Have I Got News For You - Tub of Lard episode... by rob-francis
Donald Trump has declined his invitation to attend the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner, the first American President to do so since Ronald Reagan in 1981.
Now Ronald Reagan had a good reason to be absent as he was recovering from being shot, after a recent assassination attempt, whereas Trump seems to be having another of his regular hissy fits.
If Alec Baldwin doesn't stand in as Trump's Saturday Night Live doppelgänger, I think the organisers should put an tub of lard in the President's place.
Just like the 'Have I Got News for You' team who were snubbed by Labour MP Roy Hattersly back in 1993.
Rt. Hon. Tub of Lard MP (13/12/11)
Back in 1993 the HIGNFY (Have I Got News For You) team were snubbed by an MP - Roy Hattersly - who rudely pulled out of their programme, for the third time, at very short notice.
But instead of making polite excuses the programme makers took their revenge by replacing the Right Honourable MP with a 'tub of lard' on the basis that said 'tub' would make a perfectly adequate stand-in for the absent politician.
So Paul Merton and the Tub of Lard where alone left to do battle with their opponents Ian Hislop and Tony Slattery on the news quiz programme which, rather incredibly, they won against all the odds!
I was reminded of this as I watched some of the debate in the House of Commons yesterday over Europe and the Eurozone which the Deputy Prime Minister declined to attend - Nick Clegg being absent from his usual seat next to the Prime Minister David Cameron.
Ironically, the reason for Nick Clegg's absence was that he was allegedly angry about the Prime Minister's stance over Europe effectively accusing him of trying to negotiate with other European partners via an empty chair.
So the Deputy PM tries to make his point by employing exactly the same tactic he is criticising which just makes Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems look completely daft.
So if I were Nick Clegg, before other MPs start taking tubs of lard and empty chairs into the debating chamber to help illustrate their points I would resolve to stand and face my political opponents in future.
Because running away just makes you look pathetic and weak in the eyes of the voters - even if you have to put up with lots of teasing and party political point scoring, that's part of your job.