Gordon Brown has elaborated on his commitment on a live televised encounter with the opposition and seized the election campaign initiative by organising an ‘It’s a Knockout’ style tournament, pitting the Prime Minister against other party leaders.
‘It’s a Knockout’ (or Jeux Sans Frontières as it’s known by Europhiles) was a popular British television game show in the 1960s and 70s, which saw teams competing against each other in a series of bizarre games. ‘Such a wacky and irreverent contest is a perfect platform for our election manifesto,’ the Prime Minister told a packed House of Commons yesterday, ‘and we’ve already got some heavyweight BBC political correspondents lined up to host the show, just in case Eddie Waring and Stuart Hall can’t make it.’
Details of some of the games have already been leaked to the press, including a task in which each party leader, dressed in an outlandish military general’s uniform, must piggyback dummy soldiers past a giant inflatable Taliban insurgent before a water clock, representing public opinion, runs out. Another game will see health ministers tied to bungee ropes, carrying buckets of money over a slippery groundsheet in a bid to get as much cash as they can to an NHS health trust at the other end, whilst being pelted with flour and water bombs by a focus group of middle managers.
According to parliamentary insiders, perhaps the most difficult game will involve climbing over a bouncy castle modelled on the Bank of England, in an attempt to build a fiscal policy with plastic bags inflated with hot air, whilst simultaneously trying to prevent the opposing parties from poking large holes out of it with barbed wooden poles. ‘I can’t wait,’ enthused political pundit Andrew Marr, ‘We’ll all be cheering on our favourite party, with a rousing cheer of ‘Here come the Liberals!’ to egg on the plucky also-rans.’
The tournament has however already drawn criticism, with many believing that fringe parties such as the Yogic Flyers will have an unfair advantage, while the Green Party has refused to participate unless the rubber costumes are biodegradable. Others worry that Gordon Brown risks taking a knock and detaching a retina, or that alleged health problems might result in him giving a lacklustre performance against David Cameron. However sources close to the Prime Minister believe that he will radically narrow the disparity in scores at the end of the game by playing his joker; or Peter Mandelson, as he is more commonly known.
16th January 2010