Prime Minister Gordon Brown is looking rather like a post-party teenager as he pulls on his Marigolds and sets about the Government with an enormous bucket of bleach and an industrial size pack of Brillo pads in an attempt to clear up the mess before his parents arrive back home - or in his case, General Election time sneaks up on him.
Poor Gordon! It all seemed so good, not so long back. He'd been patiently waiting for so long, and all of a sudden Tony Blair was gone... Woo and, indeed, hoo. But like middle-class kids who make the mistake of advertising the party on FaceBook, it all went wrong as a gang of drunken big boys from the Daily Telegraph showed up and started wrecking the place by exposing MP's expenses and pissing in the fishtank.
Next thing you know, half of his so-called mates said his party was rubbish and did a runner before it all kicked off, leaving him to deal with it alone so he had to call in a few people he didn't originally intend to invite to come and fight his corner - even Peter Mandelson, a lad who would be a lot more popular if only he wasn't constantly getting himself in trouble.
Then the British Public arrived like police investigating neighbours' complaints and gave him a stiffly-worded warning in the form of devastating election results which left his Party in an absolute shambles. There's vomit on the carpet, spliff butts in all the flower pots, a great big turd that keeps telling him to resign floating in the swimming pool (a talking turd? What were you smoking, Gordon?) and - worst of all - Mummy's precious Persian pussycat, Hope, hasn't been seen for days. Sod the hangover, it's time to get up and get scrubbing!
Luckily, some of his second-choice guests don't get invited to parties very often, so they're planning on sticking around and, in the hope of getting to come to future soirees, and on making Gordon their new best friend. The PM has been outlining new proposals aimed at preventing further expense abuses since the recent revelations have done Parliament a massive amount of damage from which it might never recover. As far as a vast percentage of the electorate are concerned, their long-held suspicion that all politicians are only in the game to line their own pockets has been confirmed and those few that believed either rightly or wrongly that the majority of MPs are fundamentally decent are now having doubts.
He'll be updating Parliament today at around 12.30 on proposals to introduce a new independent regulatory body which will oversee expenses claims, which will end the current self-regulatory system which is very much like allowing pre-teens free reign in the school tuckshop. He'll also outline his plans for a new legally-binding code of conduct, which will hopefully bring an end to the dodgy dealings we've read about in recent weeks where MPs have flipped homes and pulled all sorts of shifty tricks in order to maximise what they can claim and get the expenses to cover a variety of things they should be responsible for paying for themselves out of their not inconsiderable salaries (give yourself a pat on the back, David Howarth).
The PM is also expected to touch upon the subject of electoral reform, which the Tories - are as one might expect - claiming is an attempt to change the rules by which he is losing, in the wake of yesterday's first meeting of the all new, all singing all dancing, National Democratic Renewal Council. Change would likely involve replacing the present "first past the post" electoral system, widely considered undemocratic as it does not reflect voter's beliefs, with one similar to that used in London Mayoral elections whereby voters number candidates according to their preference; a proposal rejected by the Conservatives, who remain in favour of the current method, and by the LibDems who have long favoured a change to proportional representation. If the proposal finds favour, it will be put to the public to decide in a referendum.
Alan Johnson, the new Home Secretary, has stated his belief that a referendum should be held at the same time as the next General Election but it is unlikely that the debate and legislation made necessary by changes of this magnitude could be completed in such a short period of time, making it look as though the PM should have woken up a little earlier.
Speaking of which, Gordon...your parents just phoned from the airport. They'll be here by the 3rd of June next year at the very latest. I'd give you a hand with the scrubbing, but I just remembered I have to go and do...er...something. Sorry mate!