Posted by Protempore in February's Magazine
Well, would you believe it? Not only have I made it through another rambunctious and drink-fuelled year but so too have you my friends. It’s startling isn’t it? On the 1st of January every year we never give a thought to the flagrant abuse and maltreatment which we are about to inflict on our internal organs in the pursuit of haziness. Or should that read ‘happiness’? As you will have already guessed, I have, once again, embarked on the long road stretching ahead armed only with a corkscrew and a heady optimism that this year will be much like all the others – uproarious in places, melancholic in others but always sweeter than the alternative.
However, this year might be slightly shorter than previous ones – if you believe the stories currently doing the rounds about the end of the Mayan calendar on 21st December 2012. Some soothsayers have predicted that this will also herald the end of the world, as we know it. So, as tradition (and an impatient editor) dictates, I’m going to give you some of my own predictions for the year ahead. And as tradition also dictates, these will consist of political and sporting tips that emerged as I gazed at my crystal ball, (surely an ‘s’ missing here – Ed) an affliction to which I am a willing martyr.
Although there aren’t any major elections planned for 2012, there could well be seismic shifts in the political landscape. In my opinion, we will see the beginning of the inevitable implosion of the coalition government at Westminster. This will begin with some high-ranking Tory buffoon being found in a basement tied to a chair, wearing stockings and suspenders, with a citrus fruit stuffed in his face, whilst being spanked with a wet fish by a 65-year old laundrette attendant. David Cameron will state, while acknowledging the fact that his colleague’s behaviour does not sit well with the Tory party’s staunch stance on family values, that he cannot discipline a member of the party for having “well recognised public schoolboy proclivities.” This will infuriate Nick Clegg who will respond by stating that in all his time at public school he had “never once come across a laundrette attendant.”
This remark will be misinterpreted by the Speaker in the House of Commons who will suspend Clegg and rebuke George Osborne for “giggling like an old Etonian who suddenly realises that he’s been promoted beyond his capabilities.” With the coalition in turmoil, Danny Alexander will tell Channel 4 News that he has no intention of resigning and will continue to take his seat in the Commons and stare blankly into the distance as the country goes down the toilet stating “this is what this coalition Government was formed to do.”
In the morass of resignations and repercussions, Vince Cable’s incontinence will rear its ugly head just as he is about to deliver a speech on quantitative easing, forcing William Hague to call him “a wet.”
In Scotland, Alex Salmond will give himself a massive hernia as he struggles to contain huge guffaws of laughter each time he has to pit his wits against his opponents in the debate on independence. The Labour party, having elected Johann Lamont leader, will soon realise that no-one in their right mind is going to vote for someone who looks like they spent their fortnight’s holiday in a leaky caravan in Harthill. Asked why she finds it difficult to crack a smile now and again, she’ll state “I’m Scottish, I’m steeped in the nepotistic, negative and therefore destructive traditions of west coast Labour politics and I’m fast approaching the menopause and proud of it.”
Ruth Davidson for the Tories will continue her attempts to modernise the most hated political party in Scotland by insisting that her front bench team glam up and attend the Glasgay Festival gala opening. Well-known Rangers fan Murdo Fraser will resign from the party stating that he “cannot be seen to be marching in Glasgow without a bowler hat and white gloves on.” This outburst will disappoint former leader Annabel Goldie who was hoping to have Fraser on board her ‘Cabaret’ float where she will be dressed as Sally Bowles.
For the Lib Dems, it will be business as usual, standing at the back of every photo shoot looking as though they’ve wandered into the wrong room before being ushered out by the janitor. While all this is going on, Alex Salmond will be quietly picking out soft furnishings for the presidential residence and trying not to laugh too loudly.
As in politics, so it is at the Cheltenham Festival in March; horses for courses. And here are my top tips for the best racing week in the world. Although it’s too early to know exactly what races these beauties will be running in, they should be there or thereabouts at the finish.
‘Unaccompanied’ was second in the Novice Hurdle last year and will be better this time around. ‘Fingal Bay’ looks like a tremendous prospect and will be short odds come race time. And in the Gold Cup, all the money will be for ‘Long Run’ and ‘Kauto Star’, but I’m going for ‘Captain Chris’ to upset the odds.
Warning: always remember, a racehorse is an animal that can take thousands of people for a ride at the same time.
Photo: Toby Melville/Reuters