A group of writers in Chichester coming together once a month for inspiration, collaboration and sensation
“Everyone is bisexual. Almost everyone has the sexual potential for anything.”
Ken Livingstone, Speech to Harrow Gay Unity Group, 18th August 1981.
“Thank you George, that’ll be all.”
David thanked George about the latest Growth Forecast but there was nothing to be thankful about. Nick never really liked David’s old Bullingdon chum and was glad when David put the phone down. Walking away from the desk towards the window David drank in the gloom of another dismal forecast. Nick couldn’t see the expression on David’s face but guessed it was a bad one.
“It shrank 0.2% Nick…it’s a double-dip.”
“A bloody double-dip Nick!” David exclaimed before pulling himself together. “The UK is back in recession.”
“Jesus. Whose forecast?”
“The Office for National Statistics.”
“Shit.” Nick knew this was no good. No good at all. “The Guardian—”
David’s head visibly dropped, which stopped Nick dead. Both of them knew that the Guardian would be all over the news like a rash that would not go away…no matter how much ointment they applied.
Silence soon filled the room and the two men were left in deep contemplation. It was some time before David had the courage to speak up.
“Nick what does this mean for the Coalition?”
“I don’t know David. Sure I’m Lib Dem leader but—well you know, you’re party leader as well. We need something to bury this under.”
“Spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down,” David added bitterly. “I better let a junior minister use one of their third-rate schemes to deal with youths, or the elderly, or snow leopards or whatever the bloody hell they care about. A smoke screen to distract our dear colleagues and friends in the press from the huge pile of shit that’s just fallen into our laps”
“Don’t swear David. It’s very unbecoming of you.”
“Sorry. It’s just disappointing.”
Nick couldn’t contain it any longer. “Jesus this is bad David! Who the hell is going to vote Tory or Lib Dem! At this rate the next government will be a bloody Coalition between Labour and, and friggin’ UKIP!”
“Nick, Nick, Nick,” calmly sighed David, “we’ve got a good few years left…haven’t we?” His colleague was gazing at his shoes, furious fists clenched tightly to contain his upset and confusion. “Haven’t we Nick?” David tried his best to relieve the tension.
Moving away from the window David moved closer to Nick, facing him.
“Surely we got a few more years to sort this whole mess out, haven’t we?”
“I don’t know. I’m just one man. I can’t pull the wool over everyone’s eyes in the Party.”
“Vince. What about Vince Nick? Our Business Secretary isn’t going to be impressed. He’ll want Osborne’s head on a silver platter with an apple sticking out of his mouth.”
“I wouldn’t worry David, this is bad for all of us, Vince included. One man can’t bring down the Coalition,” he said grinning, thinly masking his uncertainty. “Vince does what Vince does. Sure he’s popular with the people, he was on Strictly Come Dancing. Strictly for Christ’s sake! But he’s accountable, just like the rest of us.”
Nick jumped up on the desk and sat on it. He kept his hands busy, trying his best to remain calm. David came closer and closer before settling himself between Nick’s legs.
“What about us Nick? What does this mean for us?”
David pulled his face close until Nick felt his warm breath. Those blue eyes of David stared imploringly at Nick whilst the smell of David’s musk stuck firmly in Nick’s nostrils.
“I don’t know David. I feel like a big fat piggy in the middle of a shit-smeared sty,” said Nick wearily before apologising. “Sorry but I don’t even feel like a man anymore. This government. Back at home. I mean Miriam wouldn’t even let me name any of my sons. Antonio. Alberto. Miguel. Not even English—no, not even remotely British! I just feel so impotent. All of this.It’s a strain on us David. Isn’t it?”
Bringing his hand to Nick’s cheek David stroked it softly. Dramatically David pushed Nick so he laid flat on the desk and his legs hanged limply over the edge. Bending over David laid as close as possible whilst his hand caressed his colleague’s face.
“Never Nick. Never. Of course you’re a man Nick, you’re the Deputy PM, leader of the Liberal Democrats. Times are going to be tough Nick but we can do this…if we stay together,” David took Nick’s hand confidently in his own. “We’ll do this…together. Don’t worry Nick, the Coalition may collapse but our love for each other will always be strong. Please don’t give up. Nick.” Those blue eyes still stared deep into Nick’s eyes, “you’re the best thing that’s happened to me. The best thing that’s happened from this whole political arrangement.”
“David I—” David ran his hand up the inside of Nick’s thigh at which point Nick let out a soft groan.
“David…please stop.” Nick whispered his eyes rolled back into his head, “we’ve got a country to fix.” Of course they have to stop. There’s serious work to be done.
Nick was just glad that David was there for him for now. But there were bigger things and bigger issues to consider than the intense love that burned between these two strong men.
Both of them knew they had to leave and get on with their day. With effort they got up from the desk and took hold of each other’s hands, before they sauntered towards the door. They looked at each carefully to make sure that their ties remained straight, that their hair was unruffled, presentable, as their Advisors would say. Before parting they held each other tightly like two tired, lost, hungry explorers realising that they’ve been rescued by love. David pulled away, affectionately punching Nick’s shoulder.
“Come on Deputy Prime Minister.”
“Okay Prime Minister.”