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Thursday, 10 February 2022

An Unhappy Partygate.


In a luxurious banqueting hall in Westminster, quite close to Number Ten, standing around drinking champagne are Mugg, Gov, Saja, Richi, on whom the many other Ministers of the British Cabinet who are also present, fawn. Suddenly the double doors open to reveal Floppo, their Leader. The Ministers cheer and clap him. He massages his head and grins. Mugg hands him an overflowing glass of champagne.
Floppo:     Ha! My glass floweth over, what.
The others laugh and giggle and slap each other on the back, and start to sing ‘For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow’, ‘Rule Britannia’, and ‘Floreat Etonia!'
Floppo:     Most kind. Most kind. But it’s not just my leadership which makes our country great. We’re world-leading in everything, aren’t we? World-beaters. The envy of the world.
The others cheer, slurp their champagne and elbow each other trying to get closer to their leader.
Mugg:      I say. Did you see what those ghastly people at UNICEF are doing? Sending food to working-class kids over here! Damned nerve!
Gov:        Ridiculous. If there are any starving kids in England, it’s a pity their parents don’t work harder. Have another glass.
Mugg:    Send 'em back down the mines, I say.  Do they think we're made of money?
Floppo:  On that subject, Richi, how much money do we have in the bank?
Richi:     Well, um, nothing actually.
Floppo:   Nothing?

Richi:     No, nothing at all.
Floppo: Well, what the devil are you going to do about it? We can borrow some more surely?
Richi:    Absolutely. I’ve been in touch with the Sino-Arabian Global Investment Bank concerning their core offering, the multiple derived layered confidence bond.
Mugg:    I know them. I do hedge funding with them. Utterly reliable. Been in business since 2019.
Saja: And they’ve funded many last-minute NHS contracts.
Floppo: What interest rate do they expect? 
Richi:    None!
All: None?! None?!
Richi:    None. The only stipulation is that at the end of each appointed term, we give them one seat in the House of Lords.
Floppo: No problem. We’ll give them Labour seats. Is that all?
Richi:    Well, not quite. They ask for no alcohol to be served.
All: What?! Are they mad?
loppo: Sorry, not possible. Absolutely impossible.
Richi:  Their Vice-President Important Customer Relations said he thought that might be a problem, so they’ve calculated what he calls a low level of financial repayment instead.
Floppo takes him by the arm and leads him away to a remote corner of the room where they talk quietly. They return smiling.
Floppo: I shall agree to their terms. (Sigh of relief from all.)  I want a press release about the new arrangements something like:
The government is again showing its world-leading concern for visions and values and is proud to associate with a bank of such integrity, in the sole interest of the British people in these difficult global times.’                                                                                                  The Minister for Posture and Prating leaves the room at the trot.
Floppo: Now. A different subject. There is some trepidation about the after effects of Brexit.  Shortages and stuff like that. Knowing our working-class, there may even be riots. We need a plan to cope with that. So I’ve appointed Lord Rumble of Belch to draw up a plan for combatting such riots.
Mugg:  A good chap. Reliable.
Floppo: Yes, I think he’s a good choice. Loves his food. When we were at Eton together he was known as ‘The Scoffer.’ He’ll shortly issue a press release saying that Her Majesty’s Armed Forces will be standing ready to combat any violence. And that everything is being done to ensure that food reaches every family’s table. I’ve appointed Brigadier Victor Thump to oversee military operations. He assured me that he will not tolerate any violence on our streets. Over to you, Gov.

Gov:    Max Hoard will be appointed Minister for Stock-piling and Ration Books, later today. He will issue a statement saying, ‘Not one person in Britain will go hungry for longer than three days. Your government will ensure that the British people – man, woman and child – shall not be without food so long as they have their ration books.
Sajav: As you requested, I’ve appointed Yasmine Aspirinoval as Assistant Minister for Stock-piling Medecines. And she has talked to Brigadier Thump about troops for hospital wards in case patients start fighting over prescriptions, or delayed operations or bed linen laundry.
Floppo: Excellent. Well, I think we deserve another half-dozen bottles. There is a loud banging on the double doors.
Floppo:   Who the devil’s that? See who it is, someone. One of the Ministers opens the doors to reveal an old man in scruffy clothing.
Old Man: Is this the House of Come-ons?
Floppo:  What did he say? Bring him here. The old man shuffles forward.                       Floppo:  Now, my man, what are you doing here?
Old Man: I’m looking for the House of Come-ons.
Floppo:   H’m. I think you’ve got the place-name wrong.
Old Man: Well, anyway, lad. I’m ‘ere to see a Mr. Melrose. Ben Melrose. Asked to see me, ‘e did.
Astonishment all round. Whispers of “Benjamin Melrose is our chief donor, billionaire, gave millions to the party at the election...”
Floppo:   Quiet! Well, he isn’t here. I’ll send someone to find him.
Old Man: Fanks, lad. I’ve come a long way. From up north.
Gasps all round.
Gov:     He’s from the Red Wall area! One of Labour’s voters that turned to us!
Mugg:   Have a glass of champers, old gentleman!
Gov:     You are most welcome, my dear chap!
Sajav: A long journey! Care for some aspirin? It's good for aching feet.
Floppo:    I can tell you. old friend, we are now concentrating on levelling-up.
Old Man:  Good! It's about time those bloody pot-holes were filled in. 
Floppo:     H'm. May we know why you are meeting Mr. Melrose?
Old man:   No problem, lad. The news will soon be out in the ‘Mirror’. (Shudders all round.) Says he’s fed up giving ‘is millions to the Tory party. And will give ‘em all to Labour from now on.
Cries of:   No! No! He can’t. It’s madness! What will we do?
Floppo:     Quiet! Please! And just why is Mr. Melrose doing that?
Old Man:  Simple, really. Got involved in a lot of law-suits while ‘e was making ‘is millions, ‘e said. Developed a big admiration for classy lawyers. Seein’ as ‘ow that Starmer is a classy lawyer, Jim wants to support ‘im all the way to the next election. That’s it, lad.
Enter Mr. Melrose.
Melrose: Ah, there you are, Frank. Let’s go somewhere else. I don’t like the company here. And I don't like continuous U-turns.
He stares icily at Floppo, looks at the others with a sneer on his face, puts his arm round the Old Man’s shoulder, and they leave.
The Ministers are groaning in despair, filling their glasses sloppily, looking accusingly at Floppo and finally inching towards for the double doors leaving him standing alone, massaging his head.
Floppo:   Sic transit gloria melroses….