The Tories and The Cannibals; A Joke, Revisited
Having observed how this government – and particularly Secretary for Foot in Mouth, Francis Maude – deal with the unions to avert crises, I am reminded of a joke. I have taken the liberty of adapting it for your delectation, dearest reader.
David Cameron, Andrew Lansley and Francis Maude are on a dangerous expedition through the Yorkshire wilderness. They are trying to locate the one firm which has received a grant under their Enterprise Zones scheme – an impossible and dangerous mission. With Lansley reading the compass, they soon get lost and are wandering around the jungle outside Leeds, aimlessly – they do everything aimlessly, but in this case it is literal.
As evening falls they are captured by a fearsome local cannibal tribe called YOO-NAIT (pronounced UNITE). They are hauled in front of its fearsome leader Haile McCluskie. He dismisses the tribe, so that he may address them in private. When it is only the four of them in the Conference Centre suite, McCluskie speaks:
“Gentlemen, we find ourselves in a difficult situation. Custom would have it that I skin you alive and make a canoe out of your hide. I have no choice but to satisfy this barbaric tradition, but there may be – how do you say in Whitehall – a hole in the loop? I must grant each of you a wish. Now, LISTEN CAREFULLY: If the wish is impossible to satisfy, I must grant you your life and set you free. Choose wisely.”
The rest of the tribe are allowed back into the hall. They are baying for blood – frankly, rather piqued that Pickles is not around, as that would be one hell of a canoe. Chief McCluskie asks each of the Tories to step forward and state their final wish.
David Cameron goes first. “I want a hot pasty from the West Cornwall Pasty Company”, he says.
Chief McCluskie wryly smiles knowing that the concession in Leeds station closed many years ago. He sets Cameron free.
Andrew Lansley steps forward next. I want to speak to someone who has read and understood the Health and Social Care Bill.
Chief McCluskie winks at him surreptitiously. They both know, no such person exists. He sets Lansley free.
Last to go is Francis Maude. “I want an ordinary fork”, he says, to everyone’s astoundment. “Are you certain?” asks the startled chief. “Plenty of those around…” he trails off. Maude nods and a fork is brought.
Suddenly, in a bloody frenzy, Maude starts to stab himself with the fork, over and over. He collapses to the floor, blood flowing from a dozen fresh, gaping wounds.
The chief bends over him and, with trembling voice, asks “Why? Why would you do such a thing?”
Through burbling, sputtering, red lips, Maude replies: “You’re not making a canoe out of me, you fucking prole.”