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Political Party Leaders on Their Gap Year…

by Jessica Whyte

Our alternative election special: How would the party political leaders behave on a gap year (*shudder*)?

Still undecided who to vote for today? Well, we can’t make that decision for you, but we can have some fun imagining what the leaders of some of the main political parties would be like if you met them travelling on a gap year…

David Cameron (Conservative): Otherwise known as ‘Big Dave’. Imagine this…Dave (as he likes to be called when on the road) is taking a gap year road trip from San Francisco to New York. He loves everything about the USA and even has one of those “I *HEART* NYC” caps on. His voice is the loudest on the very long bus journey and he even records his own speeches on his brand new i-phone. Sometimes he yells about how ‘pumped up’ he is about being on Route 66. He wears shirts with the sleeves rolled up even though everyone else is wearing T-Shirts. His shorts are chino shorts. His scarf is supposed to be an Aston Villa one but he forgot he is supposed to support them so is wearing a West Ham one instead. At overnight stops he insists on buying very expensive rounds of champagne. He has a bum-bag bulging with dollars. He makes his bed neatly every day in the dorm and he still sleeps with a teddy he calls ‘Cleggy’. He keeps promising his mate Boris will join him, but Boris has his own travel plans. Last seen waiting outside the White House for a glimpse of Obama.

Ed Miliband (Labour): Otherwise known as ‘Adventurous Ed’. Imagine this…Ed is volunteering in South America so he can prove how worthy and serious he is. He was meant to be travelling with his brother David, who mysteriously pulled out of the trip at the last minute. Ed wears sensible jumpers in tropical conditions and refuses to wear flip flops, instead he is wedded to his tan loafers, which being suede, soon get pretty manky in the humidity. Unfortunately the school where he has become a teaching volunteer have to let him go because the kids keep falling asleep during Ed’s classes. However, Ed has become an unlikely sex symbol and due to his high level of success with women the other guys on the trip gang up on him and leave him and his loafers in the Amazon jungle to fend for themselves. Last seen hunting a wild pig in the hope of cooking up his favourite lunch, a bacon sandwich.

Nick Clegg (Lib Dem): Otherwise known as ‘The Nickster’. Imagine this…Nick is on a party bus in New Zealand. He’s always trying to cosy up to the most popular travellers but word has got around that he’ll go with anyone so now they’re all avoiding him like the plague. At each stop, Nick promises his new mates that he can get them all the best deals, but he never comes good and people start to question his credibility. In a desperate attempt to get people to like him again, Nick gets reckless and starts doing everything from Bungee jumping to dressing up like a hobbit, unaware that he has become a figure of fun. Half way through the trip he’s skint so they leave him by the side of the road in Rotorua, where it smells pretty badly of rotten eggs. Last seen crying over a carton of spilt milk.

Nigel Farage (UKIP): Otherwise known as ‘No-way Nige’. Imagine this…Nige (as he likes to be known) is inter-railing around Europe, although he’s not quite sure how he got there. He thinks he lost a bet when he was drunk. He always has a pint of beer in his hand, but he keeps complaining about the ‘Belgian muck’ he’s been forced to try so he’s brought a month’s supply of British pale ale with him in his backpack. Eventually he gets thrown off the train for smoking and talking loudly on his phone in the quiet carriage. He’s easily disorientated by the strange language and ways of the European people, so he seeks out a British bar where he can tuck into a good old fry up and watch a footie match. Everyone wants to have a drink with him but they soon leave when he starts offending the locals. Someone tells him, politely and in Italian, to **** off back to his own country. Last seen phoning Steph and Dom from Gogglebox, begging them to wire his fare home.

Natalie Bennett (Green): Otherwise known as ‘Knitting Nat’. Imagine this…Nat has gone to Costa Rica, one of the world’s most eco-friendly countries, to save Sea Turtles. Unfortunately, as she chose to walk to Costa Rica to save her carbon footprint she arrives six months late for her placement and has, quite literally, missed the boat. Having recently watched ‘The Island with Bear Grylls’ she decides to build her own shelter on the beach, primarily out of palm leaves. She realises she has forgotten her wallet so has to resort to drinking rainwater and foraging for fruit and seeds. She upcycles her shoes with naturally-sourced twine shoelaces. After participating in a local initiation ceremony Nat decides to live out the rest of her days among the local people, but is dejected when she finds that they won’t agree to her ‘no mobile phones’ policy. Last seen knitting new clothes from scraps found on the forest floor.

Nicola Sturgeon (SNP): Otherwise known as ‘Non-stop Nic’.  Imagine this… sponsored entirely by Duracell, Nic keeps everybody awake on long overnight journeys in Thailand with her enthusiasm and get-up-and-go. She’s sooooo overexcited that she squeals every time she sees a temple (there are a LOT of temples in Thailand btw). She didn’t check her ‘what to take’ list and ended up with a lot of outfits inspired by ‘mother of the bride’ magazines rather than the usual sarongs and sandals. She keeps trying to get into everyone else’s sleeper bunk, but so far she’s struck out every time. However, due to a surprising and sudden surge in popularity with the three other Scottish travellers she has generated somewhat of a cult following, which has rather gone to her head. She keeps encouraging her new Scots friends to reject the bus and travel by tuk tuk instead, but half of them are reluctant to leave the main group. Last seen taking selfies which show her ‘wacky’ side.

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