Implausible story no.15


Another Imaginary Cabinet Meeting at Number 10; early October 2003

Usual sound of running up the stairs, the door flies open, and the PM bursts into the cabinet room.

Good god deputy PM where's that music coming from?

It's not really music PM it's supposed to be musak, just a nice soothing noise.

It sounds like fiddles playing.

It's supposed to make you feel calm PM.

I don't want to feel calm.

We're under orders from your better half PM.

What! And why has the table been moved and where's my chair deputy PM?

We've had a re-arrangement PM.

Why on earth have you done that?

It's so we could get this nice new reclining armchair in place PM.


Here, PM sit down and try it out while I fetch your tea.


Yes PM no more coffee I'm afraid.

Do you mean some of the irks haven't coughed up their 50p subs again deputy PM.
I can assure you I didn't pretend to slip a coin in and just shake the tin like some people I could mention!

No it's not that PM. We still have the coffee fund tin for the rest of us but we're under orders to serve you tea from now on PM.

That's just not acceptable Deputy PM!

I thought you'd say that PM so we had a vote and agreed you need only slip in 40p if that helps.

I didn't mean that... Oh just forget it and pass me the tea and why is there nobody else here Deputy PM, it's past 9 o'clock?
Has everyone got flu or something?

No it's not like that PM.

You know how everyone is always bickering and arguing about the Euro and the NHS and stuff?

I suppose so Deputy PM.

Well I thought that you'd feel less stressed if we just had a little meeting between the two of us in future. The cabinet already met earlier and I made some notes for you.

I'm not sure I like this Deputy PM.

I could get some PG Tips PM if you'd prefer.

I don't mean the tea!

Oh, sorry PM, try pulling on this lever and lean back slightly.

I don't mean the recliner Deputy PM!
I mean I like to shout at people in private and I can't just shout at you. You never listen!

You could read the notes I made PM and I could write replies to people with a note in the margin that you shouted PM.

No that's not good enough Deputy PM. I like to see people actually sort of cringe. I have to keep smiling in public and it's not the same. The only chance I get to shout and make faces is here in private.
I'm getting all stressed Deputy PM just thinking about everything.

Just lie back PM and listen to the nice violins.

If you insist Deputy PM, it is rather nice in front of the fire.
By the way Deputy PM I don't ever remember seeing a coal fire here before. Has the central heating broken down?

No PM a coal fire is supposed to be soothing if you just relax and look at the hot coals.

What shall we talk about now I'm here?

We've had a lot of moans from the rank and file members.

Why's that?

It seems that because most of them have flats on the outskirts of the City PM, and they have to get the train to come into work. They're all complaining because they have to stand all the way.

Why can't they use their cars?

It's this special car tax PM that your mate Ken has imposed.

He's not my mate Deputy PM!

Anyway PM. It seems that lots and lots of people aren't using their cars any more to come in. They're travelling by train instead.
There just aren't enough seats now and if you get on after Bournemouth you have to stand.

Why don't the rail people get more trains?

They did PM. You remember. They bought loads of new trains at enormous expense from a German train firm but when they tried the first one it just made a loud humming noise and lots of smoke came out from underneath.

Don't remind me deputy PM. They were made for German tracks and they're a different voltage.
I hope the chap in charge, ho ho ho.. do you like that pun Deputy PM, got his marching orders.

Not up to your usual standard PM, but yes he did and he retired to the Costa del Sol with the seven figure settlement he gave himself.

I say Deputy PM do you think we could arrange something like that?

Possibly PM… possibly.

Pour me another cup of tea and let me lie back and try out this new chair in front of the fire for a bit before I have to show up in the house and smile at everyone.

Deputy PM

Yes boss?

What's that sticking out of the ceiling?

That's very observant of you to notice that PM

I didn't ask for a comment on my eyesight Deputy PM, I asked what it is.

Well PM you remember the other day when the power went off and it went dark and lots of people had to walk home?

Yes but what's that got to do with that thing sticking out of the ceiling?

It's a fitting for our new gas lamp PM.

Don't tell me we're getting gas lighting Deputy PM.........


Deputy PM!

Yes boss?

I didn't mean that literally, tell me why we're getting gas lamps!

It's all to do with under investment boss. The choice for the privatised electric companies is either short-term profit and cash for the shareholders or long-term reliable electricity. They say they can't manage both with all the rules we're making.
I have it on the best authority that the power cuts are going to get more and more frequent and I thought it prudent PM to get gas installed… or at least re-installed as I believe all the pipes are still there under the wallpaper.
Once the news gets out there'll be a big rush to have gas installed and I thought we'd get our order in first… just in case.

Will we have to get a gas powered door bell Deputy PM?

No boss, it has a battery.

Oh by the way Deputy PM, there's another thing as well.
I nearly forgot.
As I came in earlier I noticed a bicycle rack outside the front door. Can you explain that?

Oh yes PM I was going to mention that. Remember last week when two tube
trains fell off the rails?

Indeed I do Deputy PM but why the bike rack?

I've heard that those two trains were just the beginning PM. There's going to be a lot more problems with the tubes. It's all to do with saving money on maintenance. I heard that one of the chaps re-laying rails was using a piece of string to measure the width between the tracks because he hadn't been supplied with a ruler or whatever it is they're supposed to use. Because some of the rails are too far apart the trains will fall off if they're going too slowly.

All very interesting Deputy PM, but why the bike rack outside my front door?

I thought it would be a good idea for those lads and lasses that usually visit you by tube PM. If they want to make sure they're not late for a meeting they should come by bicycle and according to the Health and Safety Regulations we have to have a proper bicycle rack in case somebody trips over them.

Say no more Deputy PM I feel a little weak. Just let me relax in my new recliner and gaze at our new coal fire and listen to those nice violins…


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