Thursday 5 September 2019

Inside No 10

Top notch chap.

Jo Johnson, the Science Minister, resigned today. Now read on.

The Cabinet Room. Boris Johnson is sitting with his head in his hands. The cleaner comes in. 

Cleaner: Oh! I'm sorry Prime Minister. I didn't realise anyone was still here. Don't worry, I'll come back...
Johnson: No, no...I...that is...well, as I say, in as much as, I want the, I very much believe that the truth of Moses to the the words of Edward VII...
Cleaner: Do you want me to stay?
Johnson: Yes.
Cleaner: No problem. You carry on with, um, your work, and I'll just keep out of your way.
Johnson: No! Come over here. I...I...I want to talk to you about something.
Cleaner: Oh? Is it something I've done? I'm so sorry about rearranging the pages of your speech in the wrong order. They just fell off the table as I was dusting and, well, I wasn't sure which way they went. But don't worry, love, I don't think anyone noticed the difference.
Johnson: Well, no. Quite. But no, it's not about that. I'm in a bit of a fix, see.
Cleaner: Well if there's anything I can do...
Johnson: Ah! You see...I knew it. You are like Robin of Sherwood. Like...ah...ah..William Tell. Your aim is both true and...ah...fine.
Cleaner: Yes?
Johnson: You see, well, ah, I seem to have deselected all my MPs.
Cleaner: Is that a problem?
Johnson: Well it is rather. Somewhat, yes. What with firing them all the cupboard is, as they say, somewhat scant. There's barely a fly for an old lady to swallow in there. It's all rather Mother Hubbard.
Cleaner: Oh, I see.
Johnson: Yes. Now, the problem is, I don't have enough people to fill my cabinet. And, with JoJo my brother somewhat buggering off, I'm left with ne'er a penny for the guy.
Cleaner: Yes, that is a problem. But what can I do about that?
Johnson: I was rather hoping you'd be my Science Minister. Most of the others in the party seemed to have had a pop at it recently, and I'm really rather stuck.
Cleaner: But I don't know anything about it!
Johnson: Oh that's not a problem! Not a problem at all! Most of the others didn't either! All you have to do is repeat '2.4%' over and over, talk a bit about global Britain and the need to work more closely with industry, and you'll be fine!
Cleaner: 2.4%, global Britain, industry?
Johnson: There you are! I say, you're better than JoJo already! And you won't be giving me any of the drop deads, either! That's what I would call...that is to say...that, as my, my, my good friend Dominic would say...a result!
Cleaner: But, but...what will I have to do? Don't I have to meet lots of really clever people?
Johnson: Well there might be a bit of that. But just tell them they're all brilliant and that they're doing really important work, and that should do the trick. Particularly if you ever meet Mark Walport. He loves that kind of talk. And then promise 2.4, global Britain and industry, and you're away!
Cleaner: Well, Prime Minister, I'm willing to do it...for the good of the country....
Johnson: No need for that kind of talk! Where would we all be if we did things for the good of our country?
Cleaner: I've just got one question, sir.
Johnson: Yes?
Cleaner: Who's going to do my job when I'm talking about the 2.4s?
Johnson: Ah! Piffle. No need to worry about that. I've lots of fabulous chaps who can do that. [presses the button on the intercom]. Hello? Jemima? Can you tell me, has Govey finished with all that Duchy of Lancaster nonsense? [pause] He hasn't? Well tell him to wrap it up pronto! I've got a wonderful new, ah, a wonderful new, ah, role for him. Right at the heart of Number 10, tell him. Yes, right at the heart. Behind the sofas, under the tables. All over the shop. Marvellous! [turns back to cleaner]. Well jolly good. That's that sorted! Wonderful to have you on board! Best foot forward and - ah - toodle pip!

Cleaner departs, bewildered, holding a battered red despatch box.

Johnson: Right! Marvellous! Top calibre chap! Now then, I wonder if the cook's free to do a spot of negotiations with the EU? [presses the intercom] Jemima? Could you ask Marcel to step in?

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