I may or may not stay up all night to watch the General Election on television. The thought of a gaggle of ‘experts’ usually puts me off. They try their very best to make any change in the world sound impossible, even when it is happening in front of them. I can imagine how bamboozled they would get if a revolution happened. I will call my imaginary presenter Jonathan. Nice chap. Not long out of Oxford. Of course.
“Oh, hold on fellow pundits!” Jonathan is clutching the ear piece in his left ear and looking panicked, as if his mum has called to tell him he’s wearing the wrong socks.
“There is breaking news. Oh, my word, this is remarkable. I am hearing reports that there are millions of people on the streets and they are taking over places!”
“What? What? I say, Jonathan, what?” A Tory MP in the studio, who was perfectly happy a moment ago now seems rather perplexed.
“It’s happening everywhere! London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Bognor Regis for goodness sake.”
“Goodness me!” splutters Lord Splendiferous, sitting next to the MP. “That’s my seat!”
“No, it’s not Sir” said the actual Tory MP gently. “You retired 35 years ago, and it was a different seat. The Beeb only asked you on because you can be guaranteed to talk about Corbyn and the KGB, at great length.”
“Well” said Lord Splendiferous, mightily relieved that the revolution wasn’t in his seat. “Where was I an MP for?”
“Chingford” said the hapless Jonathan. “There’s a revolution there too.”
“Good lord” said the not-so-good Lord. He looked ill, but at least he was awake now.
“Oh heavens above” said Jonathan. Was it really his mum this time? “I am getting reports, yes, they have been confirmed by Sky News and an eyewitness from the Royal Household, a maid called Marion, that…. that…. oh this is too terrible!”
“Spit it out man” said Tom Watson’s old English teacher (Tom himself had overdone the slimming and no one could find him) .
“It’s the palace! The palace has been taken over by the homeless. They’ve opened the royal kitchen to the Foodbanks and the Royal Family have left the country!”
“Well, I think there’s always room for compromise” said the very thin Lib Dem ex MP, whose name no one could remember, and no one wanted to. He really was very thin, but not as thin as Tom Watson who was rumoured to have fallen down a drain somewhere in Camden.
The TV screen flickered, and a different studio appeared. One by one, ordinary people spoke movingly about how they were fed up of being spoken at by ‘experts’ who knew nothing. They spoke about Scottish independence, the new Republic of Liverpool – which had already signed a pact with Scotland, the need to build new hospitals to end long waiting lists for hospital appointments, and one woman spoke about a loved library which had closed. A firefighter spoke about socialism and was cheered. A young man called Fox spoke about animalism. No one was quite sure what that was but they clapped anyway because he was against fox hunting. One young woman spoke about saving the planet from environmental destruction. She sounded Swedish, or possibly Welsh.
And then I woke up and the talking heads were still talking at me. They were all saying nothing.
Whatever the result tonight, let’s make sure that the ‘experts’ never get the last word.