What Tony Would Have Wanted

There was a degree of irony in the fact that the emergency Cabinet meeting called by the Prime Minister was very much like the wake of somebody no one really liked. Half the Cabinet didn’t even know why they were there, as details of Blair’s demise had not been widely advertised among the party guests. This meant that Foreign Secretary Harry Cobeans continued to plough through his repertoire of increasingly unsavoury sea-shanties to a somewhat mixed response. He was halfway through a rousing ditty about a fishmonger’s daughter, when Wing Commander Tom decided that he could stand no more and called the room to order.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” began Tom, once a degree of calm had descended. “Tonight, we face the first real crisis we have seen as a Government.”

“Hang on, we’ve nearly been to war with Oxford,” pointed out Home Secretary Vicky Kirby. “I’d say that was a bit of a crisis.”

“And when we thought Nigel’s suitcase was a bomb,” added Health Minister Haylee DeHavilland. 

“Now, now – that wasn’t a proper crisis,” Lucy interrupted. “The Foreign Secretary didn’t come back, remember? If it isn’t serious enough to warrant his return then it doesn’t count as a crisis.”

Harry raised his glass to the Prime Minister, while Boris, King of Oxford and Nigel Farage looked incredibly pleased with themselves. They had no idea they had caused so much trouble.

The debate ended abruptly at the smack of flesh on wood as Wing Commander Tom brought his fist sharply down on the table.

“Well, however many crises we’ve had, we’ve got another one.” Tom paused, checking he had the full attention of the room before continuing into a concise but conservative account of the evening’s events. He gave the stunned assembled Cabinet a moment to digest this unpalatable revelation. It wasn’t going to sit well on home made gin and sausages, that’s for sure.

“What we really need to know now,” said Lucy “Is who’s responsible.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer Ian Risk raised an arm.

“I’m fairly responsible,”

Mumbles towards the affirmative swept around the table.

“No, I mean who’s responsible for the murder,” sighed Lucy. “And also – who is responsible for dealing with the murder.” She turned to her Minister for Unlikely Events, Hugh Roberts.

Hugh was a practical and straightforward sort of a chap, but he really wasn’t happy being Minister of Unlikely Events. The way Hugh saw it, a far more accurate title would be Professional Scapegoat. But since he had taken the role he realised there was something of a loophole in his job description.

“But, Prime Minister, I am responsible for unlikely events,” Hugh stretched his palms wide and offered Lucy his most earnest expression.

“You don’t think this is unlikely?” she replied, narrowing just one eye.

“Oh, no” Hugh exclaimed. “I mean, you leave Tony Blair in one place long enough, someone is bound to shoot him, aren’t they? Far from being an unlikely event, I would say that this was the most likely thing that was ever likely to happen!”

The ragged scrap that remained of Wing Commander Tom’s patience hung by a thread.

“Will you all just be quiet?” Tom was almost pleading. “I have everything in hand. My chaps have the entire building in lockdown. The body has been removed to the basement for further examination and I intend to personally question everyone as to their movements this evening…”

“Hang on a minute there, old bean,” King Boris interrupted. “I hope you aren’t thinking of including our bods in all of this jiggery-pokery, you know, because that could be very bad for diplomatic relations!”

“That’s right!” agreed Nigel, nodding furiously. “You can’t be suggesting that we had anything to do with this. It’s a bloody cheek, is what it is.”

“Well, you would say that,” snapped Tom.

“Look, look -“ Lucy cut in, keen to avoid any further murders that evening. “Look. It’s very late. Too late to be questioning anybody. Now, there’s still plenty of crisps left and I was just about to set up the karaoke machine. This is supposed to be an Epic State Occasion, after all. It’s what Tony would have wanted. Let’s make the most of it and reconvene here first thing tomorrow and get properly on with things. Actually, not first thing. Let’s aim for closer to noon.”

43 thoughts on “What Tony Would Have Wanted

  1. This cabinet of yours is a classic bit of good satire. Another wonderful concept The Minster of Unlikely Events! And his explanation as to why the shooting wasn’t unlikely so not his remit- very funny.
    (And not many miles from reality. Back in pre-computer days I inherited a file for review; inside was a full page of A4 written by my predecessor explaining why he considered he didn’t have to deal with this – I deal with it, I think it took less time to do than took to read his explanation)
    Keep up the good work, looking forward to Tom’s investigation.


    1. Your kind words mean a lot as you are certainly a chap who knows his satire so I am very chuffed. Even when I was a low-level civil servant in what was the Benefits Agency, the buck-passing was absurd, so I can only imagine it gets more imaginative the higher up you go. I am finding this whole thing a very pleasing sideline while I get on with the more stringent business of book-writing. I am looking forward to the investigation too, although I’m not sure Tom is quite so enthusiastic.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah you too spent time in Mordor! That was my final jaunt prior to retirement.
        Who Shot Tony Blair? would make a fine volume in itself; just saying.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It was my first ‘proper’ job, I joined when I was 18. Only did a couple of years before moving on but it was a useful experience! I will give consideration to the possible future of WSTB? as it is quite good fun.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ah wise move, you left after two years! 👍
        If WSTB is fun for you, then you’re half-way there! I thought it must have been fun, because there’s so much cheerful mischief in those words.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. As the Minister of Unlikely Events, can I please have first turn on the Karaoke machine? When I was stretching my palms I was showing you they were not covered in remains of those sausages. And that really was tomato ketchup on the cuffs of my newly pressed crisp white shirt. 😧

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those sausages… hmmm… well, okay then Hugh – you might as well make yourself useful if you haven’t got anything unlikely to be dealing with. But you must tell me – what song are you going to sing?!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha! I thought perhaps he might have sung a ditty by his old mates Oasis – he had them round whilst he was PM. Perhaps, ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ ? Wishful thinking on his part 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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