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Writings of Albert Morris
Article 56 - Spaced-out Britons at the mercy of creatures from outer darkness

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 Prime Minister.

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.

Peter 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.

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