I firmly believe that a person’s private life should be just that and I don’t care how many pictures of his wife’s breasts she insists on posting to the internet. Yet there are, of course, exceptions to the rule and Labour MP Simon Danczuk (now suspended from the party) provided one this week when he was caught sending sexually suggestive text messages to a 17 year old. As the tabloids would say: naughty boy. Except Danczuk was neither naughty nor a boy. He did, however, consummate the meaning of ‘stupidity’. It was an act of such profound dingbattery that it makes you wonder how a largely ignorant electorate, prone to ticking the box for whichever candidate is wearing their colours, could make him MP for Rochdale.
That I don’t understand Danczuk’s actions perhaps says more about my psychology than it does about his. I live too boring a life to ever face the temptations of a highly-waged MP who regularly meets young women seeking the glamorous life of constituency politics. I’m also ‘not on the market’, as they say, so I’m not like Danczuk who recently parted from his lovely wife, Karen, to pursue the life of bachelorhood. He has that dashing elan and knows how to communicate with the opposite sex. Where I would splutter and say something dumb like ‘I like movies involving spaceships’ he has that pin-stripe ‘let me run my pencil through your accounts’ vibe that makes him, as I believe they say in the world of Tinder, such ‘a pip’.
Yet if I was an MP, I think I would be self-conscious enough to know when my actions might be reported by a media eager to misinterpret any offer I should make to spank a casual acquaintance. That’s why I’d only ever run for office once I’d defined the red lines across which I would not stray without first rethinking my life. They’re the big warning signs that I know we would all recognise. Should you ever find yourself hiding in a strange wardrobe on a weekday morning whilst holding your trousers, then you should possibly consider a different line of work. Never have anything larger than a sprout strapped into your mouth whilst naked. Above all, never point anything towards your exposed groin that has a) a camera and b) an internet connection. (A mistake known as ‘doing a Weiner’ for the second most obvious reason that it was made famous by former US Congressman Anthony Weiner).
They are, I hope you agree, simple rules designed to make life easier.
Danczuk fell foul because he is clearly naive to the world and did not have a handy list of words that all politicians should avoid using. In fact, I was quite surprised to learn that no such list exists. Our MPs are clearly not being given the right training. Government cutbacks are leaving our Members of Parliament as exposed as their… Er… Well, perhaps that’s a sentence better left hanging.
So, my New Year gift to all current and future MPs, as well as to democracy itself, is my list of the top 25 words that they should never use in any context. This list is somewhat explicit so I should warn you that you should only carry on reading if you have the constitution of a Conservative backbencher.
Words an MP should never use
- Spanking (cannot be used in any innocent context)
- Hot (use ‘balmy’ instead).
- Ribbed (the non-erotic ‘lumpy’ is preferred)
- Buttocks (‘posterior’ is better)
- Underpants (certainly, never ‘hairy rubber underpants’)
- Bubbly (not for a drink and never for a personality)
- Pump (unless in a case of flooding)
- Wet (unless in a case of flooding)
- Moist (not even in a case of flooding)
- Motel (especially not the Premier Inn off Junction 9 on the M1 outside Luton)
- Tinder (unless you do want to light a fire and that fire isn’t ‘in your trousers’)
- Pulled (not even if you’ve ‘done a muscle’ and or, much worse, ‘done’ your groin)
- Single (and no combination of ‘stockings’, ‘swinging’ and ‘single’)
- Brighton (or, indeed, any town within an hour’s drive of Westminster)
- Minx (except when preceded by ‘Minnie the‘ and you are referring to the comic character)
- Thong (unless you are a member of the Lib Dems in which case it’s probably habitual)
By any stretch of the imagination, this is not a comprehensive list so I welcome any additions in the comments below. Naturally, the list would need to be kept updated. As social media changes, our language will also change. ‘Uber’ this year might be ‘DialARide’ next year. So too, ‘Tinder’ this year might also be ‘DialARide’ by 2017. Politicians need to keep abreast of these changes let they think they’re calling a cab and end up… Well, I’ll leave the rest to your imaginations but it probably involves six or seven of the above words and a few your innocent author could never imagine.
In the meantime, whether you’re elected or not, I wish you a scandal-free 2016 and may your year be fully tax deductable and avoid the wrath of the parliamentary ombudsman.
David Waywell writes and cartoons at The Spine.