Browse > Home / freedom, Liberal Democrats, Satire / Clegg’s desert island dilemmas

| Subcribe via RSS

Clegg’s desert island dilemmas

October 24th, 2010 Posted in freedom, Liberal Democrats, Satire by

The shocking revelation on today’s Desert Island Discs was that Nick Clegg’s luxury would be a “secret stash of cigarettes“. He has clearly not read the party memo on mention of the ‘evil weed’ being the social equivalent of beating children or driving a 4×4.

Being on a desert island alone of course Nick could do much as he pleased with his stash. But being the Deputy Prime Minister we’re sure he would wish to stick as closely as possibly to the law of the United Kingdom in order, like Robinson Crusoe, to maintain the standards of civilisation and social order that ‘separate us from savages’.

His first dilemma then would be whether to declare the import of his stash and pay tobacco duty. Currency is rare commodity on tropical islands, and the Treasury quite absent. However both can be replicated quite adequately with coconuts and a large hole in the ground.

Nick’s first task then would be gather a large number of coconuts and inter them. The exact number would depend the size of his stash and UK-island exchange rate. Local pricing might also be awkward, cigarettes are rare, coconuts literally grow on trees, however for convenience we’ll say 1 packet equals 10 coconuts, of which given UK duty-equivalence, 8-9 need to go in the ground for each import, depending on the brand.

The coconuts in the hole could of course be retrieved from time to time to support Nick’s health and welfare, or the arts if he wants some handy percussion instruments, but many will rot. This is the administration cost.

Despite the hole full of rotting coconuts, or perhaps because of it, Nick is fortunate to attract a second castaway to his island a little time later. Man Alexander is strong, loyal and brave; a handy guy to have around when the cesspit needs draining, or in seeking accommodation with the tribe of cannibals on a neighbouring island.

However the island has now become a public space, and the covered shelter built using husks from the pit, public housing. Nick can still grab a crafty puff from his stash on the beach or in his own bedroom, but the communal food preparation area is a no no, and the covered veranda requires two side walls to be knocked out. Nick is required to ensure adequate fire prevention mechanisms are in place (a bucket of sand), and conduct a full risk assessment before inhaling.

He also has a difficulty in what he can say to Alexander about his stash. Some initial inquiries and a battered passport happily establish that despite appearances to the contrary Alexander is over the age of 18. So he can exchange cigarettes with him for coconuts and need not confiscate any he finds not-so-young Alexander smoking on the public beach.

Although he’s not yet banned from displaying the stash for sale to Alexander, he is certainly thinking about hiding them under his hammock in future, and those that he does display must be done in very precise and limited ways in order not to breach rules on many types of advertising, promotion or sponsorship. The A5 poster he eventually settles on putting next to the communal urinal is factual and 30% of it constitutes a warning about the risks of shrivelled genitals.

This does not deter Alexander.

He eventually procures some of Nick stash and throws some coconuts in the hole.

However due to the previous occupation of the island by a tribe of vegan militarists, who decided to go to war with the cannibals using an arsenal of weaponry entirely fabricated from coconuts, and pay off their reluctant warriors with promises of more coconuts, the coconut supply is quickly running out.

Both have to stop using the stash.

Nick though one day discovers Alexander puffing away behind the fish gut pit using a supply of illicit cigarettes that have washed up on the beach.

Nick has no choice but to arrest Alexander for smuggling, destroy the contraband, and impose a large fine in coconuts that he cannot pay. The economy and tranquillity of the island swiftly breaks down in petty feuding and both are relieved, if only for a short time, to be rescued by the cannibals the following week who have no restrictions on enjoying a cigarette after their meal.

Nick alternative was to treat the island, or parts of it as a private space subject to local rules and come to some sensible compromises with Alexander should he have proved to be a non-smoker. The coconuts might have been managed more efficiently without the help of a large pit. The communication of the product on offer, and associated risks with a little more pragmatism and less zealotry.

But this is all just a desert island fantasy, isn’t it?

7 Responses to “Clegg’s desert island dilemmas”

  1. Jack Hughes Says:

    Thos doesn’t look good for a party with an Olympic gold medal in bansturbation.

  2. Dave Atherton Says:

    As I commented over on Forest’s website. I think I can put put my finger on Clegg’s confession.

    Cabinet ministers and very senior politicians live in a haemetically sealed world and are very reliant on their advisors for what is happening in the Dog and Duck. Clegg and the Lib Dems thought that the smoking ban was a done deal. One thing that has struck me speaking to MPs, aides and advisors is how much Action On Smoking and Health (ASH) has Parliament taped up and almost certainly swallowed ASH’s propaganda that the smoking ban was popular.

    Clegg and the Lib Dems were most certainly taken aback at the ferocity and how articulate most smokers were. Politicians are increasingly worried about the blogosphere and with 12 million smokers, even an organisation such as CAMRA with 100,000 members is taken very seriously in Westminster. We are potentially far more damaging.

    I think Clegg was going for the empathy vote with smokers.

  3. Dick Puddlecote Says:

    Brilliant article, Andy, I rather enjoyed that. :)

  4. Eddie Douthwaite Says:

    This is a link to the article in the Daily Mail regarding Nick Clegg smoking:-

  5. Florentina Crosby Says:

    Thank you , I love to read about other vegetarians and vegans as it gives me the strength to continue. I have about a thousand vegetarian feeds in my google reader, but I’m sure another can’t hurt!! I did manage to find a good lentil recipe here, but I’ll be sure to try yours too. Thanks!

  6. Louis Vuitton Damier Canvas Says:

    Wow, a brilliant article dude. Thanks for sharing! However I am experiencing problem with your RSS feed. Fail to subscribe to it. So anyone having similar RSS trouble

  7. louboutin booties Says:

    One thing I want to say is that often car insurance cancelling is a horrible experience and if you are doing the suitable things like a driver you will not get one. Lots of people do are sent the notice that they are officially dumped by the insurance company they have to scramble to get further insurance after a cancellation. Affordable auto insurance rates are generally hard to get from cancellation. Knowing the main reasons for auto insurance canceling can help people prevent completely losing in one of the most significant privileges accessible. Thanks for the ideas shared through your blog.