Chancellor of the Exchequer Ian Risk and Nigel Farage were sat at the kitchen table, having a good go at the bottle of sherry scavenged by Nigel, when they were joined by a jubilant King Boris and slightly compunctious Snetterton. Boris slapped his thigh.
“Bally-ho! There’s something very arousing about thrashing one’s butler, wouldn’t you say chaps?”
Ian and Nigel looked towards Snetterton. He didn’t look very aroused.
“I can’t say I’ve ever thrashed a butler,” said Ian, pouring himself another sherry. “But I tripped over a milkmaid, once.”
“Oh, I’m always tripping over milkmaids,” replied Boris, pulling up a chair. “As luck would have it, I always fall quite neatly on top of them. I am like a bit of toast, jam side down every time. Huzzah!”
Nigel took an urgent slug of sherry, hoping it would dislodge the hideous mental image that had just formed in his mind.
“Anyway,” continued Boris, grabbing the bottle and turning to Ian. “Why are you dressed as a scientist?”
“Hmm?” Ian suddenly became very aware that he was still wearing his lab coat from the Botanical Gardens. “Oh – erm – I’m not. I was… a bit cold. So I put this on.” He thought it best to change the subject swiftly. “Anyway, what were you two doing down here in the kitchen? And why are you wearing very small hats?”
Boris and Nigel were still sporting the Prime Minister’s deerstalker and bowler respectively, looking rather splendid, it had to be said.
“Aha! Well, here’s the thing,” Boris didn’t bother with a glass and took his sherry straight from the bottle. “Your chap Sir Edd said a most perplexing thing. He told us that we should speak to our man Snetterton about Blair getting the bullet through his bonce. Of course, Bozza here being the brainbox that he is, at once thought the crafty old bugger was trying to cause a bit of trouble. Cabinet Secretaries are renown for it, you know. But I thought – aha! There’s something afoot. I’d better stick my nose right into the whole thing and give it a bloody good sniff. So we stole some hats and headed in search of Snetterton. I thought he would naturally revert to his butler ways and gravitate towards the lower quarters, so we came here. We were searching for clues when we happened upon the fornication in the pantry.”
Ian fixed his considerable gaze on the butler, almost invisible in the corner of the room.
“And how can you be so sure that he wasn’t involved?” Ian said slowly.
“Because he was present at the formalisation of the peace treaty, of course!” exclaimed Boris.
Snetterton was fastidiously adjusting his cufflinks and averting his gaze. Ian felt that something was most definitely amiss but he had more pressing matters to attend to. The Prime Minister had clearly been furious about the cannabis factory, but she hadn’t given any hint as to the fate of Trade Minister Simon Daley and his good self. And now there was talk of a press conference of some sort, which was most distressing.
“Well, I wish you all the best with your investigation,” said Ian, rising to his feet. “Although I think you’ll find that Wing Commander Tom has the bull very much by the horns on this one. You must excuse me, gentlemen, as the Prime Minister is preparing a formal address and I rather think I should be there to offer my assistance.”
“Oh! How exciting!” said Boris, his face flushed – although that could be the sherry. “Is it about our historic peace treaty? I do hope it is!”
“Actually, I’m not sure what it’s about,” Ian replied, truthfully. “Could be anything, knowing her. Anyway. That’s exactly why I should be there.”
“You might ask your friend Edd about why he’s pointing the finger at my butler, while you’re at it.”
“I just might do that, Your Highness.”
Ian was unsurprised to find the Prime Minister’s private office in a state of high-pitched chaos. The PM was halfway out of her seat and across her desk, only partly successfully restrained by Wing Commander Tom. Her intended destination appeared to be the throat of Sir Edd, who was glaring back at a safe distance. Minister for Culture, Media & Sport Mick Canning was handing round gin in an effort to calm the situation, while Dr Martens was politely but enthusiastically offering to punch Sir Edd on behalf of the Prime Minister.
“Looks like I got here just in time,” announced Ian, bringing with him at least a modicum of decorum.
“Keep out of this, Chancellor,” hissed Sir Edd.
“I was talking about the gin,” Ian replied, taking the glass so earnestly offered by Mick. “Anyway listen – you and I need to have words.”
Sir Edd snorted.
“Who are you to tell me…”
“It’s about Snetterton.” Ian finished his gin in one. It didn’t sit too well with the sherry, unfortunately.
Sir Edd returned the most withering of looks, but he was rattled.
“I’m telling you, I’m doing this!” squealed Lucy, shrugging off Tom and returning to her seat. “The people deserve to know. I am going to be the first Prime Minister in history to actually tell the truth.”
“Oh, Prime Minister,” wailed Sir Edd, genuinely wounded. “Surely you don’t mean that?”
“I think the Prime Minister is right,” declared Tom. “More than anything, people hate being lied to. The press are going to run the story anyway and I think it prudent and courageous to be open and honest about the Government’s position.”
Sir Edd sighed the weary sigh of one who is resigned to his fate.
“If you insist, Prime Minister. But there is no harm in putting a little polish on proceedings, if you get my meaning? After all, there are many benefits to our endeavours that the press are bound to over-look.”
“You make a very good point, Sir Edd” Lucy calmed down considerably and began searching her desk for a pen.
“All we need to do, Prime Minister, is present matters to the public in a way that shows the benefits to them,” Sir Edd was smiling now, but had one eye on Ian. “The truth is still the truth, even when viewed from different perspectives.”
“Then it’s settled,” said Lucy. She turned to her Minister for Culture, Media & Sport. “Mick, inform the press that I shall be making a formal statement to them right after breakfast tomorrow. This is going to be bloody brilliant.”