Wednesday, 20 November 2013

It's Panto Time!!



PANTOMIME!
"Ali Cam'ron and the Assorted Thieves”
---------
It's Christmas Party time at the House of Commons.
Tables sag under the weight of food and drink.
Members are in their usual serious, guiding-the-nation mode.
-------------------------------------

Ali
Has everybody got a drink? If not, get one!
Nicky
Yesh! Thashan order!
Ali
Shuddup, Nicky, you little swot!
Nicky
You shuddup, yourself!
Knocking sound from door.
Berk
There's someone at the door.
Ali
See who it is then, you little squirt.
Berk
He says he's Ed the Impaler!
Ali
Who? I've heard of Ed the Milliprat, but not Ed the Impaler.
Ed the Impaler, a fearsome creature wearing a ferocious mask,and accompanied by Ballsie, has crept in and is standing behind Ali, grimacing.
Audience
LOOK BEHIND YOU! LOOK BEHIND YOU!
Ali
What? Good heavens! Who are you!
Ed
Don't you recognise me? It's me. Ed. April Fool!!
Ballsie
Oh God! It's bloody Christmas, Ed, - not April Fool's Day!
Ed
Oh. Where's the drink, then?
Nicky
Over here! Itsh nyshe to meet you, Fred.
Ballsie
Who's paying for this lot?
Ali
I dunno. Ask George.
Audience
BOO! HISS! DOWN WITH GEORGE!
Knocking at door. Berk opens it and peers out. A hungry-looking old man stands there, clutching a crust of bread.
Berk
Who are you?
Old Man
I'm a taxpayer, sir.
Berk
Who the hell let you in here? I'll have his hide for this.
Nicky
Whasshup, Berk? Who ish it?
Berk
It's a taxpayer.
Ali
A what?
Berk
A taxpayer.
Ali
What's that?
Vince
Come on, Ali. He's one of the people who pay us.
Ali
Oh God, Vince. Are you off again?
Vince
Seriously, Ali. The taxpayers pay their taxes and that's where the money comes from that we spend.
Nicky
Aha! Then we musht thank him. Show him in! Give him champagne!
The old man enters and peers around.
Old Man
Oh dear.
Nicky
Have a drink, old gentleman. Here'sh champagne that you've paid for. Itsh very good! Try it! Merry Christmash!
Old Man
I don't think I will, thank you. I think I've come to the wrong place. I'm looking for the House of Commons.
Ali
Show him out, Berk.
Berk
This way, old man. All the way down the corridor and first left.
Ali
Has he gone?
Berk
Yes, I sent him off to the House of Lords! Tee hee.
Roars of laughter and back-slapping all round.
Ali raises hand for quiet, produces magic lamp and rubs it. Flash of lightning, thunder.
Genie
Shazam! What is your wish, oh Great One?
Nicky
How about...
Ali
He means me, you frightful little squirt!
Nicky
What sher name, genie?
Ali
Ignore him and bring more food and wine. Now!
Genie
Shazam! It is done, master!
Ali
Good.
Ballsie
Who's paying for this?
Ali
Oh, do shut up. Who cares? Anyway, ask George. Where is he, by the way?
Audience
BOO! HISS!
Berk
Well, he had two drinks and got a hangover. He's gone off to bed.
Audience
HURRAH!
Vince
Bloody marvellous. Should be at the economic helm of the nation and he's nursing a hangover.
Ballsie
Typical.
Ali
Shut bloody up! Where's Andy?
Nicky
He'sh in Rew, Rer, Roganda. Thatsh it, Runada, no, Ruanda.
Vince
Handing out the millions, no doubt.
Ali
Andy isn't Minister for Aid any more. Don't you read the papers?
Enter Andy, wearing tropical kit and carrying a skull.
Andy
Hello, everyone! Merry Christmas from Ruanda. Here's a gift for you, Ali.
It's the pickled skull of a neanderthal pleb.
Ali
Don't use that word!
Andy
What word?
Ali
Pickled. We've got to try and stay sober! Ha ha!
Berk
I heard your limo broke down, Andy.
Ali
Is it made by a British company?
Nicky
Yesh! Ish it Britishish?
Ali
If so, let's sell it to some foreign johnnie. Vince, get on to it immediately after Christmas.
Try the Chinese.
Nick
What about Tibet?.
Ali
Shut up, damn you. I can't wait for the next election and you'll be out.
Nicky
Don't bank on it, shmoothie face. I'll be talking to Ed.
Ed the Impaler leaps to his side.
Ed
Great idea, Nicky! Let's talk now!
Ali
Hey! Where are you going?
Ballsie
Just stay where you are Ali.
Vince
Yes. Watch it.
Berk
Here, you can't talk like that to our leader!
Ballsie pushes him over. Berk crashes into drinks table. Bottles flying. Members trying to save them.
Knocking at the door. Berk staggers up and opens it.
Berk
Blimey! Er. Welcome, Your Majesty!

Members stop scrambling about, stand in horrified silence.
Then, Berk waves his arms about - and leads them in the national anthem!
All
God save our gracious Queen, Long live our noble Queen, God save the Queen!
God make all Euros sick, Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks, God save the Queen!

THE END












Thursday, 31 October 2013

Jason Bryggs on Britain's International Aid.

"No way did I want to get involved with giving away taxpayers' money.  My job was to sell stuff - national assets - and make money for the government to meet its debts.  But I heard there was some research done into what happened to our aid.  Here are three examples I was told about."

1.  A Lamborghini Saleroom.

Customer: What is price on this red one?

Salesman: 400,000 euros, sir.

Customer:  Not sir. Your Highness.

Salesman: Oh! Sorry. Your Highness.

Customer: What is price for two?

An aide to the Customer approaches holding out a cellphone.

Aide: Your Highness. Here is amount British send.

Customer: Ah! What is price for three?



2.  A Palace on the Riviera.

Customer: What is price?

Estate Agent: Ah well, sir. This is a very special property. Winston Churchill lived here.

Customer: Never heard of him. What is price? And Chief, not sir.

Estate Agent: Oh. Right. Would that be furnished or unfurnished, Chief?

Customer: Furnished, of course. I no have time to buy furniture.

Estate Agent: Well, that would be 18 million euros.

An aide to the Customer approaches holding out a cellphone.

Aide: Oh great one! Here is amount British send.

Customer: Ah. This place 18 million, eh? Is no good. What you have more expensive?



3.  A munitions factory's elegant conference room.

Customer: Here is list of my requirement.

Director: I don't think this will be a problem. But we have to provide a certificate saying these armaments are for defensive purposes only, General.

Customer: Do you think I am stupid? Of course they are for defensive purposes.

Director: Excellent. Although I'm afraid we could not supply these chemicals you have listed here, General.

Customer: Why?

Director: Because there is a belief they can be used to make chemical nerve-gas weapons. Which are banned internationally.

Customer: I know this. We use these chemicals only for green-houses in presidential palace.

Director: Splendid.

An aide approaches the Customer holding out a cellphone.

Aide: Excuse please, General. Here is amount British send.

Customer: Ah! Double the order!




Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Jason Bryggs Thinks There Are Too Many MPs.


"Well, seriously, do we need so many?

In addition to the 646 MPs, there are 756 Lords. For a population of 60 million.

The USA has a population of 300 million.

Its House of Representatives has 450 members, and its Senate 100 Senators.

If Britain were to copy this proportionately, she would need 90 MPs and 20 Lords.

Which would save the tax-payer £407 million per annum.


 
But there is a cruel down-side to this.
There would be an awful lot of unemployment as a result - secretaries, aides, researchers, family members, cleaners, gardeners, manufacturers of oven gloves, bath plugs……

And it would be very difficult for redundant MPs, as so few have anything in their cv's that would appeal to an employer.


So reducing the number of MPs seems unlikely. A pity, because there are only 427 seats in the House of Commons - which means 219 MPs have nowhere to sit when there's a big debate!"

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

The Special Relationship.

Jason Bryggs wasn't present but a friendly waiter was. 
Here is a transcript of a recent breakfast meeting at the White House:

Obama: Try some of this low fat breakfast sausage, Dave. It's very British.

Cameron: Er, thanks. Um, Barack, I wanted to get on to the subject of the special relation...

Obama: If you don't like sausages, there's corned beef hash.

Cameron: I think I'll just have an egg. The relationship between our two countries has been --

Obama: The eggs are great. And you can have creamed chipped beef with. I love it.

Cameron: Really? Then that's what I'll have. So, as I was saying...

Obama: Let me give you some coffee. 2% milk?

Cameron: Thank you. Now, to get back to the special relationship.

Aide: Excuse me, Mr. President. Israel's on the line.

Obama: OK. Sorry, Dave. Gotta take this.

Cameron eats his breakfast, occasionally pulling a face. The President returns.

Obama: Got cut off. I'll have to answer it if they call again. How did you like the beef?

Cameron: Most enjoyable. Our two countries have had a long and trusting relationship, haven't they? Side by side.

Obama: Sure have.

Aide: Excuse me, Mr. President. Zang Il Kim is on the line.

Obama: I'm really sorry, Dave. This one's important. Won't be long. Try the grits.

Cameron sits and waits. The President returns.

Obama: I really like those little guys.

Cameron: I'm sorry?

Obama: The grits. Good for you, too.

Cameron: Um, Barack. Could we make a joint announcement about the special relationship between our two countries, before I leave?

Aide: Mr. President. Israel's back on line.

Obama: OK. I'll be right back, Dave.

Cameron stares at the ceiling. The President returns.

Obama: They nuked Iran!

Cameron: (choking on coffee) What?

Obama: Just joshing, Dave. My little joke!

Cameron: Ah. Yes. Very droll. Now, Barack. A joint communique about the special relationship seems perfectly in order, don't you think?

Loud ringing of alarm bells.

Obama: Darn! Another anti-terrorist alarm test. Well, we'd better get out on the lawn. I'll introduce you to a few folks and see you and Samantha tonight at the dinner. Enjoy your day!

Aide: Did I do that right, Mr. President?

Obama: You sure did. Thanks.




Tuesday, 16 April 2013

A Review by Indie Bookworm Cathy.



"The blurb for this novel is short and to the point.
And it was the blurb that caught my attention and made me decide to read the sample on the Amazon site.

I was sceptical and doubtful about downloading The Government's Top Salesman Tells All,
but I was wrong.

As soon as I started reading I was engaged by the hero of the nation, Jason Bryggs. I thought he was going to be just another city slicker looking to make a killing for himself (which he is) but the cleverness of this piece of writing is that you like Jason, sympathise with him and want things to work out.

Author John Problem has a healthily irreverent attitude to the government and a very funny way of writing about "The Prime Minister and Nick". The opening of the book explains what Jason Bryggs' new job is. So, I'm giving away no secrets by telling you that it is to sell off whatever national assets he can, in order to reduce the National Debt.

And Jason sets about his task with gusto as there's no shortage of rich buyers out there looking for the chance to buy Britain's heritage. Of course the plot derives considerable plausibility from the big sell-off by the Thatcher government in the 1980s of British oil, gas, electricity, telephones, water companies, coal and steel. It's not such a big step to what Jason Bryggs is commissioned to do to-day.

At times this book is laugh aloud funny. The writing style is sharp and pithy and moves along at a cracking pace. I read it in a couple of sittings and thoroughly enjoyed it. Light hearted and entertaining but with overtones of seriousness, The Government's Top Salesman Tells All is well worth a look."
 
Thank you, Indie Bookworm, your review is much appreciated. John.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Has Jason Bryggs Met His Match?



I let myself in, look at the screen - nothing urgent - and tidy the place up a bit. I’ve got this American girl coming round, friend of one of my pals in San Diego. He called me the other night.

This is it, Jace,” he said. “She’s the one. Say so-long to your quiet life. Her name’s Buddy-Jo and she’s got a major in Cordon Bleu. Show her the creaking timbers of the Old World, introduce her to your high-up chums and take care. ‘Bye.”

All I need right now is a California gal who wants to stink out the place with fancy cooking. And probably wants to sit through the night in earnest discussion of the Decline of Empire. Theirs, I mean, not ours. I am still tidying the place up when the screen buzzes and on comes the face of Buddy-Jo. At least, I certainly hope it is.

Er, 23rd. floor. Come on up,” I tell her.

I open the door to an amazing vision. She’s beautiful, willowy, got blue languorous eyes and a ton of blond hair piled on top of her head. And a great tan, with health shining from every pore. As Juanito said, forget the quiet life.

Hi,” she says, slowly.

Come in, come in,” I say. “Nice to meet you. How do you do? Have a drink. What would you like to drink? How was your trip? Please, make yourself at home.”

She arranges herself on one of my couches and says, “Milk, please.”

Milk?”

I don’t want to spoil my taste buds before we go eat.”

Sure. Great. Milk, it is. You don’t mind if I have scotch?”

Go ahead.” I do the necessary and assume she is expecting me to take her out to eat. Which is fine by me.

Great place you have here,” she says. “What’s the decor? British minimalism?”

I look around. It doesn’t look minimal to me. Big video wall, one side of windows, book-stand, couches, work station. I’m very proud of it.

Tell me,” I say. “How did you get past Security?”

I just gave them your name, a big smile and my bag.”

Your bag?”

I don’t have an apartment yet and Wanito said you had two bedrooms, here. Is that O.K.? Only a couple of nights. I’ll be no bother and I’ll cook you a meal you’ll never forget.” I tell her she’ll be very welcome. Which is definitely the truth.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Bryggs' Christmas Wish was not granted. And now things are looking difficult....

“Everything alright, dear?” asks Annie as we drive away from the airport. Annie is my driver.

“Fine,” I say, “What’s been happening while I’ve been away? Any scandal?”

“No, dear. No scandal. I have to take you straight to the Prime Minister, though.”

“Oh,” I say, “Right.” I notice Annie is looking at me in the rear mirror.

“D’ye know a person called Gareth Leake?” she asks. The name rings a small bell but for a moment I can’t quite place it. Then I remember. He’s the P.M’s nephew. A nasty little toad as I recall. Attached to the P.M’s central office with no particular job.

“I think I do,” I answer, “Why do you ask?”

We are pulling in to Downing Street and going through the security gates.

“Och, well,” she says, “Have a nice day.” What was that about, I wonder. The good Annie was trying to tell me something, but discreetly. Everybody needs to hang on to their jobs in this “flexible workplace” age.

I show my pass to the policemen and enter the portals of Number Ten. I haven’t done this many times but when I do I always think of the days when Britain administered its Empire with remarkable statesmen, entrepreneurs who cared nothing for discomfort, the Thin Red Line holding back the borders and the Royal Navy keeping the supply lines open. All settling the problems of the world with an extraordinary confidence. It brings a lump to my throat every time. I wonder what they would think of Jason Bryggs helping to sell off the family silver and pull in a nice bonus for doing so. I push the thought aside because standing in front of me is the awful Gareth Leake looking, as he always does, very pleased with himself.

“Ah, Bryggs,” he says, in the usual way of his class.

“Gareth,” I say, “Keeping busy?”

“Indeed I am,” he says, “Come this way.” I follow his busy little frame and bouffant hair style down the corridor and we enter one of the ante rooms.

“Wait here.” he says. I sit in an uncomfortable reproduction antique from Indonesia and pick up the newspaper. The only news of interest is the arrest by the Serious Fraud Office of yet another senior executive from a large business firm and the State Visit of the Secretary General of oil-rich Askhabania who will be staying at Balmoral as he likes to shoot. I’ll bet he does, although the quarry may be different in this case. About half an hour passes and Leake re-appears.

“The Prime Minister will see you now,” he says and we march off down the corridor again.

“Ah, Bryggs,” says the P.M. Nick is there too and gives me a nod. I notice that Leake has perched himself on the edge of a chair and is obviously not leaving.