Downing Street today announced that the latest of Gordon Brown's hilarious slapstick performances will be the loss of general election. Following hot on the heels of a skilful slump in the polls, a spokesman said that the prime minister's personal gaucherie was ‘his great asset as a performer of physical comedy’ and that, despite the apparently serious injuries done to himself and his party, no real harm was being done and everything would turn out all right in the end.
The Prime Minister’s innate capacity for slapstick comedy has long been an open secret in the Westminster village. In May he had to cancel a press conference at short notice after stepping on a rake in the otherwise empty garden of 10 Downing Street, and only last week he slipped on a banana skin during a black-tie reception and careered into a laden table where he ended up with his face buried in a large cream cake. Indeed, Downing Street insiders have privately admitted to being relieved that the recent controversy over Mr Brown's ‘bigot’ comments wasn't much worse, considering that Prime Minister's efforts to apologize bizarrely ended in him dangling from the hands of an enormous clock. “No wonder his handwriting looked a bit dodgy after that,” said one close confidant. “Clinging to a clock face above a busy street and being bothered by hungry pigeons can really take it out of you!”
Even so, Downing Street officials were quick to point out that Gordon Brown always emerged from these escapades unscathed and that they assumed that the same would happen with Labour’s political fortunes. “Oh, that Gordon,” joked stage manager Peter Mandelson, who is the prime minister's chief scriptwriter, choreographer and stunt double. “He's a right handful. We never know what amusing scape he'll get himself into next. But don't worry, I'm pulling all the strings - I mean, safety harnesses - so I'll get out of this latest escapade totally unscathed. Sorry, did I say ‘I'll get out unscathed’? I meant ‘we all will.’”