Farmyard Parliament

The Leader of the Opposition, David Mackintosh, got to his feet. ‘Prime Minister,’ he said, ‘Crime figures are skyrocketing yet police numbers have been slashed. How can you justify this?’

The PM got to his feet. ‘Sssss,’ he replied. ‘Ssssssss.’

The Leader of the Opposition scratched his head. The words of his aide, Penelope, came to mind. ‘Don’t mention that he’s a goose!’ she’d said. ‘People don’t like to be reminded that their leader is a vicious bad-tempered bird. Besides, he polls well on the economy.’

‘But…’

‘No goose comments! Or else it’ll be your goose that’s cooked.’ She smirked at her own joke.

David moved onto his second question. ‘Prime Minister, the report from the Committee on Housing and Homelessness notes a stratospheric increase in the numbers of rough sleepers. What do you say to that?’

‘Sssssssss!’

Polling numbers following the debate were depressing for David. Over three-quarters of people preferred his opposite number, up from 67% last week.

‘But he’s a damn goose…’ he sighed. Penelope shrugged.

Those numbers were the final straw. David was unceremoniously removed from his position following a vote of his MPs. A leadership contest was hastily run and within weeks the Prime Minister had a new opponent.

The PM stood to welcome his new adversary. ‘Ssssssssss!’ he said.

The new Leader of the Opposition was ready to address the floor.

‘Oink,’ he said.

‘Cluck-cluck-cluck!’ chirped the Speaker, also new to his position.

Polling found that 72% of people thought the pig had out-performed the goose. ‘Snort,’ said the Leader of the Opposition happily, momentarily looking up from his feed.

DEMOCRACY HAS GONE QUACKERS blarted the headlines the next day, ignoring the fact that ducks were not, as yet, part of Parliament.

An election was now hovering on the horizon. The public turned on their televisions en masse, excited to see the leaders of the three main parties battle it out in a mass debate. The third party, always keen to stay relevant, had also recently changed its leader.

The PM opened proceedings with a ‘Sssssss!’

‘Oink!’ came the reply.

‘Baaaaaa!’ retorted the newest leader.

Afterwards, television reporters hit the street to collar members of the public for their opinion. ‘I thought the pig had a lot of good points about the health service,’ said a man with a mullet and sunglasses, ‘at least before it did a shit on the stage.’

‘I took that as a comment about the Government’s plans for a points-based immigration system, myself,’ said his wife.

Later, the leader of a minority party appeared in front of TV cameras. ‘Are you angry that your party wasn’t represented at the debates?’ asked the presenter, earnestly.

‘Mooo,’ opined the party leader.

‘Do you think that’s fair?’

‘Mooo.’

At home, many people turned to their loved ones and said, ‘That’s right, it’s not bloody fair. I’m voting for the cow! It’s not part of the bloody liberal elite. It represents people like us!’

The cow moved cud from its second stomach to its third.

Come election day, queues stretched for miles outside polling stations. Television showed the leaders of the parties trotting off to vote, ballot cards clasped in their teeth, hooves or beaks. The pig messed on the floor again, but this wasn’t enough to stop it winning with a huge majority. The cow won barely any votes at all.

‘Would you call for a reform of the voting system in light of this result?’ breathless reporters asked the now-former Prime Minister.

‘Ssssssss.’

‘You would? Even though previously your entire party was dead against it? Your Home Secretary said voting reform would happen “when pigs fly”.’

‘Sssssss.’

The reporters then cut to a shot of the pig being ushered onto a private plane to take it from its rural constituency to 10 Downing Street.

In America, the President’s aides watched all this with interest. ‘A pig for Prime Minister,’ laughed one. ‘Those Brits are lunatics! Imagine if an animal ran this country!’ Another thought about this for a moment, then glanced at his phone to check how the President’s latest speech was going. He was mangling his words, contradicting things he’d said five minutes ago, and telling blatant lies. The usual, then. The aide picked up a copy of The Children’s Big Book of Animals from the floor, which the President had long ago abandoned in favour of his toy trucks and wrestling figurines. He flicked through it, then stopped at an image of a large orange cat, blinking lazily at the camera as it settled down for a nap, oblivious to the world around it and concerned only with itself.

Nah, he thought. What would the difference be?


David Cook lives in Bridgend, Wales, with his wife and daughter. He owns two large orange cats, either of which would probably be better at running a country than most people. Say hi on Twitter @davidcook100.

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