This is very much required in the run up to the general Election. Read carefully. There may be a test at the end.
Once you have identified a Politician and their groupmates, it is important to avoid them at all costs. People have been known to survive a direct Politician attack, but it is inadvisable to tempt fate. There are Politician defence classes available at some locations throughout the country if you are interested.
There are a number of ways to avoid a Politician, depending on your situation:
This is the easiest and is simply effected by performing a simple 180 degree turn and walking in the opposite direction. This is not useful, however, if you were actually trying to get somewhere.
Take an alternative route
This manoeuvre involves taking a route around the outside of the affected area. This removes all danger from the observed group of Politicians, but opens you to the possibility of running into a different group on your revised route.
Make them think twice
A Politician is less likely to approach you if he or she feels they may either put themselves in danger by doing so, or else just not get any sense out of you. Techniques such as muttering or singing to yourself, talking to someone who isn't there or swatting at invisible flies may achieve the desired result, but with the more experienced Politician more imaginative techniques must be implemented.
Implement a Corby
This is the most difficult of avoidance techniques and is of most use when your intended destination is within the affected area. 'Corby' is the name given to a route that follows the rules as outlined in the next section.
Combine two or more of these tactics
Sure to fox even the most dedicated Politician, a combination of any number of the tactics listed here is an excellent way to ensure safe passage, particularly the Corby combined with muttering or talking to yourself: this has the added bonus of occupying your mind enough for you to not succumb to the temptation of making eye contact.
The route is at all times equidistant from the closest two members of any pack of Politicians. As anyone who has done up to GCSE geography or mathematics will know, a route which is equidistant from two given points is a straight line. When considering more than two points, only the two closest to you at any given moment should be considered. As a route brings you closer to an additional Politician, this person replaces one of the other 'points' and the process is repeated.
The reason for staying equidistant from the two closest Politicians is simple: Each Politician has a certain 'dragnet' area which extends out to his or her nearest partner, and only one Politician will attack any one person as it is inefficient to do otherwise. If you are equidistant between the two, then you are on the border of both of their 'dragnets' and the resultant confusion will give you time to pass through to safety. If, however, you make the unfortunate mistake of making eye contact with one of the Politicians, this will upset the balance and you will probably be caught by the dragnet and reeled in.
Part 3: Counterattack
What to do if you are caught by a Politician
Being caught by a Politician is most people's worst nightmare, but if the worst comes to the worst there are a number of things you can do to escape:
Ignore their pleas and smiles and walk straight past as if you never noticed them. This is surprisingly difficult and can usually only be achieved after months, sometimes even years of brutal training.
Bring up a subject which even more boring than the one you are supposed to be parting with your soul for. This is possibly even more difficult than the previous tip, unless you are a clipboarder.
Pretend that you don't speak English. Pretending to be a foreigner will almost always reward the interviewee. Only the most hardened Politician will attempt the foreigner intervention.
There are two methods in the 'feigning a foreigner' counterattack:
Learn 'I don't speak English' in a foreign language and shout it loudly at the Politician. This is generally effective, but can backfire if the Politician is over-enthusiastic and/or speaks the foreign language in question
Be an 'interested foreigner.' This involves beating them at their own game. Speak very slowly in heavily-accented English (think about the time when you went on a school trip to Germany and needed to ask where the bathroom was, but couldn't remember the word for toilet). Ask lots of questions, particularly ones unrelated to the subject of the Politician
The most fun that can be derived from method two is when the Politician actually backs off. This may be due to a Latvian demanding that Scottish Power hook up their shack in deepest darkest Latvia with a gas supply cheaper than that of British Gas.
Armed with the knowledge you've just been given, it should now be possible to conduct your business without fear of a Politician-based attack. Whether you're going to work or on a shopping trip, either a native of the British Isles or a visitor on holiday, be prepared - the Politician is a resourceful and intelligent foe. They are constantly developing new techniques of harassment, and any counterattacks we might use may in turn be countered themselves. Be ever vigilant, be resourceful. Mix and match the methods used above, and in time you may even produce your own.
Most of all, be safe and enjoy hassle-free shopping and commuting.
And God help me if they finally find out how to use the Internet.