The scene is the king's counsel chamber, where his advisers, spin doctors, soothsayers, astrologers, Catholic spies, etc, await him. Enter the King, followed closely by Lord "Doctor" Jack Cunningham. They stand apart and converse.
King Tony: How goes the world with thee, Lord
Is all at peace and quiet in my realm?
Jack: My liege, your countrymen are well content, Except in Scotland, Wales and Eltham, Kent.
Tony: The Scottish and the Welsh are always
But what can ail suburban, Kentish Eltham,
Near where the A2 sweeps its lordly way
Down to the ancient town of Dover, where
A tunnel, dug so cunningly 'neath the ocean,
Does take our British shoppers 'cross to France
Where they may buy their groceries far more cheap
Than they can get them in a British shop...
Does that explain the grievances in Eltham?
Jack: In part, my Lord; but chief among their woes
Is the unpunished killing of a black boy there
By young white thugs who still walk free today.
Tony: Then they must hang! Go, fetch the constable!
Jack: Oh, that it were quite so easy as all that!
Alas, the constable himself is also suspect.
Tony: Of killing the hapless youngster, do you mean?
Then send for men to bring the constable in
And I shall have him hanged before nightfall!
Jack: No, sire. That will not help. The constable
Is not exactly guilty. But his chief, Sir Paul,
Is thought to know much more than he lets on.
Tony: Then bring Sir Paul, this rascal, here to me,
And we shall string him from the nearest tree!
Jack: No, sire. That will not do. We must proceed
More gently. Bloody deeds may cleanse your soul
But injure you in an opinion poll.
Tony: How right you are, Lord "Doctor"
From rash reactions you are there to save me!
But soft - who comes here splashed with mud,
As one who rides non-stop for days and days?
Enter a breathless messenger.
Messenger: King Antony, I ride hotfoot from Wales,
To bring you news of freshly brewing trouble!
Tony: How can this be? I thought I'd sorted out
The voting for the new Welsh parliament!
Saw you not the way I stitched up Rhodri Morgan
And engineered into the seat of power
Duke Allan Michael, boring but so loyal?
Jack: I did, my liege, and well you did it too.
Messenger: And yet this same Duke Michael will
Your wrath for what he's done this day in Wales.
Together with Prince Charles, the Old Pretender,
He has combined to eat a plate of meat!
Tony: Can such a deed be called so very wrong?
Messenger: The meat they ate was beef, still on
Jack: Oh, this is treachery! This is black and base!
I seethe! I burn! Base Michael and vile Charles
Shall feel the fiery edge of my just wrath!
They have defied the ban and both must hang!
Tony: Come now, my good Lord "Doctor", come!
Just now you urged me not hang Paul Condon,
And now I beg you to be calm and sweet.
To hang Duke Allan Michael is not meet.
The folk of Wales might take the thing awry
If their new leader was hung out to dry.
Jack: You may be right. I should just simmer down. Tony: And now it's time to fetch Duke Gordon
Jack: You aim to hang your trusty Chancellor?
Tony: No, no! Well, not quite yet, at least, for now. No, this is the time when he compiles his Budget,
That moment when he tells the folk of England
How he will take more money from their purse.
He loves this moment, when he strides the stage
And seem to be the expert of the age!
And so I love to put my oar in too
And tell Duke Gordon Brown just what to do.
Jack: Which drives him mad?
Tony: Which sends him round the bend! And that of course is just what I intend!
More of this intriguing saga tomorrow!Reuse content