What’s On, 3rd-16th June 2006
The What’s On Interview: Alan B’Stard
Despite being a major figure in Margaret Thatcher’s conservative government, Alan B’Stard has found himself back in office as part of Tony Blair’s caring New Labour government. With a reputation for speaking his mind, as his political party faces a testing period, the some would say arrogant B’Stard heads out on a nationwide tour. What’s On spoke to him about his allegiances and political beliefs as he prepared to visit Birmingham.
What led to your decision to leave the Conservative Party in the ’90s and sign up for New Labour?
Your question betrays the superficial grasp of modern politics one has sadly come to expect from a provincial magazine. I’ll try to keep this simple: I left the Conservative Party in 1992 after it had been rendered unelectable through the financial debacle known as Black Wednesday, when the Treasury lost billions trying to support the pound against shadowy currency speculators, who made billions for themselves on that day. Personally, I refer to it as Golden Wednesday, as my already healthy bank balance coincidentally went through the roof. In the knowledge that Labour were bound to win the subsequent election, I decided that if we had to have a Labour government I would work to make sure it was a Labour government I could live with. Obviously, the choice of leader was vital. I looked around and discovered a personable failed pop singer called Tony Blair. Once I’d explained to him what I modestly call my “New Labour Scam”, he enthusiastically embraced a radical political programme, which involved going through the Tory manifesto, crossing out the word “Conservative” and inserting the words “New Labour”.
Your daughter’s name is Margaret Hilda – named in honour of your former leader, Mrs Thatcher. Were you tempted to change her name when you jumped ship to Labour?
How naive of you to assume I really do have a daughter just because I said so in my Who’s Who entry. Margaret Hilda B’Stard does not exist, she was a politically useful fiction. As for any other paternity claims against me, I refer you to my solicitors, Bludgeon, Stiletto and Alibi.
Serving under both Thatcher and Blair, how do their leadership styles differ?
Margaret Thatcher was a strong, radical, hard-drinking broad, determined to crush the organised working class and turn Britain into a can-do, enterprise culture where foreign millionaires can live, shop and fornicate, and repatriate their profits tax free. Whereas Tony believes in an enterprise culture where foreign millionaires can live, shop and fornicate, and repatriate their profits tax free, as long as he gets to stay in said millionaires’ yacht/island. Margaret made sure her Cabinet ministers all agreed with her vision, whereas Tony hasn’t met most of his Cabinet. Margaret took us to war against Argentina because they had invaded British sovereign territory. Tony took us to war against Iraq because George W. Bush told him to.
Any aspirations to be Party Leader or PM yourself?
You should have deduced by now that I am de facto Prime Minister. But I have no desire to be party leader and have to mingle with the spineless hordes who were so desperate to get out of opposition that they were prepared to let Tony and I jettison every socialist principle the party had.
Do you socialise with Tony and Cherie?
Are you kidding?!
As a (former?) member of the Keep Britain Nuclear campaign, what are your views on the current energy crisis?
I still believe in nuclear energy and I’m ready to do my bit by releasing the hundreds of tons of enriched uranium by-products that are currently secreted inside the Millennium Dome. However, nuclear power now is inadequate to solve the energy crisis alone. What is needed is a revolutionary rethink of a range of policies. One example; if petrol cost £50 a gallon but was 100 per cent tax deductible, the Ordinaries would be priced off the roads, whilst the rich could drive at speed, in comfort on empty motorways. This would slash carbon emissions and save billions in road building costs.
ASBOs – any comments?
ASBOs are purely a temporary policy to try to suppress the underclass until after the 2012 Olympics, when the Olympic Village, in the Chav heartland of Stratford, East London, will be turned into a high-security prison city, modelled on one of my favourite films, John Carpenter’s Escape From New York, in which all criminals were dumped on a Manhattan empty of law abiding citizens, and allowed to get on with their disgusting, depraved, ugly violent lives, without bothering the rest of us.
What are the issues you believe the next general election will be fought on?
The next general election will be fought on the same single issue as the last three elections – the personality of the party leaders. Obviously this causes us some problems. Unlike Major, Hague, and Howard, David Cameron is, superficially at least, a recognisable human being. New Labour therefore must choose its candidate with care. Assuming Tony gets the job he’s really after, and that’s really down to Alan Sugar, who can New Labour look to? Gordon Brown v David Cameron reminds me of Richard Nixon against John F. Kennedy (since this is being read in the Midlands, let me point out that Nixon lost). But if not Brown, who? John Reid is too bald and Scottish, Alastair Darling looks like something out of Thunderbirds, Patricia Hewitt is too smug, Peter Hain is too smarmy, and Ruth Kelly looks like she’s pregnant again. Maybe Opus Dei made her have sex with John Prescott as a form of penance. At the moment I’m trying to persuade New Labour’s remaining attractive cabinet member to throw her hat in the ring, but Carol Caplan says she’s too busy.
If someone was considering donating a sum to the Labour Party… what incentives could you offer?
Unfortunately, I’m fresh out of peerages. The Duchess of Cornwall had the last one. However, the job of England football manager seems to be open to people with almost no discernible skill. Perhaps that might attract a high roller. It’s also possible these days to have a number one hit record in exchange for a modest financial incentive to the right people. That would encourage the younger millionaires to support us. Failing that, I usually threaten to introduce people to John Prescott unless they donate.
You’ve had a lot of experience of dealing with scandal – especially with regard to your personal life – did you have any tips for John Prescott after tabloid revelations over his extra-marital behaviour?
My most important tip to Prescott would be to be slim, well-spoken, charming and reasonably endowed. So that’s none out of four. It’s also important to be rich so that if your lovers threaten to sell their stories you can afford either to buy them off or bump them off. It’s not a bad idea to buy Max Clifford a nice present every Christmas either. You never know when you’ll need to get a story suppressed.
Your wife, Sarah, has remained at your side throughout your career. What’s the secret of a successful marraige?
Speaking personally, the success of my marriage is based on almost never seeing my wife, taking no interest in what she does, or with whom, telling her nothing, and making sure she has enough money not to care what I’m up to. Then once or twice a year we appear together at a high profile event and everyone remarks what a wonderful couple we make. She can also be a very dirty girl, if you know what I mean.
You’ve been a Conservative MP, a Euro MP and now a Labour MP. How do you take accusations that you are simply an opportunist?
Opportunist is a much maligned word. All life is about grabbing opportunity. If you were given the opportunity of writing for a decent magazine I’m sure you’d grab at that. But of course with your minuscule talent, that opportunity is never likely to transpire.