Wednesday, 12 May 2010


Buckingham Palace. Imagine the scene.

‘Good morning, Mr Cameron. Simply thrilled to meet you.’

'Good morning, Ma’am. The honour is most certainly mine.’

‘Do have a seat. There are 5 thousand 4 hundred and 33 to choose from, you know, throughout the building but we just keep a couple of dozen in here. Nice though, don’t you think...the beige with the gold? I’ll sit just here and we shall be quite alone...apart from the corgis of course. They always enjoy my chats with the PMs. May I call you David?’

‘Of course Ma’am. I’d be delighted. May, perhaps not.’

‘So, new job, I hear. Congratulations. And a rainbow to greet you and your wife as you enter Number 10. I expect the gentlemen of the press were frightfully pleased. Well, you must be exhausted after such an eventful few days. Still, here we are, all ready to take office. Quite a tall order, but I’m absolutely sure you’ll keep your nose firmly pinned to the grindstone throughout.’

‘Absolutely, Ma’am.’

‘Splendid. Now the last time I met you in the flesh, you were dressed as a rabbit. Do you remember? I believe it was 35 years ago, school show, ‘Toad of Toad Hall’. You were splendid then and I expect the same kind of sparkling performance in your new role.’

‘Thank you Ma’am. I flattered you can recall such an event.’

‘Ah well David, I remember most things. I’ve been here since 1953, you know, so in that time I’ve met a total of twelve different Prime Ministers, starting with Winston, of course.’

‘That is a most humbling thought, Ma’am.’

‘It’s all been very interesting, I can tell you. So, let me put you at ease. Firstly, you know that it has always been the case One meets with the PM every week. I’d like you to know these meetings are entirely private, and nothing you say will go beyond the walls of this room. I know what you’re thinking...if only corgis could speak, what? Luckily, they have always proved endlessly faithful to One.’

‘They are charming Ma’am. And perfectly behaved. Naturally.’

‘Oh, you’re a dog man. Splendid. Now, I’ve only just finished seeing Gordon, you know. It is of course my duty to thank him for doing his duty before I can ask you the big question.’

‘Yes, Ma’am, of course.’

‘Gordon was perfectly charming, as ever. We have got to know each other jolly well during the last three years, and I must say, it’s not always been plain sailing. A son of the manse of course, and as dour a Scotsman as ever One is likely to meet....which is just the way a Scot is supposed to be. As you know, I’m rather keen on ‘things Scottish’. Now, I must ask you....with a name like Cameron, I assume you also have a spot of Scot’s blood wheeching through your veins?’

‘Yes indeed, Ma’am. Funnily enough, Gordon and I are both descended from Scottish Victorian farmers.’

‘How lovely. Well, with all this multi-culturalism going on, it’s quite clear we are all Jock Tamson’s Bairns after all. Now, as I say, the son of the manse did rather inherit a poisoned chalice, but Gordon being Gordon, he stuck to it, dutifully carrying out the demands of office as best he could. I should remind you that I have yet to meet a PM who hasn’t made a mistake...not that I’m counting, you understand, but One can’t help remembering little details here and there.’

Gulp. ‘Yes, Ma’am.’

‘Now, I had a quick world with King Harald of Norway recently, and he tells me these coalition governments can work jolly I don’t want you to be alarmed at the idea of working with those with whom you may not see eye to eye. King Harald tells me, in Europe, the average time it takes for a new Government to form a coalition is 40 days...that’s the average time. 40 days in the Wilderness seems appropriately biblical, doesn’t it? However, I’m quite pleased you’ve somehow managed to come to an agreement after just 5 days of chit-chat.’

‘Yes Ma’am, indeed we have.’

‘And do you think your arrangement will stick? Are you a bit of a team player as well as a leader?’

‘I believe so, Ma’am, yes.’

‘In that case, it’s time for the big question. Will you, in your new capacity as Prime Minister, form the next Government of the United Kingdom?’

‘I will Ma’am. It will be an honour and a privilege.’

The Queen stood up, followed by all the corgis and Mr Cameron.

‘Splendid. I look forward to our little chats,’ said the Queen. And as she was leaving the room, she gently turned around in the doorway and looked her new Prime Minister straight in the eye.

‘David, I’m depending on you.’

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