Camerella: A Bedtime Story for Worried Liberals

19 September 2019

Anxious? Angry? Waking up in the middle of the night to worry about plastic pollution, Brexit and why everything seems to be so horrible all the time? 

Us too.

Help is here, in the shape of Stuart Heritage’s hilarious Bedtime Stories for Worried Liberals. Put down your phone, log off Twitter, and let yourself be lulled to sleep by stories from a world where Brexit disappears in a puff of smoke, Waitrose is free, and Fairy Godmothers look a lot like Barack Obama.

In the week that David Cameron launches his memoir, we share with you Camerella, the story of how David Cameron was granted one wish – and asked to go to Wilderness Festival…

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 Goodnight stories for worried liberals



Once upon a time, big news came to town. The king was to hold a ball, the biggest ball in the land, full of dancing and merriment. It was to be called The Wilderness Festival, and it was to be headlined by Groove Armada. Everyone was invited.

Well, everyone except for David Cameron. He longed to attend the ball, but his wicked stepmother always refused, telling him that he couldn’t go anywhere until he’d cleaned up all the mess. So instead he passed his days glumly staring through the window of his £25,000 shepherd’s hut and dreaming of what could have been. Oh, the things he’d do if he ever got to visit the Wilderness Festival. He’d drink beer. He’d smoke cigarettes. He’d dress up in a nice anorak and just sort of wander around the place weighed down by a cloak of pure sadness.

But instead he had to stay in his hut. When the day of the ball came, David Cameron watched as his wicked stepmother, his wicked stepsisters and his wife Samantha all laced up their most beautiful frocks, put on their Barbour jackets and set off to the festival in a fleet of golden coaches.

‘Goodbye!’ he called out to them. ‘Have a wonderful time!’ But nobody replied, except for his stepmother, who simply shouted ‘Clean up all the mess!’

David Cameron slumped down in his chair, surrounded by Post-It notes covered with rejected titles for his memoir, including This Wasn’t My Fault and I Just Want To Go Outside Again, and he sighed. ‘I wish I could go to the Wilderness Festival too.’

And then – boomf – a fairy godmother appeared before him in a puff of smoke.

‘You called?’ said the fairy godmother.

‘I don’t think I did,’ replied David Cameron. ‘Who are you?’

‘Why, your fairy godmother, of course,’ she answered. ‘I have come to grant your one true wish! By the way, nice shed you’ve got here.’

‘It’s actually a shepherd’s hut,’ replied David Cameron. ‘But thank you. I sort of wish it hadn’t come to single-handedly represent the gilded isolation that I forced upon myself the moment I called the referendum all those years ago, but I suppose beggars can’t be choosers, ha ha.’

The fairy godmother had never heard a laugh quite like it in all of her days. It sounded incredibly sad, like a collapsed circus tent. So disturbed was she, in fact, that she instantly tried to change the subject.

‘What colour is this, anyway?’ she asked, gesturing vaguely at the walls.

‘Clunch’, repeated David Cameron. “It’s a Farrow and Ball shade. You can look it up online and everything’.

‘I beg your pardon?’ asked the fairy godmother.

‘Clunch,’ repeated David Cameron. ‘It’s a Farrow and Ball shade.’

‘Weird,’ said the fairy godmother. ‘But now you must tell me the wish you would like to be granted.’

David Cameron gulped. This was really going to be it. This was the moment where he would finally be given everything he ever wanted.

‘I wish to go to the Wilderness Festival,’ he smiled.

The fairy godmother looked confused. ‘Sorry, what?’ she stammered.

‘The Wilderness Festival,’ he replied. ‘I would like one ticket to the Wilderness Festival please.’

‘That’s your wish?’

‘Yes, that’s my wish.’

‘Not going back in time and reversing your decision to call the referendum?’

David Cameron stopped dead in his tracks. He hadn’t thought of that. Perhaps she had a point. Perhaps he could choose to go back in time and take a harder line against the Eurosceptic wing of the Conservative Party, preventing the referendum and the Brexit chaos and Britain’s slow slide towards irreparable international irrelevance.

‘Nah,’ he said after a pause. ‘One ticket to Wilderness please.’

The fairy godmother was furious. The whole reason she had visited David Cameron in the first place was to offer him one last shot at redeeming his tattered reputation. But no, here he was, spunking it all away on a ticket to watch Tom Odell perform to a crowd of disinterested toffs. She couldn’t let him blow his big chance like this. She had to think of something to salvage this mess.

‘Let’s put it to a vote,’ she said.

‘A what?’ whispered David Cameron, suddenly terrified.

‘A vote!’ said the fairy godmother. ‘What a brilliant idea!’

So the fairy godmother invited one hundred of her fairy godmother friends to the hut, so that she and Cameron could argue their respective cases to them – remain in the shed or leave for the festival – before the godmothers had a decisive say in the matter.

One by one the fairy godmothers boomf-ed into view, and David Cameron went first. He argued that Wilderness would let him indulge all his favourite hobbies, like smoking cigarettes and drinking lager and taking slightly shamefaced ironic selfies with people who openly disliked him. He made beer mats extolling the benefits of Wilderness. He invented wild promises and painted them on the side of a bus. When he finished, an uneasy silence fell over the group.

Then it was the fairy godmother’s turn. She put much less effort into her argument, because she was arguing to a group of other fairy godmothers, and surely none of them would be stupid enough to buy any of Cameron’s crap.

Then came the vote. The fairy godmothers huddled together for a few minutes, before the leader stepped forward.

‘The fairy godmothers have made their decision,’ she stated. ‘We vote forty-eight in favour of time travel, and fifty-two in favour of Wilderness.’

‘Score!’ said David Cameron, pumping his arm like a stockbroker on a tennis court.

‘Hold on, hold on,’ spluttered the fairy godmother. ‘Are you sure you all fully understood the consequences of the vote?’

‘Yes, they’re sure,’ crowed David Cameron. ‘Now give me my ticket.’

The fairy godmother thought about this for a moment, and then made the only logical decision available to her.

‘I quit,’ she said.

David Cameron was appalled. ‘You can’t quit! Not without delivering me my ticket! This whole vote was your idea! Just because you failed to take the electorate seriously during your campaign, it doesn’t mean you get to swan off scot-free and leave everyone else to clean up your … ah, no, OK, I see what’s going on now. OK, that’s fair enough.’

And just like that – boomf! – the fairy godmother vanished in another puff of smoke.

David Cameron looked at the fifty-two fairy godmothers who’d voted his way. A flicker of hope flashed across his eyes. ‘Which of you will deliver your promise to send me to Wilderness?’ he asked.

From the back of the group, two fairy godmothers pushed their way forwards. It was Theresa May and David Davis.

‘We will!’ they cried.

‘Oh fuck,’ muttered David Cameron.