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Home > Politics

Brown vs Cameron: It's A Toss Up

23 February 2007

Would Gordon Brown pass the 'barbecue test'? Would we, ordinary British voters, invite him round for a burger and a beer?

That was the question Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland asked this week when contemplating the latest opinion polls. They show a 13 point lead for the Tories which stretches to 15 points when Gordon Brown is added to the equation.

The answer to the question is: no, of course we wouldn't. Are you insane? We'd rather watch Torchwood again.

But then last week it was revealed, along with his cannabis 'shame', that David Cameron, between Oxford bongs in the 80s, was, alongside Boris Johnson, a member of the exclusive posho arseholes, the 150 year-old Bullingdon Club. This largely involved members booking rooms in restaurants, comprehensively trashing them and then shitting themselves in the police cells afterwards. You have to ask whether the Tory leader would pass the 'barbecue test' either.

The answer to which is, again: no, of course he wouldn't. Are you insane? We'd rather invite a post-nightclub Michael Barrymore and his entourage back for a Jacuzzi party.

So, with the men who will face off at the next General Election failing one test, and with engagement between politicians and the public at an all time low, it's time to devise some new tests of their credentials. They would be televised (naturally) and replace those desultory and insulting pre-election studio debates where candidates either say nothing worth hearing or lie through their teeth:


1) A drawn-out gladiatorial contest between Brown and Cameron in the new Wembley Stadium is abandoned because of Brown's tactic of running off and hiding whenever things get rough, and the wire on Cameron's chief weapon - a webcam which he whirls around his head - not being long enough to land a blow.

2) As in the movie 'Face/Off', Brown and Cameron secretly have their faces surgically removed and swapped. They then have to pretend to be each other for a week without giving themselves away. Cameron/Brown raises suspicions at a Treasury meeting when he asks, 'Crikey, chaps. So, a million is more than a billion, yah?' Brown/Cameron fails to impress when he is unable to keep his breakfast down after a couple of hot knives.

3) The live game of 'soggy biscuit' between Brown and Cameron proves to be a ratings smash. Cameron wins with an early surge in his pole thanks to a photo of Margaret Thatcher supplied by Jonathan Ross. 'Brown Fails To Make A Splash' declare the headlines next day. The format is sold around the world for a fortune. Osama bin Laden's defeat at the hand of George Bush marks a turning point in world affairs.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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