Ask Agatha #32 A Study In Broon


Dear Aunt Agatha,

People barely notice me these days. When I held the top job, I used to scream and rant and hurl staplers across the office, but at least people noticed me. Now I’m all but invisible. It all started with that Islington meal when my colleague agreed to make way for me “after a few years.” When those “few years” became a decade, of course I screamed. I had every right to, being easily the cleverest man in the job, if not the world.

I was clever enough to tax the poorest, while posing as their champion. I saw gold as a “barbarous relic,” so I sold ours. Others obviously shared my low view of it, because it fetched only $275 an ounce. When it subsequently rose to five times that, it showed how stupid people are to over-value it.

Despite my brilliant innovation of hiding tax increases by stealth, no-one gives me credit these days. It shows they’re all bigots, like that stupid old woman. Even my expansion of the tax code to 17,000 pages earns no credit these days. It’s not complicated to my sophisticated brain. It should be me on the new £50 note, given that I’ve printed and spent more of them than anyone else.

The reason I didn’t hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, despite my promise, was that I thought people might vote incorrectly, as they later did on Brexit. Now I want a second Brexit vote to correct their mistake. But I get scant notice, and I want to attract more attention. What should I do?

(signed) “Son of the Manse.”

Dear “Son of the Manse,”

People would be happy to see you on the new £50 note, given that you have to be dead. I’m not convinced you should draw attention to yourself. If you do that, they might drag up your support for the Iraq War, or when you tried to get people locked up without charge for 42 days. They might point out that, having never won an election yourself, it looks bad to be telling other people how to vote. I suggest a decent obscurity instead.

Why not become a Highland shepherd? Have you ever noticed how comforting sheep are? They’re much more docile than people, and more easily led. You could herd them around, helped by a few dogs, and it would feel just like government. It would be even more familiar when you fleeced them, after first pulling the wool over their eyes.