Thursday, 10 December 2015


The World was as the World had always been and always would be, it glided effortlessly through the firmament rather as a nineteenth century courtesan would traverse a Parisian salon, with infinite grace and élan. Day traded places with night in a seamless transience which spoke of long practice and old fashioned good manners and England enjoyed a similar state of ambience, albeit one which owed nothing to manners, the display of which the country’s ruling class considered elitist. The natural progression of evolutionary forces maintained their incestuous relationship with the calendar as ordained by Mother Nature, who bided her time, watching, contemptuously as the race of men, unknowingly wove a tapestry, the threads of which depicted the fate they had by their actions ordained for themselves. Nemesis, the goddess of retribution, who was of a more decisive and impatient nature, looked down on Albion, once known as Ynys Priddain, the island of the mighty, and decided it was time for a calling in of the accounts accumulated in the name of hubris. Prime Minister Leo Blair was in the sort of mood the Emperor Caligula must have been indulging in when he blurted out his heart felt desire to the effect that wished all the Romans had but one neck between them, the easier to facilitate their removal from the joys of this earth to the sublimities of the hereafter. Premier Blair, absolute ruler of what remained of the once United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, took a deep breath and tried to think uplifting thoughts as an aid to the re-arrangement of his facial expression to resemble a topography which he fondly imagined would indicate a benign temperament, like his aged pater, he could not resist a pose, however false, especially when he felt a strop coming on. The great man failed to realise the futility of the exercise, as he still looked as if he existed on a diet of grapefruit sweetened with lemon juice, married to the carping and eternally frigid Papagena, nothing else was at all possible, he would have divorced her had it not been for his addiction to keeping up appearances. A tantrum was not threatened, it was guaranteed. “Bastard. Bloody old bastard. God rot the bastard” The Prime Minister was not referring, in this instance to his wife, but to his progenitor, the legendary Anthony of that ilk. The legend being that the old fraud could not smile and fiddle with himself at the same time, such was his intellectual capacity. The catalyst which had opened up this spigot of bile, was the Zimmer frame owned by the Premiers father. Leo had just fallen over it for the third time that morning, and it was still only eleven o-clock. As a temporary solution to the wandering Zimmer frame which could not keep a grip on it’s owner, Leo had tried locking his father up in a first floor room in Downing Street. The old man’s brain had succumbed to Alzheimer’s, unfortunately, from Leo’s perspective, the grim reaper had failed to present his calling card and stake his legitimate claim to the rest of the patriarch’s carcass. Locking the senior Blair away solved nothing, locking him in a room which overlooked the street made things infinitely worse. Finding a hand bell, the old boy sensed salvation through the jellied consumee which his mind had become. The bell was of the sort once used to summon pupils to their lessons, in the bad old days before learning had been abolished as it presented an obstacle to progressive education, daddy Blair, the poor old soul, had opened a window, leaned out, and ringing the bell like the clappers of hell, bellowed to the crowd assembled in the street below to come and rescue him. “Help, help, please come and rescue me, help me please help me. Our Leo’s locked me up and the little shit won’t let me out”. The crowd who happened to be gathered outside the Prime Ministerial residence, were the half cut and residually hung over members of the press corps, the ones their editors had it in for and thought not worth the price of a subsidised stint in a drying out clinic. The Downing Street watch was punishment duty, the last port of call before being fired. Most of these reporters were foreign, therefore they could not be nobbled as it was possible to do with the domestic variety of the breed. They lapped it up; for once they had something worth sending their bosses. The portrait of aged Tone, the past and past it leader with his bell going ding dong fit to wake a session of Parliament, was sent whizzing around the World, not the sort of publicity normally encouraged by the residents of the street, but it did save one or two journalistic careers. The year was two thousand and fifty, and still the doctors, despite young Leo’s prayers, had kept his pa ticking over against all the odds and probabilities. This attention to Hippocratic fidelity did nothing to endear the medical profession to the Prime Minister, who had decided to exact his revenge on the entire class of doctors by slashing the health budget, starting with their salaries. This attitude to wards the doctors was irrational to say the least, Leo would not have cared one way or the other if his sire were to carry on decrepit and semi doolally until the day of the second coming, provided the old man could have done it under his own roof, which was impossible, as that roof, a very posh one in Conaught Square had been repossessed by the bank years ago, entirely on account of his mothers delusion that she was an investor or rare perspicacity. Leo had then been obliged to provide a berth for his now homeless and penniless parents, none of his siblings was prepared to have the old woman under their roofs as a guest for tea on Sunday, let alone as a permanent lodger. Well, it was either a billet in Downing Street or the night shelter. Mrs Leo was incandescent at the time, she hated her mother-in-laws guts with an intensity which could have generated enough electricity to keep a hospital running. “More than one way to scalp a frigging moggie”. He muttered to himself as he stomped off in the direction of the cabinet room, muttering and cussing every step of the way as he contemplated his revenge on the proud ranks of physitionary. Most un-Prime Ministerial. Some people would rank such behaviour incestuously close to filial ingratitude, had Leo’s father not repealed the quinquenial act in two thousand and five, and the following year, fed up to the gills with the bellyaching, backstabbing and outright undisguised intriguing of his Chancellor of the Exchequer, cut the brake cables on Gordon Brown’s car, the only way to solve the leadership crisis that had been brewing for more than a decade, then there would have been no Premiership for him, Leo to inherit, and he would have had to have gotten himself a job and a mortgage just like the rest of the population, at least those who were not members of the political elite. While general elections had gone the way of the stage coach, by elections were still permitted, but these were only held when the ruling party could be certain of engineering the perfect gerrymander, membership of the commons, as a result of this had shrunk from over six hundred to one hundred and fifty, while there were fifteen thousand members of the house of Lords. Leo like his father before him, had taken to giving his cronies peerages instead of Christmas cards, at least he did until King William put the kybosh on such practices, but that is for a later stage of this narrative. Leo glanced around him, deploring the shabby décor of the house, money was tight these days, even for politicians, outlay on so trivial an item as a few rolls of wall paper required serious deliberation with the Chancellor. The Prime Minister swept into the cabinet room, he halted just inside the door, his head rotated from side to side, resembling a badly mounted ack- ack gun out of control, his expression illuminated the inner disdain he felt for his colleagues. The cabinet was already seated when the Prime Minister entered the room, this was not the agreed etiquette of the occasion but they had taken to ignoring such subtleties of late, their feelings for the Prime Minister matched his for them, if anything united this motley group of failures it was their loathing for each other. This was the first sitting of the cabinet. The days when that body could all sit around one table had long gone, the government was now so enormous, with ministers responsible for everything from finance to farting, they could not be accommodated in one sitting, there was a meeting on each day of the week for a different set of ministers. Little wonder there was no money left for wall paper. The Cabinet was in a particularly bad mood that day. Previously they had been served tea or coffee in dainty china cups, now there had been yet one more economy drive, each minister had in front of him a plastic cup filled with council pop, fresh from the tap. This really got on their goat, economy was supposed to be for the masses, not for them. The Prime Minister’s beady orbs lighted on the Minister for political correctness, a humourless old cow so far past the menopause she could remember when the common people were allowed to have a fag on Saturday nights, provided of course they did not advertise their activity to the neighbours and kept the curtains drawn. “Why are you standing in the corner Clytemnestra? Glaring at everyone like that. What’s wrong now”. “Clyt’s got the ‘ump. Aven’t yer darlin’” This was Dick Fircle, M.P. for Tower Hamlets. Dick was a dab hand when it came to rubbing the lady up the wrong way; he seldom snubbed an opportunity to indulge this singular talent of his. “What a matchless ability you have when it comes to expressing yourself” Sneered Clytemnestra. There was nothing of London’s East end about her, it is doubtful if she had ever been east of the Mansion House; she was old New Labour through and through. Damp with the sweat stains of middle class pretensions, insulated from the realities of life by a Matterhorn sized pile of inherited money, which she pretended not to possess, privately educated, and above all else, convinced beyond redemption that she was predestined to appreciate what was best for the lower orders, and determined that they would do what she decided was best for them. The people, god assoil them, had born the burden of Clytemnestra Dawkins and her ilk for many a long year. Dick smiled maliciously in her direction, he relished the chance of getting into a ruck with Ms. Dawkins, it would be a welcome distraction from the megalith of a hangover currently overshadowing his life. Clytemnestra however had other organic broccoli to steam that particular morning. She sent a poisoned dart of a look at the prime Minister, then jerked her thumb in the direction of her usual seat. Leo immediately saw the reason for her irritation, for once he sympathised with the woman. Sitting in the chair normally occupied by Clytemnestra was the P.M’s beloved mother Cherrie, well that was how she was referred to in the press, in reality, Leo was as fed up with his mother as he was with his old man, more so in fact, as Cherrie had the habit of trying to interfere in the running of the government which she fondly but erroneously deluded herself that she had a talent for, a conceit her hubby, even in the days when he still had his wits about him, lacked the guts to contradict. Mrs. Blaire senior sat listlessly at the cabinet table, she had suffered a minor stroke a few years earlier leaving the left side of her face partially paralysed, giving the impression, when viewed from an obscure angle, that she was smiling, our dear lord does have a sense of humour after all. This facial paralysis caused a drooping at the left corner of her mouth, which meant she was continuously dribbling, to save money on the laundry bills Leo had ordered the staff to ensure that at all times mother dear was to wear a plastic bib the size of a table cloth, which gave the casual observer the impression the woman was dead and had half fallen out of her shroud. “Now then mother, you know you must not be in here” Leo spoke to his mother in the same tone he used with Max, his Labrador, Max never took any notice of the man either. “When are we going to abolish the Monarchy? Your dad always promised me he would, but he never did. I want a republic our Leo” The Prime Minister’s lips were sutured together in distaste. “Why can’t she be content to regress to her second childhood like normal old biddies do” Thought Leo. “But no, she has to go one better and do a National Geographic tour of her common northern roots” “Come along now mother. Off we jolly well go” “Don’t use such language to me my lad, you sound like one of them poncy southern poofs, and I did not bring you up to be a poof. Had enough of those buggers in your father’s government” Cherrie would have said more but an excess of dribbling cut short the flow of her narrative. Carping the diem, an activity at which he excelled, the cabinet secretary grabbed hold of Cherrie, yanked her out of the chair, then frogmarched the errant parent from the room, and out of the sight of her quietly fuming son, his mask of piety towards his mother had not fooled anyone, the cabinet knew Leo hated his mother almost as much as they did. As they exited, Leo gave Sir Norman a grateful smile while at the same time reminding himself to ensure that Sir Norman got paid that month, which was why the cabinet secretary had acted in the first place, he knew from past experience that if there was one way to ensure the even flow of the monthly dosh, it was to rescue the prime Minister from one of his Parents. Sir Norman devoted enormous amounts of time and effort to ensuring the parents irritated their illustrious offspring towards the end of the month. Leo, thick as he was, never twigged what Sir Norm was up to. The Prime Minister was not the only one pleased by Sir Norm’s intervention, Clytemnestra appreciated the ejection of Mrs. Blaire whom she considered socially distasteful. There’s no snob like an old New Labour snob. The minister delicately set her oh so refined bum down on the vacated seat, the air of delicacy did not last very long nor did Clytemnestra’s bum lay claim to it’s current resting place for any longer. “Christ it’s wet. It’s fucking sopping. The bitch has left her incontinence pads off again” She jumped up, her face red with a mixture of rage and embarrassment, the embarrassment caused by her realisation of how common she had sounded by blasting off with what she tweely referred to as the F word, so working class, and while one sympathised with the lower orders one certainly did not want to sound like them, or ones grandfather come to that. “It’s intolerable Leo. You’ll have to do something about it” “What? Surely you don’t expect me to fit them on her. I’ve got enough on my hands as it is” “I don’t see why not, it would be the first thing of any use you’ve done in years” This was Dick Fircle, a man not inclined to hold back when it came to sticking the boot into the prime Minister, who’s job he lusted after with pathological intensity, what was known in New labour circles as Brown’s syndrome, the bubonic plague of the party. The Prime Minister felt cornered and when in that emotional state he became petulant. “That’s enough. We are not here to discuss my mother” The man actually thought that was enough to quell any further exploration of the subject, Dick’s ambitions sailed in an alternative direction. “We don’t need to talk about the cow, we can smell her, there isn’t a chair in the joint that she hasn’t pissed on fifty times over” The Prime Minister found himself in a semantic quandary, while he agreed with everything Dick had said, he would fight to the death to prevent him saying it. A politician to his finger tips was our Leo “Enough” Leo could never be masterful when he tried, another aspect of his character so redolent of his papa it was painful to observe. Dick and Clytemnestra did not even bother to put up a pretence of paying the man any heed, they were positively priapic with anticipation at the chance to continue their feud, and the Cabinet settled down to enjoy the show, along with the prime Minister’s discomfort. “You’re as vulgar as a supermarket checkout Dick, you might on occasion have some regard for your surroundings” “It was only a few seconds ago that you were effing and blinding along with the best of them” “A slip of the tongue. It can happen to all of us. If you had sat in what I did you would have said something a little stronger than botheration” “I’ve never said botheration in my fucking life, I’ve got too much respect for my roots. I leave words like that to you lot, toffee totty from Islington pretending to be posher than God when everybody knows their fathers or grandfathers started off in life stacking shelves at Tesco’s, and if they wanted a holiday their mothers had to go on the game” Dick was a government token, in his case a token of the working classes, if at any time he forgot to drop an eitch, then he went back and flung it down with overwhelming emphasis as a matter of principle. Dick’s observations were close enough to the bone to cause Clytemnestra to go brick red in the face. Clytemnestra was not the only one to be lanced by Dick’s barbs; the Cabinet was literally drowning in bourgeois pretensions, most of them blatantly obvious if not risible. “You really are a dreadful little man, why can’t you express yourself like decent people do. Surely the effort would not be too much for you to endure” This was Clytemnestra at her best, Lady Bracknell in an off the peg blouse and badly applied make-up. “You can tart it up any way you like clyt, but the old cow’s piddling all over the damn joint, there is not a chair that is safe to sit in. It’s a wonder we haven’t all got piles from sitting on damp cushions, and all because she won’t wear her incontinence pads. He should bloody well make her” Dick prodded his finger in the vague direction of the Prime Minister who was hiding behind awesome bulk of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. “You’re in no position to point the finger Richard Fircle. Your Father never would wear his hearing aide, one could rupture one’s larynx trying to pass the time of day with him” “Yes, but he didn’t piss through his ear ‘oles” “That’s enough children” The Chancellor’s laconic interventions were always listened to with attentive respect, if only because the man held the strings to the purse which held what little money there was in the public kitty. He manually propelled the Prime Minister into prominence, caring not a fig for Leo’s distress at his mother’s behaviour and the reaction it caused amongst his colleagues. “Yes. Yes. We must get on with the business of the day” There were time when Leo so perfectly fitted the apparition of an old maid, that there were amongst his colleagues, those who wondered if all the man possessed between his legs was wishful thinking. “Sit down everyone. Lets get things moving” This was the Chancellor again, he was on a roll and determined to keep charge of the proceedings until the prime Minister regained his composure and grabbed back control. “How can I sit down on this” Clytemnestra kicked the dampened chair. I am not sitting in, in…” “Piss.” Dick could be so helpful when he chose; he loved helping Clytemnestra, from one hole to another. “I’m not sitting on this filthy chair, and that’s an end to it” “We won’t let you get your end in it Clyt, will we lads? Clyt with a wet end. Perish the thought. He smiled at his perennial adversary, an expression which held no affinity to compassion, it was malevolence stuck in molasses “ “At this rate we’ll be here until the next General election” The Chancellor had a beautiful turn of phrase, that his colleagues were on the whole too thick to appreciate the nuances of his speech was a cause of great sadness in his life. Abruptly he left the room; there were those who wondered if this presaged another resignation tantrum for which the man was famous. Outside the Cabinet room the Chancellor looked around him, the only item of seating furniture he could see was a baby’s high chair belonging to the Prime minister’s youngest. He grabbed the chair and returned with it to the cabinet room. “Here” He plonked the chair down in Clytemnestra’s accustomed place. “That’s all I can find. You’ll just have to make do with it” “I am not sitting in that. What do you think I am?” Silly woman. Some people never learn. “A pain in the arse” When warranted, Dick could be dramatically terse; he and the Chancellor picked up a struggling, squawking Clytemnestra and jammed her into the high chair, a sight made even more incongruous by the string of balloons tied to it’s back. “Now let’s get down to business, God knows we’ve wasted enough time for one day. For once there is a serious question before us. “Thank you Chancellor. Most helpful as usual” Meaning, butt out you scheming git, I’m the boss. “Forget today’s agenda something very important has come up which we have to decide on” “You mean agree with Brussels don’t you” This was the Foreign Secretary, he loved to indulge in a bit of pedantry every now and then, it made him feel himself to be the intellectual he certainly was not. No Ernie, I do not. As of now Brussels knows nothing about this. Absolutely sweet FA” The Foreign Secretary went white, the poor man had never had to take a decision for himself during the whole of his time in government, none of them around the table had. Ruling Britain consisted of doing what the lords of the world, seated in the European Union palaces decreed, it was so simple there was no need to even pretend to have brains, just as well that, as most of the British Government did not have any to start with. “Then if Brussels does not know about this what are we going to do?” Ernie, the poor benighted sap was on the doorstep of a catatonic seizure, propelled there by unadulterated terror. “Listen dear boy. That’s all that is required for the moment “ “They’ve discovered oil in Wales” This was the Chancellor, despairing of anyone getting to the point before nightfall and unable to resist stealing the prime Ministers star turn. “I was supposed to say that” Leo was starting to turn petulant, he always did when someone took his toys away from him. “It was my announcement not yours. You’re always doing this. I want to tell them. Godstall darling, Chancellor of the Exchequer, gave his dear leader a pitying look. “Couldn’t help myself Leo, it just slipped out. So sorry” When it came to insincerity there was no-one to touch the Chancellor, the man was in a class all of his own, which in New labour terms really was an achievement.. Clytemnestra banged the tray attached to her high chair; she did not like it if attention strayed from her for too long a time. “There is no oil in Wales, and that is a geological fact of life” “Until a few days ago I would have concurred. No arguments. But things have now changed, completely. The results have come in from a survey and there is no doubt that Wales is floating on oil, probably the largest deposits to be found in the world” “God bless the bloody Taffs. God Bless the lying thieving bastards” Dick was jumping up and down in his seat with excitement, clapping his hands and frothing at the mouth. “You all know what this means don’t you” Leo gazed at his colleagues, experience had prompted him not to expect a reaction in any of it’s myriad forms. The Chancellor beamed, he knew what was around the corner, which was why Leo gave him a monumental kick on the shins. “Christ allbloodymighty” “So sorry Godstall. My foot slipped. It means my dears that soon we shall have money again. Oodles and oodles of the vulgar stuff. “We can have our official cars replaced with new” “At last I can have my official residence refurbished” “Fact finding trips. We can have some of those again. Lots of them. I want one to Barbados” Chaos descended on the company rather as the holy ghost had come down to bless the Apostles, there was a crude, undignified stampede to exit the room, punches were thrown, antecedents besmirched, they may have been thick, but no-one could accuse them of not being avaricious, they scented moolah and nothing was going to stand in the way of their spreading the glad tidings to their nearest and dearest. “Wait. I haven’t finished. Come back you greedy sods, you don’t go until I say you can. And you don’t tell anyone about this. You all know what will happen if the Iraqis find out about the oil. Now, we’ve got the abolition of MacSaddam’s to go over. The public have to be stopped from eating all those unhealthy burgers” As was usual on all important issues, not a blind bit of notice was paid to the dear leader, the ministers left him to the delights of yet another tantrum, nobody wanted to waste time on Government business when there were spending sprees to dreamed of and planned. Unfortunately for Clytemnestra she, poor dab was forgotten in the rush, ignored and abandoned, there she remained, jammed in her high chair until found by the cleaners the following morning, bedraggled, foul tempered and unmistakably damp. To the ultimate degradation of her middle class dignity the woman had wet herself.

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