The Leader of the Opposition has today challenged the Prime Minister to a game of thumb wars to “solve Brexit once and for all.”
Jeremy Corbyn challenged Theresa May directly: “We can’t go on aimlessly for much longer. The people of this country are crying out for leadership and responsibility. Theresa May, if I beat you in a game of thumb wars, let me be prime minister in a government of national unity.”
The game, the aim of which is to hold down the opposing player’s thumb with one’s own thumb for three seconds, has previously been used to settle such disputes as that time Nick Clegg wanted the last shortbread finger at a cabinet meeting. David Cameron famously won the deciding thumb war, and stated at the time “the students wanted a deputy Prime Minister who would stand up for them. We can’t all have what we want, Nick.”
The match between the former party leaders was reported at the time to be unfair, since Cameron had Clegg under his thumb from the very start.
Suzanna Backstop, 23, a student at London’s school of Millenial Studies, is delighted to hear the news: “We’ve been asking Corbyn to do something undefined and unidentifiable about Brexit ever since the referendum was held in 2016. We’re glad he’s now finally doing something about it.”
Her partner, Percival Opinion, ponders with resent: “why couldn’t he have done this two years ago?”
The BBC has offered to host the match in the middle of the Strictly Come Dancing final on the 15th of December. Derek Both-Sides, of the BBC’s Department for Triangulation, explains: “We’re always looking for ways to increase our viewing figures. A best-of-three showdown to settle the rights of EU migrants, the future of small businesses, the truce in Northern Ireland and the general prosperity of the UK is bound to pull in a few more people who would otherwise be tuned in to The Simpsons marathon on Channel 4.” He adds that they hope to turn the game into a knock-out tournament. “We’d have Nick Clegg playing Nigel Farage for no Brexit vs. Fortress Britain in a game of tiddlywinks, and Jacob Rees-Mogg duelling William Pitt the Younger for ye goodly and nobel Stewart ascension to the throne, five shots each, 12 feet apart.”
John McDonnel, Mr Corbyn’s right hand man, justifies his colleague’s stance on Brexit over the last two years: “Jeremy has been accused of sitting on his hands. Well, he’s just been keeping them warm, you see? You can’t win thumb wars with cold, stiff thumbs. We’ve been leading up to this decisive victory against the Conservatives for almost three years, and they didn’t see it coming!”
May’s “Chequers deal,” her proposed conditions of Brexit which EU leaders agreed to last Sunday, has yet to be agreed to by parliament, and doesn’t fully address issues such as how open the Irish/NI border would be. Northern Ireland endured decades of paramilitary warfare before the removal of border checks between the Republic and the North helped to bring about an ongoing peace.
While May has no obligation to accept this challenge, a source close to the PM says she may have to take it. “Theresa May is in a tight spot. Everyone knows her deal will be voted down in parliament. Her choice will be to resign or hold a general election. Why not settle it with a game of thumb wars, winner takes all?”
Brian Britishcheese, of the British Campaign for Britain and British things, blurts at me: “The whole thing is absolutely barmy. Why can’t they settle it with conkers?”
Responding to mockery, Mr. Corbyn, a long-time human being, insists his proposed game is sincere. “I have been chastised for three years for my supposed fence-sitting on this issue. Well I am not fence sitting any more. People are already blaming me for Brexit. I might as well be in the driver’s seat.”
Suzanne Source, a Labour MP, tells me she expects May to win, as “the prime minister is all thumbs.”
May is yet to comment on the challenge. A spokesperson tells me “The prime Minister is working very hard to address the issues in her Brexit deal presented to her by colleagues. She does not bite her thumb at the leader of the opposition, but she bites her thumb.”