The Hon. Cedric C. Woffle
for Upper and Lower Minington,
It is with great regret that I feel I must tender my resignation as a Minister and announce my departure from the party I have served faithfully for the past 26 years. From today, I will sit on the cross-benches as an independent.
I considered very seriously your request yesterday that I shave off my beard because party polling indicates that voters think I look like a dork.
But I have decided to stick to my principles and follicles, and keep the whiskers that have grown very fondly on my face these past years.
Since I shaved off my moustache, I think I look like one of the old-fashioned American pilgrims.
I think I look statesmanlike and brimming with morality and wisdom. With respect to the party polling results, I think people still actually like that.
You and I have been through a lot since we were room-mates at boarding school, eh, old boy?
I doubt anyone else even calls you Stinky any more. Have you told anyone recently how you got that nickname? Or how we came to climb that flagpole while naked?
The silly adolescent things we did together, eh? It would make riveting reading.
I hope this latest disagreement of ours does not sour our long-standing, otherwise splendid relationship, Stinky.
I know my resignation will cause you to lose the balance of power in the house and probably trigger an early election which, in turn, if all the polls are correct, will probably bring a landslide defeat for your government.
But I do not always believe the polls.
Or believe in them, actually.
I remember a time, Stinky, when politicians led strongly and the voters followed meekly.
Ah yes, a time when, if a well-performing politician chose to wear a beard without a moustache, it was probably highly fashionable in the electorate too.
When the prime minister announced that we were going to war, what did we do?
Did we conduct a poll to check whether the people actually wanted to send their sons to die in war?
In the good old days, the politicians had bollocks rather than pollsters. The pollies ruled and the people did what they were told, just like they should.
It seems to me that nowadays, however, we cannot do anything without running a poll to see what the voters might think of it.
The tail is wagging the dog.
We are poll-driven in everything we do: in what we say, in what we do and now in our appearance.
Of this, I am very sad.
Therefore, in the tradition of our old house, old boy, I quit.
Your friend and former colleague,
PS: I intend to stand as an independent at the next election.
Should I lose, a possibility I must seriously contemplate, especially if the party decides to stand a candidate against me, I intend penning my memoirs.
As I said, I have some riveting stories from boarding school to tell.
As a favour, old boy, would you consider writing the foreword?
©August 27, 2001 John Martin. All Rights Reserved
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