Implausible Story No20


Totally imaginary meeting at Number 10, Middle of April 2004

Hello lads and lasses don't look so glum.
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 first…

That's jolly decent of you Deputy PM… mine will be a large gin and tonic…

Sound of clinking glasses and a slight glugging..

Here you are Eustace… that'll be £6.98

What's that!… I thought the drinks were gratis old boy

Good heavens… 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 and see….

"Large gin and tonic… FOC"
"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 Deputy PM?

Certainly Eustace.. No problem… let me see…fiddling with pocket calculator…. That'll 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 boy.

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 I partake?…. 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 solution PM.

Go ahead and surprise me..

Well you know how we're always getting stung on the price of spare parts from those Defence Contractor rogues PM?

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 faint.

Clinking of bottles…

Thank you Deputy PM I don't know what I'd do without you.

Eight fifty.


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… you know… 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 Deputy PM?

Wonderful ruse PM. I like it…
While we're on the subject of important people could I make a suggestion?
Certainly Deputy PM… carry on.

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.

Well… what about important peoples' cars PM. Maybe we should make important peoples cars tax exempt? You know…. 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.


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