Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Leadership Crisis Lessons from Ancient Persia

Image result for house of commons vote toriesGiven today’s British political emergency, let’s look at ancient history for ideas about a more strong and stable government.

I propose that the House of Commons tonight follow the example of the government of ancient Persia when it was once in meltdown. Mad King Cambyses and his younger brother/heir were dead. A Zoroastrian priest-magician who had pretended to be the little brother had been killed by seven conspirators.
Image result for cambyses killed 
Like many Top Tories, the conspirators were all posh and deadly ambitious but Had No Plan What To Do Next. So they held a snap debate (no tedious deliberation, obvs.) on what sort of constitution to pick. They chose hereditary monarchy. But which one of them was to be King?  Simples.

Sawrey Gilpin, 'The Election of Darius'
Next morning they would ride out together to the outskirts of the city. The one whose horse neighed first after sunrise would be the winner. One conspirator, Darius, had a clever groom who fixed it so Darius’ stallion neighed first, either by tethering a mare on heat nearby or sticking her scent up the stallion’s nostrils. Or so says Herodotus.

Image result for boris horseback johnsonAll of this gives a new meaning to the term STABLE government (sorry), and it sounds fun and more likely to produce a competent leader than the Tory MPs’ vote tonight. May and her rivals could ride out in a posse to e.g. Huntingdon racecourse. Huntingdon is near me (I want to watch), and Oliver Cromwell, himself a bit of a Regime Changer, was born there.

Image result for boris horseback johnsonWith our new horseback leader we can then solve the Brexit agony once and for all by invoking the ancient Persian custom of always holding a second referendum. They only made decisions of national importance after two votes coincided, one made when they were all sober and one when they were all drunk.

Image result for persians drinking ancient
Ancient Persians Going to a Second Referendum
Assuming that the majority of UK voters were not inebriated on 23rd June 2016 (although that might be one explanation for the result), we must now hold a second referendum after a compulsory national bender. Christmas Eve, before we all stagger along to Midnight Mass, seems a suitable choice of occasion.


  1. I've just read this to the husband. (in between giggles). 'Hear hear' was his reply. So I think he approves.