Friday, 7 May 2010

#FridayFlash - Protecting the Legacy.

The Prime Minister looked at his reflection in the mirror. Twelve years ago, when the country swept him into power on a torrent of love, the skin below his steel blue eyes was taut and tanned. Now that affection had ebbed away to the tiny trickle of his third election, it sagged towards his cheeks in black wrinkly layers.

It was time to leave. And on his own terms. He and Jenny had made their decision sometime ago. The lecture tours, board positions and consultancies were all lined up. They had no desire to put themselves through a fourth round of the polls which was bound to end in humiliating defeat. He would go with his head held high and his dignity intact.

There was only one question left. The legacy. How was he going to protect that? His successor couldn't do it. A political bruiser with a tendency to lose friends, he would probably manage to hold the party together for the next three years. Then the  glorious experiment would end with a pathetic whimper. Which is why the Prime Minister had been preparing for this moment since the day he arrived. And if all had gone well, his next appointment would provide him with the solution he craved.

There was a knock at the door.

"Come in." He looked up eagerly. Had the experiment worked? The special committee entered together, the heads of MI5 and 6, the Foreign Office, and MOD. Behind them walked a man in his late thirties, tall, but not too tall, with an open, engaging face.

"We've done it," said Professor  Stanton, the Chief of Government Research. "Let me introduce you to the next elected Prime Minister."

The younger man stood in the centre of the room. He turned towards the Prime Minister and stared at him with his striking blue eyes.

"This country is tired. It has had enough of the old system. The old ways. What this country needs is change a new beginning, a new way of being." He wrung his hands together with a sincere intensity that was captivating.

"It's me," said the Prime Minister, "My DNA slightly rearranged, but really me."

"Of course it is Prime Minister," said Jeremy Barnett, head of MI5."We can place him in the opposition and ensure he takes up the leadership. When the election comes, the people calling for change will, of course, get what they asked for."

The clone looked across at his maker. "What this great nation of ours needs is a robust economy, strong borders and armed forces we can be proud of. I alone can provide you that."

The committee applauded. "Well said, sir,", " I couldn't have put it better myself, sir."

"Congratulations, everyone," said the Prime Minister, "You've done me proud."

The group nodded and trooped out of the room. At the door, Professor Stanton turned and said, "By the way sir, there is another one."

"There is?"

"Just in case.  For the other party. If the people are uncertain, and  a hung Parliament's on the cards. "

"Good thinking," said the Prime Minister. He wandered over to the window and looked down at the police officers guarding his front door. So reassuring to know that he was safe, and all was well.

The more things change, the more they remain the same.


Joanie Rich said...

Whoa, I totally wasn't expecting the clone! This is a great concept - and if you ask me, totally believable that it could happen. Loved it!

Virginia Moffatt said...

Thanks very much,

Just a little election fun, inspired by the way certain politicians seem to meld into each other...

Cathy Olliffe said...

I always wondered why politicians seem so much the same!
Loved your story, Virginia, and the way you write. I like the way you make words work.

Laura Eno said...

How fun! And how frightening...!
Great story with a concept that feels a bit too real.

Marisa Birns said...

Such a great flash to read, especially since I've been following the UK elections, which were confusing to me.

But after reading your amusing story, NOW I understand! :)

John Wiswell said...

This is a really neat concept. I wish I'd read it sooner. It should be creepy that he's stacking the political deck with his own cards, but instead it rings as novel. Kind of horribly bright scifi politicking.

Typo: I think there's something amiss with the punctuation marks in the seventh-to-last paragraph. "Well said, sir,", " I couldn't have put it better myself, sir."

Anonymous said...

This is a lot of fun. I wouldn't be surprised at all if this is the way it's really done. Everywhere. :)

Well written and engaging.

David Masters said...

This is hilarious Virginia. I loved it.

Poor Mr. Brown. Politicians always seem more human when they're no longer striving for power (Blair excluded).