One of the few decent things that came out of the UK’s early experiments with cable tv was an American import, Soap. This originated with ABC and was a parody of the worst of tv serials. It always started with a voice-over:
In last week’s episode of Soap, Chester’s secretary Claire had arranged for Chester’s mistress Pigeon to find them together at lunch, thus ending Chester’s relationship with Pigeon. But that’s not all, Claire has threatened to repost Chester’s illegal business activities, if Chester doesn’t divorce Jessica. Jessica has tried to end it with Peter but couldn’t, but tells Mary she’ll see him again to see if she can. Jodie has found that his quarterback boyfriend, in order to protect his image, has a girlfriend. Jodie tells him since he’s planning a sex change operation for that very same reason, his boyfriend can get rid of his girlfriend. Danny has tried to follow the Godfather’s order’s to kill Burt but couldn’t. Confused? You won’t be after this week’s episode of … Soap.
Each episode then ended with a series of bizarre hanging questions.
We had a close domestic equivalent, courtesy of today’s LabourList:
Carswell is now UKIP’s second ever MP, after 2008′s Bob Spink. Or it means he’s UKIP’s first ever MP, if you listen to Bob Spink who now claims he never joined the party. Or it means UKIP still have never had an MP, if you consider that Carswell has stood down, presumably with immediate effect.
Then there’s the small triviality of a by-election. By convention, the Whip of the “out-going” party moves the Writ. So that would put it in the gift of the Tories. When, then, will Michael Gove be authorised to rise and move that flaming Writ?
Surely not during the Conference season, in October, which logically would be the earliest moment? Conceive the effect of a defeat, or — at best — a narrow victory on the Tory faithful gathered at Birmingham, for what must be planned as the Great Electoral Send-Off..
Which would move it into the drab, dark evenings of clocks-gone-back November. Only the most convinced happily venture out to knock unwelcoming doors in such circumstances, with the cutting wind off the German Ocean. And, as of now, there are more swivel-eyed, dedicated, weather-proofed Kippers than Tories, especially in coastal Essex,
Confused? You will be after the next episode of … Westminster Soap.