The Idiot Wind – by John Philips

The Idiot Wind

‘It’s a hard rain’s a gonna fa-a-a-all’

Dominic kicked the door shut and tossed the bundle of papers onto the table.

Michael looked up and smiled.

‘You’re sounding a bit chippa today Dom.’

‘Too damn right I am,’ Dominic smirked. ‘Two more of those civil service bastards have resigned. I tell you Mike I’m going to have the lot of them out before I’m done.’

‘Well done Dom,’ Michael nodded. ‘Yes the times they are a changing.’

Dominic chuckled ‘You’re down in the groove, Mikey baby. They’re gonna be ‘knockin’ on Heaven’s door.’ He glanced at his watch. ‘Where’s fatso? He said ten and it’s nearly ten past.’

Michael sniggered.

‘Something about a phone call, but I reckon he’s called in at number eleven. He’s got the hots for the new aide.’

‘You reckon? I’ll be your baby tonight eh? Figures. He’s never been able to keep it in his pants.’ He shook his head. ‘Anyway, when’s Pompeo’s bitch due back?’

‘Sometime tomorrow I think,’ Michael winced. ‘You want to be careful with all this name-calling Dom. You know what a temper our esteemed Foreign Secretary has.’

Dominic grinned. ‘If you think I’m scared of the Karate Kid you can think again. I know where the bodies are buried.’ He winked at Michael. ‘All of them.’

For a moment a shadow crossed Michael’s face but as he went to reply the door opened to reveal a familiar bulky figure who entered, ran his hand through his wild, blond hair and smiled.

‘What ho, how goes it chaps? Sorry I’m a bit late, but you know how it is; things to do, people to see.’

Dominic smirked ‘Honey just allow me one more chance to get along with you,’ he chanted.

Boris shook his head. ‘Still on with the Dylan theme, eh?’

‘But of course. It’ll be thunder on the mountain tonight, you hope?’

‘Of course not and anyway you ought to pack this Dylan lark up. ‘I’ve just seen Matt. It’s really freaking him out.’

Michael nodded. ‘He’s right Dom. Last night’s offering of ‘Only a Pawn in their Game’ really hit home. I thought he was going to cry. He’s sure he’s being set up to take the blame for the way the pandemic’s been mishandled.

Boris grinned. ‘First time he’s been right since I gave him the job.’ A look of self-satisfaction crossed his face. ‘His legacy is going to be…’ he paused for effect….. ‘Corona Corona.’

Dominic clapped his hands. ‘Nice one Boris. I’ll give you that one.’

Boris smirked. ‘Yes that’s the way it will be.’ He paused again. ‘When the deal goes down.’

Dominic sighed. ‘OK, OK, don’t milk it. Anyway, what are we doing here? Why have you called this meeting?’

Boris fiddled with his hair. ‘Well you see, there’s a couple of things have come up and I’m a bit worried about my ratings. I mean the pandemic and all this dying and stuff. It’s dropped me right down in the polls. I’m way behind Starmer at the moment.’

Dominic laughed. ‘Oh come on Boris. You’ve an eighty seat majority and people have short memories. Once this lot’s over, as far as the punters are concerned it will just be a case of ‘OK, so bad things happen but it could have been worse. Could have been me,’ and then they will move on. Plenty of other things for them to think about. Brexit. Immigration. That’s what it’s all about. Don’t forget – this is good old racist Britain – we’re on a winner there!’

‘Of course I’m right.’ Dominic leaned forward in his chair. ‘By the time ‘Malice in Wonderland’ has done her bit, you’ll be quids in.’ He smirked. ‘I Priti the poor immigrant,’ you know what I mean?’

Boris looked baffled. ‘Never heard that one before. Have you Mike?’

‘Can’t say that I have.’

Dominic grinned triumphantly. ‘John Wesley Harding’ 1967 or thereabouts. A classic.’

Boris beamed. ‘You know, I think you’re right Dom. I just wish this other problem was as simple.’

‘What other problem?’

‘Foreign Sec on the blower just now, reckons Trump’s going for it.’

‘Going for what?’

‘It’s this Chinese business Mike. Looks like it could be military action.’

‘You what? Against the Chinese?’

Boris nodded. ‘Raab reckons so; says the trade deal depends on it and we’ll be expected to send some troops.’

‘Sounds like Talkin’ World War III Blues.’

‘It’s not funny Dom.’

Dominic laughed. ‘All this even after we’ve flogged them the N.H.S.?’

‘Yes that’s what the Masters of War say.’ Boris scowled. ‘Look you’ve got me doing it now.’

Dominic sighed.

‘Calm down the pair of you. You’re worrying about nothing – Don’t think twice, it’s alright, so we lose a few hundred squaddies, so what?’

‘Oh c’mon Dom,’ Boris interrupted, ‘I don’t give a toss about the squaddies, but it’ll play havoc with my ratings.’

‘No way,’ Dom shook his head. ‘Listen and learn. Joe Public loves a good war, assuming he’s not personally involved of course. Look at Maggie and the Falklands. Best election manifesto ever, bar none.’ He turned to Michael. ‘I’m right aren’t I?’

Michael nodded thoughtfully.

‘You know Boris, I reckon Dom’s spot on.’

‘But what if we lose? I mean, it’s the Chinese. Even the Yanks can’t guarantee winning. The answer’s Blowing in the Wind.’

‘Don’t be stupid,’ Dominic thumped the table. ‘So we lose? So what? We lie. For goodness sake man, it’s what you’re good at. You claim victory. The press will back you up, well most of them anyway.’

Michael, face flushed with excitement, jumped to his feet. ‘Yes, and when it’s all over we have a nice big remembrance service. Bring in the Royal Family. God On Our Side, and all that.’ He smirked with inspiration. ‘Get Charlie on the job, bit of multifaith, Gods and so forth. The people will love it! It’s a winner Boris! Yes, definitely!’

Boris beamed and rose to his feet. ‘You know, I think you’re right. I feel lots better now. OK, I’m off, things to do. You know what I mean.’

Michael sneered – he was good at it. ‘Are you off to play hide the snake?’

Boris opened the door. ‘That’s for me to know and you to ponder, but don’t forget the motto.’ He grinned evilly. ‘It Ain’t Me Babe. See you Thursday morning. Nine o clock meeting. Cioa.’

Dominic stared after the rapidly retreating figure. ‘The Drifter’s Escape,’ he muttered, and turning to Michael. ‘What a prat!’

‘I know what you mean.’ Michael nodded. ‘Thinks he can get away with anything.’

Dominic grinned, ‘That’s what he thinks, but me and you know different, don’t we, Mikey baby? I’m off. Catch you later.’

He swaggered off down the corridor accompanied by a surprisingly tuneful rendition of ‘It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.’

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