Wednesday, December 27, 2006

War and glasses

Rumours have been circulating in the press and elsewhere that one of the first acts of a Latrine presidency in France would be to declare war on Britain.
Not only that but I have lost my glasses.
So let me make a couple of things absolutely clear (as we politicians say).
First, the war thing. It so happened that at one point I was chatting with a cove of my acquaintance (and fellow member of my almost-all-conquering pub quiz team) about my campaign, and he suggested that if I do become President of France, I could declare war on Britain.
Being a fair minded sort of chap I weighed the potential advantages of such a course and agreed that it would at least give everyone the opportunity to sort things out 'once and for all'.
This was by way of being an assessment of a proposal, rather than a firm statement of support for the idea.
Since then, I have had high-level policy discussions with my policy advisers (or wonks as I am wont to call them) and have decided that a firm plank of the Latrine Campaign is not declaring war on Britain, or indeed on most countries around the world.
Can't be clearer than that really, can I.
Now as far as the glasses are concerned, hereby hangs a tail.
I lost my glasses here in France. The following day, having exhausted most possible avenues for reuniting myself with my specs, I went to the Tourist Office of the place where I had lost them, it's not a big place so the Tourist Office serves additional functions, such as lost property.
There I asked the lady behind the counter if anyone had handed in my glasses.
Before reading on, you might want to ponder what you would have said and done if you had been that lady behind the counter. To inform your pondering you might want to remember that you are paid reasonable money to help and inform the travelling public.
If you have any experience of France, you might also like to ponder what the likely response to my question was.
I may be unusual, but to the first bit of pondering I come up with an answer that would include checking with my colleagues to see if anything had been handed in, enquiring as to further particulars about the circumstances of the loss and taking contact details for the glassesless person in the event that they did turn up.
Unfortunately those with experience of France will know that this would have been immeasurably far too much to expect.
Instead the lady (pleasantly, I hasten to add) said "Non" and seemed to think that this was sufficient and adequate response. I left feeling that it was a distinct possibility that if she had found the glasses herself, rather than having them handed in, the response would have been the same and it would have served me right for asking the wrong question.
So there you have it, a couple of hints as to what France will be like when I'm in charge:

  • we won't go to war with Britain
  • we will be more helpful to people who have lost their glasses
Thank you for listening
LibEgFrat to you all

Monday, December 25, 2006

My Christmas Address

The question most often asked of late has been, "Victor, where are you?". My lengthy disappearance has been the cause of much spilled ink and, it pains me to say, many spilt tears.
My period in the 'wilderness' breaks neatly into two phases.
First I wanted to get away to take the temperature of France. And I took it's temperature in the way traditionally much loved by the French: rectally.
Yes, I have journeyed to the arsehole of France, the foresaken banlieus (banlieux? I'm still struggling with the language) and there, my true identity cloaked and with only a few aides and assistants to help and protect me, I have moved among the people. I saw first hand the dreadful effects of decades of failed political leadership. This, remember, is the failed leadership for which little Sarko and SegaMegadrive Royale are the current torchbearers. Truly I have stuck the finger of political curiosity up the bumhole of this great nation, tested its prostate and taken its pulse. In doing so, I have learned that there is a wind of change coming.
France is ready for the Latrine.

It was necessary, therefore that the Latrine should make himself ready for France.
To this end, and having encountered my two nubile 'policy advisers' at a vodka bar in the Diocese of Southwark (where such encounters are more common than one would guess) I decreed that a policy retreat was required.

This formed the second part of my enforced absence. Our high level policy discussions consisted mainly of watching DVDs of the West Wing, Yes (Prime)Minister and that one where the bloke keeps saying "you could say that, but I couldn't possibly comment" before killing folk. We broke up the pressure of such arduous research by dancing around in our pants in the manner of a 1960s film.
The result of this is a full policy direction, some talking points and, erm, stuff we want to run past the focus groups.
Oh, and a law suit from one of the the policy assistants.
Hey ho, you can't win 'em all -- I was just interested to see if the whole bag of chestnuts would fit.
LibEgFrat to you all


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A (the?) Nerde writes

Why haven’t we heard from Victor Latrine?

I think I have the answer. On Oct 25th it is reliably reported that Victor was in Moscow gathering support for his presidential bid from President Vladimir Putin.

That afternoon Victor returned to London on a British Airways flight and the next day was seen in the company of a certain Mr Litvinenko who later became famous at the only man killed with a nuclear poison.

Strangely a few days later a very large sum of money arrived in our campaign account from the Narodny Bank.

Since the end of October there have been no reliable sightings of Victor and we have concluded that either he has succumbed to nuclear poisoning himself or has had to ‘go to ground’.

We, at the campaign headquarters, meanwhile are left in a difficult position with a vast sum of money ready to be spent on adverting, bribery, and general PR etc. but cannot do a thing until we hear from Victor.

I have written to the Narodny Bank and asked them to assure our patron that the money will be used for it rightful purpose and that only small amounts have been spent on essential administrative expenses.

I myself will be away from the office for the next week or so following up reports that Victor has been sighted in Monte Carlo.

Bon Voyage - Nerde