Brexit Warrior. In an alternative reality the Cabinet intends to at least complete the Agenda set out previously…
Last month’s prompt saw half a cabinet meeting of the U.K. government addressing two Agenda points; Covid and Brexit.
After much discussion Covid was deferred to a future meeting. Brexit wasn’t covered so in an effort to at least complete this particular moot it appears here in full. At least according to the Watcher of Proceedings who, to be fair, was battling with a time piece rendering full concentration impractical.
I do stress this is an alternative reality where things are being mishandled rather professionally. After all, could you make this up?
Names used are entirely coincidental, no attempt to conform to their namesakes character traits has been attempted. Cult fiction, band or musical references are nothing to do with me!
Other than that inspiration came from this months BlogBattle prompt, “REVOLUTION.”
My question for any readers who find this historically intriguing… To run this into April’s camp NaNo as a novella or not?
Cabinet Meeting December 30th ctd.
Chaired by Prime Minister Joris Bohnson.
Sushi Runak Chancellor of the Exchequer
Hatt Mancock Health Secretary
Wavin Gilliamson Education Secretary
Bominic Daab Foreign Secretary
Ritap Latep Home Secretary
Wen Ballace Secretary of State for Defence
Dr Cherese Toffey Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
Bobart Ruckland Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice.
Macob Jees Rogg Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons.
The Watcher of Proceedings looked at his watch. A curious thing bought from a pawn broker some years back while on a sabbatical touring Europe. It reminded him of a tv series. In particular an episode called ‘The Family of Blood’ that featured a remarkably similar time piece. More precisely it was a chameleon arch pocket watch. It even had mystical Gallifreyan runes on the obverse. Often it spoke to him. On this occasion it wasn’t liking Brexit very much. It was in England, spares resided across the Channel.
“So,” began Joris, “with the matter of schools on course for normal function, Covid awaiting scientific input from the Dr…” he shuffled his notes again wondering why the name continuously escaped him.
“Dr Who?” Wavin this time, and more because he couldn’t help it. Mass hysteria and all that.
Ballace shook his head. “Now, now Wavin, we don’t need more deja vu. Once was quite enough.” He considered the perception field wasn’t working quite right.
They locked eyes. “You make a fair point Defence Minister. I shall speak no more on this subject.” Was that a nod and a wink?
“Agenda point two Prime Minister, time waits for no-one.” The booming voice of the Watcher filled the chamber.
“Quite,” said Joris, “Brexit. I can tell you all now an accord has been reached and comes into effect this very day as a binding agreement, pending various tweaks over the next few years.”
“Bravo Prime Minister,” Rogg was ecstatic. “Finally we are in control of our borders and laws. Make Britain Great again.”
“I fear that spin has been used by the US overlord,” Dr Toffey was feeling in need of some mindfulness.
“No,” said Rogg, “there’s a significant restructuring of the format.”
“There are but four words Rogg. One of them won’t go down well with the electorate.” Wavin was speaking with some restraint.
“You think we should change “Make?”
“Obviously,” replied the Education Secretary in full awareness Rogg and sarcasm were a poor match.
“I gather the prudent stock piling by supermarkets should carry us through the teething troubles because the population in general can’t fill forms in properly.” Ritap gave Wavin a hard stare. Not that that was anything sinister because everyone got the same look so, in general, missed what lay behind it. This time there was and it was education, in particular literacy and, in many cases, numeracy. Pointless degrees in Politics excluded.
“It’s not like there hasn’t been sufficient time for businesses to grasp the debacle thrust upon them by that oaf Figel Narage and…” Ballace almost sank his own battleship. Mentioning Joris alongside the separatist might have been a significant depth charge.
“Your views upon the referendum are not unnoticed Wen,” said Joris. “However collective responsibility holds us to the outcome as a united front yes?”
“Obviously Prime Minister.” The Defence Secretary’s eyes belied a deeper unmentionable thought. Shaken yes, but not stirred. There was another organisation under his charge that even Pladimir Vutin would be proud of. It could be time to refuel the Aston Martin. “However, it might be prudent to mention the electorate might notice when deliveries turn up with customs and excise invoices. Not to mention fresh produce such as,” he paused for effect, “fish from Scotland.”
“Or vet bills to authentic dairy produce to enable export.” Dr Toffey sensed a roll.
“What about the service industry and the financial capital of Londinium?” Wavin was also less impressed by leaving. It had struck him much earlier getting a visa to spend future none pandemic winters in southern Spain was going make life trickier.
“Now, now,” said Jorrice, “What’s done is done. There is great potential to make a success of this. Besides nobody wants fish right now as hospitality throughout the continent is suffering loss of trade. And that, my friends, has bog all to do with recent negotiations.”
“I’m not so sure Sicola Nurgeon will agree.”
“Alas that might hold more sway if she agreed on anything.” Sushi Runak was fed up with piscatorial references. It had been the bane of his childhood as soon as his peer group discovered raw fish was a Japanese delicacy. Puffer they used to call him. He never quite got that.
“Yes she does,” Raab found his voice, “she agrees you will continue paying for everything while Ballace here keeps the military overseeing national security and the NHS keeps jabbing them.”
Runak flared. Raab knew this was something that riled him. “I think agreement there is to disagree Foreign Secretary. In particular her desire to export thistles. At least Dark Mrayford can procure us with daffodils in a reciprocal deal for fresh roses.”
“We could contract builder to tidy up the wall,” ventured Rogg.
“Are you video conferencing with the Blimp?” ventured Ruckland. “That would be highly irregular.”
“I hear the Blimp of the godlike specimen Drump is destined for the Museum of London,” said Dr Toffey.
“Can’t have followed his bleach advice then,” said Ballace.
“Why’s that?” Wavin was biting.
“Kills all known germs dead apparently.”
Behind masks smirks were passing round the table.
“I’d only countenance repairs and advancement upon Hadrian’s Wall if the Scots paid for it,” said Joris.
“I might second that Prime Minister,” Sushi was enthusing quietly, “with their new currency there is the chance we might get a profitable exchange rate.”
“Not to mention savings on pointless campaigning up there,” said Dr Toffey.
“Point of Order,” the Watcher of Proceedings turned his pocket watch over subconsciously. It felt warm in his hand. For some reason he kept thinking of bad wolves. “The United Kingdom is still just that. This meeting is to serve judgement on the agenda and the Agenda alone.”
Joris coughed into his fist. A gesture of embarrassment that resulted in his two nearest politicians increasing their seating positions to three metres away from the potential Covid risk. Once bitten twice shy type of thing. “My apologies Watcher, matters are highly contentious and opinions ranging.” He glared at Runak who had now added a face shield to his germ defence strategies. “It seems we are exhausting euphoria at European outcomes. I can further announce free trade agreements are ready to sign with various countries once formal ratification has occurred in the House of Commons and by the European equivalent.”
“You are certain it will get passed Prime Minister?” Ballace was edging on sceptical. Sith Karma was well known to be ineffective Opposition. Something else nagged him. Dark Mrayford of the Welsh. Always there are two, but which is the master and which the apprentice?
“I have it on good authority the party opposite will declare this acceptable yes.”
“Only because it’s now a binary choice. Either this trade deal or none at all.”
“Exactly,” Joris allowed himself to sit back feeling smug. “Political modelling concluded rejection of the trade agreement by either the European Community or U.K. was a significant risk some time ago, August in fact. It was felt wise to wind things up back then and string them out to the last minute on the pretence of unsurmountable difficulties. Force the ayes to the right as it were. Fishing was the obvious call.”
“Only because we sold 80% of our quota years ago and they are miffed we want it all back for free,” muttered Sushi.
“You mislead the House? exclaimed Buckland for no other reason than him being Secretary for Justice.
“Not entirely, the differences are still insurmountable but neither side felt the need to scupper things further.”
“But you’ve been in talks for weeks. Do you not feel obligated to let us in on what exactly you’ve been doing?” Buckland was fidgeting now.
Numeracy was not alien to Runak. It struck him conference tabs to the Treasury were divisible by large pizzas. “Eat in to help out?” he suggested.
“Spot on Sushi. One must show enthusiasm toward our new neighbours and good friends.”
“Have they not been neighbours ever since the land bridge flooded?”Ballace realised he was speaking aloud. “I mean, they aren’t exactly new friends now are they. It’s not like we’ve moved out and relocated half way round the globe.”
“We have moved out though,” said Rogg.
“Words on paper,” said Dr Toffey.
“Long live the Revolution,” added Wavin.
Ballace chuckled internally. He found this much easier behind a mask. Maybe wearing them might catch on even if the pandemic ever blew itself out. Let’s face it, why wouldn’t you? All those ill people in general practice surgeries waiting their turn. You come out with more disease than when you went in. Ludicrous. Besides he’d not had so much as a sniffle since covering up. Joris aside, but that was when some think tank decided there was a lack of scientific evidence justifying them. Amazing what trolls the mind during self isolation. Coups for example.
The Watcher of Proceedings was having his own personal battle. The watch was refusing to let go of his hand. Logic suggested this was most unusual. Gravity should do the job, given his palm was open and facing downwards. There was a god awful screeching noise in his head too. A sort of vworp vworping. Possibly the onset of a migraine induced by overseeing a cabinet meeting whose minutes would likely not include anything actually said. That was the domain of “leeks from Wales.” Terrible code word for drip feeding the media of cabinet debacles. He needed air.
“Tempus fugit Prime Minister,” he would have boomed this, but for the voices now filling his mind. Or maybe he did and they were overriding it. Either way he needed to extricate the time piece from his hand.
“Hear, hear, Watcher, said Joris. “Carpe diem and all that. Since we are now agreed Brexit is a success I suggest we move on.”
Sums it up, thought Wavin, make the most of the moment with little regard to the future. Not only did collective agreement mean he had to declare schools open, now he had to big up Brexit too.
Both Ballace and Dr Toffey were not too disparate in their own summaries. Unlike Rogg whose grin was such that it elongated beyond the confines of his face mask. No mean feat in itself and worthy of Gotham City villainy.
“Any other business?” Joris was optimistic this would be a residing ‘No.’
“Actually,” began Wavin, looking at the Health Secretary for support, “would it be too much to ask that schools are up and front for testing?”
“Testing? I thought you wanted exams cancelling Wavin,” said Joris.
Ruckland’s pencil sheered in half. “For Covid,” you buffoon, “Prime Minister.”
“Why? I was under the impression they would be closing after the next cabinet meeting.”
Wavin felt the urge to run round flapping his arms in despair. “That would be the day after they open.”
“Not all of them, some will be on inset days.”
“Mancock…” deplored Wavin, “do you not think it wise to safeguard against unwitting super-spread scenarios? Second the motion to keep schools closed until the vaccination roll out is firmly underway and not make another ill judged decision based on a scientist the PM can’t even recall the name of.”
Hatt Mancock furled his brow. An unexpected broadside from the Education Secretary. “Clearly that is in the interests of everyone,” he began. “The roll out of testing criteria currently excludes children and it is my understanding the vaccines have not yet been cleared on children under the age of sixteen. As for seconding a motion that’s already been deferred until the next cabinet meeting would not be prudent at this stage.”
And I though Sith Karma sat on the fence, thought Ballace.
“I’ll second it Wavin,” ventured Dr Toffey.
“I refer you to the answer I gave before ministers,” said Joris.
“Which was Prime Minister?” Ballace was intrigued.
“I refer you to the Minutes.”
The Watcher of Proceedings leaned forwards. His attention now refocusing. Answers in Minutes he would be transcribing later. The chameleon arch fob watch groaned and fell quiet. It was clear the biodata module was lacking the required vworping, c’est la vie. Either that or it was bought by an idiot lacking the right ‘my precious’ factor. The Ring never had these problems. You wore it and it led you to the right people, or eye as the case nearly was. All it took was a moment…
Joris shuffled his papers, rather pleased nothing had been decided which meant he still held all the aces. Furthermore there was a great deal of looking at each other going on around him. A marvellous outcome if he did dare to think so.
“We shall reconvene this meeting on the 5th January.” This fell upon deaf ears, which was not to be unexpected as the door had already closed behind him.