Implausible Story No24


Cabinet Meeting, May 2005

Good morning folks, make yourselves comfortable before the boss arrives. I see there's lots of new faces here today so first off I'll just mention the magic words "coffee fund" and pass the tin round. Those of you who are familiar with the tin may notice the slot in the top is now smaller and I'd just like to say that it's a lot fatter than a penny and I don't want to see any pennies when I count the contents later.

Can I ask if anyone knows anything about spoiling that Radio 4 chap's election vote?

Asking for a postal vote in his name was a stroke of genius, as he didn't find out till he turned up at his local polling station. You don't have to actually own up, just slip a note in the coffee tin and I'll see the PM organises something at the next round of awards.
It's a pity we can't let him know it was one of us but he deserves all he got the way he goes on at us with these whingeing questions of his every morning.

Actually it's a spiffing way of dealing with marginal seats. Just work out who's going to vote for Conservative and apply for a postal vote for them. Do it at the last moment. Hardly anyone opens those brown envelopes so there's a good chance most will just turn up on the day and get turned away.

The first thing I'd like to raise for the agenda this morning is football. You're presumably aware what happened to baseball in the US aren't you?

Puzzled noises and mumbling from round the table......

Well for those of you that don't follow the game, I'll tell you. Pots and pots of money went into the game and players began to earn really silly amounts for their wages and as you know money attracts money so in the end it wasn't players that were bought and sold it was whole teams. When a new owner decided it was too far to travel to see his new team he just moved the whole team to his own town.

Well a little bird has told me the same thing's going to happen here in respect of football. Basically most managers are fed up with their local planners. The clubs want to build new grounds so they can get more gate money and the local planners are bleating about green belts and the local residents are moaning about the environment so they're stuck with their little grounds stuck in the middle of towns.

They can't crank up the prices of seats indefinitely so they want a lot more seats. I heard the other day that the manager of a big Northern team has been writing to out-of-area town councils to see if they'd be willing to let him build a huge football stadium in return for an allocation of free life-time season tickets for "charitable purposes" amongst other things.

What "charitable purposes" Deputy PM?

Without putting too fine a point on it. Palm greasing you irk David.

Anyway, back to what I was saying. In London it's impossible for football teams to find bigger grounds and I heard that a certain manager is going to move the whole team out of London. He's already taken the first step, which by the way is supposed to be hush hush so don't go blatting about it to all and sundry.

What's that Deputy PM? What's this first step?

Well Eustace old chap, quite simple really. If I asked you, "Who won't like moving away from the home ground" what would you say?

No idea Deputy PM. Who?

Someone that doesn't come from London Eustace.

You mean someone from Accrington or somewhere similar in the wastelands north of Watford?

Quite Eustace, but not necessarily from up there. Even further than Partick Thistle.

Where Deputy PM?

If I was to mention Byelorussia… would that mean anything to you?

Is that near Bolton Deputy PM? My geography isn't too hot. I came from a London Comprehensive school where the three "Rs" meant things more esoteric like Comparative Religion, Responsible Parenting and Gay Rights.

Look Eustace I can't go on all day about this. Putting it bluntly… Chelsea Football Club is moving to Kiev, which isn't anywhere near Bolton or Bradford come to that; it's in the Ukraine near where the team's owner lives. Quite logical really. He can spend more time with his family.

Isn't that miles and miles away deputy PM? What about the team's fixtures and fans?

No problem Eustace. With all these flights for £5 each way they'll actually save loads of money on travelling.

That's amazing Deputy PM. Is that the only team that's moving?

Not exactly Eustace. I have it on good authority that a certain team in Manchester are moving to the USA. As I said before it's already very common for American baseball teams to up stakes and move across the US and it's only a logical extension for other sports to follow suit. The new owner of that particular team couldn't buy a decent team locally so he came over here and effectively paid peanuts for them.

Won't all the players object to moving to the USA Deputy PM?

Of course not Eustace. They'll all get pots and pots of money and anyone that doesn't want to go will just get sold and that'll fill the new owner's pockets with cash.

The Government's official stand is still being worked out by the spin doctors but it'll have the usual combination of words in an official statement to be published in the Bradford Hindi Weekly after we've knocked off for the summer recess.... "We have no plans", "We're putting an extra 2.4 billion onto the NHS", "WMDs" and quicker getting to the new venue than local transport in 65% of towns over the period 1823 to 1876".. Someone will cover that last point by saying it was a "Printing mistake in Hansard"... like your goodself Madam Minister". By the way... that was a jolly good wheeze saying that and stopping that BBC Radio 4 wally in his tracks... excellent.

Well now you're all in the picture and it looks as if the PM isn't going to turn up, so I'll just give some really exciting news.

What's that Deputy PM? When you refer to "exciting" it usually means we're getting a rise.

Not exactly David. An extra two weeks summer holiday. So that you can all go on holiday with your kids we're making the parliamentary session line up exactly with school holidays. Of course school holidays are all higgledy piggledy but our Welfare Department Think Tank worked out that by adding an extra week onto the start and end of our summer break everyone will get a holiday equal or better to their kids'.

Great Deputy PM. I'll be able to take Rover on extra walks. What do you think of that Rover?

Woof woof.

Righto everyone now clear off and let me get some work done. Lots of plotting and scheming to do over the next four years..

Before we pop off Deputy PM can I just raise a question put to me by one of my constituents regarding shortage of housing in London?

If you must Eustace, although why on earth you put yourself in the position to be asked a question I don't know?

The chap asked me if I was a public servant and I thought for a minute and said yes.

Go on Eustace.. but you know you should never ever ever answer a question with an actual answer. That could land you in loads of trouble..

He said that he was a member of the public, and I was his servant, and as servants always live in servants' quarters would I mind moving out of my suite of offices and let him and his wife and kids move in. He said I could have the broom cupboard.

Sort it out yourself Eustace but if I were you I'd ask him if he'd like a job with Chesea Football Club with free tickets to see all the games but I'd make sure he signs something first!


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