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Vote Pig, and muddy puddles!


WELCOME again to the land of you couldn’t make it up, where the hot news is that a Cambridge University academic says the minimum voting age should be reduced to six.

Professor David Runciman suggests that this would redress the age bias in modern democracy because young people are ‘massively outnumbered’.

His recommendation is bound to become law because as we know politicians of all parties cannot resist a daft idea. So without further ado we take you forward to April 1 2030, and the BBC’s Maidenhead by-election special presented by Owen Jones.

‘Good evening, Britain! How are we all doing? Good good good. Latest news from Maidenhead is that voting finished in plenty of time for a bath before bed. Exit polls suggest a straight fight between the independent candidates Peppa Pig, who staked her campaign on extending the right to jump in muddy puddles, and Spongebob Squarepants, promising free fish fingers at the Krusty Krab. The Labour candidate, Don (formerly Diane) Abbott appears to be some way behind having got her sums catastrophically wrong while the veteran Tory Theresa May, still smarting from her ignominious ousting back in 2018, is making a third attempt to regain her Berkshire seat on a platform of cheaper Haribos.

‘And here’s the returning officer, seven-year-old Tyrone Nehru-Clitheroe, with the result. Hold on, he appears to be picking his nose. No, he’s ready now. Well, he would be if he could read. Looks as if one of his mums will have to do the honours. Here it comes, and a silence falls over the town hall, broken only by the sound of clacking Lego bricks.’

‘Hi guys. The result of the Maidenhead by-election is as follows:

Abbott, Don (Lab), minus three votes.

May, Theresa (ex-Con), 39.

Pig, Peppa (ind), 22,401.

Squarepants, Spongebob (ind), 22,222.

‘There were 6,432 spoiled papers, mainly due to chocolatey fingers.

‘I duly declare Ms Peppa Pig the new Member of Parliament for Maidenhead.

‘Demands by Mrs May for a recount, and indeed a second vote, have been denied.’

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Alan Ashworth
Alan Ashworth
Alan Ashworth is a former national newspaper journalist now retreated to the Ribble Valley, where he grows cacti and tramps the fells. He and his wife Margaret run a website, A-M Records , which includes their collected TCW columns plus extra features including Tracks of the Day. Requests, queries and comments can be sent to

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