The Negotiator

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London, centre of the known, and unknown, universe.

A shambling dishevelled hairy figure is hunched on a comfy leather chesterfield under a class photograph of haughty late-teen public school bools-in-their mooth future grandees oozing entitlement, brushes off the crumbs from a speciality jam scone, and adjusts the wrinkles in his suit jacket. As if fighting with an inner demon he finally makes a decision in his mind and lifts the telephone.

Boris Johnson: “Prime Minister, Boris here. How the devil are you?”

Theresa May : “Ah, Foreign Secretary, lovely to hear from you. When was the last time I saw you? Was it this morning? If it was, and today was yesterday, I’d cancel it.”

Boris Johnson: (Laughing like a drain) “Haw haw haw Theresa, that’s a good one. Marvellously witty. We’ll have to use that one on that awful Corbyn chap. No class that fellow, smells of carbolic soap.”

Theresa May: “ Yes, quite. Get to it fatty, I’m a busy woman. What do you want?”

Boris Johnson: “Well it’s like this. I received an interesting conference call yesterday which could get us out of all of these blasted problems that keep coming up that are associated with our heroic and glorious decision to herald our proud renaissance of the empire and hit those euro Johnnies for six.”

Theresa May: “I see fat chap. How intriguing. Tell me more?”

Boris Johnson: “ The call was from two eminent Scotch business chappies, a Mr Paterson and a Mr Drummond, who tell me that they represent a rich foreign government which has made it known quietly that they wouldn’t mind negotiating a brand spanking new trade deal with us once we’re free of garlic and schnitzels. I haven’t heard of either of these chaps before but they assure me that they were mentioned in an article in last week’s ‘ Tatler’, so they must be jolly well pukka.

A one-off partnership they said, which will make us all rich beyond our very imagination. We’ll have exclusive trading rights and be so flush that we’ll be able to build dozens of aircraft carriers (and this time some planes to put on them) reduce our national debt to only 1.7 trillion pounds, and finally get the real crown jewels out of the pawn shop. It’ll be whizz bang smashing! Rule Britannia PM (smugly bowing to the phone). Saint Margaret of Finchley would be so proud of us.

There’s only one slight catch. We have to commit to a fairly hefty initial investment. But then we’re quids in.”

Theresa May: “Sounds good Boris. I think savings from austerity measures, the benefit cuts we’ve planned, and the NHS slush fund should cover that investment ok. Start the negotiations will you? That’ll show that Sturgeon woman that her tales of doom and gloom about Brexit are just fabricated rubbish. Their always spouting Project Fear at us, those negative Scotch. I do so love Michael Forsyth though, such a pretty smile.

By the way, where is this place you are talking about? What’s it called?”

Boris Johnson: (Squinting at a map)” It’s near the Gulf of Panama Prime Minister, a little place called Darien.”

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