Go west

Rishi has been a bit down lately


This article is taken from the May 2024 issue of The Critic. To get the full magazine why not subscribe? Right now we’re offering five issues for just £10.

“I can’t decide,” says Rishi. “What do you think?”

“The blue socks are nice, darling,” says Akshata. We are in the flat. Rishi has been a bit down lately. There has been some voting happening in local places, but not very much of it was for him.

James who used to write nice things about us in The Times tried to cheer Rishi up by saying that the results showed someone called Starmer hadn’t “sealed the deal”, because several people had still done some voting for Rishi. But it didn’t help.

“What is wrong with people?” Rishi asks, flopping back on the bed, still holding a collection of blue and black socks. “Why can’t they get it into their thick heads that now I’ve changed course, we need to stick with the plan that is working! Honestly, you’d think that they want to go back to Square One!”

‘I’m just saying, it rained a lot less in California’

Akshata sits down next to him and takes his hand. “I suppose sometimes people feel that Square One was a better place. Like our Square One, in Santa Monica. There was no silly voting there, was there?”


“Or MPs sending pictures of their private parts to Sir Graham Brady to ask for a confidence vote?”

“I think you might have got that bit mixed up,” Rishi says, though he doesn’t sound completely sure.

“I’m just saying, it rained a lot less in California.”

Rishi is quiet for a bit. “Wouldn’t I look like a loser if I just walked away?”

“Not if you showed people they were wrong about you by going and being a big success somewhere else. Look at Nick Clegg! People used to say he was a complete pushover who sold all his principles to David Cameron for a ministerial car. They don’t say that any more.”

“Well, they say he’s a complete pushover who sold all his principles to Mark Zuckerberg.”

“Yes, but he can’t hear them, because he’s in Palo Alto.”

“I could set up a venture capital fund,” says Rishi, thoughtfully. “Invest in AI. Raise capital.”

“I think I might know someone who would back you.”

Rishi sits up. “You’re right. I’m wasted on these losers! Time to pull my socks up.” He pauses. “You really think the blue ones?”

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