Totally imaginary meeting at Number
10, Middle of April 2004
Hello lads and lasses don't look so
I've done away with the coffee and biscuits and installed a bar.
Thinking about it that's probably why I'm feeling a little light-headed
and quite happy this morning.
It must be the scotch Deputy PM I can't
think of anything else that might make you feel that way.
Perhaps Eustace, perhaps
Sit down everyone and I'll pop round the table and take your
orders in a mo..
There's a few things on the agenda this morning for the PM to
discuss with you
Eustace.. as you were first up the stairs I'll take your order
That's jolly decent of you Deputy PM
mine will be a large gin and tonic
Sound of clinking glasses and a slight
Here you are Eustace
I thought the drinks
were gratis old boy
gratis! I should
think not Eustace
who do you think bought the stuff!
Well I suppose you're right Deputy PM..
It's only fair you should be recompensed.. But £6.98 is
a bit steep isn't it
It does include a percentage of the
ferry fare Eustace
What's that Deputy PM? You're not supposed
to sell the stuff you get from over the water you know!
Now that we removed the limit on what we can bring over for our
own personal consumption, I know there's a big temptation to
sell the stuff.
I've thought about that Eustace. I'm
not selling you a large gin and tonic. Look at this price list
"Large gin and tonic
"Glass for large gin and tonic
. Minimum rental £6.98"
Good heavens that's a spiffing wheeze
Deputy PM. What if I bring my own glass?
Read the small print Eustace. "Free
drinks must be supplied in authorised glasses".
Can I rent the glass for a whole year
Certainly Eustace.. No problem
let me see
fiddling with pocket calculator
be £2,547.70.. No wait a minute
it's a leap year so
it'll be £2,554.68.
Hang on Deputy PM it may be a leap year
but if I rent a glass from today it'll only be 365 days until
this time next year.
All right Eustace £2,547.70 it
is. I can take a credit card if you wish?
It's awfully kind of you Deputy PM but
I really can't afford it.
As you wish Eustace. That'll be £6.98.
A ten-pound note is handed over.
I don't seem to have any change old
Oh just keep the change Deputy PM
Thank's very much Eustace.
Now lads and lasses what can I get you?
Lots of muttering from around the table
and no orders are forthcoming
As you wish. I hope you don't mind if
. filling a half pint glass with scotch
and adding, to no-one in particular,"it's cheaper this way
hire of a half-pint glass is only £2.99"
Sound of running up the stairs and the
PM bursts into the cabinet room, flops into a chair, takes a
flask from his briefcase and pours himself a coffee muttering,
"That's my exercise for the day!"
Righto Deputy PM what about these silly helicopters?
The ones that we bought for umpteen
million pounds and we can't actually use unless it's a nice sunny
day with no clouds PM?
You know very well which ones I mean
Deputy PM. What are we going to do?
My Think Tank came up with the perfect
Go ahead and surprise me..
Well you know how we're always getting
stung on the price of spare parts from those Defence Contractor
Yes Deputy PM. MoD are always complaining
it costs a small fortune for even the smallest spare part for
absolutely anything. We're always getting ripped off and there's
no way we can avoid it!
Well, the Think Tank has come up with
a wizard solution. We just dismantle the 7 latest helicopters
and use the bits for spare parts to keep the older ones going
The ones that actually work and fly through clouds and stuff.
The ones without computers.
At MoD's first estimate they can save simply millions of pounds.
In fact when they went to the RAF base where the 7 have been
delivered they could only find 6 of them and a big heap of bits.
The irks have already started stripping them down!
Right folks, that's solved.. What next?
....By the way Deputy PM?
Yes boss what is it?
What's that chap over there drinking?
That olive on a stick leads me to believe it might be a large
gin and tonic.
Purely medicinal PM.
Oh I suppose that's OK then Deputy PM.
Oh dear I feel a little dizzy.
Shall I get you a large brandy PM. That
generally makes you feel better?
If you insist Deputy PM. I do feel rather
Clinking of bottles
Thank you Deputy PM I don't know what
I'd do without you.
Eyes glaze over
.sorry PM, I meant
don't forget to turn on your TV at ten to nine tonight.
Why is that?
Oh I forget PM
While I'm here Deputy PM... What do
you think of the suggestion that Radio 4 should replace MI5,
as their amateur sleuths seem to be better informed on most matters
than our professionals?
That may be so PM but wouldn't they
be giving the game away every morning when they tell the nation
about all this secret stuff?
No Deputy PM because once they're working
for us we wouldn't let them tell anybody what's going on. Every
morning instead of those awful chappies asking our colleagues
difficult questions we could have some light dance music. That'll
cheer everyone up.
Spiffing idea PM.
Now there's just one more thing. That
business about euro-expenses.
You mean making our eurolads and eurolasses
have to clock in every morning to claim their expenses PM?
That's it Deputy PM. I heard a poor
Scottish chappie on Radio 4 yesterday being grilled about it
and it gave me an idea. It seems we just dole out our expenses
willy-nilly as it were.
Go on PM
Why don't we have the same scheme as
our euro pals? Instead of handing out sackfuls of notes every
month we can ask MPs to pop into the cash office every day to
claim their expenses in person. That way some of the older gents
may forget and the treasury should be quids in.
I don't fancy that PM
having to queue up with a bunch of yahoos to claim my just deserts.
Oh I wouldn't include us cabinet members
Deputy PM. We're really important people and we can't waste our
time queuing up for expenses. Good heavens no. In fact after
a month or so maybe we could re-evaluate what's actually being
claimed and any left over from the pot we could perhaps distribute
among the more deserving of us
if you know what I mean
Wonderful ruse PM. I like it
While we're on the subject of important people could I make a
Certainly Deputy PM
I'm reminded of the time when that conservative
chappie that collected old cars got his pals together one night
in the house and managed to make a law to exempt his old cars
from road tax.
I remember Deputy PM. But I don't fancy
driving to work in an old banger.
what about important peoples'
cars PM. Maybe we should make important peoples cars tax exempt?
. big shiny cars?
You don't happen to be referring to
Jaguars by any chance Deputy PM?
Possibly PM.. I think you may be right.
Jaguars are big shiny cars.
Not too sure about that one Deputy PM.
We can't actually be seen to be lining our own pockets you know.
It's got to be done a bit surreptitiously.
Now if that's all.. I think I'll emulate my Spanish euro-colleagues
and have a siesta
that brandy's made me feel a little woozy.