Breakfast Countdown

May 8, 2007

Well, dear, not many more breakfasts we’ll have together at this table. Have you finally decided on a date? You would rather stay on a bit longer, wouldn’t you, dear?

Yes and no, I suppose. I know things haven’t gone too well over the past few years. I suppose things started turning sour with 9.11 and then Iraq. I should never have let myself be bushwhacked. He seems to get pleasure out of whacking everyone. And I know full well that when GB takes over, he’ll distance himself as far a he can from the Iraq debacle and I also think, as soon as he can, he’ll start palling up with George’s successor, who will doubtless be a democrat. And then of course, there’s all the people I’ve appointed ministers. I can’t think of one who’s been any good, failures the lot of them, apart from George of course! Hardly one of them have shown any true loyalty to me. So all in all, under the same set of conditions, I’m glad I’m ending it all.

Oh dear,dear. That sounds a little drastic, don’t you think? Things will get better when you, sorry we, are earning all that money on the American ‘lecture’ circuit. We’ll have a marvelous time.

Maybe Cherry. But I have to admit, if only to you and myself, my term hasn’t been a great success. The Health Service is falling apart. The Home Office has lost all credibility. The Education policies introduced over the years haven’t improved things. The Civil Service in general have lost respect for the Government. The military is overstretched. Even the Royal Navy might be hard pressed to beat the Swiss navy. No, Cherry, I’ve had enough. I’m off.

The economy seems to be doing well though, dear. Shall we put that down to GB?

Don’t rub it in.

But when, dear? When are you going to go?

What’s the eat-by date on that packet of cornflakes?

June 27th.

June the 27th it is then.

A Rubbish Breakfast

May 5, 2007

Tell me Cherry, are we doing our bit  in segregating the rubbish from the stuff that can be reused?

What do you mean, dear?  All the rubbish that the government creates? There’s not a hole big enough in the World to accommodate all you’ve produced over the past ten years.

No, don’t be silly Cherry.  We’ve tried very hard to cut down on all sorts of government waste. Even some cabinet documents and minutes have been shredded and incinerated.

How convenient! I was speaking of metaphoric rubbish dear.

But I was referring to household waste here in No. 10.  Are we doing our bit?  I mean, do we put out the empty wine bottles on the right day for collection and do we segregate all the plastic and paper waste?

Haven’t a clue, dear.  But what I’ve been told about plastics is that it costs more to recycle bags and containers than it does to produce new material from oil, and even then the recycled material can only be used on limited applications.  The cost of segregating different types of plastic polymers for reprocessing makes it more or less totally uneconomic.  I think most plastic waste that is reclaimed from household waste ends up in a ship bound for China the cost for which is probably subsidised by the taxpayer.  The rest of the plastic waste that the diligent householder sorts, but is unusable, still ends up in a hole somewhere.

But what do the Chinese do with it? Not fill up holes in China I take it.

No, of course not. They use slave labour to sort the different grades, reprocess it into cheap quality mouldings or bags and send it back to us.

So back to us eventually destined for the tip again?

Got it in one.

But surely, we’re saving on oil, a precious commodity that won’t last for ever. That’s got to be worthwhile.

Not really, dear. Think of the oil that has to be used in the power stations to generate the electricity to power the machinery to reprocess the scrap. Think of the fuel costs to collect the scrap from the home and send it to China.  Are we gaining anything? All this talk about the ozone layers and climate change. Do we really know it’s caused by pumping too much carbon gas into the atmosphere? If we are to believe all those doomers and gloomers who claim it won’t be long before the Earth starts burning and at the same time there won’t be any oil left, so how is not filling in holes going to help?

Perhaps we should go back to using the horse for our transport.  Then we wouldn’t need so much oil, our present road congestion would be eliminated, and we would have lots of organic manure with which everyone could grow fresh  vegetables and so enjoy a healthy life. 

Now you’re being totally rediculous Cherry.  You know I know nothing about gardening.  But I’ll pass on your thoughts to GB.  He might give you a job heading a new think tank.

I’d rather put my head into one, thank you.

Seriously though, perhaps we as a consuming nation should be sensible by not producing such massive quantities of potential waste in the first place.

I’ll talk to Gord.

Oh, it’s Gord now is it? Getting pally again now that you’re leaving and he’s taking the hot seat. I suppose you’ve already got something lined up.

I couldn’t possibly comment.

Well what about the local election results? Give me your assessment of the results?

Rubbish!

 

 

 

More egg on the face at breakfast.

April 13, 2007

Tell me, dear, how come you always manage to deny any prior involvement or knowledge when one of your cronies makes a policy cock-up?

I supose you’re referring to Des Brown and the payment of stories by the hostages in Iran.   Well surely you don’t think that I can know everything that’s going on in every Ministry. I’m not Superman you know. Anyway, I don’t know how they managed to get captured in the first place. The boat was armed and was carrying a boarding party. That’s rich that is. More like a birthday party. What ever happened to ‘Rule Brittania’?  The Pentagon wasn’t over impressed with the boat being captured without a fight in the first place and even less impressed with our handling of the situation since.

So you’re saying the whole business was left by others to sort out and you’re again clear of any blame. Well done, dear.

Of course it’s not my fault.

Never is, is it, dear. So you had nothing to do with or had no prior knowledge of the decision to allow the sailors to sell their stories?

I couldn’t possibly comment!  Anyway, they’ve been stopped getting any money now, so let’s forget about it.  Didn’t deserve any if you want my opinion.

Is that ‘on’ or ‘off’ the record, dear?

Don’t be silly.

Tell me, dear. Talking about selling stories, when we sell ours, I mean yours, will we be able to ‘do it’ off- shore to avoid tax. You’ll have to talk to Gordon about it.

Well you certainly can’t. Don’t concern yourself, Cherry. Gordon and I will sort it.

Another fried egg, dear?

 

Humble Pie for Breakfast

April 2, 2007

I see in this morning’s Express, dear, they are not very impressed with your handling of the hostage situation in Iran. They suggest that as your government is clueless as to how to defuse the situation, it might be a good idea if you sent Margaret Beckett as an exchange for our chaps being held there. She’s not much better than useless at her job, so why not? You could kill two birds with one stone.

Oh come on Cherry, she’s not that bad. Just because she made a bit of a cock-up with the payments to the farmers, give her some credit. Anyway, I don’t think the Iranians would want her.

Well what about throwing in Gordon as well? After all, now that his handing of the pension debacle has come to light, it looks increasingly likely that even if he makes it to No. 10, his stay here will be too short to justify Sarah bothering to unpack.

Nothing ever goes right for me after Iraq. I’m getting really tired. Do you think that if I had a quiet word with Maggie, she could advise me what to do?

Don’t be silly, dear. How could I continue my own profession here with the two of us exiled in Argentina? Come to think of it though, I wonder what the income tax rates are like in Argentina? Kidding, dear, just kidding.

It’s all getting passed a joke, Cherry. I sometimes wish I’d never set eyes on George.

Don’t get stressed, dear. Try a piece of this American pie.

I think humble pie might be more digestable.

Continental Breafast

March 29, 2007

I see you had virtually a full page to yourself in the Mail on Sunday, Cherry. I get the feeling that the public, and certainly the press, look upon you as someone more interested in personal financial gain rather than a desire to right the world’s wrongs. Still I suppose now that our days are numbered here at N0. 10, ‘every little helps’. Mind you, attending the Bin Laden conference, being paid £25 grand and with the taxpayer having to foot the bill for all your personal security, I can understand the ‘bitch’. Not you Cherry, I mean the article.

Well, dear, when we leave here, if I don’t earn the money, you’ll just have to get a job at Tesco’s pushing trolleys.

Don’t be flippant Cherry. It doesn’t suit you. I’m serious. You don’t present a good image of yourself and you have to understand you’re not very popular. Sometimes I feel quite embarrassed.

My popularity, or lack of it, doesn’t over concern me. I know very well that when you leave office, neither of us will command much respect from the public. So why should we care if the press criticises us for lining our pockets now?

Not so fast, Cherry, not so fast. I was only thinking yesterday, why don’t you get into main line politics? Sort of do a ‘Hillary Clinton’. You could take on my constituency. Not a problem.

Are you being serious? The prospect of sitting on a back bench looking down onto GB’s dandruff hardly appeals to me.

No, no. As we are about to create a new Ministry of Justice, with your qualifications you could walk into the job blindfolded. Just up your street.

And who would be my boss, dear?

No. You would be the Minister. I’m sure we could fix it. The Ministry will probably come under the Home Office so you would probably be answerable to the Home Secretary. Then again, ultimately it may be that you would be directly answerable only to the Prime Minister.

Need I say more. Not if it’s GB.  No, dear, I’ll stick to what I’m doing now. Anyway, when you retire we can make bundles out of after-dinner speaking. And all our expenses will be paid for.

Not a lot of change for you then?

No, dear. I don’t take change. Just nice fat wads.

Ha ha.

Swallowing the ‘morning-after’ pill at breakfast.

March 22, 2007

Deary me, if that wasn’t a superb example of ‘blowing your own trumpet, I don’t know what is. Talk about self praise, but how sad that he really does think he’s the saviour of the British economy.

I thought his budget speech went quite well. We haven’t done too badly during the past ten years, you know. I think Gordon deserves some recognition for that, although my personal view is that the major cause for the success we’ve enjoyed year on year is almost entirely due to giving bank interest rate control back to the Bank of England. I must say though, DC’s reply was a lot better than I expected. I’ll mark him up a notch for that.

Don’t you think the electorate can’t see through his sleight of hand where taxes and fiscal management is concerned. I mean, doesn’t the man ever make any mistakes. Not by his crafty calculations, that’s for sure. No, this time, I don’t think Joe Public is going to swallow his budget pill, not going to cure a great deal is it?

Cynic!

After all, no matter how he favourably compared UK job, inflation, and public expenditure numbers, he can’t get away from the fact that Joe Public is now less well off than most of the other western Europeans. And worldwide, aren’t we still sliding down the scale in terms of standard of living? He didn’t mention those figures, did he?

You know Cherry, how you run down poor old Gordon, if I didn’t know you better, I could almost believe you were once his jilted lover.

God forbid.


l

Pre Budget Speech Breakfast

March 21, 2007

Do doubt everyone’s excited next door. Is it going to be a good budget, dear?

For GB, maybe, but as usual petty predictable. He’s not going to rock the boat with his last budget.

It might not be his last, dear. I still think you ought to wait another year, specially if you think we will lose the next election.

Cherry, darling, don’t be so cynical. He’s doing a reasonable job and given a little time, I think he might just scrape in. As yet, DC is not exactly setting the world alight with his visions for the future, is he?

Exactly, dear. Why give him the time?

Cherry. Really!

Eat up, dear. Lets go and see how he performs this afternoon. Is my hair nice, dear? Don’t want to look a mess in front of SB.

Red Noses at Breakfast

March 17, 2007

Well dear, the papers this morning are being almost kind to you. The consensus of opinion was that your little sketch with Catherine Tate on the Red Nose television extravaganza went down very well. It appears you have acting talents that previously the public hadn’t been aware of. Which after the years you’ve been in office, I find that extremely hard to believe.

Is this face bothered. No. I must say, I was pretty good. Maybe after I retire I’ll take up acting.

Well you’ve had enough practice, dear.

Does my face hurt?

No, dear, you had it right the first time. ‘Is my face bothered’.

Whatever. I enjoyed it and the audience loved me. Couldn’t stop laughing.

At you or with you, dear?

Be bitchy if you like. Cherry, but I think I would make a good comedy actor. I could always have a go, don’t you think?.

What about a double act, dear, with GB as the straight man or stooge. He’ll probably be needing a change of career in a year or so. What do you think. I know. You could be called ‘The Two Bs’.

Umm, we would never be able to agree on who’s name came first, mine or his.

No dear, I think you’ve missed the point. B would stand for another word.

Very funny. My face hurts?

Never mind, dear, lets go to church.

Cheaty-bangs at breakfast

March 15, 2007

You know Cherry, I’ve always thought that these radio and TV programs where people ring in at premium rates are prime targets where cheats can and do prosper. Look at the latest with Blue Peter. Technical problem, my eye. Serious error of judgement, my foot. Who do these people think we are? They only put on an air of remorse because they’ve been found out. Greed, greed, greed. If there wasn’t so much greed festering in society people wouldn’t cheat so much. All prize programs seem to be at it. Take the money from the poor public any way possible, but don’t get caught.

My my, dear. Who’s been winding you up? Too much to drink last last, did we? To be frank, dear, I would have thought that the Blue Peter makers would be the exception to possible corruption or dishonest intention. Though without question, they were definitely lacking in sound judgement.

Well it really does make my blood boil. Look at these other characters making millions out of game shows. ‘Who wants to be a millionaire?’ Well I don’t need to ask a friend for that answer. It’s simple, the bloody program makers and their presenters. Look at Tarrant and that other fellow Cowell. Who’s made them millionaires? Joe Public, that’s who.

Oh come on, dear. If the public are so stupid to give their money away by phoning in, against an almost impossible chance that they might win something, they get no sympathy from me. That in itself is a form of greed. They greedily hope to win a fortune for a couple of quid. In their dreams. But you can talk, dear. What about the national lottery and the amount the government fiddle out of that? Lets admit it, it’s just another substitute for yet another stealth tax. Good old greedy GB.

Sorry ,dear, you’ve got to accept the fact that greed won’t go away and people will cheat if they think they have something to gain and not get found out or punished. Look at sport. Look at professional football. Every minute in a match a player cheats somehow. How football can be called a sport when players pull each other’s shirts, kick each other or trip one another, I’ll never know. The game’s full of cheats and by cheating they know they can become successful and earn fortunes. And their managers and even their supporters encourage them Seems to me golf and snooker are the only honest professional sports left to play.

Well when I retire, I won’t be making any money out of playing squash or tennis even if I cheated all the time. Maybe I could get into TV as a games host like what’s- her -name, the woman always wearing black.

I’m sure that would be very possible, dear. Shouldn’t be a problem with your background. You might have to grease someone’s palm though.

Umm. Maybe I’ll get someone to sort it for me. Pass the cheaties, I mean wheaties.

Bully for breakfast.

March 14, 2007

You know Cherry, I really did detest bullying at school, such a pity that children have to be so spiteful and nasty.

Happens in all walks of life, dear. Girls schools, boys schools, mixed schools, high, low, you name it there will always be bullies.

Maybe, but not always I hope. Just think back. Think how it was when teachers and in some schools, even prefects, were permitted to dish out corporal punishment.

Surely you’re not going to suggest bringing back the birch, dear?

No no, of course not. Well not exactly. But a friend, I was recently discussing the subject with, told me about his own experience when he was at school and how the problem of bullying was virtually eliminated by a gang of boys taking under their wings any boy who was being threatened by bullies.

Sort of like ‘The Magnificent Seven’?

Don’t be silly Cherry. No. As it happens, he went to a very old established grammar school for boys where even there, there were nasty little characters.

Go on, dear. Don’t keep me in suspense.

Well first we have to accept the fact and appreciate that the vast majority of kids at school are decent, respectful of their parents and elders and generally know right from wrong. We also should know that bullies almost always possess some form of mental or psychological weakness. In fact, we can say that most of them are cowards. The way they carry out their bullying acts are cowardly, so much so that they often do it anonymously by sending nasty email messages from Internet cafes.

So how do you propose stopping it, dear?

Well think back to when the job of Prefects was to apply disciplinary control over the other pupils. So why not today? By having schools select a number of pupils, say twenty or thirty, who are chosen as decent like minded children, some with a good physical ability, who would and could effectively take the bullies on. Let’s call this group the ‘elected protectors’.

Child vigilantes indeed.

Indeed, if you like, indeed. Anyway, every child would be aware that the group exists even though every person in the group may not be known. Then any child being bullied would be able to report the problem to the ‘elected protectors’ who could decide on what sensible remedial action should be taken. Of course some sort of approval from a responsible teacher would need to be sought and there would obviously have to be limits as to how far any punishment should go. Victims of bullying would have the security of knowing that, once alerted, his or her peers would protect them and take care of the problem.

What you’re suggesting, dear, is ‘an eye for an eye’. That would never be allowed.

Not exactly Cherry. That sounds much too severe. Lets just say ‘a punch on the nose for a punch on the nose’. If you’ve ever been punched on the nose you will not have liked it. If a bully knew that if he were to punch someone on the nose once, he would receive two punches on the nose in return, believe me, he would first think very hard about doing it.

But once this principle became an acceptable form of controlling school bullying, I believe bullying as we know it now would soon become a thing of the past.

You’re treading on thin ice there, dear. Legally I think you wouldn’t have a chance to get that one through.

Yes Cherry, no doubt your right, yet again. But I’m sure it would pretty well solve the problem.

No doubt it would, dear. But what about the poor cowardly bully? Can’t you imagine it? Every parent of every bully who was castigated or physically or mentally punished would have you and the government up in front of a Humans Rights Court before you could say Jack Robinson.

Yes. And I suppose you would be one of the prosecutors. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

Don’t fret, dear. I wouldn’t let them send you to prison. Have another cup of tea.

 


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