Tony, you'd rather die than be not king, sayeth the queen

The Bard's long-lost masterpiece doth show the more human side of King Tony on one of those rare times when he is on holiday

IT HAS been a little while since we had an extract from the long- lost Shakespearean masterpiece, The History of King Tony, or New Labour's Lost, Love, which tells the story of King Tony's struggle to keep control of Britain and to conquer Europe. Today we have a fragment looking at the more human side of King Tony, during one of those rare times when he is on holiday...

The scene is a village in Tuscany. Everything is quiet except for thousands of policemen, bodyguards etc, milling round dressed as villagers. Enter King Tony, accompanied by Queen Cherie.

Tony: This country has a sweet and garlic air,

Which soothes us as it gives us appetite.

I love these moments spent in Tuscany,

Far from the stress and strain of daily life -

Sometimes I dream of giving it all up,

And coming here to live in solitude,

A hermit in these vine-clad hills and dales!

Cherie: I should cocoa! Chance would be a fine, fine thing!

You'd rather die, than cease to be a king!

King Tony's mobile phone rings. He answers it.

Tony: My majesty here. Yes, Tony speaking. Hello, John! (aside: Duke Prescott on the line. How he goes on!)

King Tony is unable to get a word in edgeways.

Tony: OK... Yes, yes... I get your drift, dear John.

But never mind - when I am home again, I'll help you sort out bus and railway train...

(To the Queen)

Poor John does get his knickers in a twist!

Just like the normal, old-style Socialist!

In opposition, he was in seventh heaven;

But when in charge, he's all at sixes and sevens....

Cherie: You must not alienate old guard friends,

Dear King. You'll need them at the bitter end.

But look - who is this long-legged apparition

Who strides along the street without a care?

Enter Dame Janet Street-Porter, walking booted.

Janet: Strewth, my blisters! Sod this rambling lark!

I wish I'd stayed at home in Muswell Park! Exit.

Cherie: This Tuscany is become like Hyde Park Corner!

Or do I mean the bloody Groucho Club?

Oh, Tony, let us leave this part of Italy

Where all the media do turn up in summer,

And go where we can shun the trendy throng!

Tony: OK. I'll pack my espadrilles and thong,

And to the south of France take you along...

The scene changes to a small village in the South of France, where King Tony and Queen Cherie sally forth from their chateau, completely alone except for thousands of secret police disguised as Tour de France bicyclists.

Tony: This country hath a dry and sparkling air

Which makes me feel at home in it straightway.

I speak their lingo pretty well, you know -

"Je parle Francais assez couramment!"

Cherie: "Oui, oui, je sais." You always tell us so.

Tony: I could retire to such a lovely spot

And give up ruling Britain like a shot!

Cherie: And I keep telling you, that you could not!

You worry about problems night and day,

Like, does it matter if Mandelson is gay?

Tony: Ah yes, Duke Mandelson! My faithful friend!

Whom I have not promoted finally

To be in charge of all our fighting forces!

It is, I think, a master stroke of mine!

Enter the military Chiefs of Staff.

General chorus: We stand united, in a khaki line!

If Mandelson is to rule us, we resign!

Tony: Oh. That's rather different... OK, gents -

I'll find you someone who will make more sense.

Exit chiefs of staff, laughing and sniggering.

Cherie: You see? No hermit's cave, your fate!

You never can escape from affairs of state

Where'er you go, where'er you seek to hide,

There are problems hiding in this countryside...

Enter Sir Greg Dyke.

Tony: What ho, Sir Greg! How goes the BBC?

Like you the job of being the new DG?

Dyke: My Lord, a word with you, as with a friend.

I am, quite frankly, now at my wit's end.

The old DG refuses to move out.

I talk to him, and sometimes even shout.

But Birt just smiles as if he cannot hear,

And carries on as if I were not there.

What can I do? The man has gone quite mad!

It would be funny if it weren't so sad...

Cherie: My Lord, this quite has ruined our holiday.

No more I'll stand. To London let's away!

More of this soon, I hope.

Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010

GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride

Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan

FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head

Arts and Entertainment
Måns Zelmerlöw performing

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Norton was back in the commentating seat for Eurovision 2015

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Arts and Entertainment

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
film
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Comics
Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
music
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

music
Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

books
Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

tv
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

classical
Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine