The Camera Never Lies

Minister for Good Ideas & Gin Dr Samantha Martens paced the black marble floor of Number Ten’s grand main entrance hall, desperately trying to remember if they had a press office or not. She also wondered, in between the spurts of panic, whether real governments spent quite so much time in a frenzied hysteria, or if it was just them. But she quickly shook it off, telling herself that they were a real government, most definitely, and they were getting better at it. On the whole. They had quite a lot of meetings, anyway.

A chorus of spite seeped through the walls from the throng of rampant journalists gathered on the street outside. They were held at a safe distance by the Militia and watched inconspicuously by a few carefully placed members of Wing Commander Tom’s team, but even so it was quite unnerving. Dr Martens struggled to make out quite what they were on about, but it was something about some photographs. She wasn’t sure what was in the photos and wondered whether she should ask. This is exactly why they needed a press office. She decided to call the Minister for Culture, Media & Sport – Mick Canning. He had ‘media’ in his title so this was bound to be his department. He answered on the third ring.

“Hello!” Mick was in fine spirits. “I’m arguing about cricket with the Oxford top brass. What are you up to?”

“Mick, there’s a load of people from the press outside,” replied Dr Martens “They’re shouting something about photographs.”

“Oh!” there followed a thoughtful silence. Mick continued “What are the photographs of, do you know?”

“No idea, shall I ask them?”

“Yes, I think you should.”

“Right. Hold on.”

Holding her phone to her chest, Dr Martens bounded to the front door and dropped to her knees to look through the letterbox. There were not quite as many journalists as she had expected, but she still didn’t fancy the idea of getting too close to them. She decided that shouting at them from the door was probably the best course of action, so she opened it up just enough to pop her head out. A fresh roar of derision erupted from the street, only to be met by the barking chorus of the Militia issuing orders to stay back. Dr Martens waited for the din to subside as the baying mob realised that they wouldn’t be able to hear her even if she did answer their questions. She cleared her throat.

“What are the photos of?”

There was a mumbling among the mob and some worrying laughter.

“What are the photos of?!” the repeated request was much more assertive, but drew an even less enthusiastic response. She placed her phone to her ear. “They won’t tell me, Mick.”

“That’s a nuisance,” huffed Mick. “We need to now what those photos are, do you really have no idea at all?”

“Well, I suppose they could concern the peace treaty.” Dr Martens replied. “Or Tony Blair.”

“I have an idea,” announced Mick “Ask them if the photos contain nudity, that way if they say no, then we know it’s Blair. If they say yes, well, some kind of scandal was bound to emerge sooner or later and you know how the public love a good romp. And these things soon blow over.”

“You’re right. I hope it’s that rather than Blair.” Dr Martens took a steadying breath. “Right. I’ll ask them.”

Seeing her place her phone back to her chest, her audience settled once again and all heads turned towards Dr Martens.

“Do the photos contain any nudity?” she yelled at a volume that was quite indecent considering the context.

The unanimous eye-widening suggested to Dr Martens that the nudity was a far more interesting prospect for these seasoned hacks. She was about to report back to Mick when she noticed a woman in a bright red coat and thick glasses saying something to one of the Militia. It looks like she is trying to pass him her phone. Dr Martens watched as the two of them exchanged a few words, before he turned and broke rank to approach the front door. The Militiaman marched towards her, phone proffered before him.

“Minister, these are the photo’s they’re talking about.”

Dr Martens took the phone in her free hand and scrolled left and right in disbelief. A muffled spate of cursing rumbled from her chest and she put her own phone back to her ear to speak to Mick.

“What is it, then?” he snapped “Blair or bonking?”

Mick’s words evaporated into the air as Dr Martens squinted at the screen before her, struggling to believe her own eyes.

“Well.” She said, eventually. “I wasn’t expecting that.”

123 thoughts on “The Camera Never Lies

  1. Ok, so I’m probably not allowed, both by WordPress code of conduct and the law, to say of what I think those photos are…so I’ll just put, oh you tease!!! Great scene though, shouting questions at the press, why don’t our politicians do that? It would buy them so much time!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah the mystery photos. Don’t worry, all shall be revealed soon enough. Well, lots of things get revealed around these parts but there is a possibility that it might not involve nudity this time. The shouting at the press tactic should be a government policy!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nudity or murder – this was supposed to be a gentle whodunnit with a political twist, but it’s turning into a bad B-movie plot which relies mainly on soft porn and fart gags. My attempt to become a golden age mystery writer is failing miserably.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Really? I am sure that cannot be true. Did Agatha Christie sell ad space for Razzle when she first started out? Haha – ‘go legit’. Love it. That sounds like something to aim towards for retirement; ‘Just one more ridiculous filth-ridden novel, then I’ll go straight, I promise…’

        Liked by 2 people

      1. exactly! Straightforward and to the point!
        there is nothing wrong with a little noise and mess, and i find, the direct shouting approach either makes people tell you things they didn’t mean to or shut up and go away…which removes the problem any way 😀

        Liked by 2 people

      2. It is a highly evolved form of diplomacy, I reckon. And, when you think about it, considering everything that’s gone on and this is the first time the press show up – we’re doing pretty well. And our economy is based on gin. Yay us! 😀

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Yay us!! I think more diplomacy should involve straightforward talking…like Cmmdr Vimes in Ankh Morpork

        I think we are doing fantastically well..
        although I don’t know what is in the photos…even though the other me does…which is a confusing state of affairs!

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Vimes is my hero!! He is partly why I joined the police!!
        Aha well now I shall slip in a clue – the photos concern the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He was late for Wing Commander Tom’s meeting in the Cabinet office recently and there was something unusual about him. And that is all I shall say for now 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      5. He is a very fine hero…although I suspect he would argue that he wasn’t!! 😀

        oooh heheh 😀 was he wearing black trousers and a boring jacket? that would be fairly scandalous 😉

        Liked by 2 people

      6. I suspect you are right! 😀
        The Chancellor would rather die than wear such things, I am sure. I know this seems like a bad Carry On film but there is sort of a plot. Not that it matters, the Oxford lot will be nude again soon, no doubt 😉

        Liked by 2 people

      7. I am sure you are right…so it’s not…
        a…business suit!!??

        I have every confidence in there being a plot… 😀
        In any case, it all seems like a fairly plausible story about you, me and some other people getting up to shenanigans and running the country… so it is all good!
        I have no doubt the Oxford lot will disrobe at the earliest opportunity… you cant trust them to remain clothed long enough even to update their dictionary!

        Liked by 2 people

      8. *whispers* his collar was damp and his shoes were wet!
        Considering what is actually going on in the world it all seems more plausible by the minute! And it’s bloody good fun, after all. Stand by for further info on the Christmas special, it’s a bit ambitious and not sure I can pull it off yet… but there is a far less impressive back up plan if people still want to do it 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s what I thought. The Oxford cricket team were already a one bottle problem, I’ll have you know. And if the photos are what I think they are, they’ve been Photoshopped. I never met the woman before.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Damn. The bonking pix might have been interesting.
    I think dear Samantha needs a large swift pick-me-up after such a traumatic episode. After all, what is the point of being in charge of good ideas and gin if one doesn’t consume as much as gin as possible.
    *looks at time, considers a pre-lunchtime drink of same is in order*

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I kept scrutinising the page for a ‘read more’ button I’d missed (seeing as good old wordpress seems to have had a shift around again). But no! You can’t leave me hanging like that, I need to know what they are!! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Methinks that those who don’t read the comments are missing half the fun (not to mention a few clues sprinkled here and there).
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The comments section is always the best bit 😉 I have realised that the clues are easy to miss in this format, so before the big reveal at the end I shall make a PDF of the entire thing available for those who want to try and solve it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That sounds like fun, tho’ a lot of additional admin for you. Think carefully before you do this — you could be tethered to email back and forth for years if you don’t set it up carefully. (Maybe just leak a couple of clues a post for a while and let people guess as you go.)


        Liked by 1 person

      1. It is the singular biggest loss to western culture… ever. I think that I shall move to a flat in Hammersmith with someone called Eddie and live out the rest of my days as a tribute to quite probably the finest comedy ever conceived.


      2. You make a good point. I think we should wait until after he is dead, then tell him. In the meantime, we can fight each other on that bench in Hammersmith near the roundabout.


      1. She was certainly the best Marple and no mistake. I always liked Poirot best, but I am always delighted to catch a Marple repeat. I have recently discovered a wonderful program with Peter Davidson called Campion. Marvellous stuff, I tell you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well, it is certainly quirky, I’ll give it that! It can be quite hard to follow at times (or it could be me being thick) but I’ve got hooked on it now. Possibly because the main character is strikingly similar in both appearance and manner to real-life Wing Commander Tom. I say give it a try!

        Liked by 1 person

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