The Problem with Fairies

University of the Bleeding Obvious:

Our guest today is David McGog, MP for Shepton Bassett, who has been in the news lately in connection with a very unusual issue. Mr McGog, thanks for joining us. I think it would be fair to say that the policy you have recently advocated has taken a few people by surprise?

Mr David McGog:

Oh no, I don't think so. Many people, like me, believe that a rise in VAT to twenty-two percent can be put into effect quite painlessly, enabling us to maintain funding for public services without hurting retail sales. Now, what we -

UBO:

No, Mr McGog, I was referring to your other suggestion.

McGog:

Ah, defence spending! Well, I do firmly believe that -

UBO:

Mr McGog, I suspect that you're being deliberately obtuse. You know, I'm sure, what I'm referring to. I'm talking about the policy that has got you splashed all over the newspapers.

McGog:

Ah, the...

UBO:

The fairies.

McGog:

The fairies, yes. Well, I do wish that people would stop going on about that. I made a few comments, briefly, during what I thought was supposed to be a private conversation, and the whole thing seems to have been blown out of all proportion.

UBO:

Can we take it that you now wish to retract your comments?

McGog:

No, no - that's not what I'm saying at all. I stand by every word. It is my firmly held belief that fairies are a menace and this government needs to introduce legislation to stamp them out.

UBO:

And you have the backing of your party in this?

McGog:

I have the support of many of my colleagues who feel equally strongly about this issue.

UBO:

But you don't have the support of the party leadership, do you? In fact, I understand you've had your knuckles rapped by your policy unit who've told you, quite firmly, to stay on message and stick to innocuous subjects like taxation and defence, rather than embarrassing your party with all this nonsense about fairies.

McGog:

Nonsense! Well I wonder if you would think it was 'nonsense' if you woke up one morning to find your property was overrun by the things, hmm? Crawling all over the place, tearing up your ornamental lawn and casting enchantments on the family cat, yes?

UBO:

No, I wouldn't.

McGog:

Ah, see!

UBO:

But then, since that hasn't happened, and isn't ever likely to, I feel safe in continuing to assume that what you're talking about is complete fantasy. Mr McGog, do you not think that your party's stance on taxation and defence spending is rather overshadowed - undermined, in fact - by all this stuff about fairies?

McGog:

What? Oh, stuff taxation! If my party can't get a handle on what's really important, then that's their problem. I tell you, we simply have to do something about the fairies. Oh, I'm sure you've had no fairy trouble, but then they're hardly likely to concern themselves with the likes of you and whatever high rise slum you inhabit. However, the decent, honest, property-owning people of Shepton Bassett are sick to the back teeth of them.

UBO:

Really?

McGog:

Yes, really! They swarm all over their flowerbeds, leaving their mess everywhere and bringing house prices down. And nobody's doing anything about it. Nobody! Not the police, not the local authority, not Keith Smarm.

UBO:

Ah, there perhaps we approach an explanation. Mr Smarm has just announced that he will be running against you for the constituency of Shepton Bassett in the next election. So this sudden interest in fairies is just part of your campaign strategy, is it not?

McGog:

Not at all. In fact, such a suggestion belittles what is, in fact, a very serious problem. One which the people of Shepton Bassett have a right to expect us to act upon.

UBO:

But it's strange that this issue seems never to have arisen before. You have represented Shepton Bassett for the last five years and yet, prior to the comments you made last month, there has never been any mention of fairies in your literature, on your website or in interviews. You have never raised a question in the House about fairies, and the occasional column you contribute to the local paper has been remarkable if only for its complete and absolute lack of any reference, whatsoever, to fairy folk.

McGog:

I think I may have mentioned something about it at a public meeting last March.

UBO:

No. No, you didn't. Mr McGog, it is my opinion that you have invented this fairy nonsense. You have fabricated a non-existent threat in order to manipulate the electorate into voting for you.

McGog:

Rubbish.

UBO:

You know that you cannot possibly win the next election based on your track record or your party's policies, so you are clutching desperately at straws, playing on the public's fear of shadows.

McGog:

That is an outrageous accusation! I am offended - not on my own behalf, but on behalf of the many hardworking, honest and decent people that I represent. How little you must think of the great British public, to believe that they could be so easily led. That rhetoric and rumour could whip them into a frenzy, make them malleable, bend them to my will.

They are not sheep. They are not imbeciles to be charmed by hyperbole and hollow compliments. They are intelligent, rational, level-headed, insightful, incisive and educated individuals who just happen to be suffering from a merciless infestation of fairies. They want someone to do something about it. They have a right to demand that something is done about it; that someone stands up to this appalling intrusion and says 'No More!'

And if I am to be that man, then so be it. If my fellow candidates are not equal to the task - if Mr Keith Smarm, or Mr Ross Smooth, or Mr Wilbur 'Jellyknees' Wombat-Trousers of the Monster Raving Loony Party are so eager to capitulate in the face of fairy Armageddon - then yes, I, David E. McGog will take up the gauntlet and gladly - nay, proudly - commit myself to the service of my constituents. The electorate shall decide and I am confident that they will make their choice wisely.

UBO:

Amen!

McGog:

Pardon?

UBO:

Doesn't matter. Mr McGog, thank you very much for your time.

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