North of the Great Border (between the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria and the uncivilized wilds beyond), the people of the Pictish persuasion have adopted an innovative and potentially revolutionary practice in their political life: they've adopted a mannequin as a candidate for a seat in their own (uncivilised and barbarous) equivalent of the Witangemot.
For those readers who might find the idea of an inanimate human figurine incongruous in these Dark Ages days, I ought to point out that they're widely employed for target practice by the yeomen bowmen – hence their prowess as deadly marksmen.
Our far-sighted northern neighbours have already discerned the benefits of such a shrewd move, and the idea has already gained considerable momentum. For a start, the savings from such a scheme would be immeasurable. The Caledonians are – for all their warlike, Anglophobic and incoherent ways – a canny collection of people, renowned for their prudence in stewardship of their own cash (unless of course, it's been stolen from the Saxons in their frequent raids over the Border – in which case, they spend their loot like water on uisge beatha, magic mushrooms, not to mention fish quota administrators, diversity coordinators, pigeon psychologists and a host of other fluffy front line services). The cost of maintaining the average politician in the manner to which he (or she) has been accustomed is an intolerably heavy burden borne by the long-suffering taxpayer; it isn't by any means cheap to pay them for their attendance (or otherwise) at Witangemot gatherings and committees, and the cost of maintaining their sumptuous houses with their obligatory moats, drawbridges and duck residences is – to put it mildly – significant.
Another advantage for Angus McTrout – the Principal Minister and Archdaemon of the Caledonian Supreme Council – is that he doesn't need to expend so much energy or money in trying to persuade/threaten/cajole/bribe his underlings into conformity with his grandiose political plans; the eloquent acquiescence of his inanimate brethren will be sufficient for him to implement any measure that takes his fancy. Result!
I've been sorely tempted to run the idea past Dagwald Caedmeron and Edweird the Milliner for adoption south of the Border in our own beautiful Realm, but I anticipate that it's going to be rather difficult for me to persuade them to substitute one set of dummies for another…