Every chap knows that, sooner or later, he’s going to lose an election or two. But, as Beaky the Latin master might say after a particularly hopeless piece of Latin prep, Nil Desperandum! There are ways to make things seem just a little better. So, for any chap in electoral pickle, here’s what to do:
- Be humble
Or at least look it. As soon as possible, admit that you’ve taken a jolly good kicking. And that it hurts. If you can, get someone else to do it first, preferably a girl, because everyone knows it’s horrid to pick on girls. Sayeeda Warsi is a good choice, partly because she’s a bit of a thcky (which maybe because she’s a girl, but more likely because she’s…northern), but mostly because she likes to talk and see herself on the old idiot’s lantern. But it you must bite the bullet and do it yourself, make sure you use your best sombre voice and serious face to do it. Bawling like a cissy only makes you look like an utter weed. Keep a stiff upper lip and there’s always some poor sap who’ll be more than ready to supply sympathy, possibly even the kind that includes tea and lashings of cake. Hurrah!
- Tell People How Much You’re Listening
Even if you’re not. Actually, especially when you’re not. The lower orders always like to think they’re important in some way. Well, by pretending to listen to their incessant whining you make them feel special on those infrequent occasions when they can actually make a chap’s life a touch uncomfortable: e.g. elections, or judicial enquiries. At these times you might even have to meet some of the beastly oiks. Don’t worry, one can always take a good hot bath afterwards to get rid of the stench of the poor.
The whole point of “listening” is that you don’t, and carry on doing exactly what you jolly well want. After, all who’s in charge? See how David Cameron (jolly decent chap, very good school) does it.
- Blame Someone Else
If possible, when having to explain yourself to one of those fearful oiks on the BBC, always blame the last lot. After all, if you say something often enough with enough conviction, it will become true. Or at least the public will think so. If you just keep saying, “Spoddy Milliband minor is a wet and a weed, and smells”, or, “That awful bully Brown was terrible at arithmetic, gave Alistair Darling a Chinese Burn and left the tuck shop empty”, or “We are committed to fixing the economic mess that was caused by the previous government” often enough, people will think it’s true. And if everyone says it, then it must be true, mustn’t it? So, if you have chance, write down your very best excuse on a card so no one forgets, and can repeat it, word for word, on every single appearance they make, just to make sure.
- Tell People You Have Made Mistakes
Everyone will be too busy listening the first part of the sentence that they won’t even pay attention to the last part. Clearly, the great unwashed have no concept of tough concepts like budget deficits and fiscal restructuring. Besides, maybe if they had a little less cash, some of the brutes wouldn’t actually breed quite so much. Actually, the only mistake you have made is not explaining all of these terribly, terribly complicated things to people who only went to a comprehensive school, for pity’s sake. Next time, just explain louder and more slowly. That should be the ticket.
This technique is best used in conjunction with number two, as you clearly can’t listen if you’re speaking a touch louder. See how George Osborne (another jolly decent chap, good school) does it. One would almost say that this was highly professional, if it weren’t for the unfortunate connotations with trade ill-befitting a gentleman, that accompany it.
Do these things after an electoral setback and a chap can carry on exactly as normal. The civilians will be so happy to see you listening to them they won’t even notice you’ve been using these spiffy clever tips. Good hunting, chaps!