Tweet of the Day: Appraising the Year to Date
Chequers, Prime Ministers Country House, Buckinghamshire, 7 March, 09:38 hrs GMT
He gave up the pretense of avoiding the window. The longer he stayed in any one room, the more he wondered to over the the nearest lookout. Neither the soldiers manning the surface to air launchers or the guard dogs patrolling the perimeter had any answers for him this time around nor did they the several hundred times he stood in the same place. They only reinforced his sense of isolation. The red kite that circled overhead added a touch of ironic gloom to the whole situation.
Can you hear the falconer?
That would have been better than the incessant chatter of the television talking heads, tabloid headlines and online commentators. His Coalition partners refused to return his calls. They pulled a disappearing act that would make Houdini proud. The Left accused him of being a bigoted warmonger allied with the worse racist to grace this side of the Channel. The pro-military backbenchers in his own party lamented the decommissioning of the Harrier force. If only we kept them around we might have an air force to speak off.
Right? I wonder which White Paper predicted an imminent war with magicians wielding bloody dragons!
To top it off the so called loyal opposition rolled all the above into a nice media bite package of complaints and criticism and added the cherry of “give diplomacy a chance” on top. But the Welsh didn’t want to talk. They had one demand: Independence, full stop. At least that’s what representatives from Scotland and Ireland repeated every time they talk to the Foreign Office. To accept such a demand was to sign the execution papers on Britain as a nation.
And then you had his dear friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer or as the press dubbed him, “Let’ em eat cake Timmy.” Tim was a virtuoso of the slash and burn school of economic theory yet useless when it came up with cash to fund this war. He whined about the high petrol prices in spite of the petrol tax holiday or the constant demands from the MoD to make up the colossal losses in armaments made worse by the attacks on air bases. Leasing foreign fighter planes was a useless endeavor until those bases were secured and that required more Startstreak missiles and anti-aircraft guns. The long queues at petrol stations only added to Timmy’s indigestion.
More money. In for a penny, in for a pound.
The only solace in this miserable time was Anne, his wife of fifteen years. Somehow the current crisis brought back her razor sharp wit mostly directed at him. He should be angry at how she called the tablet he carried around as “his security blanket.” But it had the opposite effect. A reminder that he was human. Last night, after another long night of long briefings and bad news, he slid into bed. She read from her latest best seller.
He squeezed her free hand, “Thank you.”
“For what, dear?”
“For keeping me sane.”
“Sane? If only!”
They both had a laugh. And the way she wrapped herself around the children both as barrier and as filter against the storm comforted him to no end. She protected them from the worst, but did not shelter them from the truth.
The tablet on the desk beeped. He read the latest report.
More of the same.