Dear Aunt Agatha,
I’ve always wanted to be number one, but never made it above number two. Even in cabinet I ended up in the second to top slot, not the big one. At university my degree in a second-rate subject was only an upper second. I’m fed up of second, even though it’s admittedly better than the fourth place my party currently occupies.
I’ve been accused of breaking promises and of making promises I can’t keep, but I only said sorry for the second of these. When I campaigned in the electoral reform referendum, guess what? My side came second. And in the referendum on the EU, the option I campaigned for came second.
I think I understand why people do this to me. It is because they are ill-informed and don’t understand the issues properly. I am currently campaigning to give them a second chance to do the right thing, as I did recently at a casino when I bet on red and the ball had the temerity to land on black. I lost money because the croupier ignored my request to spin it again and see if it had become better-informed about things. But I didn’t care because I’m used to losing.
Is there anything I can do, Agatha, to escape from being second and finally make it to number one?
(signed) “Second best”
Dear “Second best,”
What you need is a second career. Have you thought of forming a pop group? I know you can’t sing or play music, but you’ve never let lack of talent stop you doing anything before, and if you can’t win a popular vote, you might reach the number one slot via popular music instead. You could call your group “The New Eurythmics,” and use your fluency in the five European languages you speak to record in all of them. You might start with a modern cover version of Whitney Houston’s “I will always love EU.” Obviously it won’t go down well in post-Brexit Britain, but you could take it to number one in Brussels.