Penkridge Doolallytap was probably the UK’s most famous Twentieth century politician who never became Prime Minister. Even despite having enough blackmail material on his fellow MPs to ensure his easy election to that office. He initially, as the son of Lord Habidashery Doolallytap, of course, gravitated towards socialism. Seeing that as a good way of meeting working class women, whom he believed would be more impressed with his mandate as a left-wing politician than as the scion of landed gentry. However, this was the swinging, or at least mildly oscillating, Sixties. So in that time of peace, love and universal fellow feeling for all mankind, the new pop aristocracy wanted to get as far away from their working class roots as possible. Ideally, by buying up all the mansions formerly owned by the landed gentry. Or at least hanging out with people like Doolallytap
Doolallytap had the impeccable working-class credentials of a private education, generations of wealth, a seat in the House of Lords and a family name traceable back to the Roman invasion of 55BC. This meant that Doolallytap fitted right in with the new right-on and all they really desired.
Soon it seemed that there would be no stopping Doolallytap becoming the new man of the people. Much in the way Harold Wilson had successfully pretended to be. Many tipped him as the successor to Wilson as the next leader of the Labour party and – more likely than not – the next British prime minister. Unfortunately, Doolallytap let his success and fame (for a politician) go to his head. Consequently, he made the fatal mistake that many ambitious young politicians do, of taking politics seriously. This was before the time of the great inanity of ‘everything is politics’ (when we now know almost nothing is). However, Doolallytap believed that he could ‘make a significant contribution to the development of socialism’, rather than just being an MP or Prime Minister.
Of course, his fellow politicians – that is those who were still speaking to him after his meteoric rise up the party hierarchy – warned him of the dangers of meddling in politics. ‘Stick to drink, drugs and sex’ one of his fellow cabinet members advised him. They had all seen the dangers of politicians getting involved in politics. Many had seen how politics so often ruined a promising MP’s career. However, Doolallytap thought he was made of sterner stuff. Soon he began, not only to read politician theorists and thinkers, but also began trying to apply what he’d learnt to what he thought was the real world.
However, by then a few political theorists and thinkers had begun to realise that political theory is all well and good in theory, but in practice, it is downright dangerous. However, most of them were working in universities and the – then – polytechnics. They all knew they were in a cushy job for life, so they kept their mouths shut.
Unfortunately, though, for Doolallytap, he began to attempt to implement the policies the thinkers and theorists espoused. Of course, the political theorists knew full well that no politician, except maybe in France, would be lunatic enough to try their theories in the real world. The academics developed their ideas mainly as a way to keep their students from having to think for themselves, with all the dangers that entailed.
Consequently, the Prime Minister had no choice but to sack Doolallytap after he espoused the nationalisation of absolutely everything, including hobbies like train spotting, stamp collecting, sexual intercourse and coarse fishing. Doolallytap then called for an income tax of 150% and the imprisonment or exile of anyone who earned more than the national average wage of Somalia.
At the next election, Doolallytap lost his safe seat, his deposit and what remnants of sanity remained. He then spent the rest of his long life, before his death at age 97, writing lengthy political articles for the broadsheets. Many pretended to read and agree with his articles. All safe in the knowledge that Doolallytap would never ever regain a position of power and influence in this country, at least one where he could put his increasingly insane ideas into practice.
For that, we must remain ever grateful.