All hail King Tony! Our vengeful man of peace

This is a just and caring war we wage! A loving war, a war that says 'We care', a New Age war, perhaps. Organic war...
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The Independent Culture
TODAY WE bring you another extract from the excitingly rediscovered Shakespearian saga, The History of King Tony or New Labour's Lost, Love. In yesterday's episode we saw how the youthful King Tony put off his dreams of peace in Northern Ireland to embrace a warrior's role in Serbia. Today we shall see how his war progresses...

A royal council chamber, where workmen are installing telephones, decking the walls with maps and putting black-out over the windows. Enter King Tony, accompanied by Duke Prescott, George, Duke of Robertson, and various military men.

King Tony: From here we shall conduct the war


This little room, this nest of phones and maps

Shall be the centre of the whole campaign!

This is the very room which great Churchill used

To send out orders in the last world war,

For I, like him, shall all the brains control

Which send out orders to our far-flung men!

Prescott: to Robertson Has he been in this state

for very long?

Robertson: Softly, to Prescott Oh, ever since the

war began last week

Has he put on the noble warrior look,

Strutting around this military centre,

Putting flags on maps, and model rockets,

And making little noises to himself, such sounds as "Bang!" and "Crash" and "Bombs Away!"

And then he says...

King Tony: This war shall never cease

Until King Slobodan has given in

And seen the error of his evil ways!

Robertson: And after that he strikes another pose,

That pose we know so well, with moistening


His hand curled up as if imploring us

To pat his little head and stroke his locks...

Prescott: I know it well.

Robertson: And says to us this time...

King Tony: This is a just and caring war we wage!

A war to make men free and not be slaves,

A loving war, a war that says "We care"

And not a war for gain or territory!

A New Age war, perhaps. Organic war,

That would not harm a single person's hair,

Or, if a bomb should fall upon their head,

Would leave them there holistically dead!

Prescott: How strange to see the man of

peace stand there

And preach the cause of spreading war abroad!

Is this a thing that comes with power, you think?

Robertson: This is a thing I cannot understand.

Inside King Tony dwell two different men.

One is a vengeful, fighting man of peace.

The other, a loving, caring warrior chief.

Now riddle me that one, Prescott, if you can!

Before Duke Prescott can make answer, King Tony turns to him.

King Tony: Good Prescott, welcome to our

HQ base,

What think you of our little set-up here?

Prescott: It's very nice.

King Tony: "It's very nice", he says!

Where is the pride and passion in your voice?

Oh, Prescott, it is heaven in this room

Where I, at last, can be in real charge

And bomb my enemies, not humour them.

Now, Prescott, I shall need your help today.

Once weekly, as you know, I meet my people

And let them ask such questions as they wish. "King's Question Time" it's called.

But for today I am too busy with the war to go

And listen to my subjects' stupid plaints.

I trust thee well. Do thou go in my stead

And many rewards will fall upon your head.

Prescott: I go at once, my Lord. I only hope

That I shall do it half as well as thee.

Exeunt Robertson and Prescott. Enter Martin Bell, in a white suit. King Tony starts at the sight.

King Tony: Avaunt, thou man of peace, avaunt

my sight!

I have a just and caring war to fight!

Bell: No war is ever just, and no one gains.

Only he prospers who from war refrains.

The loser's left with bitter, vain regret;

The winner's left unharmed, but deep in debt.

King Tony: Get out, you moaning Minnie, now

get out!

Bell: The weakest men are they who loudest shout.

At a signal, Martin Bell is summarily ejected, doing all sorts of damage to his suit, leaving King Tony looking angry but pensive.

(More of this anon.)