I read this Guardian story until the part where we learn that, in the new elections campaign based on Gordon Brown’s bully boy image, the plan is to have the British PM deck David Cameron during a televised debate and send him swiftly to hospital where the reliable and efficient healthcare system under Labour would be showcased. That got me to think, in quick succession: the British would *not* buy this; and how did Guardian reporters find out about this?; the whole thing’s improbable; something’s wrong here… and then it struck me that it was April Fools’ Day, and I scrolled up the page and sure enough, Olaf Priol had written the piece.
In the earlier parts of the story, I had thought that the campaign idea – that some British folks would be bought over by the idea of having a bully boy PM, and that the politicians would have that notion to tap on this segment – was sad and a sign of the times. It was only until I thought that something this big would be better hidden that I realised its improbability.
So, instinctively, not only did I not doubt the idea’s authenticity, I did not doubt the idea’s effectiveness. And the plausibility of the joke, and the way the story ratcheted up its outrageousness factor, got me whooping audibly in delight, at about eight in the morning, while I was having breakfast at my office desk, reading the Guardian online.
P/S. I also enjoy the Guardian’s Football Weekly podcasts.
PP/S. I do think the fact that I thought the campaign plausible and possibly effective is quite disturbing. For Britain or for me, I’m not so sure.