“Though politicians be rational,
that is to say, lacking indiscretion...”
Though all politicians are partisan,
Having no powers of acting on their own,
We know each one of these species can
Succumb to hubris, for which they must atone:
The Iron Bitch, Awkward Ed, Ted the Teeth,
St. Anthony of Spyn, with infamous sleight
Of hand, and Broun, who felt it was his right.
So different are they in propensities,
Visible to us in news and magazines,
And in questionable shows on our TVs
Hosted by the likes of Dave Dimblebeans;
Therefore, the best that I can do is write
About a case I came across this year,
Between Clegghorn and cocky Chandelier.
The former, leader of a small party,
Would spin fine tales to earn himself some votes.
Nothing loath, he could be classed as hearty,
This hero of his tiny flock of dotes
Who'd succour them and hold out hope, not fear.
The handsome mongrel's only duty lay
In crowing loudly, to bring in the hay.
Now at election time when votes were closed,
A coalition was on the cards some said,
And so the cunning Chandelier proposed
That Clegghorn join with him, you see, instead
of voting with the reds for labouring toil.
Aligning with the right is often best,
He crowed as Clegghorn huffed and puffed his chest.
Back then, that fox got on the phone to call
Around the sycophants he knew would tell
Young Clegghorn what to do. What's best for all
the party's hopes, ahead of freezing hell,
They said was this: to seize the chance to share
In government and reap rewards next time,
When we'll be seen to change the paradigm.
With face displaying nothing but good cheer
And unaware of fate, young Clegghorn said,
“Ill be your man,” which pleased old Chandelier.
And so the party changed its tune; not red,
nor blue, but yellow through and through the spine.
“Chin up,” said Chandelier, “from now, today,
You'll be my 2iC. You've saved the day.”
“I'd be at fault, if 'No' was what I chose,
Because the party needs this chance to serve.
It's been such a long, long road for those
Of us who've been accused of lacking nerve,
But here we are, with all our dreams in reach.
And do you know what is the saving grace;
Of all scenarios, this is best case.”
“You'll do, Clegghorn,” said laughing Chandelier.
“Oh yes, my friend,” he thought then to himself,
“When you're long-gone forgotten, I'll be here,
Still handing out our gifts to private wealth.”
“Between us, why, we'll make this country great
Once more,” he said. “Oh, never mind your pledge
On student loans; you know they'll earn a wedge.
And when they see what liberal rule entails,
You'll all be lauded to the heights of fame.”
“O Chandelier, I'd hang on your coattails
And fill my boots. It seems that, all the same,”
He let it slip, “it rankles just a bit
To now renege on all the things we said,
On shunning deals and getting into bed.”
The treacherous Chandelier thought he could see
What made young Clegghorn tick. “You are, I find,
Above the mean of man's integrity,
But now is not the time to change your mind.
We know you hold the key to Number 10,
But Britain needs you Clegghorn, that's a fact,
Let not recalcitrance be your last act.
Don't be timorous. Follow those whose greatness
made them Liberal heroes, whose names still make
them shed a tear at conference time. No less
Than Asquith or Lloyd George, will Clegghorn take
His rightful place. Become their Liberal heir!”
“If put like that, kind Chandelier,” he bowed,
“I'll do the deed. I'll make those Liberals proud.”
So Clegghorn then, fair swollen up with pride,
(Such pride, of all the seven sins the crown)
Embarked upon a roller coaster ride.
At times, he closed his eyes as he sat down
Right next to Chandelier on front-bench seat
And wondered as the breath caught in his throat,
“Can this be true?” But there he was, you'll note.
There were some still – the Left – who could not thole
The fact that Clegghorn chose the Tories not
The party led by Broun, but on the whole,
They were thankful they'd escaped a Gordian knot.
Then news about the student loans came out.
“Murder! Looting! Theft” O they raised a din.
“Clegghorn has sold us out!” (His woes begin.)
As if deranged, the students yelled and cried.
Encouraged by big issues in the Press,
They beat their chests and turned themselves cock-eyed.
Their ire was roused indeed, but who'd confess
To bringing in the scheme? Not Chandelier.
Nor Clegghorn either. Yet he took the blame
And all for voting in more of the same.
“Alas,” he sighed when next election polls
Suggested that the Liberals wouldn't hold
So many seats again, nor keep its roles,
“That Chandelier will ditch us, it's foretold.
That German Chancelloress once wisely warned,
When coalitions fade, it's the smaller
Sibling takes the rap and gets the bother.”
And sure enough, it came to pass that May,
When voters cast their votes as voters will,
That fall guy Clegghorn had a dismal day.
He had to swallow such a bitter pill
That tears welled in his eyes as it went down.
“At least,” he said, “I always tried my best.
I'm sorry. Now I've got that off my chest.”
Said rivals then, “Come on, give up that sorrow.
It's not the time to contemplate our woes.
We'll be all right, I'll bet you, by tomorrow.
The proverb says, 'As good luck comes as goes'
So now we have to focus on new clothes,
And spruce ourselves to suit the partisans.
Come sing along, 'The ballot in our hands'.
As good as Clegghorn was and whether fair
Or foul demise took him from us, assess
His worth compared to others in the chair
At getting column inches in the Press.
Think of Pantsdown, poor old Chas, or of Thorpe.
Smile through your tears, for when all's said and done,
In politics, the days are long, but fun.”
The party rallied like its love was feigned;
No more than lust for Clegghorn's boyish grin.
“Liberals, Democrats, failure's not ingrained.
Since when has sharing power been such a sin?
I swear by conference season we'll be well
On down the road to retribution and
Proudly singing, 'the ground on which we stand'.”
And meanwhile, Chandelier has gone from strength
To strength, his Tory party striding forth
With influence across the breadth and length
Of England anyway, if further north
The orange order's gains gave him the blues.
Landslide defeat was not something they earned,
It's just that lessons there were never learned.
And as he rules the roost in his back yard,
Old Chandelier must know his saving grace.
Reneging on a promise wasn't hard,
But seeing why he did ain't hard to trace:
If he'd agreed to Clegghorn's AV scheme,
There'd still be coalition, but with whom?
You guessed Barrage? That would have spelled his doom.
It can be seen, this is no Commons fable,
A tale of politicians whom we'd mock.
There are some profound things that we're able
To read between the lines. If we take stock,
We'll answer riddles of the oldest kind:
Who comes first is neither egg nor chicken,
But cocky rooster, good at politickin'.
Alas, there's sorry Clegghorn, who was vain.
He paid for short term glory, then he fell
Upon his sword. But all who saw his pain
Perhaps felt empathy and wished him well.
The only ones who kick a man when up
Are journalists who'd love to see him down.
Just ask their latest victim where's his crown.
That sly old Chandelier can be compared
To one who'd brandish praise and flattery.
He'd act just like he really, really cared,
Only he'd be winding up your battery.
Less naive folks can see that crafty style.
He'll take advantage and be underhand.
Don't offer Chandelier a friendly hand.