The new PM

Lord Ashdown made an impressive sight as he swept imperially into the room. His long flowing gown was of black and gold. He carried a long golden staff and wore the long white wig expected of anyone in such a post. This covered his golden hair but did nothing to diminish his powerful, masculine face. Everyone rose.

"Prime Minister," said a lot of sycophants, bowing as he past. He knew that they'd been bowing to Lord Barnet only a few days before.

"The Queen has just announced that I am now the Prime Minister," he said somewhat redundantly as everyone had just been queueing up to say the words "Prime Minister" to him.

He proceeded to give a three-hour speech. Some of the sycophants in waiting had to be woken from their slumbers by a sharp tap on the head from Black Rod's famous stick.

One of the highlights was the unbanning of the Labour Party, a small experimental third party which had drifted into and out of legality during the previous century and which had some far-out notions like increasing the franchise - some Labour members had even suggested votes for women! This move was to be expected, however. Mr. Portillo's marriage to Miss Abbott, one of a tiny group ever to have been a Labour MP, sort of bounced him into the decision. Besides there was an argument that groups like that were safer visible than if they were driven underground.

Next the Prime Minister said that the allowance for Prince Charles would be increased but that to the Queen would be maintained as it "already adequately reflected the work carried out by Her Majesty in respect of her duties."

(Someone's mobile 'phone bleeped and its recipient had the cheek to start checking his messages. Black Rod came along and rapped him over the head.)

The Prime Minister ignored this and carried on. He said that the newscaster who had commented so inappropriately about the Enfield result would be sent to the Tower pending further enquiries.

(Someone farted loudly. The Prime Minister merely nodded briefly to Black Rod, who went over and meted out the usual punishment to the miscreant, before continuing as though nothing had happened.)

The Prime Minister said a lot about how Britain would have to learn to hold her head up high and that this was a new start and all that baloney. These meaningless phrases were repeated so much that hardly anyone was awake (by his design?) when he briefly mumbled something about the Cold War with America costing too much money and maybe the enemy had a few points anyway and wouldn't it be great to sit round a table with them and have some Strategic Arms Limitation talks.

(Lord Cranborough at the back snorted himself awake. "Ay? What?" he said.

Black Rod was on his way over but Lord Ashdown just looked at him and shook his head slightly. Cranborough was saved the beating that one would have expected after such a performance.)

Lord Ashdown went back to talking about historic victories, moments that would live in history, history in the making, a new Britannia, a Britannia who was a lioness amongst nations and so on.

Finally the torture was over and he rose. Everyone else rose, bowed, placed their caps back on their heads and departed from the chamber, the Prime Minister and Black Rod following after them.

However, three of the Noble Lords remained. They were glaring defiantly at their new Master. The usual culprits of course.

"Excuse me, PM," said Lord Redwood, one of a handful of Tory peers who still had a job, "did I hear you correctly when you mentioned SALT talks with the Demmies?"

Lord Ashdown glanced at him, put his hand in his pocket and produced three extremely expensive bottles of champagne. He handed one to each of the would-be rebels and swept out of the room without a word.

"That'll do nicely, PM," called Lord Redwood after him.

"Your health, PM," shouted Lord Owen.

"Two can play at that game, Mr. Portillo," muttered Lord Ashdown under his breath.

Start as you mean to go on, thought Britain's new Prime Minister.

The End

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