Imagine this. You’ve spent your entire life being picked dead last for every team – from cricket to tiddlywinks to the team responsible for the best ad hoc sculpture made solely from toilet rolls, pipe cleaners and sparkles. Nobody wants you. Suddenly, by a quirk of fate you realise that you have the power to decide who’s on which team. Instead of waiting to be picked you’re the one doing the picking. It’s the kind of power that could easily go to someone’s head. And it kind of did.
We’ve heard a lot about the ‘Westminster system’ recently which is not to be confused with the ‘Axminster system’ which is more about a type of carpet than it is a system of government and the ‘Westeros system’ that mostly concerns dragons and carelessly placed takeaway coffee cups. Although, that said, dragons in Parliament would be awesome, albeit difficult to capture in ‘Hansard’. One of the features of the Westminster system, beyond its appalling lack of dragons, is that there are members of an executive branch who are accountable to the Parliament.
It started off as an ‘in case of emergency, break glass’ thing in the Health portfolio. At the time, there was a lot happening and the idea was understandable, if not forgivable. But having learned that he could be appointed to multiple portfolios in addition to the existing Minister, it’s fair to say that the PM became the ‘Primed Minister’ – eager for anything he could get his hands on. It must have been something like a first-time visit to an all-you-can-eat buffet. You hardly know where to start. Or, more importantly as the case may be, where to stop.
Before long, Scomo was collecting ministerial portfolios like a scout collects merit badges. He was insatiable. He may not have made his acquisitions known to the general public, but I have a sneaking suspicion that every time he snaffled another job, he had his business cards reprinted. It got so that Cabinet meetings could, in fact, have been conducted in an actual cabinet, with Scomo squeezed in between the panels like The Cure in the film clip to ‘Close to Me’ (although we all know that Scomo’s not going to be listening to The Cure. He’ll be listening to Dragon, which makes me think that he may prefer the ‘Westeros system’ after all).
Meetings must have been an absolute breeze. Instead of having to wrangle a room chock-a-block with unruly colleagues, you can make key decisions just by staring into the bathroom mirror. Shaving has never been so productive. It’s not hard to imagine Scomo, cut-throat razor in hand and a face full of foam staring lovingly back at his own reflection and asking the seemingly rhetorical question: ‘who’s a clever boy?’ before barrelling ahead to answer it regardless by smirking and saying, ‘you are’ and blowing himself a kiss. Narcissus would be jealous.
It makes you wonder whether there are other jobs the (now) former Prime Minister would like to take on. There’s a chronic shortage of labour right now but the answer is as obvious as it is simple – get Scott to do it. Need an extra set of hands in the McDonalds’ drive-through? Give Scomo a headset and he’ll be asking you if you want fries with that before you’ve had a chance to scratch yourself. In fact, there’s nothing the all-purpose Scomo can’t do. He’ll whiten your whites, remove unwanted odours and turn a sandwich into a banquet. Soon he’ll be a verb.
That said, things may have gotten slightly out of hand. Last night, I went to take the bins out to find that someone had beaten me to it. Which is disturbing when you live alone. As I looked up, I saw Scomo scurry away. Today the dishwasher was empty and the ironing complete. Then, this afternoon, I tried to join a team meeting on line and found that was already in my place and was using my name. He must be stopped. I’d been Scomoed.
Surely there’s a small fortune to be made my inventing a heavy duty Scott-repellent. Much like Aeroguard but for a much larger pest. I shall do my best to invent it. There’s something horrifically odd about the whole thing. Something you can’t quite get your fingers around. It’s one thing to decide you need a contingency in case of disaster. It’s another to keep the whole thing a secret. As if the day would not inevitably come whereby we’d discover that one person had taken it upon himself to be the king of everything.
It’s an odd turn of events. It began when a Prime Minister had himself secretly sworn in and has ended up with his colleagues swearing him out. Such is their frustration that the very name ‘Scomo’ has been reduced to an expletive magnet. It’s been a rough couple of years and plenty of conventions have fallen by the wayside, but some things are important. Knowing who’s in charge matters. Knowing who’s responsible is incredibly important.
It must be tough being Scomo right now. People are understandably angry and upset. But even if his friends and colleagues abandon him just as voters have deserted him, at least he’ll still have himself to comfort him. Which is probably exactly the way he likes it.