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  IDS: Battle for Survival
DeadBrain obtains discarded IDS political "thriller"
DeadBrain has obtained what appears to be a discarded manuscript of a new political thriller by the most recent former leader of the Conservative Party, Iain Duncan Smith. The heavily food-stained manuscript was found in Mr Duncan Smith's dustbin by our reporter while searching for scraps after a heavy night of investigation at the former leader's local, the "Cock and Bull".

Mr Duncan Smith's first novel, The Devil's Tune, published this week, has so far failed to garner praise from the critics. "Woodwormy with cliché," said the Daily Telegraph. "Duncan Smith's gift for dialogue is strictly British B movie circa 1953," said the Guardian.

Entitled Ralph Potter and the Members of Evil, the apparently discarded novel is set in Westminster in the near future, and tells the story of a fictional ousted leader of a fictional political party and his plotting for revenge against those who fictionally ousted him.

Ralph, the ousted leader in question, is determined to pay back those by whom, he feels, he was betrayed. He concocts various schemes, including a plan to have their library cards rescinded, letting the air out of their bicycle tyres (until he realises none of them owns a bicycle), and sending them birthday cards when it is not their birthday in an attempt to disorient them. Unfortunately, as with his former political life as leader, all his schemes backfire, until the novel ends with a surprising denouement involving several MPs, a minor religious order, and a goat called Cyril.

We asked Professor Douglas Ramsbottom, Professor of English Literature at the University of Bootle, for his assessment of the manuscript. "Well, it's very plodding," he said. "Take this passage, for instance:"

Ralph looked out of the window and noticed that it was raining. It had not been raining before, but now it was. "I shall need an umbrella," he thought to himself. "But which one? The red one gives larger coverage, but on the other hand the black one better matches my shoes. What, oh what, to do?"

"Pretty mundane stuff," said the Professor. "And most of it is in that style."

Asked if it could be the work of Mr Duncan Smith, Professor Ramsbottom hedged his bets, saying that stylistically there are striking similarities with some of Mr Duncan Smith's speeches and The Devil's Tune. While he could not vouch for the authorship of the document, analysis of its style, structure and content all indicate that Mr Duncan Smith could be the author, he said.

In related news, a neighbour of Mr Duncan Smith who wishes to remain anonymous has categorically denied reports that the Duncan Smiths were seen burning an effigy of Michael Howard on Guy Fawke's Night while dancing around a bonfire naked and uttering what appeared to be pagan curses. "I was watching the whole spectacle," he said, "and I can assure you they were definitely not naked."

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