SCENE: Little Humpingham Town Hall.
The residents of Little Humpingham have gathered to elect a new Mayor. The audience watch expectantly as the Chairman invites the candidates - VIOLET SENSIBLE, HENRY SAVAGE, TARQUIN TITTERING-BERK and JEREMY CANTGOVERN - to make their closing arguments. At the back of the room, two local JOURNALISTS look on.
CHAIRMAN: Ladies and gentlemen, your final statements, please.
VIOLET SENSIBLE: We should immediately close the nursery, fire the postman and blow up the donkey sanctuary.
HENRY SAVAGE: Let's invade our neighbours in Dogdickington village and beat them with hockey sticks. It's for their own good and it's the only language they understand.
TARQUIN TITTERING-BERK: We need to be realistic. I think we should all be racist. Not racist in a bad way, but racist in a very reasonable way. Reasonably racist.
JEREMY CANTGOVERN: Well, I think that we should be nice. We should all be nice in a faffing, ineffectual, slapstick kind of manner. We should also be weird and get bizarrely annoyed about matters that are ultimately fairly unimportant.
FIRST JOURNALIST: They'll never elect Cantgovern. He's a dinosaur. He doesn't even like hitting people with hockey sticks.
SECOND JOURNALIST: He'd be a disaster. If they elect him, we'll almost certainly catch Anthrax until we die.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you. And now we will take a vote...
(The audience vote).
CHAIRMAN: There... Well, the votes have been counted and I can announce that Jeremy Cantgovern has won by ninety-eight votes to zero for any other candidate. I hereby declare that Jeremy Cantgovern is the new Mayor of Little Humpingham.
FIRST JOURNALIST: Fuck me.
SECOND JOURNALIST: (Scrawls in notepad: EARTH-SHATTERING CATASTROPHE)
CHAIRMAN: Mr Cantgovern, you have the floor.
JEREMY CANTGOVERN: Thank, you Mr Chairman. Can I just start by saying that now is the time -
SENSIBLE: Boo! You suck, Cantgovern! Boo!
SAVAGE: You're shit! You can't lead! You're a lightweight!
TITTERING-BERK: Resign, resign! Have you no shame, sir? Have you no shame, even now?
(The CHAIRMAN bangs his gavel and calls the meeting to order)
CHAIRMAN: Order, order! Mr Cantgovern, I would thank you to tone down your remarks. This is no place for that kind of intemperate rhetoric.
JEREMY CANTGOVERN: Apologies, Mr Chairman. As I was saying, I think that now is the time to take immediate action to tackle child poverty in the village, perhaps through the medium of interpretive dance.
SENSIBLE: That's an awful idea! You're a moron! You stink like pissy cabbage!
SAVAGE: The man's a liability. He must go.
TITTERING-BERK: What a retard. I hope he dies.
(An AUDIENCE MEMBER stands up)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Why don't you let Mr Cantgovern speak? I want to hear what he has to say.
SENSIBLE: (Aghast) Mob rule!
SAVAGE: Unbelievable fascism!
TITTERING-BERK: This blatant intimidation is unacceptable! Call off your thugs, Cantgovern!
CHAIRMAN: Order, order! Mr Cantgovern, please try to control your supporters. We can't have hooligans terrorising us with their foul language.
JEREMY CANTGOVERN: Yes, please calm down everyone. If you must show disapproval, please don't shout. I suggest that you click your fingers instead. It's less aggressive, and also quite fun. (Clicks fingers)
SENSIBLE: Incredible! He's egging them on!
SAVAGE: Shocking, unbelievable conduct. The man's a psychopath.
TITTERING-BERK: And he's racist.
(The audience - Sharp intake of breath)
FIRST JOURNALIST: That proves it. Cantgovern is the new Mussolini.
SECOND JOURNALIST: (Scrawls in notepad: CANTGOVERN = NEW MUSSOLINI)
CHAIRMAN: I'm sorry Mr Tittering-Berk, I'm not sure that I heard you correctly. Did you just say that Mr Cantgovern is racist?
TITTERING-BERK: He's tremendously racist, and not in a good way, either. In a bad way.
JEREMY CANTGOVERN: This is an outrageous slur. I abhor racism in all its forms.
SENSIBLE: Yes, but do you condemn it? Do you denounce it?
JEREMY CANTGOVERN: I utterly condemn racism. I denounce it.
SAVAGE: He's a liar. Just look at him, you can smell the fucking racism. And the evil.
TITTERING-BERK: How much to you despise racism? Do you despise it times a hundred?
JEREMY CANTGOVERN: I despise racism times a thousand. No, actually, I despise it times infinity.
TITTERING-BERK: Put your hands on your head and say that.
JEREMY CANTGOVERN: (Puts hands on head) I despise racism times infinity.
SENSIBLE: Hop on one leg and say you despise it.
JEREMY CANTGOVERN: (Trying and failing to hop with hands on head) I despise... Look, I'm sorry, my knees...
(Gasps, screams from the audience)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Oh my God, he's a Nazi.
SENSIBLE: THIS MAN IS LITERALLY HITLER.
(A young boy runs into the room and hands the CHAIRMAN a note)
CHAIRMAN: (Bashes gavel) Apologies everyone, I'm afraid I've just received some rather bad news from Mr Cameron, the bank manager. He says that he's very sorry, but he's burned the bank down... All of our money... Utterly destroyed... We are doomed... All going to starve. Sorry again.
SAVAGE: This is your fault, Cantgovern. You're a fucking liability, mate.
SENSIBLE: Resign, for the love of God, resign before you ruin us all!
JEREMY CANTGOVERN: But this isn't my fault. It wasn't me that burned down the bank. I wanted to abolish the bank and replace it with a wholefoods shop.
FIRST JOURNALIST: Why won't he just shut up and go away? God, I hate him.
SECOND JOURNALIST: (Scrawling in notepad: SHAMELESS JEREMY CLINGS ON, DENIES BURNING DOWN BANK)
(Uproar in the Town Hall. The CHAIRMAN brings the meeting to order).
CHAIRMAN: Order, order! Well, given Mr Cantgovern's appalling behaviour, it's clear that we need to have a new election for Mayor. Candidates, would you please give us your opening statements.
SENSIBLE: We should immediately blow up the postman, close the nursery and fire the donkey sanctuary.
SAVAGE: Let's invade Dogdickington and beat the residents with crowbars.
TITTERING-BERK: I think we should all be racist, and not in a reasonable way, but in a bad way. Badly racist.
JEREMY CANTGOVERN: Well, I think we should be nice to everyone... except the other candidates.
(Sharp intake of breath)
JEREMY CANTGOVERN: In fact, I think we should be quite rude to the other candidates. In a comically faffing and ineffectual manner.
CHAIRMAN: UNBELIEVABLE FASCISM!