Laurence Inman has seen the future and, be warned, it’s not pretty.
‘Laurence, oh Laurence, can you help me out with this ?’
‘Dick, calm down. Deep breaths. Just give me the priorities.’
‘Okay, okay. One, there must be no sign of Blair with his solemn face. I have it on good authority that he’s practising it even as we speak.’
‘Toneless. Noted. What next ?’
‘It’s got to come in at less than forty million.’
‘Piece of piss.’
‘And last….what was last ? Oh yeah! It must reflect the national spirit. Can you do it ?’
‘Del, it’s as good as done.’
‘And remember: no Tone.’
‘And I want that Olympic piece of socialist crap knocked into a cocked hat.’
‘Whatever that means, I’ll do it.’
So here, after three whole hours of planning, sketched out on the back of a Tesco till receipt, is the final scenario.
I see a vast windswept marsh somewhere east of London. It is dawn. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, at first singly, then in twos and threes, and finally in a vast horde, a million young boys recruited from dole offices across the country gather and start digging a hole half a mile across. A huge screen playing repeats from the X Factor keeps them occupied. Every half hour they are fed a McDonalds Happy Meal.
A line of men appear on the horizon. They are Old Etonians, bankers, arms exporters, newspaper editors, whoever owns the internet and mobile phone companies, lords, bishops, economists, judges, brewers, distillers, PR experts, TV presenters. They smile on the sweating multitudes. They sing: Kill the Hun, rip his guts out, dance in his entrails, smear your comrades’ faces with his blood! to the tune of Summer Holiday.
They disappear and the hole erupts in a vast explosion. Selected pieces of smoking cadaver are carried in procession to Whitehall and laid in front of the Cenotaph, which is broken up and hurled through the windows of the Foreign Office by a jubilant crowd.
The last picture on the news will be of a wailing mother. ‘He gave his life for his country, doing a job he loved.’