The Curmudgeon


Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Political Manifesto

A Political Manifesto, finding itself thoroughly starved of ideas, went begging from door to door around the various Departments of one of the world's numerous Greatest Democracies in the World.

It went first to the Treasury, where an Alchemist sat poring over an immense and complicated tangle of equipment. "Go away!" yelled the Alchemist when the Political Manifesto announced its presence. "Do you not see that I am busy turning base public utilities into gold for the financial sector?"

So the Political Manifesto went to the Department of Agriculture, where it found two Specimens of Obesity listlessly throwing food at each other.

"What are you doing?" asked the Political Manifesto. "Is this some new and efficient policy which will usher in yet another new and efficient era of peace and prosperity for hard-working families?"

"Go away!" yelled the Specimens of Obesity in antiphonal indignation. "Do you not see that we are busy settling the question of this year's monosodium glutamate crop? We are trying to work out whether African corruption has caused it to fail, or whether European intransigence has precipitated a surplus."

"Democratic debate followed by decisive action?" chanced the Political Manifesto, timidly holding out its begging bowl; whereupon the saggier of the Specimens of Obesity grabbed the bowl, filled it to overflowing with freshly-microwaved chocolate and chutney ossobuco, and flung it at his baggy colleague's head.

The Political Manifesto went next to the Department of Justice; but it found only a Person of Swarthy Aspect being hit and humiliated by unseen hands.

"What is this?" demanded the Political Manifesto. "Are you trying to demean the name of Justice in this, the Greatest Democracy in the World?"

"Not at all," said the Person of Swarthy Aspect. "I should be only too happy to stop this miserable spectacle, but I am unable to apply for release from my bonds because nobody is responsible for my confinement."

Driven to extreme measures, the Political Manifesto dragged itself to the Press Department, where an Empty Suit with Megaphone Attachment sat blowing hot air into some deflated reputations. "Please help me, kind sir," said the Political Manifesto, "for I am thin and insubstantial, with barely an idea inside me, and virtually indistinguishable from the Manifesto of the Other Party, which is an object of near-universal loathing and derision."

Horrified, the Empty Suit with Megaphone Attachment seized the Political Manifesto, subjected it to a thoroughgoing cavity search and stuffed it with photographs of happy children, beautiful pensioners and hard-working families. "There," said the Empty Suit with Megaphone Attachment; "you are no longer thin, indeed you are positively thick, but without anything in you that might cause problems later."

Despairing, the Political Manifesto flung itself into the path of an Approaching Election, whereupon it was adopted by Public Apathy and lived a happy and prosperous life for nearly two months before being torn up because of an unforeseen alteration in macroeconomic circumstances.


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