Older readers might remember the topical ITV puppet show Spitting Image. In terms of political satire, it represented a truly high point in the history of the genre. Isn’t it time to bring it back?
Young folk may not have heard of it, but this was a TV show which employed some of the finest comic writers and impressionists of the time. It was, of course, hit or miss, but the number of big hits far outweighed the misses.
Who can forget the sight of Margaret Thatcher entering the gents toilet and none of the ministers present being able to pee? Or a grey John Major complementing his wife on the quality of her peas? Or the two Davids, Owen and Steel, as they presided over the SDP/Liberal alliance. The comedy and images changed minds, affected politics, set the agenda. No politician was excluded and none were spared the treatment. There is no better time for it to return to our screens.
Imagine the fun they would have with Donald Trump in the White House, with a desperate Farage or a desperate May for that matter? The bungling incompetent Jeremy Corbyn would surely be priceless and what about the ludicrous Boris Johnson and his Brexiteering pals?
Anyone who heard prime minister’s questions today will have despaired at the sheer self-indulgent nature of the whole thing. May avoided every single question aimed at her and Corbyn showed the sure-footed calm of Bambi on ice. Just thing what Spitting Image would have done this week to Speaker John Bercow, or the adulterer Farage (with a French fascist girlfriend)?
If we the public cannot hold politicians into account, then it’s time a bunch of puppets did. Bring back Spitting Image.