This is apparently going round all the City Trader desks today...
While on his morning walk, Prime Minister Gordon Brown falls over, has a heart attack and dies because the accidentand emergency deptat his nearest hospital is too understaffed to treat him in time. So his soul arrives in Heaven and he is met by Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates. "Welcome to Heaven," says Saint Peter, "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a Socialist around these parts, so we're not sure what to do with you."
"No problem, just let me in; I'm a good Christian; I'm a believer," says the PM. "I'd like to just let you in, but I have orders from God Himself. He says that since the implementation of his new HEAVEN CHOICES policy, you have to spend one day in Hell and one day in Heaven. Then you must choose where you'll live for eternity."
"But I've already made up my mind. I want to be in Heaven," replies Brown. "I'm sorry .. But we have our rules," Peter interjects. And, with that, St. Peter escorts him to an elevator and he goes down, down, down ...all the way to Hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a lush golf course. The sun is shining in a cloudless sky. The temperature is a perfect 22C degrees. In the distance is a beautiful club-house. Standing in front of it is Harold Wilson and thousands of other Socialist luminaries who had helped him out over the years --- JohnSmith, Michael Foot, Jim Callaghan, etc. Thewhole of the LabourParty leaders were there - everyone laughing, happy, and casually but expensively dressed.
They run to greet him, to hug him and toreminisce about the good times they had getting rich at the expense of 'suckers andpeasants.' They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster and caviar. The Devil himself comes up to Brown with a frosty drink, "Have a tequila and relax, Gord!"
"Uh, I can't drink anymore, I took a pledge,"says Brown, dejectedly. "This is Hell, son. You can drink and eat all you want and not worryand it just gets better from there!" Brown takes the drink and finds himself liking the Devil, who he thinks is a really very friendly bloke who tells funny jokes like himself and pulls hilarious nasty pranks, kind of like the ones the Labour Party pulled with the European Constitution and the Education, Immigration, Tough on Crime promises. They are having such a great time that, beforehe realises it, it's time to go. Everyone gives him a big hug and waves as Brown steps on the elevator and heads upward.When the elevator door reopens, he is in Heaven again and Saint Peter is waiting for him.
"Now it's time to visit Heaven," the old man says, opening the gate. So for 24 hours Brown is made to hang out with a bunch of honest, good-natured people who enjoy each other's company, talk about things other than money and treat each other decently. Not a nasty prank or short-arse joke among them. No fancy country clubs here and, while the food tastes great, it's not caviar orlobster. And these people are all poor. He doesn't see anybody he knows and he isn't even treated like someone special! "Whoa," he says uncomfortably to himself, "Harold Wilson never prepared me for this!"
The day done, Saint Peter returns and says,"Well, you've spent a day in Hell and a day in Heaven. Now choose where you want to live for Eternity."With the 'Deal or No Deal' theme playing softly in the background, Brown reflects for a minute ... Then answers:"Well, I would never have thought I'd say this -- I mean, Heaven has been delightful and all -- but I really think I belong in Hell with my friends."So Saint Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down, all the way to Hell.
The doors of the elevator open and he is in themiddle of a barrenscorched earth covered with garbage and toxic industrial wasteland, looking a bit like the eroded, rabbit and fox-affected Australian outback, but worse and more desolate. He is horrified to see all of his friends, dressed in rags and chained together, picking up the roadside rubbish and putting it into black plastic bags. They are groaning and moaning in pain, faces and hands black with grime.
The Devil comes over to Brown and puts an arm around his shoulder."I don't understand," stammers a shocked Brown,"Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and a club-house and we ate lobster andcaviar and drank tequila. We lazed around and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and everybody looksmiserable!"
The Devil looks at him, smiles slyly and purrs,"Yesterday we were campaigning; today you voted for us!"