Monday, 24 November 2008


Well finally, contact has been officially made. Six weeks after joining the Labour Party, I received this letter from my neighbouring ward. After informing me of the sad passing away of the local councillor, the letter got down to business.

“Sadly our attentions now have to turn to electing a new councillor… I’m writing to all Labour members in Haringey to invite you to seek selection to be Labour’s candidate in this by-election…if you are interested in standing, you must complete and return the enclosed form by 5pm on Monday 24 November.”

In other words, welcome back to the Labour Party, do you fancy becoming a candidate? Now I realise that I'm registered in Haringey, so everyone remotely involved with the Labour Party here is deemed to be in possession of two horns and a tail, but do you think there might perhaps be the tiniest sort of vetting process at work? No one has ever been so forward to me on a first date.

I'm thinking of filling in the form anyway, just to see whether I get chosen or not. After asking for the usual personal details, the form continues as follows:
Gender: Male (sorry!)
Ethnic Origin: White (sorry again)
Details of Disability if applicable: Ha ha! I've got a hearing aid! Result!

Labour Party Experience: Hardly any. I went out canvassing in 1983. Once. And in 1997 I drove some old people to the Polling Station.

Other Life Experience: Wife and three kids ('family man'). No previous convictions. Stand-up comedian. (far too self-aware to spout a party line in public).

Relevant Knowledge of Seven Sisters Ward and local government: Been to the planning office a couple of times. It's very nice.

Communication skills: Marginally better than Crouch End Labour Party. (Still waiting to hear)

Campaigning Skills and Experience: See Labour Party Experience.

I wonder if that would get me a place on the short list? I'd send the form off only I'm worried that no one else will apply and I'll end up becoming Councillor Dave of Seven Sisters. In which case maybe it's best that they know about the Cayman Island account and the second wife in Thailand...

Thursday, 20 November 2008


Oh well, it's all clear now.

Turns out the reason I've been getting no comments for the past few weeks isn't because no one's reading the blog. (Although surely that has something to do with it). It's because I had the wrong default settings. Computers are clearly to me what anyone who earns under 50K a year is to George Osborne ie utterly beyond my comprehension.

So keep those tirades of blogosphere invective cascading in this direction. Before I cocked up the settings, I'm afraid to say that all the comments I received were disappointingly erudite and well-considered. This is a blog on the internet okay? I want bile! spelling mistakes! Abbreviations! And the only punctuation I'm looking for is exclamation marks!!!


Wednesday, 19 November 2008


My fellow Conservatives, what I am about to say to you today should come as no surprise. When I first became leader, and I began to talk about the importance of climate change, and how there was such a thing as society, and how we would not tolerate racial discrimination, you looked on me with suspicion.

But you also saw that for the first time I was beginning to attract a new kind of person to the Conservative Party. The kind of person who isn’t yet eligible for a bus pass. The kind of person who doesn’t necessarily look as though he might send letters in green biro to the Daily Mail.

You remained suspicious, but as Labour became less popular, and we started to build a lead over them in local and bye-elections, you stopped minding so much. Even your Chief Flag Bearer Lord Tebbit cooled his criticisms.

And for a while, it meant that I didn’t need to challenge you any more. It looked as though we were so clearly on course for an election victory that I might have been able to become Prime Minister without having to create a ‘Clause Four’ moment. My Bullingdon buds George and Boris were proving a hit with the neutrals, and Gordon Brown seemed to be taking popularity lessons from my predecessors Howard and Duncan Smith.

Well, as we all know the landscape has changed. Labour, and Brown, are being given another chance. There’s no point repeating the truth, that Brown’s personal promotion of unfettered city greed did so much to get us here in the first place. After all, to reiterate these facts only serves to remind people that these now utterly discredited policies were pioneered by Margaret Thatcher, Nigel Lawson and Ken Clarke.

So how should we respond to this new situation? The easiest thing would be for me to revert to type. To call for spending cuts as the only way to help reduce taxes. To show up Labour as the party of tax and spend. To create a climate of fear about the pound, and the economy. Hague, Howard, IDS, they all began with good intentions, each one soon returned to fear, racism, self-interest, the 80s siren calls that still played well to the dwindling minority of loyal grass roots voters.

But I’ve gone too far for that. I’ve moved our party too far into the 21st century to allow us to return to the 19th. I believe that to take on Labour, instead of trying to argue with them, we show the people that there are alternative ways of saving our economy. So that is why today, I am reviving one of the few policies that Margaret Thatcher advocated but which she failed to see through.

From today, I shall argue that Britain must, as soon as is humanly possible, sign up to the Euro.

The pound has been in more or less terminal decline for half a century, and frankly we should have joined at Margaret’s first attempt. Now we have to accept that, for better or for worse, in today’s global economy, global solutions are required. This is what Gordon Brown never tires of repeating, but he remains convinced that he alone knows what those solutions are.

Margaret, for all her hectoring aginst Europe, was a pragmatist at heart. She also signed us up to the Channel Tunnel, a move that has brought us closer to Europe physically and emotionally.

Yes, Margaret knew how to tickle the tummies of our grass roots supporters when it came to bashing Jean Foreigner, but deep down she was the most Europe-friendly Prime Minister Britain has ever had – and she did it because for her winning elections was ultimately far more important than taking a stand for Britain.

Europe is our future. At times they may seem bureaucratic and over-zealous in their regulations, but generally we are grateful for their directives on work, human rights, the lives we lead and the food we consume. To quote from one of my all-time heroes,
“He said ‘d’you want it pasteurised cos pasteurised is best?’
She said ‘Ernie I’ll be happy if it comes up to me chest.’”

Friday, 14 November 2008


Yes that's right, I set up this blog back in July as a little experiment, first of all to see if I could write four or five short articles a week about one topic (so far so good), and second because I really believed Labour might be able to choose a new leader, as the current one was proving so hopeless.

Then he became an international hero, saviour of the world etc - and a prolific letter-writer (see previous blogs). While I didn't become a convert overnight, my enduring fondness for the man and his principles at least made me believe he deserved another chance.

But reading the newspapers and websites today, I'm reminded what it is about Gordon Brown that makes him no longer the right man to lead the Labour Party to the next election. God, I even almost typed 'election defeat' without thinking there, that phrase might as well be one word.

Gordon, schoolmaster of all he surveys and Professor-in-Waiting to the world, will 'tell' the assembled Ministers and leaders this weekend what they need to do to make sure the world economy stays afloat. Okay, as world leaders go he has a better grasp of economics than most. He's proved himself, as even his harshest critics admit, to be a calm man in a crisis. But there are two other crucial requirements now, and he is sorely lacking in both areas.

One - he needs to show humility. There has been not the slightest hint that the problems of the last few weeks might have had anything to do with Gordonomics - specific policies that encouraged the city greed that brought us to this place, along with the ruthless pursuit of economic growth at any cost.

I can see why in political terms a public apology hands his enemies a lifeline while they're currently wondering how to defeat him, but a private acknowledgment that there are other countries - notably those signed up to the Euro, and those who have continued to innovate with their economies - who also know a thing or two about how to keep their countries economically viable.

So two - he needs to listen. Not to the people who have had his ear for the last ten years - Irwin Seltzer, Rupert Murdoch, Paul Dacre, Margaret Thatcher, people who like him and most of the bankers have learned nothing from this greedy world they created. People from other countries who have their own ideas about how to get out of this mess.

Today's rant is pushed for time. Have a nice weekend y'all.

Thursday, 13 November 2008


Now I'm not trying to be flippant, I've been a freelance writer and performer for 25 years so I've had my fair share of anxious weeks and months wondering if I'll ever work again... but could we just stop for a moment and try and look at the current depressing unemployment figures from a different point of view?

Everyone is saying things are looking really bad for the economy, and for economies the world over, and of course economies are very big things that push and pull in all directions. But what I'm talking about is people. Individuals.

Now what I'm about to say goes against all my instincts as a lifelong Trade Unionist, and a believer that people should be paid properly for the work they do, but how about instead of making one person 100 per cent unemployed, why not make two people 50 per cent unemployed? I know, it's called job share.

These giant companies like BT and Virgin, for example, that are planning to shed thousands iof jobs. It shouldn't be beyond the realms of human capability for the people who run these companies to devise working situations where they could have two people working half-time, they're paying one less wage but they're not adding to the unemployment figures, they're putting one less person on benefits and giving everyone a chance to go out and do something useful in their lives - whether it's find anopther job, voluntary work, involvement in some local cause.

I know it sounds utterly fanciful and is so totally not thought through - this is, after all, a blog, so just be thankful I'm not writing 'that dude is so owt of tuch lol' - but if your own job is at risk which would you prefer - a 50 per cent pay cut plus 20 extra hours in the day, or a 100 per cent cut and 40 hours?

Oh well, back to comedy. Got bills to pay...

Tuesday, 11 November 2008


Dear Gordon,

Just thought I'd keep up our blossoming correspondence of the last few weeks. Thanks for letting me know about why you bailed out the banks, bailed out Peter Mandelson, and gloated over Alex Salmond.

I've had quite a busy week, I've got a sitcom script I'm quite pleased with that I've been tweaking, and I shall be sending it out to a few producers before Christmas. And I've had some encouraging comments about this blog which is amazing because I don't think anyone reads it!!!

How about you? I see your old mate Paul Dacre has been slagging off the Human Rights Act, does this mean you're going to cave in exactly the same as you did with the BBC, and instantly repeal it? I hope not. Anyway, send Paul my love and tell him the measles epidemic is just starting to slow down now, so keep up the good work at the Mail.

Anyway, the reason I'm writing is because it's now five weeks (FIVE WEEKS!!!) since I contacted my local party. No one got back to me by phone or e-mail, but then joy of joys! I walked past the Labour Party office in Crouch End on Saturday morning and Steve was there! No I don't know who Steve is either, and he probably thought I was weird because I greeted him like a long lost friend.

But Steve ALSO took my e-mail and telephone number, and PROMISED me he'd do something about it. (Oh dear, mentioning Paul Dacre has turned me into a ranting tabloid journalist! Must calm down) Three days on and still not a peep from anyone local. Does the local Labour Party exist? Am I real, or am I dreaming? Are my plans to turn Labour into the kind of solvent mass movement the Democrats have become already dead in the water?

When you have a mo, let me know your thoughts. And if you know anyone who lives in Crouch End and votes Labour, let me know their address thanks

Love as ever

Monday, 10 November 2008


"David Cameron is expected to say in a speech later that the Conservatives will not allow unemployment to ruin people's lives."

Somewhere in a parallel universe, my Tory equivalent is sitting in his little house in Maidstone or wherever they are, screaming at the BBC News website for printing the above (and probably using it as another excuse to close down the BBC for good.)

He is ranting against this one final betrayal of what Thatcherism was truly about - and he would have already posted something on his blog if the foam coming from his mouth hadn't jammed his keyboard - which was, letting the market solve how people live their lives. Cameron may not allow unemployment to ruin people's lives, but unemployment as 'the small price to pay' for good government was at the heart of Maggie's first two terms.

However, is there anyone from Labour daring to point this out? Why can't Labour be producing a press release to this effect? Or would I be accused by my leader of 'playing politics' for daring to point out the fundamental difference between the philosophies at the heart of Conservatism and Labour?

If you want to be liked again, I suggest you WAKE UP Labour.

Friday, 7 November 2008


I don't normally post more than once a day but the continuingly prolific Gordon has sent me another e-mail, and I'm depressed again.

Dear Dave, it begins, and perhaps it would have been best for all of us if it had ended there -

I wanted to take the time to thank all those party members who helped secure a great win for Lindsay Roy in the Glenrothes by-election. Don't waste your valuable Prime Ministerial time writing to me then mate, I did sod all.

In particular I would like to pay tribute to Gordon Banks and John Park, Jim Murphy and Iain Gray for their energy and commitment. Lindsay was an excellent candidate and will make a great MP. It fills me with great pride that the former Head Master from my old school in Kirkcaldy will join us in the House of Commons.

Okay, nothing to bother me there. Quite touching, in a small way.

What this victory shows is that people want politicians who will help them fairly through the downturn, and that they will always turn away from those politicians who choose to play politics rather than offer solutions which protect people through this downturn.

Aaaaaarrrgggh! He's done it again. You had to bloody well go and spoil it.

Labour won Glenrothes to some extent by playing politics, and playing it well. They attacked the SNP where they were weak, even though many of the problems the SNP faced as the ruling party were not their fault. DON'T YOU SEE that merely by saying people turn away from politicians who choose to play politics, you are playing politics. I know this is supposed to be no time for a novice, but you should watch Obama's acceptance speech and learn how to show your opponents a bit of humility in victory.

That is why I am going to Brussels today to meet with other world leaders - subtext: Cameron and Salmond are not world leaders, I am, that's so childish - about the action we can take together to give British families and businesses the support and security they need to protect their mortgages, job and standards of living. It's that mantra again.

In the meantime please join me in thanking all of those who helped secure Lindsay's win.

Yours sincerely,

Gordon Brown


Well you could have knocked me down with a feather (Vic Feather, he was a big man. I love the fact that not only is there no one reading this blog, but that I can put in jokes that even if the blog was really popular hardly anyone would get. American comedy writers call jokes like that 'two percenters' ie only 2% of the viewers get it but it's going in the show anyway, just for them).

Anyway Labour, that Labour party I rejoined the week after their worst ever bye-election defeat, in Glasgow East last July, are back in the reckoning as a political party. The initial reason I set up this blog was because I thought Labour needed to get its act together, have a new leadership battle, with genuine arguments heard by all sides, led by the membership. Not the current membership, but people like me, the ones who left in their tens of thousands over matters such as the Iraq war.

It's quite breathtaking how Gordon's global 'to do' list has turned his fortunes around so dramatically. One of the reasons we were all fond of him was that he was a decent man with big ideas. The main reason we were fed up with him was that he was incapable of translating those big ideas into a coherent sense of what his leadership was for. Well, now that's been delivered to him by Lehman Brothers. Thanks guys.

So what now? With America about to change, subject to one last hurrah from George before he trashes the office on his last day, for the first time since Thatcher and Reagan there'll be two like-minded leaders in control of Britain and the US. Where Ronnie and Maggie created a world based on selfishness and greed, perhaps Gordon and Barack can point us towards a world where we have to share the diminishing wealth. Oops, off in dreamland.

I really want this blog to be funny, but honestly I'm so chuffed by the events of the past week I haven't found anything annoying enough to work me into a comedic frenzy. Promise to be funny again after the weekend.

Pip pip!

Thursday, 6 November 2008


----- Original Message -----
From: info @email
Sent: Wednesday, November 05, 2008 5:47 PM
Subject: Last night's result

Thank you for contacting the Labour Party.

Your comments and questions are important to us.

But we will not have seen this email you sent us.

You will need to re-send your email by clicking on the link below and completing the online form.

Go to By using this form we will be better able to deal with your comments and questions in the most appropriate manner.

Thank you for contacting us.

Membership and Communications Unit
The Labour Party

Dear Labour Party,

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly, albeit in automated form. I was just curious about the fact that, since I rejoined Labour and contacted my local party at the beginning of October, Gordon Brown has fought off a leadership challenge, saved the world from financial ruin, brought back Peter Mandelson (he must be kicking himself about that now) - and still found the time to write me two letters.

However, I have not received a single acknowledgment from my local branch of the Party (Crouch End and Wood Green), where even as we speak I am hanging around waiting desperately to jump out of the starting blocks and become involved in some direct action.

I can only assume that with no MP and no councillors, the remaining local members have given up on the party. So shall I just appoint myself chairman? Or is there anyone out there - anyone?! who might be willing to talk to me?

Many thanks

Wednesday, 5 November 2008


----- Original Message -----
From: Gordon Brown
Sent: Wednesday, November 05, 2008 5:38 PM
Subject: Last night's result

Dear Dave

This morning I sent my sincere congratulations to Barack Obama on winning the Presidency of the United States. I also have sent a message to Senator John McCain who has shown characteristic dignity in defeat - the same dignity that has marked a lifetime of service to the public.

What has happened today will live in history for as long as history books are written. Barack Obama ran an inspirational campaign, energising politics with his progressive vision for the future. His success marks a victory for those who believe that real change requires real substance and the right values.

Over the next few months and years, I look forward to working with Barack Obama, as President Elect and then as President. I know he is a true friend of Britain, and I know that the values we share in common and the polices on which we can work together will enable us to come through these difficult economic times and help to build a fairer and more secure world.

I believe the strong relationship between Britain and America is built not just on history and tradition but on values of liberty, democracy and opportunity that we hold in common. And today, as Barack Obama said this morning, America has proved once again that its great strength comes from 'the enduring power of our ideals.'

Gordon Brown

Dear Gordon,

Since I re-joined the Labour Party in July of this year, you have sent me two e-mails, without me even asking. (Thanks, by the way, I like the personal touch). However, despite numerous e-mails and phone calls to my local Labour Party, not one single person has responded to my request to become involved at local level.

I know you're a busy chap, but if someone with a bit of time on their hands could contact anyone from Crouch End and Wood Green Labour Party to contact me at this e-mail address, I'd be absolutely delighted.

Many thanks Dave

Tuesday, 4 November 2008


Ah, Crouch End, known only to the majority of web users as a short story by Stephen King - I've not read it, but I'm sure if I surmise that a grisly murder takes place somewhere among our buggy-filled boulevards that I'd be on the right lines synopsis-wise - and as the setting for Simon Pegg's 'Shaun Of The Dead' movie.

Anyway, I only mention these two dull snippets of information now because in the last four weeks I have been unable to spot or locate a single member of what was once the thriving Crouch End and Wood Green Labour Party. Have they all been killed off, or simply turned into zombies, doomed to a life of delivering postal votes from the grave?

No one answers my phone calls, nobody picks up my e-mails, the shop on Middle Lane is permanently shut. So I have decided to step in to the vacuum of power and intrigue caused by this depletion of bodies, to declare that as of today I am now unofficially Chairperson, secretary, treasurer and all round Policy Wonk of Crouch End and Wood Green Labour Party.

Too much power invested in one person? You should have thought of that before you relinquished your own authority, sucker. Power is mine, although I shall of course use it only for benign purposes (once I have thrown Starbucks off the high street and reinstated Word Play).

My first move will be to alert the national party of these missing persons... and then contact the computer savvy neighbouring branch of Walthamstow for some handy hints.

Can this blog get any more exciting you ask?