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Monday, 30 September, 2002, 11:31 GMT 12:31 UK
Edwina's parallel universe
A black hole
There is a Currieverse out there somewhere

She was the loudmouth minister who turned the humble egg into a weapon of mass destruction.

And history was ready to write her up as the person who single headedly ignited what was to become the national obsession with food safety.

Ever since Edwina, there has been the suspicion that if you can eat it, it's probably going to kill you.

Former Tory minister Edwina Currie
Changing the course of history
But thanks to her money-spinning memoirs, she will now go down in the history books as the woman who shared carnal knowledge with John Major - although, in their case, it's more like carnival knowledge.

And the only game in town at the moment is speculating over what might have happened if their affair had been revealed at the time.

Wet T shirt

If current scientific thinking proves correct and there are an infinite number of universes, then Currieverse will be lurking out there somewhere.

In this parallel existence, the couple's affair was discovered by the News of the World and splashed all over the front page accompanied by graphic pictures of Mrs Currie in a wet T shirt.

Mr Major was forced to resign, Michael Heseltine went on to become Tory leader instead and stormed to victory at the 1992 and 1997 general elections.

The world was spared Mrs Currie's first novel which detailed her affair with Mr Major, and there were no killer eggs stalking the nation's breakfast tables.

The Labour party split into two unelectable rumps instead of one.

Former Tory deputy leader Michael Heseltine
Still wanted leadership
One was led by Neil Kinnock, who gradually went mad, and the other by Tony Benn, who gradually went sane.

Oh, and the Millennium Dome was a success.

Space hop through to another universe and things are even more bizarre.

Better man

John Major became seen as the most interesting, if tasteless, man in British politics and his opinion poll ratings went through the roof.

Margaret Thatcher realised there was finally a better man than her to lead the country and handed the premiership over to him in orderly fashion.

In reality?

Meanwhile, back on planet earth, the most likely effect of the affair being made public at the time would have been - nothing.

Mr Major would indeed have stepped down from whatever job he had at the time, but Michael Heseltine would still have forced the leadership challenge and another compromise candidate - possibly Douglas Hurd - would have won.

Thanks to the continuing state of uselessness of the Labour Party, and the fact it was still led by Neil Kinnock, it would still have lost the 1992 general election, just.

John Smith would still, sadly, have died and Tony Blair taken over - and the rest would have been pretty much the same.

Even if it had been revealed during Mr Major's premiership and after Tony Blair had become Labour leader we may still have ended up where we are today.

The prime minister would have stood down but there would have been a general election - let's say in 1995. Tony Blair would have won it etc. etc.

Now, had it come when Mr Major was prime minister and while John Smith was leader .....

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29 Sep 02 | Politics
29 Sep 02 | Politics
28 Sep 02 | Politics
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