George Kerevan - TV couldn't invent a reality show as bad as Brown's performance

HAZEL Blears, the Westminster Communities Secretary, has suggested that Gordon Brown star in his own reality television programme, tentatively entitled Junior PM.

Based on the same format as the BBC's Apprentice show, this would see young people offer up fresh political ideas for Mr Brown to choose between.

Ms Blears claims the programme would make the Prime Minister "more popular than Alan Sugar". But where might such a radical idea eventually lead?

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BROWN: "One of you is going to end up working for me on a six-figure salary, but the cash does not mean a thing. Your real prize is being in my Cabinet and doing as I tell you. The second prize is being leader of the Scottish Labour Party and doing as I tell you. Your first test is to find a way of ending a back-bench rebellion over the fact we raised income tax for five million poor people who normally vote Labour. At the time, I thought no-one except Ming Campbell and Frank Field would notice, and who cares what they think, compared with a financial genius such as myself."

CONTESTANT WITH STRANGE EYEBROWS: "I propose we borrow oodles of cash from the banks. After all, the banks aren't lending their money to anyone else at the moment. We use this cash to raise income tax allowances for absolutely everyone paying the standard rate, thereby fooling the voters in the Crewe and Nantwich by-election we have given them something for nothing."

MINIBRAND: "Don't fall for this, Prime Minister. Half the people who lost out when we abolished the 10p income tax rate for the low-paid still won't benefit from this change. And the 2.7 billion we borrow to pay for it will accrue interest payments for decades to come, siphoning off money from the NHS. Such unfunded tax cuts are precisely what we accuse the Tories of doing."

EYEBROWS: "But we won't call it a tax cut. We'll say this is a rescheduling of the planned autumn pre-budget statement. And we can always fiddle the definition of the economic cycle to show it's not really borrowing, it's "investment". Besides, the more we borrow the less chance the Tories can offer tax cuts at the next election."

BROWN: "Good thinking, Mr Eyebrows. Minibrand – you're fired. Now for my next test: think of a way of persuading Scots to vote Labour and stay in the Union. Wendy?"

WENDY: "We should call the SNP's bluff and hold a referendum on Scottish independence. The electorate might like Alex Salmond, but they won't vote for separation. Alternatively, we could oppose a referendum on the grounds it is a diversion from the real issues facing the economy. Or, again, we could hint we are in favour of a referendum in order to appear feisty, but run away from the issue if anyone notices. In management school we called this strategy 'listening and leading'."

BROWN: "Won't it confuse the voters, the party and the electorate?"

WEE WENDY: "Precisely. It keeps everyone off guard till we are ready to strike. I copied it from your hint about calling a general election last year, then not calling one. Or was that Jim Callaghan?"

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BROWN: "Wendy, you're fired. Apprentices, your final task is to think of One Big Idea why the electors should vote for Labour for a fourth time. Whoever comes up with the best product – sorry, value statement – will come and work for me."

BALLSUP (still around): "We should buy empty houses and rent them to the folk who would buy them, if only the building societies would lend them the cash to do so in the first place. That way we will look caring and everyone will forget that if we had not invented a flawed system for regulating Northern Rock, and encouraged consumers to get into mind-boggling debt, the mortgage market might not have collapsed in the first place."

BROWN: "Won't that be expensive, since we've run out of cash?"

MINIBALLS: "We'll say we are spending 200 million on the scheme. That sounds a lot, so no-one will notice it only means 1,000 houses at most."

EYEBROWS: "We can tackle crime by getting voters to elect a special representative in every town or region, to whom the local chief constables would be responsible. We could even call him a sheriff ."

BROWN: "But how does this idea cut crime?"

EYEBROWS: "It doesn't. But when the local electors pick Tory and BNP representatives who want to bring back the stocks and public flogging, they will get all the blame. Besides, we are not giving these new representatives any funds, so they can't actually do anything to interfere with police."

BROWN: "What happened to our other big ideas, such as reforming the public services, curing world poverty and running an economic policy based on long-term prudence, rather than buying ourselves out of short-term trouble?"

MINIBALLS (laughing): "For a start, reforming public services was the policy of He Who Cannot Be Mentioned. Second, the global economy has fallen apart. Third, you made Eyebrows the Chancellor rather than me – but that can be changed in a reshuffle."

EVERYONE: "Miniballs, you are fired!"

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BROWN: "I am declaring myself the winner of this contest. Only I am fit to lead this country by taking all the difficult decisions."

VOTERS: "You're fired.