Inside the Commons, with Rhubarbara Dunghill. Parts 1-5.

[The Half-Mast Gazette, being a publication of strict, journalistic integrity, are legally obligated to inform our gorgeous readers that we have a mole in Parliament. This individual has unprecedented access to the private diary of Rhubarbara Dunghill MP, Member of Parliament for Jeespott and member of the Whig Party.]

Part 1: A New PM?!

Diary, today the Party’s most septic fears were realised, and I am unsure if we will weather them. After Terry’s resignation last week we hoped for the Tories to appoint some lackluster milquebrioche like Chris Grayling or Dominic Saab, prompting the public to support our iron curtain of government in the next election. Instead, they have chosen Louis van Gaal. Yes, Diary, I know exactly what you are thinking – ‘how absurd? Is that even possible?’ It is true, and it is possible. Louis van Gaal, once leader of the Reds, has switched allegiance to the Blues and now runs the country.

Here’s a transcript from his first press conference:

[First ov all I vood like to say it is a great honour to be Proime Ministuh, to enter into Downung Strit, and take my first motion in the famous sapphire leetter tray vee in this profession all dream of using. As of today, I shun my Whiggish heritage and receive the bipointed admiral’s chapeau of the Tory Party leader. I make the following promises to my seetizens, that I shall invest in education, lower import tax on Transylvanian soils, and reduce the national deeficit by ten percent. This proud nation shall see a new age under me, where Tories and peasant villagers can live side by side as if the same species. Thank you, au revoir.]

His eloquence is unmatched by any orator in the House, and his policies are so centrist that all of us in the opposition are unsure how to attack them. To make matters worse there are rumours of a split in the Whig Party, and factions may be forming around us. Nobody has approached me yet, but I believe if I orbit the correct personages more may come to light.

Keep safe,


Part 2: The Seven Nation Barmy Army

This evening at half-past seven I sat in the House cafeteria, watching Tom Watson enjoy Whitebait Wednesday, when I noticed a few prominent Party members leaving the buffet early. Naturally I followed.

The Whigs in question were Jeremy Corbett, Diane Abbey, and the Chief Whip Vic Brown. Corbett stopped outside the Whig dormitory and said:


Pardon me, cats, but I need to send a gulf stream into the nearest urinal. Can you accompany me and make sure Hilary Benn doesn’t sneak a look at my hammer and sickle?

[DIANE and VIC in unison]

Of course, Glorious One! We praise your exalted name!

At this point I mustered the courage to sneak into the dormitory and hide under a bed. Shortly after, they return, now in matching tie-dye jumpsuits and red berets! Diane drops the boombox she was carrying in front of the bunk I was hidden under, blocking my view! All of a sudden some more footsteps enter the room.


That was one sweeeet piss, man.


Now is not the time for piss, Jeremy. What are we going to do about Watson’s Red Buzzards?


Silenzio. I think I know a way out of this pickle sandwich.


Want me to break their legs loik oi did with Chucky Umunna and his Indie ****ing Jones’s.


Pop a chiller, Vic. I say it rhyme and again, violence has no place in the Whig Party. I very much regret that you used near-lethal force in resolving our dispute with the Indie Jones’s.

Vic grumbles.


Sir, what is your plan then?


Well, last nighteroo I was smoking some ganja in my teepee and something struck me, but first throw on some groove, we don’t want any of those Red Buzzards listening in.

I faintly hear some funk coming from the boombox in front of me.


This is top volume surely? It says ‘two’ right on it.


Bloody sake Diane. Here, I’ll ****ing do it.

The room starts pulsating with groove. I cannot hear anything for some time, and then the music stops.


Jeremy, you’ve done it again.

Footsteps leave the room.


I better step off, I need to **** on a ******* ***.


NOT SO FAST, VICTOR! Remember our chant, first.




They leave.

That was close, I wonder who that mysterious man was. And what are the Red Buzzards and the Seven Nation Barmy Army?

Until next time, Diary.

Part 3: An Unsuspected Encounter.

Halloa Diary, Rhubarbara here. Today I had a most unfortuitous encounter, and I simply must share it with you. I spent much of the morning getting twatted with Ed Balls in his Premier Inn room, and I was feeling worse for wear when I returned to Parliament in the afternoon. I was walking down one corridor when I noticed an armed police officer waving me over.

What’s the matter, officer? I asked.

The officer replied: There is a dangerous pervert in the building, you have to remain quiet.

This terrified me, it’s no secret that those of us who inhabit the greasy sphere of the public eye are easy targets for the dissatisifed and distrombulatent. I saw my face, white as a ghost, reflected in the visor of the officer’s helmet.

Now what? I asked.

Listen very carefully, he replied, you have to take off your shoes.

For the noise?


I quickly took my shoes off and he placed them in a clear plastic bag.

Is there an evacuation point?

The officer shook me – Enough with your health and safety bollocks, it is of the utmost importance that you put these on, and quick on it, too!

He thrust his own boots towards me. I was confused, but, being a public servant, obeyed the police officer and put his boots on and laced them up.

Now, you. Call me a slag.



At that moment the officer shook with so much rage that his helmet dislodged and bounced across the stone floors. He was no police officer after all, but rather the ghost of Oliver Cromwell!

Astounded, I stumbled backwards.

All of a sudden Black Rod appeared and tackled the spirit, whacking him around the head with his mace.

What on earth’s going on? I cried.

Black Rod twisted Cromwell’s arm behind his back.

Excuse me, Miss Dunghill. This old man’s been a pain in my gooch all morning, telling every woman he comes across to wear his boots and call him a slag!

This is absurd, I said.

You politicians, y’know what’s really absurd, 2.5% VAT increase in 2011. Bloody politics, eh? Now, if you excuse me, I’m off for a wank.

And with that they were gone. Just to think, after all this time the ghost of Oliver Cromwell still haunts these halls? Who knows what other secrets lie waiting to be uncovered? Goodnight Diary, and God bless you.

Part 4: The Speaker Speaks.

I write this from inside the Commons. Oh, hello Diary it’s Rhubarbara here. I write from inside the Commons. To my left sits Ted Milliband, to my right, Keith Starmer. Last night, these two men came to me with a message from Tom Watson and a small faux-leather box.

They told me they were members of an insurgency group within the Whigs, known as the Red Buzzards, and wanted me to join them. Why I agreed, I still do not know. Was it the excitement? The possibilities for career advancement? Or perhaps the high-quality buzzard pin that resided comfortably on a velvet cushion inside the box.

Whatever the motive, I now sit, wearing that aforementioned pin, alongside these brave men in the Commons.

In comes the speaker, John Berkeley. He sits on that plush perch in the centre of the chamber, clears his throat and proclaims:


All fall silent. Berkeley speaks.

On today’s menu we have a vote on no deal Brexit, do you numbskulls all understand?

All nod.

Right on. For those of you who have been residing in a hole or your constituency for the past dangling years here are two things you need to know about me: my name’s John and it’s an absolute pleasure to meet you.

All clap.

Order! I pass the speaking stick to the Right Honourable Tom Watson, MP for West Brom or something.

Tom stands up, and the three of us squawk loudly – as is our custom.


Dear friends, I stand before you to persuade you to vote against [om nom nom] a no deal Brexit. It would be catastrophic [om nom] to our economy, our international standing and our [nomnomnom] options for future trade relationships. In fact, any form of Brexit would be a danger to national security. Please, consider our good friend Nadine Coyle, who left Girls Aloud only to make a dunce out of herself on the grandest stage of Western Culture: the top 100 charts.

We squawk again.

John Berkeley allows Diane Abbey to speak.


We as a party are 110% behind no deal Brexit.

We angrily squawk.


ORDER! The Priiiiime Ministerrrr.

Louis van Gaal stands.


Respected Meals of Parliament [ahem] Members of Parliament. Brexit good. Brexit sexy. Louis van Gaal sexy. Like red steak. Eef you vote for my no deal, many great gypsy rewards come to you and your family. Just hev a little theenk about it. Thatcher.

The Tories burst into a round of applause. Some hands rise among the SNP and Liberal Democrat members but Berkeley points towards Zachary Goldsmith, who has just entered the chamber.


Listen up lads, if you think we are getting national sovereignty from Brexit – well then you’re absofrickinglutely correctomundo. Come on, there’s a party in my hot tub after this session, and I have a loooooot of white wine coolers I simply MUST get rid of.

The Tories cheer louder.

We all go to cast our ballots and wait while they are counted. The sealed envelope gets passed up to Berkeley:

The results of the ballot are…

He opens the envelope.

With a majority of three hundred MPs...

The tension builds.


Berkeley jumps onto the table, rips his shirt open and howls. The Brexit stalemate is getting no closer to resolution, I wonder what the next vote brings.

Part 5: Begging for Mercer.

Diary, Rhubarbara here. I had a curious run-in with another MP on the tube this morning. I was reading my kindle with my hand on a ceiling bar when I heard a voice behind me.



I turn and see the Captain Johnny Mercer shoving people out of the way.


Rhubarbara, please cooperate and allow me to use that aerial bar for my morning pull-ups.

I told him: Johnny, this is ridiculous, can’t you wait until you get to the gym?

No, he barked. I cannot do that, you limp-haired twit.

Fine, I think, and shuffle down the carriage.

NOT SO FAST, MAGGOT. He bellows after me. I need you to spot me.

Reluctantly, I go back to him, hoping to at least display some feelings of cross-party camaraderie to the masses.

Mercer starts doing his pull-ups, counting them aloud.

Thirty-three, thirty-four… Right, now Rhubarbara you have to do something they did back in the arrrrrrrmmmmyyyy. When I pull myself up next, you have to take off my combat boots.

This was a strange request, but I obliged after noticing the hooded teen next to me tweeting about us.

I unlace the boots and tug until they come off.

Thank you, Private. Now, I need you to take your shoes off and wear mine.

Excuse me?

Clothe thyself in mine own boots, and call me a bint.

I look up and realise I have not been talking to Captain Johnny Mercer at all! In in fact, I am confronted by the ghost of Oliver Cromwell!


Suddenly the teen next to me wrestles Cromwell to the ground and spits on his face. He pulls off his hood to reveal… Black Rod!


Sorry you had to see this pervert, Miss Dunghill. I’ve been chasing him around town all morning.

Again? I ask, This is getting ridiculous.


You know what is ridiculous, mate? A Band 1 dental treatment, including a standard check-up, now costing £22.70 instead of the prior £21.60. Bloody politicians. Anyway, this is my stop, I’m off for a wank.

And with that they were gone.


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