21 November 2011

Thinking Paper #204: Transparency in politics - a new perspective‏

By Ron Ford Golightly


According to urban legend, if you place a goldfish in a dark room, it will turn transparent. The question on the IIPBA's lips is, what does this mean for the future of Gideon "the wallpaper" Osborne's face?

The background

The Treasury building is a dark place. George banned lightbulbs in May 2010 in a cost cutting measure and Danny "God I hate his face" Alexander, taxed the use of windows later the same year. According to sources (thanks Rupert), this has meant that a number of Treasury civil servants have had to evolve a kind of second sight which involves using a pin hole camera and clips of the Sun on YouTube. Gideon is reportedly quite happy reading his briefing by torchlight. For any Daily Mail readers reading, he buys his own batteries.

The science

The IIPBA's frontal visage team have spent the past 18 months studying the faces of Gideon and, for comparison, Dave "the Dutch oven" Cameron. Following a quick chat down the pub, they came up with a couple of conclusions:

1. Gideon is slowly turning transparent from spending too long in the dark shadows of the Treasury. When they came to power, Gideon sported what can only be described as a Bulgarian tint. He followed this up with a brief period of "Swiss snow burn", but has slowly morphed into an "ivory white" stage. If these projections are continued to their natural conclusion, he will be on the spectrum of transparency by this time next year.

2. David Cameron is getting redder. If this trend continues at the same pace, he will reach the "Phil Mitchell stage" by 2014. For perspective, Phil Mitchell of Eastenders fame has to boil his head for 30 minutes a day to achieve this horror stage tone. The IIPBA estimates that Dave might be a one hour a day kind of guy.


1. We suggest that Steve Hilton hold a focus group to see how far the electorate are willing to accept the "Phil Mitchell" look

2. We suggest that Rupert Huffington of Wingbourne hold a focus group to see how far the electorate are willing to accept the "goldfish in a cupboard look".

3. And finally, we suggest that Mike Penning, if he's serious about his plans to be the stalking horse, seek a middle ground that we call the "Cornish glow"

Best of luck Mike

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