Gordon Brown called Alastair Darling into his office one day and said, 'Alastair, I have a great idea! We are going to go all out to win back Middle England '.
'Good idea PM, how will we go about it?' said Darling.
'Well' said Brown 'we'll get ourselves two of those long Barbour coats, some proper wellies, a stick and a flat cap, oh and a Labrador. Then we'll really look the part. We'll go to a nice old country pub, in Much Something or other, and we'll show we really enjoy the countryside, ........ Oh and remember not to mention the Hunting with dogs Act'
'Right PM' said Darling. So a few days later, all kitted out and with the requisite Labrador at heel, they set off from London. Eventually they arrived at just the place they were looking for and found a lovely country pub and, with the dog, went in and up to the bar.
'Good evening Landlord, two pints of you best ale, from the wood please' said Brown.
'Good evening Prime Minister' said the landlord, 'two pints of best it is, coming up'
Brown and Darling stood leaning on the bar contemplating new taxes, nodding now and again to those who came in for a drink, whilst the dog lay quietly at their feet. As they drank their beer they chatted about how heart-rending it was that pensioners were being imprisoned for not paying the council tax.
All of a sudden, the door from the adjacent bar opened and in came a grizzled old shepherd, complete with crook. He walked up to the Labrador lifted its tail and looked underneath, shrugged his shoulders and walked back to the other bar. A few moments later, in came a wizened farmer who followed the same procedure.
To the bewilderment of Brown and Darling people of all ages and gender followed suit over the next hour.
Eventually, unable to stand it any longer, Darling called the landlord over.
'Tell me' said Darling,'Why did all those people come in and look under the dog's tail like that? Is it an old Custom?
'Good Lord no,' said the landlord.'It's just that someone has told them that there was a Labrador in this bar with two arseholes'.
(Courtesy of my boss).