Terence Blacker: The Budget of Ken's dreams

 

Share
Related Topics

By one of those inexplicable quirks of modern technology, there was a most unusual case of crossed wires in the House of Commons this week. While the rest of the nation listened to George Osborne's Budget speech, another narrative was coming through loud and clear on the smartphone of a junior parliamentary correspondent. It was, unmistakably, issuing from the contented form of the Justice Secretary, who appeared to be asleep. Here, exclusively, are the main points of Kenneth Clarke's dream, which seemed to get under way quite soon after the Chancellor began speaking.

"Today's Budget is an urgent call to action for Britain...."

Hm. Hm? Sun on the face, hair ruffled by the gentle wind. Murmuring sound around me, what could that be? Ah yes, it's my classic Morgan convertible purring down a country road. Radio's on. Somebody's droning on and on. Voice seems annoyingly familiar.

"... This Government declares these principles again today for the modern age..."

Modern age! How many times have I heard that in my life? What's on Radio 2? Ah, jazz favourites. Now we're talking. It's the great hard-bop supremo Cannonball Adderley, playing One for Daddy-O! Wha-what? Someone's nudging me. I don't believe it. There, gazing provocatively at me from the olive-green leather passenger seat is none other than the classic French chanteuse Juliette Greco. I smile seductively at her. Bonjour to you, ma cherie.

"Ken! Ken!" I could almost swear that's the voice of Danny Alexander, junior minister of something or other. Ignore it – that always works. Was that a thump? I have a nasty feeling that I might just have run over the little Lib Dem, but here's a funny thing – I don't give a damn.

"... Britain has a plan. And we're sticking to it..."

I glance across. The gorgeous Gallic charmer Anouk Aimée is holding something firm and beautiful in her slender hand. Now I'm breathless with excitement. The little minx has only managed to bring a Romeo y Julieta Corona with her! She places it delicately between my lips. Mm, mm, first two puffs – a Cuban cigar lit by a French starlet. Could anything be better?

"... we simply cannot go on like this".

Suddenly we're home. The lady wife is at the front door. I have that niggling sense that I've forgotten something. Was I meant to be making a speech? Are my fly-buttons undone? I explain to the wife that there might be a bit of fuss since I've just run over Danny Alexander and replaced him with my new friend – I turn– the smouldering jazz temptress Annie Ross. That annoying voice is still speaking.

"There should be no cherry-picking on either side..."

And this time it's coming from my own sitting room. I burst in. Sitting around a long table is a group of smartly dressed schoolchildren. One of them is speaking. It's Osborne!

Marianne Faithfull stands beside me, straightens my tie and tucks my shirt into the front of my trousers. "Have you forgotten, Ken?" she asks huskily. "It's a Cabinet meeting." I stride forward and, without more ado, sit firmly in the chair occupied by Cameron, squashing him flat. As I settle in, I feel him twitching beneath me but only for a few seconds. He's rather comfortable.

"We have put fuel into the tank of the British economy..."

I'm peckish, as it happens. At that moment, the door opens. Margaret Thatcher enters, bearing a mighty roast with all the trimmings! A wine waiter at my elbow pours me a glass. "Not a bad dwop, is it, Ken?" I look up to see my old pal Heseltine. The old gang is back! In short order, the schoolkids are kicked off their seats and run away blubbing. I'm surrounded by chums - Norman Fowler, Johnny Major, Hurdo, even Smoothie Parkinson.

" ...and I commend this Budget to the House." Hear, hear!



terblacker@aol.com

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Dynamics CRM Developer (C#, .NET, Dynamics CRM 2011/2013)

£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Dynamics CRM D...

Web Developer (C#, ASP.NET, AJAX, JavaScript, MVC, HTML)

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Web Developer ...

C# R&D .NET Developer-Algorithms, WCF, WPF, Agile, ASP.NET,MVC

£50000 - £67000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# R&D .NE...

C# Developer (Web, HTML5, CSS3, ASP.NET, JS, Visual Studios)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Deputy Editor's Letter:

Independent Voices, Indy Voices Rhodri Jones
A couple stand in front of a beautiful cloudy scene  

In sickness and in health: It’s been stormy but there are blessings in the clouds

Rebecca Armstrong
Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor