A group of writers in Chichester coming together once a month for inspiration, collaboration and sensation

Common Man

“It’s no good, I can’t do this any more.”

David Cameron slumped forward in his chair, chuckling. With his elbows on the table in front he buried his face in his hands which failed to cover the smirk forming across his mouth. His pale moon-like face was glistening, but it was hard to tell if it was sweat from the heat of the small oak paneled room, or tears of laughter from the previous ten minutes that George Osborne and himself had been ripping the piss out of William Hague.

“Prime Minister, let’s try another approach.” Hague stood up and paced round the room. No effort was made to hide his frustration.

“The arrogant posh boy tag needs to be dispelled so we can be seen as more in touch with the public. Do you have any ideas, policies, that could…” Hague’s flat northern vowels fell, well, flat,

“ You mean the tax cut wasn’t enough?” Osborne sounded incredulous.

“Chancellor, the cut only applied to those earning over £150,000 a year.”

“And those poor souls needed it, times are tough after all,” Cameron smirked.

Osborne and Cameron looked at each other and couldn’t contain themselves. Hague slowly held brought his hands together joining them at the tips of their fingers and ground his teeth together.

“One percent of the population, we are trying to engage with the other ninety-nine,” Hague sighed, fixing Cameron with a hard stare. “ David…..”

Cameron looked deadly serious for the first time since the meeting started. The smirk turned sour quicker than the pasty tax.

“Look.” It was Cameron’s turn to give Hague a hard stare and he pointed to the middle of Hague’s chest. “I’ve not worked in politics all these years, made a deal with those damn liberals, and been pleasant to Vince Cable only to be called David. I’m the Prime Minister, thank you very much.”

Hague started to visibly shake. Those who knew him realized it was a mistake to push him this far. Fools thought they had him on the back foot, and put the shaking down to fear or nervousness.

“Do you not get it?” Hague started to go a rather deep shade of red. “This is what makes you out of touch. The people you need to connect with are not wine guzzling posh boys who think nothing of sending a junior minister to warm up their loo seat every time they need to crap.”

A smile cracked across Osborne’s face.

“Quite right, you’ll have to invest in an electric toilet seat warmer Dave.

“Oh god, don’t call me Dave.” Cameron rolled his eyes and leaned back in his chair.  “It’s just so…” Cameron struggled to find the right word “…Common. Ugh. And I’ll tell you another thing. All the while Chloe Smith is a MP there’ll be no need for an electric loo seat warmer. She does a magnificent job. You know once, she spent three hours warming up a seat for me. You can’t just buy that kind of dedication.”

“ Good lord,” Osborne commented, “not many people will do that for nothing. She must really want to get on.”

“Well yes, I feel I should give her something to show appreciation.”

“I know,” said Osborne. ”I’m due to see Paxman tonight, why not send her instead. Tell her it’s time she got a bit of television exposure.”

It was too much for both Cameron and Osborne and they resumed their raucous laughter, which didn’t sound unlike a couple of cartoon villains.

Hague’s eyes looked like they were going to pop out of his head at any moment. His anger unabated, he leaned over the table so he was inches away from from both politicians.

“Do you not get it? We are in double dip recession, borrowing is higher from this administration than the whole of the thirteen years of labour government, the EU looks like falling down around our ears, and anyone with money is seen to be let off their tax bill.” He stopped as he gained his breath. “ Now. What. Are. We. Going. To. Do. About. It?”

Cameron sighed and looked over to Osborne. Osborne took his lead.

“O.K Haguey-boy, its not difficult is it. We will just cut some welfare.”

“George is right. It’s win win.”

“Yes. Just thing about it Hague old chap. The middle classes will love it – they hate the working class scrounging scum. The rich won’t have to face another tax hike, they can keep the five per-cent cut and…”

“And the best part,” interrupted Cameron, “those who will lose out aren’t exactly our target demographic is it?”

Hague’s jaw hit his chest. With the red face, popped eyes and slack jaw he resembled a ruby-esque scream mask. He sat down with a thump and squeezed the arms of the chair until his nails dug into the dark wood.

“How can you just cut welfare. Its not exactly something you can just cut.” It came out as a whisper.

“I’ve had enough.” Cameron stood out of his chair and walked across the room to retrieve his jacket.

“You want something done Haguey-boy and yet you’re making it difficult. Just cut, I don’t know, housing benefit for say, the under twenty-fives. There done.” Cameron gave another one of his irksome smirks and checked his watch. The encrusted diamonds flashed in the evening light. “Time’s getting on George. You coming?”

“We can also put an austerity spin on it. Cutting back the state.” Osborne got up to follow Cameron.

The red in Hague’s face quickly turned white. “You can’t be serious. In the grand scheme of things it’s not going to save that much. What, just over a billion pounds? Pensioners’ bus passes alone cost nearly five times that amount. Christ, the national debt is over a trillion.” Hague stood to make his final plea. “And what are we going to say to all those losing out are going to do? Or just let them live on the street?”

Cameron stood in the doorway and they both turned back to Hague.

“They’ll have to move with their parents won’t they, use the Big Society excuse. After all the state can’t be responsible for everyone. You iron the details out, this meeting was your idea, Haguey. Come on George, its nearly four, carry on like this and we will have to charge overtime, and the public wouldn’t like that would they Haguey-boy? Right-o George, a drop of wine then we can fire up the Clegger. What do you say old chap?”


About David Stares

Starter of many things, finisher of none.

2 comments on “Common Man

  1. helenjbeal
    July 3, 2012

    A masterclass in bathetic macrocosmic humour. I truly was a fly on that wall. Thank you.

  2. mauledbypuma
    July 20, 2012

    “Hague’s flat northern vowels fell, well, flat,” – A highlight for me!

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This entry was posted on July 1, 2012 by in Short Story.
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