Last night I presided over Question Time with the candidates for Mayor of Badgertown.
Uncle: The first question is from a Mister Colgan, he would like to ask the candidates what they would do about the gangs of young hooded badgers roaming the streets in packs looking for mischief with their duck bombs? Perhaps you would like to answer that one first Boris Badger ?
Boris: I would give them lots of hugs – young badgers are always given a hard time - particularly by farmers such as Butterskin Mute. They are probably just snuffling around for mushrooms. If they are roaming the streets it is because Ken Goat has failed to provide enough Youth Burrows for them.
Uncle: Ken Goat – what’s your answer?
Ken: I would send them off to see Mister Badger in the Wild Woods - He a wise hermit, a good leader and gentleman, embodying common sense. I am sure that he could set them on the right track.
Uncle: and your answer Noddy?
Noddy: Education, education, education. I would set up scholarships for them at Doctor Lyre’s School for Young Gentlemen – they would have a whiz time and I would teach em a trick or two.
Uncle: An excellent answer, if I may say so Noddy. Now - a transport question from the stationmaster at Badgertown. He says steam is the only solution to Badgertown’s transport problems, so he’ll be voting Noddy Ninety. He wants to know what can be done to persuade the inhabitants to use his trains more? Noddy?
Noddy: Education, education, education. There are too many smelly horse-drawn carts clogging up Badgertown. Steam-driven Trams are the solution and we will educate the populace with a series of lectures at Doctor Lyre’s School for Young Gentlemen. These will cover the design of the 1712 Newcomen engine, and the Watt steam engine, developed from it sporadically between 1763 to 1775 - the further lectures will…
Uncle: All right – that’s enough, very impressive answer – Ken?
Ken: As you know I favour the bendy bus…
Boos from audience
Ken: I know that there have been some unfortunate incidents with buses getting stuck going around corners, and then flicking back– but we are making great strides with the rubber used to make them. I am sure that these problems can be ironed out…
Uncle: Not much of an answer – I’d send Cowgill round to sort it out for you, but Noddy will probably be in charge after tomorrow….Boris? you have some idea involving bicycles I believe – can’t say I have particularly fond memories when it comes to bikes…
Boris: Bendy Tricycles actually – free for everyone in Badgertown! I always cycle everywhere….
Shout from Audience: Yeah! With your chauffeur following behind!
Boris: How dare you! – I am merely offering employment to an Old Liarian who is down on his luck.
Uncle: Enough. Now a question from a Miss Bella Badger who is concerned that not enough is being done to deal with the persistence lawlessness of The Badfort Crowd – and I must say I heartily agree – she wants to know how each of the candidates would deal with the threat posed by them? Boris?
Boris: Beef up the Badgertown police, arm them with Duck Bombs, and um stuff like that.
Uncle: Well that’s not helped in the past…Ken?
Ken: I think we need to be more inclusive – I am sure that some committee could be set up…
Shout from Audience: For you old friends The Badfort Crowd? – Red Ken and his cronies!
Uncle: Order! Order! Noddy? Your answer?
Noddy: Education, education, education. I would employ your Aunt, Miss Evelyn Maidy to run a training course at Doctor Lyre’s School for Young Gentlemen in the arts of ju-jitsu and wrestling. I guarantee that we would soon have The Badfort Crowd on the run!
Uncle: What a splendid idea! – I am sure my Aunt would love that…. Well now a question from Alonzo S. Whitebeard. He is concerned because he has a great deal of his savings in Badgertown Rock and wants to know if they will be safe and what the candidates will do to prevent financial problems of this kind in the future? Ken?
Ken: There is no need for Mister Whitebeard to worry – thanks to the generosity of our great benefactor, Uncle, who stepped in with a large amount of money, his savings are safe. I am sure that if any problems should arise again we can rely on Uncle to step in and…
Uncle: Hang on one moment, that was a loan you know? – I am expecting to be repaid…
Ken: Well, yes, in due course I am sure that we will sort something out.
Noddy: Education, education, education. This problem all arose because these bankers are clearly not very good at sums. I would insist that they all attended maths classes at Doctor Lyre’s School for Young Gentlemen and I would ensure that they all got six of the best for their stupidity.
Uncle: Another excellent answer, Noddy, - Boris?
Boris: Well this is what happens when poor decisions are made over who to lend money to. Anyone could see that lending to dwarfs, who are notoriously unreliable…
Shout from Crowd: Shortist!
Boris: This has nothing to do with stature – many of my closest friends are not very tall. I merely point out that it is a well-known fact that dwarfs are tricky fellows…
At this point a fight erupted and the meeting had to be abandoned.
I hope that this debate has given you food for thought on how you will vote tomorrow, whilst I must remain impartial, I have to say that I was most impressed with Noddy Ninety's answers and I am sure that you will be voting for him.