The Hand is left to do the heavy lifting while Maybot reboots

31 May

Speak to the Hand. Aka the home secretary. The Maybot was clear that there was a reason she wasn’t taking part in the BBC leaders’ debate. She was above it all and was choosing to take part in her own Supreme Leaders’ debate instead. Just her and her very own echo chamber reverberating with deathless soundbites.

It was an explanation that hadn’t gone down particularly well at the Bath engineering factory she had visited before settling down to put her feet up to let Amber Rudd do the heavy lifting. Having stood through several minutes of the Supreme Leader trying to think of arguments why anyone should vote for her in an alienated stupor, the staff only started applauding when the media asked if the real reason she was ducking the debate was because she was afraid voters would get to see how truly mediocre and uninspiring she really was.

The Supreme Leader tried laughing as her minders had programmed her to do, but the only noise that came out was a rusty croak. “I’m interested that Corbyn is interested in the number of TV appearances he is making,” she said, a reply that left everyone confused. The Maybot usually deals either in tautology or non-sequitur, but this time her system had crashed completely and she had managed both at the same time. To no obvious advantage.

When pressed to clarify what she meant by this, the Supreme Leader did a quick reboot. The Labour leader ought to be spending less of his time concentrating on his telly appearances and more on the upcoming Brexit negotiations. “That’s what I’m doing,” she insisted to a wall of TV cameras, momentarily forgetting that it was she who had called the general election 11 days before the Brexit negotiations began. Easily done.

The BBC’s Mishal Husain got the debate under way by inviting the five party leaders, along with the SNP’s deputy leader, Angus Robertson, and the Hand, to make their open remarks. “Who do you want to lead this country on 8 June?” said the Hand, clearly expecting the answer to be someone who couldn’t even be bothered to turn up. Tim Farron was worried the Supreme Leader might be spending the evening peeking through people’s windows. He needn’t have been. She was safely tucked up at home working on the Brexit plan that someone had inconveniently interrupted.

Thereafter the debate largely became open pack warfare on the Hand with every other leader, apart from Ukip’s Paul Nuttall from time to time – with friends like these etc – stepping in to point out that the Tories actually had a piss-poor record on everything from living standards, immigration and social care. Even the audience was against her, cheering on Corbyn, Farron, Robertson and Caroline Lucas as they ripped into her. The BBC said the audience had been selected to be representative. If so, expect a Labour landslide next week.

At which point the Hand morphed into the Handbot. A hand stuck on repeat. “Jeremy thinks he has a magic money tree,” she said three times, hoping that at least one of the barbs would stick. It didn’t. In desperation she again appealed to everyone to vote for the Supreme Leader who wasn’t there. Even so, the Handbot was probably making a better case for the Supreme Leader than the Supreme Leader could have made for herself.

The Handbot’s trickiest moment came with the last question on leadership as all the other participants predictably chose to point out that one of the things that most defines a leader is the willingness to show up in person and defend your policies. “Part of being a strong leader is having a good team around you,” the Handbot said gamely before giving up the unequal. Hell, if she was going to stand in for the Supreme Leader, why shouldn’t she get the credit?

“Have you not read my manifesto?” the Handbot announced imperiously. It sounded very much as if a palace coup had just been declared. The Supreme Leader is dead. Long live the Supreme Leader.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply