In Britain over my short life there has been a gradual, continuous, and now near-complete erosion of political idealism. Where sixty years ago were entrenched left and right positions, with a wide no-man's-land between them, there is now an overcrowded centre in which the political ground is trampled indiscriminately by all comers. The effects of this degradation include an apathetic electorate, and a new army of political tacticians inventing here-today, gone-tomorrow policy gimmicks to differentiate their party from the rest. In the absence of any material differences of principle the voter must now fall back entirely on the public image of the candidates to direct their vote.
A political Canute might lament this change, and squander nostalgic energies on futile efforts to return to the golden times. A leader of action, resolve, and vision will surf the tsunami of opinion as it sweeps away the ramshackle sprawl of decades of political opportunism.
Today I unveil the blueprint for a new force in British politics: the Celebrity Party. No longer will the political landscape be littered with the corpses of failed short-term initiatives. This new party will eschew all policy tactics, and rely entirely on the fame, charisma and trustworthiness of its candidates to bring about an entirely necessary and overdue sea-change in British politics.
I expect to confirm the key positions in the Celebrity Party ahead of its inaugural conference at Acapulco in December.
The creation of the party is not the only significant innovation being announced today. I can also confirm that the following areas of entirely new ground will be broken:
All ministerial posts will be held by two people, one of each gender. Aside from ensuring a perfect 50/50 representation of the sexes, this arrangement will allow one minister to cover when the other is away for filming, cosmetic surgery etc, while also providing a continuous 'will they, won't they' romantic suspense, thus guaranteeing prominent and persistent coverage in the popular press.
There will be no re-shuffles. Read my lips: no re-shuffles.
Unlike all other parties, we will not announce policies as faits accomplis. Instead options will be published, together with a balanced assessment of their pros and cons. The dual-ministers will use their celebrity communication skills to explain the relative merits of the options while motivating and engaging the electorate. There will then be a telephone vote to identify the most popular option. In the event that no option receives more than 50% of the initial telephone vote, then the least popular option will be dropped and the vote re-run, if necessary iteratively, until an option is found having an absolute majority.
As a consequence of holding polls for every policy, the role of Her Majesty's opposition will become largely redundant. All the other current parties will wither, to be replaced, if at all, by single-issue parties promoting niche interests, none of which will have the critical mass to mount a serious electoral campaign. The result will be a prolonged period of electoral contentment, with a benign and glamorous government, the envy of the world.