November 17, 2018

The Great British Brexit Adventures – a serialised novel – Part 1

‘Killed by the falling pound?’ repeated Pimlico Smith MP.  ‘That seems unlikely. You can be killed by many falling things – it happens a lot in Agatha Christie novels – but not by a falling currency.’

‘I was talking theoretically, Pimlico.’

‘You were talking nonsense, Keswick, that’s what you were talking.’

Keswick struggled to remain polite, but he remembered that Smith was his superior. For some reason that is often a good enough reason to remain polite.

‘Pimlico, you, you, you , YOU, even you can see that the falling pound and subsequent financial chaos could easily lead to suicide, murder, revenge, assassination, more revenge, more murders, gang warfare,  etc, etc. I foresee a dreadful comeuppance for this Brexit vote. I don’t say we should prepare for a Mad Max scenario immediately, but in a couple of years, who knows?’

Pimlico crossed his legs and twiddled his enormous moustache, a moustache grown purely to be his thing. He had realised that you needed to have a thing if you wanted to succeed in this world. Just being an all round good egg may have been enough in the past, but nowadays you needed a thing. He had tried wacky ties and red socks and never been elected. The moment he grew a moustache, bam! straight into Parliament. He didn’t admit it in interviews but deep down he felt he owed his career to his moustache.

‘Nonsense! Brexit is without a doubt the best thing that has happened to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ever.’

‘Ever?’

Smith considered. ‘Well, all right, not ever. But  since 1066.’

Keswick had got up to pour a glass of Glenmorangie. He accidentally poured a double measure in shock.

‘Let me recap. You are claiming that Brexit is without a doubt the best thing that has happened to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland since 1066?’ He walked back across the office to his leather chair. ‘What about the Glorious Revolution, the Magna Carta, the, err,’ he paused, trying to remember anything else that had happened since 1066. ‘The Second World War!’ he said triumphantly, before realising that wasn’t really a good thing, unless you admired the way the US used it to destroy Britain’s pre-eminent position in the world. ‘Anyway if it’s the best thing that’s happened to the United Kingdom, it’s looking like being the United Kingdom of England and Wales.’

Pimlico smiled.

‘Which isn’t much of a united kingdom. The voters might even say hang on, we voted for the United Kingdom to leave the EU, not to be members of a rump nation of just England and Wales.’

Pimlico looked at the clock. Politics bored him, which wasn’t an ideal quality in a politician. There was still plenty of time before he was needed for the news.

‘Enough of this inconsequential chit-chat. I have to inject some heroin.’

He pulled open the drawer in his desk and rooted around amongst the Werther’s Originals and ink cartridges for a syringe. He didn’t remember ever buying any Werther’s Originals, but they seemed to multiply when he wasn’t around.

‘I still say that a politician shouldn’t be injecting heroin.’

‘Nonsense! They’re all at it. The chancellor spends most of his salary on the stuff.’

‘ If you want to emulate Sherlock Holmes you should just wear a deer stalker.’

‘Completely inauthentic.’

‘Or take up the violin.’

‘I tried that. Landlady had a fit.  She said she’d much rather I became a heroin addict.’

Pimlico had placed his drug-taking apparatus on the desk. I would go into great detail about it, but I’m not (currently) a drug addict and have little idea what to describe. We’ll leave it as paraphernalia. Anyway, it’s not  to be long in the office. With the lightning movement of, well, a lightning bolt, Keswick grabbed it and threw it out of the window.

Pimlico looked at him in disgust.

‘Have you gone completely mad?’

‘Not at all Pimlico. This is not the time for drug-taking, unless it is a little of the socially-sanctioned alcohol and maybe a puff on a e-pipe. We have work to do. A country to unite, an exit from the EU to negotiate, a leader  to elect, an opposition in disarray to exploit, and a…’

Pimlico nodded.

‘‘I suppose there is work to do.’  He considered. ‘I hadn’t considered just how much work this Brexit would entail. I wonder if we should have another referendum. Get the people to change their minds. That would certainly make life easier.’

‘Sir, that would be undemocratic.’

‘But a lot easier. I’ll speak to the PM.’

‘He’s resigned and is spending all his time planning holidays and drinking the government wine cellar.’

‘Sensible fellow. They have a very good Sancerre. I ought to go and visit him.’

Pimlico stood up and walked towards the door.

 

Will Brexit actually take place? Who will be elected leader? Will Pimlico be undone? tune in when I have written it for the next episode of The Brexit Murders.

 

by Carlyle Herbert Herbert

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