Sunday, November 23, 2008

Behind closed doors

The room is no longer smoke filled. The older man's colleagues in the wee Parliament had seen to that. But the lingering smell of Havana suggested that, after hours, this place was a smoke easy. The younger man, dressed in an expensive suit, nurses a brandy. He stares wistfully into the glass. Is he looking for something? Or are scenes from the past 20 years flicking through his mind?

Older man: "20 years, Dave. Quite an effort. What's left to achieve?"

Younger man: "John, John, John. So much left to achieve, so much. Well, a buyer that will give me my money back at least."

Older man: "And an end to the social blight of sectarianism?"

Younger man (snorting): "Johnny Boy. I signed a Catholic. I signed a team of Catholics. I signed up for every scheme. And still they want a blue Asda in Larkhall. What can we do?"

Older man: "I've brought together warring factions in Belfast, run a health service in another country, persuaded cabinet cowards to fight illegal wars. A little local bother in Glasgow? Nae bother."

Younger man: "John. We're dealing with the great unwashed here. We take their money, we get their ignorance. 20 years. I've lost my innocence. This is your pension, mate. All that shit, it's just there. Don't push, push or who will buy my Broxy Burgers and your Paradise Pannini's?"

Older man: "Aye, aye David. But these bastarding Nats at Holyrood, they don't understand, they put the pressure on. And I'm getting it from these idiots that run the old party now. And, not to put too fine a point on it, it's more your problem than mine, pal."

Younger man: "Aye, so it is. And if you could find a way of making every lapsed Catholic in Scotland as passionate about their heritage on a Sunday morning as they are on a Saturday afternoon they'd make you Pope."

Older man: "I don't know David, is there nothing we can do? I'm thinking beating up backbenchers was easier than this."

Younger man: "Well, I've got the press coming in this week. You know the deal. Free access in exchange for fawning tributes to 20 glorious years. And a bit of free advertising to try and sell the bloody thing."

Older man: "And? Where do I come in?"

Younger man: "Well, I'm thinking, I'll have a right go at you. You pretend I've hurt your feelings and fire right back. The press get in such a tizzy about two silly old buggers getting involved in a pissing contest that they forget we're doing bugger all to sort these cretins out."

Older man: "Brilliant Dave, my son, absolute genius. You ever think about politics? Seriously, you could have a future there."

The end.