A simple guide to saving the nation

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The Independent Online
Now that Mohamed al-Fayed has become the latest businessman to launch a political party that will rescue Britain, many readers are asking themselves "Could I be next?" The answer is almost certainly "yes", if you follow this simple step-by-step guide to saving the nation.

1) Make your first pounds 100m. Do not make the money in this country. To do so might take the edge off your patriotism. It is acceptable for the saviour-tycoon to make a subsequent fortune in England, but he should enter British public life as a rich man, who sees the whole island as a sort of country cottage, where he can rest on his honours.

2) Try to buy a newspaper. There is nothing like failing to buy two or three newspapers to make a man realise that this country is so rotten that it needs a new government.

3) Once you have reached this insight, the next stage comes naturally. Everywhere you look you see evidence of near criminal incompetence. Since no one will sell you a newspaper, you start writing letters to them. No one takes any notice. You realise the entire establishment is ganging up on you. Still no one takes any notice. Wearying of writing letters to the papers, you start to take out full-page advertisements. Still fewer people take notice.

4) Make another couple of hundred million. Realise that money may not be everything. Write a book to this effect, and command every outpost of your vast empire to hand out free copies of your work. By now you have almost certainly attracted a number of alarmingly clever young men who understand that you are the country's only hope. Everyone else believes you are suffering from megalomania. Only these young people have the perspicacity to see that your problem is altruism.

5) There are only two cures for altruism on this scale, and one of them has already been taken: to marry Miss Roberts, the grocer's daughter. The other is to own a national newspaper and to make money out of it. It worked for Lord Beaverbrook and Conrad Black. If only Mussolini had been able to make his papers pay.