Harriet Harman would make a rotten barman – and other general election clerihews

Craig Brown finds rhymes for Guru-Murthy and Rees-Mogg.

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David Cameron
Is inclined to stammer on
Non-doms; but on “zero hours”
He positively cowers.

Ed Miliband
Is a silly brand:
Hell, yeah! I couldn’t feel sorrier
For that Unhappy Warrior.

Natalie Bennett
Insists, again, “It
“Is all about basically – cough – what I would say is that –
“What we’re talking about is what we’re – cough – still looking at.”

Nick Clegg
Has been taken down a peg.
Today, you can’t be too quick
To snap: “I disagree with Nick.”

As Nicola Sturgeon
Began to burgeon
Things went topsy-turvy
For Jim Murphy.

Nigel Farage
Faced with a barrage
Of abuse, says “Frankly, I’d ban it”
To the voters of Thanet.

George Osborne
Was born
To rule; and with a touch of lard he
Styles his hair like Oliver Hardy.

Krishnan Guru-Murthy
Seems a little curt; he
Never recovered from his beano
With Quentin Tarantino.

David Dimbleby
Remains nimble – he
Displays consummate ease
Saying, “Next question, please!”

Jon Snow
Is full of get up and go,
But I’d avoid setting eyes
On those ties.

Evan Davis
Knows the way to behave is
Not to act so
Cross as Paxo.

Peter Hennessy
Is a bit of a menace; he
Has done more to bore me than
Any other historian.

Vince Cable
Is exceptionally able
But a book I won’t be reading twice is
The Storm: the World Economic Crisis.

Chuka Umunna
Hums “Una Paloma
Blanca”, and radiates bonhomie
While discussing the economy.

Tony Blair
Talks a lot of hot air;
Or is calling for party unity
An investment opportunity?

Liam Fox
Remains tox-
ic; but to his credit he
Stays in touch with Adam Werritty.

Alastair Campbell
Springs back, like a bramble,
Reaching for Weapons of Mass Destruction
Whenever there’s a ruction.

Chris Huhne
Is over the moon:
“Within a year or two
“I hope to be known as ‘Chris Who’?”

Harriet Harman
Would make a rotten barman:
As you were shooting the breeze
She’d call: “Time, gentlemen, please!”

Eric Pickles
Is a martyr to tickles –
The redistribution of riches
Has him in stitches.

John Bercow
Is a bit of a jerk; oh,
And nor am I pally
With Sally.

Ed Balls
Mauls, brawls,
Bawls, galls and caterwauls;
But then palls.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Looks on agog:
“Things have gone speedily downhill
“Since the Great Reform Bill.”

Grant Shapps
Is the discreetest of chaps:
He’s seldom seen
Wearing the name-tag “Michael Green”.

Russell Brand
Says: “Why bother to stand
“When I can make a bigger stink as
“One of the World’s Four Most Influential Thinkers?”

This article appears in the 17 April 2015 issue of the New Statesman, The Election Special

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