Back in 2008 there was a popular online petition demanding that Jeremy Clarkson must be elected Prime Minister. Nearly 50,000 people signed this. Real names as well, not an ‘I. P. Freely’ or ‘Heywood Jablome’ among them. In one of the few successes of the Brown era, a semi-amusing response came back from the government.
But did these people really think what would happen if Jezza actually swept into office? The dark reality of Clarkson at the helm of Britain?
And before we look at this in more detail, what is it about people called Jeremy? Clarkson, Kyle, Hunt, Beadle, Spake – the list of poor value dinner party guests just goes on and on. But I digess.
The responsibilities of the PM are many and varied. Here are just four that I would worry about.
1. Wearing a suit.
Prime Ministers wear suits and ties. It’s part of Britain’s unwritten constitution. The only relaxation of this rule is when they’re taking their summer break to a politically appropriate destination. At these times, chinos and a striped M&S polo shirt are permitted.
Jeremy is in trouble at the very first fence. He has squeezed into the same pair of jeans since 1978. I met him once, and he was wearing them then.
2. Write to the nuclear subs
One of the first tasks a Prime Minister must do upon taking office is to write to the UK’s four nuclear-missile equipped submarines, informing the captain of what he should do if London and the government is destroyed by a nuclear attack. This letter is then sent to the captains of each sub and placed in a safe, unread. It is one of the PM’s gravest responsibilities, and he has three options available to him.
- A final shit or bust retaliatory strike against the aggressor’s major cities.
- For the captains to do as their personal judgment feels is right.
- For the captains to put themselves under the command of an ally, such as America.
None of these appeal to Jeremy. Option 1 is exciting but futile, and may mean attacking somebody he secretly likes. Option 2 relinquishes far too much control. And option 3, well. Jeremy would sooner eat his own sick than let the Yanks get their hands on his boats. Here’s his letter:
3. Appoint his Cabinet
It’s a little known fact that the Prime Minister can appoint pretty much whoever he wants to his Cabinet – they don’t have to be politicians. So we can expect Jeremy to go for his allies. Hammond will get Education, as he’s pretty much a child anyway. James May will get something like Business, Innovation and Skills, where he can ponderously fart on about motors and lovely big pipes that periodically release great clouds of steam. The Stig will get Transport (well, obviously). As they’re mates, David Cameron will probably get a job too, but doing something wretched like Health.
The remainder of the Cabinet will be made up of a range of mid-table celebrity bookings rotated on a regular basis to be this week’s stars in a reasonably priced government.
4. Bestride the world stage
Once a Prime Minister has failed domestically, he’ll find himself increasingly trying to make a name for himself on the world stage (isn’t that right Tony?).
Jeremy will follow this model too, except that he will demand that his officials wordlessly bring him the next stage of his itinerary in an envelope. This will inform him that he and his merry band must clatter off to the UN’s next General Assembly in a hearse full of chickens that they will have converted overnight in a backstreet garage to be capable of crossing the Atlantic. Jeremy will write ‘PENIS’ in spray-painted block capitals on the Chancellor’s hearse while he is out buying Jeremy something cautiously racist to present to the newly appointed head of the World Bank.
The saddest thing is, it almost sounds like an improvement.