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Battle for Survival

Conservative leader resigned several months ago
The Conservative "leader", Ian Duncan Smith, has finally managed to raise a vague amount of interest in political circles by announcing that he resigned from his post several months ago.

Apparently, he left his resignation on party chairman Theresa May's desk in September but, such is the level of in-fighting within the Tory Party, no one actually noticed. Out of loyalty to his colleagues, Mr Duncan Smith stayed on to "lead" the party temporarily until a new leader could be found.

Opposition parties were quick to pay tribute to Mr Duncan Smith. The Prime Minister, Tony Blair, commented: "Whilst I was never entirely sure which of the Tory Front-bench was Mr Duncan Smith, I still have a great admiration for the lack of fighting spirit. Without his infirm, leaderless style, it's doubtful whether the Labour Party would be where it is today."

Liberal Leader Charles Kennedy was equally gushing with his praise. "Mr Smith did tremendous work for our party and has helped establish us as a viable alternative to the Conservatives," he said.

With the search for a new leader already underway, our correspondent attempted to talk to party insiders about possible candidates. We were interested in whether they were going to continue their proud tradition of memorable charismatic leaders in the style of Duncan Smith, Hague and Major.

Although no one was willing to talk on the record, we were able to glean a few titbits from the party faithless. One trusted source had the following to say: "I think it's fair to say that the buzz word at the moment is hair. With Hague and whatshisname, we've gone for two slap-heads in a row and I think it's held us back. People are saying its time to go hirsute."

Our queries as to the preferred political stance of candidates were brushed aside. "It's hair first and politics second. We are the opposition, after all. All you have to do is criticise anything Labour does and attribute any successes to the groundwork laid by the previous Tory government."

Having established the leadership contest was going to be a battle of hairstyles, who did our informant think would be the front-runners?

"It's pretty difficult to tell at this stage. I mean there's Portillo, obviously, but the others are tougher to call. Some people have been growing their hair in secret and there have been mutterings in some circles about transplants."

A shrill cry of "Taxi for Clarke" saw the departure of mystery informant leaving us still unsure of whom the next Tory Leader will be. Only time will tell but after shrewd analysis of the twin requirements of large hair and political indifference, our money is on David Seaman.

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