Something a little different for you this festive season, dear hearts! My dear friend Mr. Dickens sent this first draft of a story he is about to publish. I know he wouldn’t mind if I shared it with you. There’s a moral in it somewhere, if only I could find it…
Stooge: A Christmas Fireside Pantomime
The Scene: A sparsely furnished bedroom in Downing Street, bare floorboards and a four poster bed with tattered hangings. A pale, drawn figure in leather trousers and kitten shoes sits in an armchair by the glowing embers of a dying fire, a sheaf of papers on her lap.
Ebertreazer Stooge: Bah, Humbug! Reducing the surplus British population and importing new stock from darker continents knocks the stuffing out of one! But I can’t go to bed yet, there are still demands to be met and Eurocrats to appease! There must be something else I can give away to my masters in Brussels, something the public wouldn’t notice…our fishing grounds perhaps… the Countess of Wessex… Shropshire maybe?
A strange howling and groaning fills the air.
Ebertreazer Stooge: Sod off you Brexiteers… you’ll get no joy from me!
Suddenly there is a rattling of chains and a ghostly figure appears.
Ebertreazer Stooge: Jacob? No. it cannot be! And yet you are familiar… there’s a whiff of the eighteenth century in your demeanour.
Jacob Rees-Marley: Indeed it is, Stooge! I have come from the other side of the party to warn you – there is little time left to save yourself. You must turn away from the evils of Berlaymont and become a champion of Brexit, or the people will turn on you! The knives are out! Beware!
Ebertreazer Stooge: Humbug! They haven’t got the guts! With me they have secure and stable government.
Jacob Rees-Marley: You may think so, others would disagree. Before this night is out Stooge, you will be visited by three spirits. Heed their warnings!
With a last rattle of chains, the spectre vanishes. Stooge gets up and hides beneath the duvet, drawing the bed curtains tight. Big Ben strikes midnight…the room is suddenly illuminated with an eerie light and swirling mist.
Spirit of Christmas Past: Wake up, Ebertreazer Stooge.
Ebertreazer Stooge: I recognise that voice, those heaving shoulders, those teeth… but it cannot be… is it really you..?
Spirit of Christmas Past: Yes indeed, Edward Heath, at your convenience (and thereby hangs a tail). When I was alive I too served Brussels more than my own people. Like you I told the public any old rubbish to achieve my wicked ends – and for my sins I am condemned to float on morning clouds for all eternity, unless I can save one poor soul from making the same mistakes. That is why I am here, Ebertreazer.
Ebertreazer Stooge: Push off Ted – nobody wants to listen to you!
And with a puff he was gone. Stooge goes back to bed. The night draws on until the clock strikes thirteen… A spectral hand draws back the curtains and a familiar face beams down.
Spirit of Christmas Present: Well you’ve cocked things up and no mistake! Brexit means Brexit my arse! They’ve cottoned on to you, Ebertreazor Stooge. You should have let me do the negotiating in Brussels, I’d have given Johnny Foreigner what for!
Ebertreazer Stooge: Nigel Farage! Since when did you join the spirit world?
Spirit of Christmas Present: Since my last visit to the pub… and as for this honours malarkey… you give bloody Clegg a knighthood for betraying his country and ignore me yet again! I am here to show you what happens when you ignore the grass roots. Take my hand…
No sooner does Stooge reach out and take the spirit’s hand than they are transported to a dismal garret room which once was the home of the Liberal Party. A sobbing figure sits on a three-legged stool in the corner, his crutch propped up against the wall – a political contortion not to be recommended.
Ebertreazer Stooge: Why have you brought me here, Spirit? Tell me, who is that wretch in the shadows, and why does he cry?
Spirit of Christmas Present: You do not recognise him? Why, it is Tiny Tim Farron, once leader of the Liberal Democrats… he thought he had the finger on the pulse of the nation, but as usual his digit was stuck up somewhere else. His mistake was to oft repeat those words abhorrent to the atheistic Guardianista Collective… ‘God Bless us, every one!’ which rather cooked his goose. Now his party is broken and insignificant… such may be your fate!
Ebertreazer Stooge: Hah! You’ve some need to talk! I don’t see UKIP doing that well these days!
This was one rebuff too many and the Spirit instantly vanished, leaving Stooge feeling smug. The clock struck fifteen… and the last of the three apparitions, burkha-clad in deepest black, floated in through the wall. It stood in the middle of the room pointing a bony finger at the terrified Stooge.
Ebertreazer Stooge: Are you the Spirit of Christmas that is to come? Tell me, Spirit, what will become of me?
The Spirit nodded but did not speak – instead, the bedroom dissolved in an instant and Stooge found herself in a graveyard with snow swirling around her. The Spirit pointed towards a large stone. It was the Miliband Stone, carved with Labour promises from the last but one election… but there was a new inscription at the foot.
Ebertreazer Stooge: It says, ‘Labour Victory 2020’… No, no… it cannot be! Tell me Spirit, this is not our future, is it?
The spectre tore off the black shroud to reveal a thin, wiry man with bristly beard, dysentery shorts, bicycle clips, and a Chairman Mao cap perched jauntily upon his head.
Jeremy Corbyn (for it is he): Our fireside pantomime draws to an end,
So Christmas greetings now I send.
Though not in a religious sense
For that would simply cause offence
To Guardian readers old and young
And those who speak a foreign tongue.
To those who sadly have no winkle,
Transgendered dust on them I sprinkle.
For all are welcome in Labour’s tent
Especially those not straight, but bent.
I can handle any crisis,
I’ll always be a friend to ISIS
And any thug that comes our way
Especially the IRA.
Before you twig that I am barmy,
I will, of course, disband the army…
Wake up, dear Comrades, do not yawn,
For I bring in the blood Red Dawn.
For Stooge, a lesson has been learnt,
Betray the public, you’ll get burnt.