OVERHEARD yesterday in a
supermarket: Elderly woman to girl assistant at check-out counter: "I hear
thereís an astronoid heading towards us that could destroy all life on
earth." The assistant, chewing gum with the sound of a cow pulling hooves
out of mud, took the news calmly but, as an old watcher of the skies when
a new object swims into his ken and ever alert to the possibility of
anti-social alien intruders, I was alarmed.
An astronoid eh? Iíve seen, on
telly and cinema screens, crab men from Mars, Wanda, the witch queen of
the moon, elfin-eared, spick-and-span Spock from planet Vulcan - wherever
that is - not to mention, Jedi, Klingons, blobs from the back of the
galactic beyond whose simple object was to turn humans into a grey goo and
salivating specimens of adaptable life from some remote and
meteorological-turbulent solar system, hyperactive in their ambition to
impregnate every living object in the universe and beyond with their DNA,
or whatever passed for it.
Iíve been introduced to some, probably misunderstood
monsters from the Martian moons to the swamps of Saturn, but I have never
met an astronoid who, I suspect, is an astronaut from some advanced
civilisation, hurtling to earth, but braking just in time, and seeking to
bring truth, justice for all, not just the few, in a new, life-oriented
society involving democratic participation in all aspects of secular and
theocratic governments, improved family planning, better pre and
post-natal services, the slashing of British hospital waiting lists and
the creation of initiatives for a global ban on skateboards,
onion-flavoured crisps and garden gnomes.
The man - rather say, someone of
space-type male persuasion - who may be falling to earth, as per a 1976
Hollywood film, will, of course, speak im-peccable intergalactic English
with only a faint trace of an Ursa Major accent.
He will look
beguilingly British, possibly the favoured image among not-too-particular
planetary systems. While his hairline will furnish a somewhat ragged,
recessional note and his eyes suggest a banker with a foolproof
embezzlement scheme, he will be, in his own words, "a pretty straight sort
of guy", and will, of course, resemble our own high-flying, down-to-earth
The suspicion has struck me, with the impact of a
cosmic-ray diffuser, that an astronoid, shaped like high-minded Tony, is
already among us to show the lumpen citizenry - perhaps seen by galactic
observers as an aggressive, untrustworthy and inefficient bunch of
cerebrally-challenged androids living in a collapsing compost heap they
call "Britain" - how to rectify their lives.
I have long sensed an
other-worldly quality in Tony Blair. Apart from his alleged ability to
walk on water, there is his un-canny success in rocketing from blame and
into a safe orbit from the deepest of sleaze black holes but, as the
messiah of new Lab-ourís Third Way politics - a cosmos-reeling blend of
socialist-type principles and Tory practices - his message, perhaps
because of some failure in stellar communications, is becoming alien to
Britainís, increasingly-ungrateful electorate.
What of the others driving
Starship Public-Private Enterprise? Some resemble humans taken over by
interplanetary pea-pods, as in the 1956 film, Invasion of the Body
Snatchers, while others have the robotic look and voice production of some
of the cast in the 1988 screening of My Stepmother is an Alien.
To my eyes,
ever searching for signs of intelligent life among the Downing Street dark
matter and space dust, the leading crew members are straight out of the
socio-political and military scenario of Star Wars.
Mandelson, although ostensibly not in charge of the political propulsion
unit, is to be the eminence noir, a Darth Vader with a Machiavellian mind
and tongue like a laser blade, the dark guru to the shining captain.
Alastair Campbell, fallen star, will also be reserved for guidance
purposes in the Vaderland and, some would say - although I would not -
that John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, in his more ebullient
moods, resembles a slimmed-down, egg-shaped, better-mannered and more
articulate Jabba the Hutt.
Are they of this world, astro-noids or, more likely,
Klingons, or other devilishly-durable creatures from the outer darkness,
thought-controlling and ruling benighted Britain until the spaced-out
Tories come to the rescue? Will Tony Blairís "Oh Solar Mio," be deserted
by his cronies and become a burned-out star, a red dwarf? For further
information, watch this space.