Tuesday, May 01, 2012
The End of Days by Douglas Lindsay (Blasted Heath 2011)
0759hrs London, England
The PM petulantly pushed the newspapers off the desk. Here he was, suddenly at the peak of his career, and the media were barely taking any notice of him.
'What do I have to do?' he said, looking at Prime Ministerial aide Bleacher, Barney Thomson, diary secretary Lucy, and cabinet secretary Blaine. 'I'm busting my balls here. I've ordered more troops to Afghanistan, I'm crushing the other guy in my iron fist, I opened up a can of whoop-ass at PMQs, I told the Prime Minister of Pakistan how to run his country, and I've got the best hair of my life. What else can I do? Yet what do we get today? More Tiger flippin' Woods. Banks, banks, banks. The Mail says they cost forty thousand a family, the Telegraph, five and a half. Hah! Seems I'm not the only one can't do maths. And now these bloody murders and everyone's going to be peeing in their pants about that.'
They were all staring at him, waiting for the invitation to speak.
'Well?' said the PM. 'What about me?' Another pause. 'People say, where's our Obama? Well, don't they see? I'm their Obama. It's me. I could be PM for twenty years. I can cement our place as a world leader.'
There was another extended pause around the room. None of them gawped at the PM in quite the manner that his words demanded. They were all quite used to his self-obsession; even Barney Thomson, who had only been there three days.
'Prime Minister,' said Blaine dryly, 'we lead the world in pregnant teenagers, binge drinking teenagers, divorce, cocaine addiction and litter. If you'd like to be the Prime Minister who cements that, I salute you, but I just came in to remind you that there's an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss the crisis at 0900hrs.'
He turned to leave.
'What crisis?' barked the PM, scowling.
'The murders,' said Blaine. 'At Westminster,' he added, in case the PM might have thought he meant Midsomer.