Out tanvassing

TIME to introduce a whole new election phenomena that you might not be aware of: The Can-Tan.

It can only be explained as the reddening or browning of a fair-skinned candidate’s face or bald pate while out canvassing for votes in the sunshine. This is the Can-Tan: The Canvass Tan. You see.

Sunny conditions for the election campaigns in the last two weeks have seen a number of candidates curdle crimson while out knocking on doors. In fact, party organisers can now look into the faces of their team now and see just how much work they are getting through. The hue of their telltale Can-Tans (or lack of Can-Tans) should reveal whether they genuinely have been out on the doorstep and delivering as many leaflets as they say they have. The guide is simple – if their faces are:

Milk white: They’re lying.They’ve been watching Diagnosis Murder all afternoon.

Perky pink: They’ve done a bit, but haven’t bothered with the estates.

Barbados bronze: They’ve knocked on every door.Mention them in the victory speech.

Now, Frank Dobson definitely looked like he might be sporting a ‘Can-Tan’ at hustings at the Irish Centre last night, but he alway has rosy Santa cheeks so it’s difficult to tell. His Lib Dem rival Jo Shaw had signs of one emerging. Many of the election foot soldiers meanwhile look like they are getting more Monkhouse-brown by the day. Some of them look like they are just back from the Bahamas, not from shoving endless leaflets through doors in Kentish Town.

Another reason why Labour’s opponents must be glad Gordon Brown aborted the election that never was in the grey sky month of October 2007.

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