With the Labour party currently heading toward electoral oblivion under a leader who keeps promising that he won’t step down, no matter how bad things get, senior figures in the party are considering a radical plan to try and rescue the situation. “It’s clear that we have no hope of replacing Corbyn with another leadership challenge – there are still sufficient cranks among the membership to ensure him victory, no matter who we put up against him – so the only answer is to replace Corbyn with, well, Corbyn,” says Labour’s Deputy Chairman Ron Hacksaw. “We’ve heard lots of claims lately that, very soon, there will be no job a human can do that a robot won’t be able to do better, so the solution to the party’s problems is clearly staring us in the face. A new improved mechanical Corbyn – easily reprogrammable with relevant policies – could well represent the way ahead for British socialism.” The party’s National Executive Committee has already commissioned several top tech firms to construct prototype robo-Corbyns and hope to have their new robotic leader in place well before the next general election.

“It’s vital that we get it right – the very existence of the party could rest upon the shoulders of this mechanical man,” explains Hacksaw. “Of course, it goes without saying that any robot would bound to be more charismatic than the real Corbyn, but we also need it to be more assertive, more decisive and capable of articulating a coherent economic policy.” A favourite has already emerged from the trial process. “There is one outstanding candidate, so far,” admits Hacksaw. “It’s far more passionate and expressive than the real Corbyn: when giving a speech recently, it spurted steam from its ears to indicate it’s anger over inequality and its eyes flashed to emphasise passion when talking about the state of the Health Service. It was electrifying! Literally.” This prototype robo-Corbyn is, claims Hacksaw, also far more entertaining and child friendly than the real thing. “We actually managed to trial it in the Commons, during a debate – it gave a storming speech and totally destroyed Theresa May,” he enthuses. “Best of all, once it had finished its speech, it span its head round amusingly, with its ears extending and nose flashing. A party of school kids visiting Parliament were in the gallery and went absolutely crazy for Corbyn when he did that!”

Hacksaw concedes that the main hurdle to the successful implementation of the National Executive committee’s plans is getting rid of the current model Corbyn. “Obviously, we’d hope to employ reasoned argument to persuade him that it would be for the good of the party to step aside for a robot version of himself,” he says. “But, if that doesn’t work, perhaps he could somehow be persuaded to take a trip to one of those Swiss clinics. I mean,he increasingly looks like an advertisement for euthanasia, doesn’t he? Wandering around looking confused, getting crotechy with reporters when they the audacity to ask him things like, does the Labour party have an economic policy, or any policy, for that matter. Perhaps we could convince him that he was going to an international allotment holders convention, or a jam making symposium.” However, other members of the National Executive believe that getting rid of the real Corbyn could be simpler than contriving to send him to a Swiss euthanasia clinic. “There’s a school of thought that believes it could be as simple as presenting him with a new pair of slippers and a nice warm cardigan,” reveals Hacksaw. “They believe that it’s clear that he just wants to sit at home in his armchair, drinking cocoa, but his pride won’t let him step down as leader. But the robot version of him would give the impression that he was still leader and hadn’t been humiliatingly forced to resign.”

Encouraged by the success of the prototype robot Corbyn, the party’s National Executive is now considering ‘upgrading’ other top Labour politicians. “Obviously, we were relieved that it didn’t go haywire and engage in a rampage when we tested it in the Commons – some members feared that it might start physically attacking the government benches, hurling Chancellor Philip Hammond into the back benches and beating Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt over the head with the Mace,” he says. “But having seen its smooth performance – a real upgrade on the real Jeremy – we were left thinking that perhaps we could improve the rest of the leadership in the same way.” Consequently, a robotic version of Deputy Leader Tom Watson is also now in development. “It’s a bit different to the Corbyn robot,” says Hacksaw. “We’ve focused on improving the real Watson’s two main strengths: pursuing peadophiles and protecting the party from extreme left entryists. Whenever it suspects the presence of either, its chest flies open and fires peado or entryist seeking missiles. It still needs some fine tuning – we’ve trialled it at a few constituency meetings and it all got a bit chaotic, with his head lighting up and him shouting ‘Peado!’ and ‘Trotskyite!’, before missiles started flying everywhere. The trouble was, we couldn’t work out who were kiddie fiddlers and who were the militants among the casualties.”

The trials of the robot Corbyn and robot Watson have sparked fears of a political ‘arms race’, as the UK’s political parties rush to ‘upgrade’ their front benches with robot replacements. “There’s a real danger, in my opinion, that the House of Commons could be transformed into the arena for Robot Wars,” opines Henry Chisel, Chief Political Correspondent for the Sunday Bystander. “Very soon, we could be seeing ‘Techno’ Theresa May’s arms, tipped with hammers, span around wildly as she tried to force through Brexit in the face of a robot Ken Clarke laying down a smokescreen with his super-vaping electronic cigar. Prime Minister’s Question Time could be reduced to a ruck between robo-Corbyn with a huge drill mounted between his legs and mechanical May and her hammer hands. Everyone, though, would have to be beware Robo-Boris, with his buzz saw concealed in his arse.” The robot arms race could already have started – within the Labour party. There are reports that shadow chancellor and real Corbyn ally John McDonnell, fearing that his position could be at risk if the robot Corbyn gains ascendency, is seeking to have his body technologically enhanced, to become a cyborg, raising the spectre of a Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man style battle for the party between the two mechanical monsters.