Election '97: Saying goodbye to the grey men
Tuesday 08 April 1997
So who elsewould perform well in the chamber, who is not, like Richard Branson, already established on the tired list of the great and the good?
As Olga Maitland, Giles Brandreth and Glenda Jackson have shown, moving from the media into politics can be easy.
Imagine Mrs Merton's Mancunian tones wafting across the despatch box: "So Chancellor, where's all the money gone? Let's have a heated debate."
Angus Deayton could be Speaker and Danny Baker, the shock jock, could take over as chief heckler from the ageing Dennis Skinner. Meanwhile, the aggressive Jarvis Cocker, (Michael Jackson's chief accuser and lead singer with Pulp) would make a better job of rooting out sleaze than Sir Gordon Downey.
And there would be plenty of votes for the heroes of television fiction, for example the smooth reassurance of Dr Dangerfield (Nigel Le Vaillant).
But these figures are fantasy characters, played by individuals who in reality are unimpressive. Finding people of Martin Bell's calibre is difficult. Nevertheless, here are my choices to join Martin Bell at Westminster:
Delia Smith, trusted by hundreds of thousands of voters, mainly women, for advice on a fundamental part of of their lives. She could explain everything in simple steps.
Sheila Kitzinger, author of child care books, would make a good job share.
Richard Dawkins for his incorruptible atheism, vital in this era when politicians like to bear the mantle of priesthood.
Likewise Stephen Hawking, needed for general wisdom about life and the universe.
Lenny Henry and Dawn French (new Heritage Secretary) to replace the Bottomleys, for their humour, work with Comic Relief and the fact that there are not enough very fat women in Parliament.
Indajit Singh, editor of the Sikh Messenger and regular contributor to Radio Four's Thought for the Day, where he always makes more sense than anything said on Yesterday in Parliament.
Stephen Tumim, former Chief Inspector of Prisons, who proved he was prepared to tell the truth about jails, even though honesty cost him his job.
Likewise John Stalker, who investigated allegations of a "shoot-to-kill" policy in Northern Ireland.
Ruud Gullit, manager of Chelsea and one of the most intelligent figures in British sport. He would be easily an equal match for Michael Howard at Home Office questions, provided, of course, he could get himself a British passport.
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 3 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 4 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
April Fools' Day 2015 live: The best pranks and fake stories from around the world
Turkey power cut: Prime Minister says nationwide blackout could be caused by terrorists
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...