In a move that has shocked political and media pundits alike, Prime Minister Gordon Brown today announced that the Labour Party’s next Party Political Broadcast will be a “high-octane, adrenaline-fuelled epic” featuring the cult 1980s action movie icon Chuck Norris.
Bearded black-belt Norris – who shot to fame in a string of straight-to-video classics like ‘Delta Force’, ‘Lone Wolf McQuade’ and ‘Delta Force 2’ – will play the role of a maverick Labour Party activist canvassing the mean, suburban streets of Kanye East, a troubled but fictional marginal constituency. In the 5 minute film Norris will be seen to overcome grassroots issues, voter apathy and ant-war sentiment through a winning combination of classical political oratory, snappy soundbites and Korean martial arts.
This is regarded as something of a radical departure in style for the Party Political Broadcast. Traditionally, the PPB sought to influence voting behaviour through a combination of earnest political leaders, RADA-trained members of the public and inoffensively uplifting music by the likes of Gustav Holst, Edward Elgar & D:ream. By contrast, Labour’s new PPB is said to include a ticking ballot box bomb, several shoot-outs and a climactic sword fight on top of a speeding campaign battle bus.
Government critics claim that this is just a reaction to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s recent appearance at the Tory Conference in Blackpool. Schwarzenegger – the Republican Governor of California – energised the conference delegates when he urged Tory leader David Cameron to go back in time and assassinate the Cabinet’s ancestors.
The Prime Minister, though, strongly denies that this is a cheap publicity stunt. “During the early 90s – long before our landslide 1997 election win – Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson and myself would lock ourselves away in our old Walworth Road HQ as we set about modernising the Labour Party. We wanted to rebuild it, make it better than it was before. Better, stronger, more electable. It was hard work. It was tiring work. Occasionally we’d feel the need to take a well-earned break. So we’d order in a curry, crack open a few cans of lager and stay up late watching straight-to-video action classics.”
In fact, following Labour’s 1997 election win, Brown invited a number of straight-to-video action stars to a special victory party at 11 Downing Street. “They were all there,” he recalls wistfully. “Chuck
“Yeah, that was one helluva night,” says Norris with a chuckle. “Me and Gordon, we stayed in contact over the years. We’d talk about regular guy stuff like roundhouse kicks and monetary policy, and we always planned on working together sometime. In fact, I once asked him to do a special guest appearance on my long-running syndicated TV show, ‘Walker, Texas Ranger.’ He was going to play the ghost of a Mayflower Pilgrim who helps me solve a tricky case. He couldn’t do it, though. He was already booked up to do the Dimbleby show.”
Brown remains resolute in his loyalty to this widely despised genre: “I firmly believe that those video nights gave us hope and inspiration during those long, dark years in opposition. They gave us a moral compass. They are the reason many of us are now in politics. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that 80s straight-to-video action classics directly influenced the whole New Labour agenda. You remember that manifesto pledge about us being ‘Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’? Well, we nicked that line from ‘Lone Wolf McQuade.”