Ideological Hostage Swap – Kennedy for Engels

The new-look six-piece Thee Faction

We’re not brilliant at keeping secrets, so the last few weeks have been hard. But now that the papers have started to release the news that Charles Kennedy may be defecting to Labour, we can start to reveal our own part in what will become one of history’s most prominent hostage swaps.

Chuck in the midst of the pressure-cooker negotiations

At a meeting at the DDRofR&B just after the General Election it emerged that long-time Thee Faction backing vocalist Krystina-Prystina Engels had been campaigning for the Liberal Democrats. Of course, the other members of Thee Faction were stunned. As Billy Brentford put it, when he staggered outside for air: “But they support the market – the world’s biggest racket. We’re s’posed to attack it.” But she insisted that her liberal democratic political philosophy was not just a passing phase, and involved serious commitment.

An emotional Krystina-Prystina Engels leaving the DDRofR&B yesterday

So Thee Faction had a meeting, agreed on some changes, and some of them affected Krystina. Ultimata were issued, by both parties. Eventually Krystina-Prystina Engels announced her intention to leave Thee Faction, with immediate effect. But we realised that we could make this work for both sides. So a negotiating team of The Hard Man, Dai Nasty and Billy Brentford approached Liberal Democrat HQ and invited them to send a negotiating team to the DDRofR&B. They did so, and over the last few weeks we have bashed out the makings of an agreement.

Details weren’t supposed to be released for another few days. But now the Saturday papers have led with the Kennedy story, we can reveal that we have secured for the Labour Party the services of Charles Kennedy, in exchange for the Liberal Democrats getting Krystina-Prystina Engels. We initially made a bid for Simon Hughes – his chorister background might have killed two birds with one stone, securing for Labour a senior politician and for us a backing singer. But we quickly realised that we couldn’t have the band tainted by further Lib Dem associations, and that Kennedy would represent a bigger scalp for the Labour Party. So we went for Chuck. And the Lib Dems jumped at the chance to secure the services of an activist of Krystina’s stature.

Thee Faction wish Krystina-Prystina Engels all the best for the future. Politically, she has made her bed, and so be it. Artistically, she is now expressing herself through the medium of trapeze artistry, a discipline Thee Faction have the utmost respect for. Relations between Thee Faction and Krystina remain strong, and there is every hope that we will convert her from liberal individualism to collectivist communism over time. Until then, the labour movement has Chuck Kennedy. The Lib Dems have Krystina. Honours even, we think.

Thee Faction fight on. Tighter than ever, and more hell-bent on the destruction of the forces of capital than any band has ever been. Come and help us, brothers and sisters. See you on the 18th September for our first outing as a six-piece.



  1. Never make the mistake of conflating the leadership of the party with the membership of the movement, Comrade Monitor. While the leadership may have embraced the market, for tactical reasons, the membership knows that the market, as a means of distribution, will never serve them well. Liberal democrats, on the other hand, do actually seem to see the market as the ideal form of exchange and distribution.


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