The McGuffin Effect: Here’s to a tough, ballsy 2015!

Written by Joe McGuffin on 7 January 2015 in Opinion
Joe McGuffin, Labour's US strategist, calls time on the Christmas holidays and asks Ed Miliband the big question: just how much is a quart of milk? 

So, I mass-text everyone a motivational New Year message. “Here’s to a tough, ballsy 2015! Next few weeks are gonna be brutal. I wanna see you bastards destroying Cameron and his billionaire buddies like ISIS TEARING THRU A FUCKING GAY BAR. I wanna see that fat assclown Pickles jumped on until he bursts, his steaming guts everywhere, remember that exploded whale on YouTube. I wanna see rivers of blood. Heads on fucking poles. Yo House of Stark, let’s DO THIS!” 

Inside five minutes the self-righteous liberal sonar’s beeping. “I deplore the casual offensiveness of this message. It is by no means certain that ALL Islamic State members are homophobic…” “Obesity, in my view, is not a laughing matter and certainly not a problem to be solved by mindless violence…” “When you say ‘ballsy’, is that a reference to the economic centre ground, because as a long-time champion of the shadow chancellor…” SHUT THE SHIT UP, YOU MOPES! 

FACT PIN: only reason I’m getting backtalk from these dicks is they’re safely out of my goddam reach, thousands of miles away. On a beach, “doing research”. Or in some socialist chateau, like they’re Tony Fuck-Me Blair. Oh, but don’t call it an extended holiday. No. They’re on a strategic thinking retreat. Or “recharging their batteries” like the beige dildos they truly are.  

Suck up that sunshine and immunity while you can, Labturds. Cos back home the phoney phoney war’s over and the real phoney war’s started. Right here, right now, in the middle of winter. Bring it on, yo. Colder the better. I’m with Czar Nicholas, that great Bad Motherfucker Of All Russia, on this one. January and February are truly Labour’s greatest generals.  

While our brave milibands of soldiers surge thru the streets with their door-knocking and four million fucking conversations and bewaring of the Ukip dogs and whatnot, where will the Tory faithful be? Damn straight. Sequestered behind heavy curtains in the warmth, loaded shotguns by their front doors, watching reruns of Antiques Roadshow, eating roasted peacock, donating online to Conservative HQ via Paypal.  

OK, so they got the astroturfing. We got the genuine grassroots. Our secret weapon? The deeply moving stupidity of ordinary party members, prepared to hit the bricks and shoot the shit whatever the weather. Everybody knows the deal. We’ll keep throwing wave after wave of neurotic misfits dressed for a mountain survival weekend at them, until the poor targeted saps make us stop by putting a Vote Labour poster in the window. Simple. Effective. Old school. Stalinism, with emojis and hashtags. 

At least our local guys have some kind of clue about how regular people live. Unlike this head-up-the-ass shower of Shadow Cabinet Sauvignon fucks. Seriously, last briefing I got them all together, threw down some basic questions. First up: how much is a quart of milk? Got ‘em all to write down their answer on a Post-It, stick it on the whiteboard. There’s your so-called “diversity”, right there. Guesstimates included: “Must be a fiver or something now for a bottle of full fat”, “10p? I’m with the farmers, fair deal NOW”, “Please may I be excused, I don’t do dairy”,  “Too much. I blame Thatcher the Milk Snatcher, and pledge to end Tory milk inflation!”  

Only Ed seems paralyzed by indecision. His hand goes up. “Sorry, just checking. You mean like a quarter of a pint or a…actually, what IS a quart? 

“Two of your Olde English pints” I tell him, staring at a Post-It that just says “Milk Not Dole”. WTF? “You know what a fucking pint is, right, Ed? The papers have giant-ass folders full of you failing to drink beer in a number of…the fuck are you doing? Checking your goddam cell? Give me that!”  

I snatch his phone. Ocado? Jesus Christ on a selfie stick. He think he can just cheat like this in the middle of a goddam interview? Shit needs to be prepped. How much is a loaf of bread?  

“Oh, I know this one. Terrific farmers’ market every other Saturday. Four pounds fifty for a multigrain megahub, three pounds for a spelt cob, they do these marvellous little mini-baguettes for two pounds, merest patina of parmesan…” 

“Sliced loaf! A goddam straight-up sliced family loaf, you absolute dickweed! And never mention this fetish bread again. Our narrative’s supposed to be hard-working people better off, NOT artisanal carbofucks doing a Pride and Fucking Prejudice minuet round some hipster-ass bakeout!” 

I can sense Ed’s panic. I just know he’s getting a signal from behind me. Probably Balls. “Sliced loaf, fifteen guineas” says Ed confidently. I consider the situation carefully, then turn round and elbow Balls in the fucking face. 


- Joe McGuffin is also a consultant for Ian Martin, who is a writer for Veep and The Thick of It


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