‘Change for real. Change for good’ is the lame slogan of the Liberal Democrats for their next election attempt. It’s rubbish on so many levels. For one, is ‘change for real’ even English? It doesn’t help that when written down it seems hard not to substitute it for ‘Change fo’ reals!’ as well. It’s easy to mock, and is ambiguous and vague enough to mean nothing but at the same time be wide open for any sort of interpretation one fancies. Basically it’s the perfect political slogan. It’s got me talking about it so I suppose it’s achieved something already, it has sparked debate. It’s missing a couple of crucial things though; namely honesty and fear. If I had to create a slogan for a political party it would be something along the lines of ‘Eh why not?’, ‘As if you could do any better’, ‘Someone’s got to do it’ or ‘How fond are you of your children… Vote for me.’ Something either bewildering honest in comparison to the oppositions ‘Change is nice’ crap or something with an unsettling sense of menace. Because the way I see it politics needs to be both completely transparent and terrifying to make anything work these days. Let’s make some wild and stupid changes with no ulterior motives other than we think it’ll work better and if anyone disagrees with us we threaten them with repercussions of violence, intimidation and endless televised Vanessa Feltz monologues (no cutaways, just Vanessa and a camera that slowly zooms further and further into her gaping mouth over the hour long speech. Think about that for a moment. Allow the true horror of the situation to sink in…)
But don’t get me wrong, these decisions we’ll make won’t be randomly selected policies created just to amuse ourselves. Although they may seem like that on the surface these directives will improve life as we know it. The terms New World Order and First Against the Wall are thrown around far too much these days (probably) but hear me out. The Intangible Menace Party’s ‘See-Through Alligator’ Manifesto (geddit? Transparent and terrifying… Yeah? Whatever…) will be baffling radical and radically baffling. Here are a few choice extracts.
On Parliament: Any speaker wishing to introduce some strange policy or debate existing ones must be willing to fight for it. Literally. If the debate gets too heated and is still going on after a certain pre-ordained amount of time, the head speaker can at will shout ‘FIGHT’ and at that point becomes the referee. The two speakers will wrap rope around their knuckles (because that looked cool as hell in Ong Bak) and will pummel each other over their beliefs. The fight goes on until one speaker cannot continue leaving the winner’s position on the policy or indeed his new policy as the one that will be acted upon. Don’t like the way things turned out? Challenge the winner! The best part? All televised live! That should sort out the problem of stagnant prime time television shows. No red-faced newspaper commentators will able to argue that the BBC television license is a waste of money with live House of Commons Deathmatches broadcast regularly. I know this system may seem needlessly violent and more than a little bloodthirsty but this way we’d only ever see policies enforced by people truly passionate about the cause. You won’t see a meek, slimy, scheming politician get his way through poisonous words and leaks to the press. If he doesn’t have the balls to step into the arena and fight for his party he gets nothing! If you’re still not sold on this just think about the possibilities for Prime Minister’s Question Time. I think you’re going to like this.
On Television: Having given the UK the greatest broadcast sensation to ever hit its shores where does the Intangible Menace Party go from there? Well first of all, no more reality TV. Just because. It’s a stale medium and needs to go. Off the back of that it also follows that ‘talent’ contests will have to go as well or they’ll have to at least undergo a serious retooling. No more celebrity judges, no sob stories or ‘oh mah gawd! She sings well but she’s ugly! How can this be!’ histrionics. Talent should be its own advert otherwise what’s the point. This should also help to stem the tide of oxygen thief hangers on, famous for doing literally nothing but walk and talk (and in some cases the latter is debatable). All new programming for all channels will be passed through a new governmental department of quality in broadcasting. There the various pitches will be scrutinised under strict criteria. Does it have a story? Does it have longevity without becoming boring or ridiculous? Will it be well-acted? Will it make the audience think? Does it have naked boobs involved? If the answer to all of these questions is a ‘yes’ then it gets the green light! The benefits of this process should be obvious and immediate.
On Football: One of the most radical of the party’s policies, all football players will have their pay reduced to that of your average shop assistant. Now we’ll see who really wants to play football and who just likes money. Frankly the sheer amount that top football players are paid is disgusting to the point of rage-powered projectile vomiting. This policy is designed to not only save the country, not to mention the world, billions of pounds but also it is an attempt to elevate the quality of the game and wipe out of existence the image of the super-privileged undeserving sportsman crashing his astonishingly expensive cars and generally flaunting his super-nova levels of smug bastardry in all our faces. All that will be left is the true sportsmen, the ones who really want to be there, who only ever wanted to play football without all the bullshit. They’ll still play for their clubs even on no more than £15,000 a year because they want to. The knock on effect will be that footballers will have to move back in with their parents to reduce the cost of living so they’ll all end up playing for their actual local clubs, leveling the playing field quite considerably. Football fans mourn not for the larger-than-life strikers of the top clubs (because they undoubtedly would all leave and show their true colours when they do) they were only holding us back. The focus will now be on the sport not the life behind the sport, honour will return to the stadiums now that only the faithful remain, there will never be a wider distribution of talent and we’ll be in power for like 2 months at best.
On the BNP: We at the Intangible Menace Party are all for free democratic elections, healthy competition, the right to free speech and all that good stuff but every time one of you fat, hate-filled pieces of filth opens your mouth we’ll quickly usher one wheelchair bound lesbian Muslim into the country. So shut the fuck up and go away already.
On Third World Debt: Abolish it. We’ll more than make up for it with the football thing.
On Pop Culture and Education: Pop culture is dying. It’s a horrible rotting carcass wherein we worship the truly deplorable and inherently pointless. Your magazines and papers and websites that are devoted to the act of celebrity watching and gossip will be destroyed and in their place will be things we deem to be more worthy. This will tie into education quite nicely as the ideal for young men and women to look up to will no longer be a stick think foetus pouting their way through the latest drug scandal on early morning Channel 4 shows (you know, for the kids!), it will be the intelligent and contemplative, politically aware grown-up. Basically Jeremy Paxman will be the new Jordan! You’ll think you miss the trash and gossip but eventually you’ll come to love the enforced readings and debates of the great political and philosophical works of our time until you’ve learnt the fractional amount you need to work out that we’re fascist bastards and need to be overthrown immediately. We’ll barely be in power but we’ll leave behind a twenty-first century enlightenment and that’ll comfort us when you line us up first against the wall for the firing squad.