The Agreeable World of Wallace Arnold: How the Queen Mother could save the Party

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The Independent Online
IT WOULD be most dreadfully sad, nay tragic, were Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother to - how should one put it? - 'drop off her perch' before the next general election. But, as the wise old adage has it, every cloud has a silver lining. Beneath the stark tragedy of the event, the benefits accruing from the various funerals, memorial services, documentary series, commemorative trinkets, etc, would give an inestimable boost to Conservative fortunes.

I have been proud to be chairman of the fearfully discreet CQMMC (Conservative Queen Mother Memorial Committee) for the past five years, and a very long five years they have been, for, as my old mother used to say, 'a watched kettle never boils'. At the lowest ebb of our fortunes during the last general election, we even toyed with the idea of conferring with the Palace to broaden the Queen Mother's experience with a spot of hang-gliding, and perhaps a crack at a bit of skateboarding. At present, I am negotiating with Buckingham Palace to force her into a ride on the splendid new 'Nemesis' at Alton Towers, but, thus far, to little avail.

So you can imagine how one's spirits soared before Christmas when someone at Smith Square - possibly poor old Norman himself - mentioned D-Day. 'I rather think I sniff mileage in this,' I opined to the committee, as I began to pencil in our plans. 'If this little lot doesn't boost our fortunes by the full ten points, then nothing will]'

The list of commemorative events compiled by W Arnold Esq was generally considered quite outstanding, so much so that I have agreed - perhaps against my better judgement] - to reprint it herein for the very first time. Contrary to claims made by some of our more politically motivated critics, it can be seen that each event was wholly in keeping with Conservative standards of taste and decency:

4 June: At 10am, the celebrations begin at the Wembley Arena with Sir Norman Fowler dressed as a D-Day veteran reciting that time-honoured classic, 'Albert and the Lion', in a jocular Northern accent. He is then joined by Miss Bonnie Langford, and they join hands with the Mike Sammes Singers in a spirited rendition of 'Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr Hitler?', the theme tune from the Dad's Army television series.

The fun continues in the same vein at lunchtime, when Mr Paul Daniels himself appears before D-Day veterans in Hyde Park, and out of nowhere produces a battalion of German foot soldiers from an enormous celebratory cake. On closer inspection, it emerges that these foot soldiers are not German foot soldiers at all, but the popular all- male dance troupe 'The Chippendales' - who strip off their German uniforms to the music of Dame Vera Lynn, in a solemn and poignant reminder of who won the war. The afternoon is devoted to the Prime Minister addressing the veterans on the benefits of his visionary 'Citizen's Charter', backed by the choir of King's College Cambridge led by Mr Ronnie Corbett.

5 June: In the highlight of the festivities, Mr Peter Lilley, Mr Michael Howard and Mr John Selwyn Gummer lead a small- scale recreation of the D-Day landings on the Round Pond in Kensington Gardens, while the Prime Minister, standing on his well-loved soap box on a man- made island in the middle of the pond, reads the speeches of Sir Winston Churchill on autocue. Meanwhile, the interests of young and old alike are served by Dame Vera Lynn singing songs by the late Mr Kurt Cobain of the popular singing combination Nirvana. The celebrations come to a more meditative close in the evening when Mr Nicholas Soames kicks off an egg-and- spoon race around the Cenotaph.

Alas, as is by now only too well known, a number of politically motivated veterans of D- Day (most of them so old as to be extremely out of touch with today's world) have managed to veto this excellent blueprint, thus letting much hard work go to waste. Meanwhile, the Government, through no fault of its own, continues to plummet in the polls. Is that what the veterans really want? Well, is it?]]]

Methinks we must now return our attention to our beloved Queen Mother. At her age, bungee-jumping should be quite out of the question, but if her advisers insist upon it, I feel sure she would not stand in their way.