to meet Trump, which could be on pay-per-view and the profit could fund the health service for a year.

It’s their best chance. Party political broadcasts should start "oh go on, imagine it, it would be such a laugh", and in these unpredictable times, they’ll be ahead in the polls by Sunday.

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