Continuing a Shakespearian tale of our times: Act Four, Tony does a deal with the devil

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The Independent Online
BY SPECIAL request, here is more of the long-lost Shakespeare play The History of King Tony, which chronicles the doings of Tony Blair and his reign over Britain ...

The scene is the Palace at Westminster, where Duke Prescott and several noblemen are conferring secretly. Enter Earl Dobson.

Dobson: I would have audience with King Anthony

On very urgent matters of the state.

So stand aside and let me through to him,

That he and I may save the nation's health.

Prescott: Steady there, old bearded one! Hold hard!

There is a queue to see the king, our lord.

You, of all people, should a queue respect,

For here in Britain's green, arthritic land

A queue and medicine go often hand in hand.

Baron Blunkett: I've heard it said that when a doctor's seen

Just walking in the street or passing by,

A queue will form behind him, naturally,

Of people hoping he will see them first,

Though none of them has ailment to report.

Prescott: I've heard it said that many wait so long

To see a doctor or the surgeon's knife,

That some of them are cured before the time

The doctor bends his beady eye on them.

Blunkett: And others die before they can be seen!

Which, in truth, is curing of a sort.

Prescott: Aye, for bacon that is cured is

always dead!

Blunkett: This is a merry jest, Duke Prescott, I like it well

Dobson: Come, cease thy prattling - let me

see the King.

Prescott: He is not here. He is to France away,

There to address the Froggy parliament

And show them how he speaks their foreign lingo.

`Bonjour, messieurs! Je suis Euro-Tony!'

Dobson: Is that what he doth say?

Prescott: It matters naught.

It matters only how he speaks and smiles,

For what he says is always secondary.

Know you not our well-beloved king?

Content is nothing - style is everything.

Dobson: These are treacherous words,

O gentle Duke.

Prescott: I care not what I say,

I am a man who speaks his mind with

total honesty.

Blunkett: And that is why our Tony is the King,

And you, rough Prescott, his mere

underling!

They all laugh and depart. The scene changes to a blasted heath in Kent. A broken sign reads "Site For Ye New High Speed Rail Link, Perchance". Three spin doctors sit round a flickering TV screen.

First Spin Doctor: Bubble, bubble, Nine

O'clock News!

Second Spin Doctor: Watch the headlines

blow a fuse!

Third Spin Doctor: Get on the buzzer to

News at Ten

All: Tell them not to say it again !

First Spin Doctor: Listen to the wild wind

moan!

Second Spin Doctor: Listen on your mobile

phone!

Third Spin Doctor: See the wandering

stranger come!

All: Let us have a little fun!

Enter King Tony on horseback - which is faster than going by train. He is talking to himself.

King Tony: Au revoir, messieurs! Je m'en

vais chez moi!

Ah, yes, my grasp of French has made its

mark!

But what is this?

Who are these creepy types

With mobile phones and Psion organisers

Who fawn on me in their Armani suits ? First Spin Doctor: All hail, Tony, that art

King of Britain !

King Tony: Tis true, I am.

But everyone knows that.

Second Spin Doctor: All hail, the President of Europe, all hail!

King Tony: What's that ? Oh, chairman for a year, you mean!

And, I believe, the youngest ever seen.

Third Spin Doctor: All hail, Tony, that shall

be King Rupert's heir,

And inherit his vast empire everywhere! The spin doctors vanish, smiling sardonically.

King Tony: Stay, you devilish media hacks, oh stay!

And tell me more before you fly away!

One spin doctor returns.

Spin Doctor: King Tony, I will tell you all I know,

If I can be Minister with no portfolio.

King Tony: Yes, yes, you can! I'll promise anything

If I can follow Rupert, the great media king!

More of this riveting stuff tomorrow...

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