Not long to go now mate. A couple more months and you’ll be as free as a bird. Retirement, eh? Bet you can’t wait! Have you given any thought to what you’re going to do with all that spare time when they don’t renew your contract? If you haven’t, I’ve got a cracking idea. Apparently there’s a general election taking place in May – and I reckon you ought to throw your hat in the ring.
Let’s face it, anyone can lead a political party these days. Look at the jokers we’ve got at the moment: I wouldn’t give any one of them the steam off my kettle, let alone vote for them. But I’d put my cross against your name, Sam. Your party would need a policy, of course. You know the sort of thing: kick out the Romanians or make it illegal to drive a car – it doesn’t have to make sense, you just need something to get a place on one of the televised debates.
Then, with your easy-going communication skills, you could charm the nation (although you might want to spit out the chewing gum first). I think you should go for the 60-plus vote. You’re one of our own now mate, so you know the hardships we have to put up with. You could start by extending the free television licence idea to include satellite and cable subscriptions. Now you’ve got to pay for BT as well as Sky, it costs more to watch football on the telly than it does to get a season ticket these days. Something should be done, my friend!
Free bus passes is another area where there’s room for improvement. Have you ever tried using public transport at 8.15 because you need to be at the pitch-and-putt course by 9? Not only do they make you pay half-fare round my way, the bus is full of people with briefcases and suchlike taking up all the priority seats. Sort that one out and you’re well on your way to No 10.
Of course, I’m not saying it’s only the over-60s who should get free stuff. The National Health Service has to remain buckshee, everyone knows that. We could even go back to the good old days when anyone could get free glasses on the NHS. Particularly if they happened to be the lino who failed to spot Eden Hazard was so far offside he should have been charged for a seat in the third row of the Bobby Moore Lower.
If you do get to be Prime Minister you’d need to be able to appoint a cabinet a bit sharpish, so it might be worth making a few calls now to see who will be free in May. I know it’s tempting to go for Harry Redknapp as Chancellor of the Exchequer now he’s no longer got a job, but I reckon I can top that. Take my advice and find out what Terry Brown is up to these days.
Trust me Sam, anyone who can dream up a scheme which persuades supporters to part with the thick end of £1,000 for the privilege of simply being allowed to buy a ticket is going to have no trouble dealing with dodgy bankers who refuse to pay their income tax. For your Home Secretary you will want someone who knows what it’s like dealing with the police force and possesses an intimate knowledge of illicit recreational substances.
Look no further than former West Ham favourite Mark Ward. He comes with the added bonus of being familiar with conditions inside Her Majesty’s correctional facilities, another of the Home Secretary’s areas of responsibility. Foreign Secretary is somewhat harder. I can see why you’d be tempted to go for Paolo Di Canio, but I’m not entirely sure this is the right option while the UK’s relationship with the rest of Europe is at such a delicate stage.
An in-out referendum is one thing: a column of jack-booted infantry emerging from the Eurostar at Paris and then marching all the way to Greece simply to prove a point is something else entirely. Sir Trevor Brooking would be a safer bet.
Education is always a poisoned chalice. That’s a job which requires someone who isn’t going to be browbeaten by parents who think their children should all go to a grammar school even though they can barely read – and who can also stand up to long-haired hippie teachers who are forever bleating about only getting 12 weeks holiday a year and sometimes having to stay as late as half-past three. Julian Dicks wouldn’t let you down.
The Health job fills itself – there can’t be a man in the country who’s had more experience of medical establishments than Andy Carroll over the past 18 months. Transport is not so easy: but as a man who has parked the bus many times during your distinguished career you barely need any advice from me about that.
Finally, I suggest you adopt a tactic that is highly popular in the US and appoint a deputy who is so scary that no one dare assassinate you for fear of them getting the top job. I’m sure Avram Grant could be persuaded to leave Ghana. BFS for PM! Your mate behind the goal Armitage Shanks (name changed by deed poll)