Tuesday, October 19, 2021
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Crisis, what crisis? The Prime Minister talks excrement

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IN this, the concluding despatch from the party conference circuit, TCW Defending Freedom’s political correspondent meets the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Boris Johnson, before his eagerly anticipated address.

I have been ushered into a sparsely furnished side room off the main suite that the Prime Minister is using as his base in Manchester. His aides tell me that he is running late, and I might have a short wait. A pot of coffee is brought along with bottled water. Suddenly there is a lot of noise outside and the door bursts open. Mr Johnson breezes in at full throttle, smiling broadly.

PM:

TCW, what a pleasure. I have been looking forward to this all morning.

(He takes my proffered hand and wraps it in both of his. It’s a nice touch and one that I am sure he constantly uses to disarm journalists. Close up, I observe he looks distinctly older than in his pictures. His demeanour, whilst apparently ebullient and cheeky-chappie, has a somewhat careworn patina and his eyes, hitherto shining with schoolboy humour and mischief, are somewhat dulled.)

PM:

So should I prepare myself for a good grilling?

(He laughs easily, knowing it is difficult to be too aggressive with someone so ostensibly cheerful. I parry with a small joke.)

TCW:

Not so much a grilling, rather a good roasting!

PM:

Fire away.

TCW:

Prime Minister, NHS waiting lists running into many millions, a national fuel crisis, potential food shortages, education in chaos, the spectre of rising inflation and unemployment, to what do you attribute your continuing success in the polls?

(He looks genuinely upset at the question and his habitual smile momentarily disappears.)

PM:

Piffle and poppycock. Look, there is no crisis at all. I know you gloomsters love to paint a picture of GB Ltd going to hell in a handcart but that is simply not the case. If there are any problems, I would like to use the phrase that Macmillan used in 1958 when he referred to ‘little local difficulties’. That is where we are currently. Talk of a crisis is wide of the mark.

We have a fantastic team in place and in relation to NHS waiting lists there cannot be a safer pair of hands than ‘Saj the Jav’ [Health Secretary Sajid Javid]. The petrol issue is also under control and our wonderful boys (he makes a mock salute) will have no one running on empty. You won’t go far wrong by reprising the wonderful Arlen and Mercer song Accentuate the Positive. Please, let’s move on.

TCW:

Why have you chosen Manchester as the venue?’

PM:

That’s an easy one – vibrant, inclusive, diverse, the culture, the food, but above all the people.

TCW:

With COP26 around the corner there has been a huge amount of criticism of your green policies. Many eminent and qualified commentators say that they are simply unworkable and that you will drag the country back into the dark ages – literally, for absolutely no reason and with zero impact on CO2 global emissions. Additionally, you will saddle those least able to afford it with astronomical hikes in energy bills, leading to the very real prospect of the ‘heat or eat’ dilemma.

PM:

We cannot simply ignore what is in front of our own eyes. Climate change is real and is impacting on our society in many ways. But this is a country that has a long and proud history of inventors, scientists and builders. Brunel, Stephenson, Newton, Berners-Lee; we have our fair share of similar pioneers right now at our disposal. The government has harnessed the potential of these individuals and I will be announcing two important initiatives in my conference speech that have flowed from these collaborations.

The first will address the issue of people not being warm; entitled ‘Click, Clack, Cosy’, we are building an army of grannies to go into schools and give knitting lessons to all pupils. Can you imagine the millions of jumpers that could be produced for the nation? I am not just thinking of V-necks and crew-necks here, but Aran, cable-knit, Fair Isle, turtle-neck, roll-neck and scoop-neck. Also, cardigans, both sleeved and sleeveless. Warmth aplenty awaits those who need it! No need for those wretched predictive grades either – students’ ability will be all too visible!

(The Prime Minister’s messianic enthusiasm is almost infectious.)

TCW:

But that doesn’t address the thorny issue of how ground-source heat pumps, at an average cost of £10,000 per installation, can be afforded by those on or below the poverty line.

PM:

The Conservative Party is intent on fairness for all. We will not see people go cold in coming winters. Already we have a team of top-notch boffins working on eco-friendly solutions that will enable all of society to benefit from the green revolution. But to answer your question specifically, last week I attended a thrilling presentation of how those on lower incomes could utilise ‘night soil’ to heat their homes. We have developed a bio-burner which has the working title of the ‘incraperator’ which will turn human waste into fuel. This is currently embryonic but holds out huge potential. Harvesting a family of five’s excreta could warm a broom cupboard for three minutes and at the same time power a small kettle – it’s intoxicating stuff!

TCW:

Prime Minister, could you briefly give an overview of your vision for the United Kingdom?

PM:

I am certainly no Euryphaessa but, yes of course I have a vision for this magnificent country of ours. I can say that I want to transform Great Britain, in so far as that it will be unrecognisable to most people in a short space of time. We will build back better and build back greener; nothing short of Utopia for one and all.’

(The Prime Minister’s eyes are pointed at me, but he seems to be elsewhere, almost trance-like. Suddenly he is ‘back in the room’, jumps up and heads to a small cabinet in the corner. He produces a straw boater which has a purple band around its brim with the words ‘Bozza is boss’ picked out in white. He cocks it at a jaunty angle on his head, like the tired music-hall act Archie Rice in The Entertainer. Smiling in an almost demented manner he shouts: ‘Do you like knock-knock jokes?’)

TCW:

As much as the next man.

PM:

Knock-knock.

TCW:

Who’s there?

PM:

Rishi.

TCW:

Rishi who?

PM:

That’s politics! Time’s up, I’m afraid, people to see, speeches to write. See ya later, alligator.

(With that he tosses the boater on to his chair and exits, chuckling loudly to himself.)

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Alexander McKibbin
Alexander McKibbin is a retired media executive who worked across domestic and international media.

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