I've been unable to keep up with events surrounding the Rochester and Strood by-election this week without imagining them as scenes from The Thick Of It (with apologies to the original writers). This contains language some readers may find offensive:
Nicola Murray: "Malcolm I Tweeted a picture of a house and a white van for Christ's sake, can't we keep a little perspective!"
Malcolm Tucker: "Perspective! As in showing whether things are near or far away? That's a good fucking idea because right now I wish you were fucking far away. Like on Mars! Though you'd probably find a fucking Martian with some tacky fucking space-gnomes out the front of his intergalactic council house and take the piss out of him too!"
Nicola: "But Malcolm I just thought..."
Malcolm: "Well there's a fucking first! How did that feel using muscles you've never used before? If you want to think, join a fucking think tank where you can't do any harm! I do the thinking, you do the nodding and smiling and the not-fucking-tweeting-pictures-of-voters-houses."
Olly Reeder: "White Van Dan's house. That's what they're calling him now."
Malcolm: "Who is calling him White Van Dan?"
Olly: "The Sun. They've signed him up."
Malcolm: “White Van Dan-fucking-tastic! Well done Nicola, you managed to insult a self-writing headline. You could at least make the bastards work for it! So come on Olly, what's their White Van Plan with Dan Dan the White Van Man who's about to flush Nicola's career down the White Van pan?"
Olly: "They're taking Dan and a white van full of flags to Nicola's house with a camera crew to demand an apology."
Malcolm: "Well that's fucking lucky because we've got loads of those. I've got an apology for an MP right here, drowning in an apology for a news story. And I've got an apology for a political party pissing away its chances of winning a general election that should have been the easiest win since fucking Mugabe awarded himself another term, because of the apology for a twat in Number 10 and his apology for a shambling clusterfuck of a government. Which one do they want first? Because frankly they're welcome to the whole fucking lot of you!"
Olly: "Email from Glenn. White Van Dan has written a 'Danifesto' for The Sun."
Malcolm: "A Danifesto? Of course he fucking has! And I bet it's a nasty mess too."
Olly: "Pretty much. Glenn says it's not been well thought through at all."
Malcolm: "It's not been thought through? It's by somebody who put his name to a fucking 'Danifesto'. Of course it's not been thought through. But Dan Dan The Half-Baked Plan doesn't have to think things through. He's getting paid to stand there holding a fucking flag with a Sun logo on it. A fucking metal pole could do that job. But it doesn't make us any less fucked."