They are by now well into Sinatra’s ‘Wee small hours of the morning’. Outside all is quiet. The soft light of a fat moon gently bathes the gentle rolling curves of the Cotswold hills. An owl hoots from a copse of silver birch trees. A fox barks.
The place is in so many ways the same place as Thomas Hardy knew all those years ago. Only now the squires have been replaced by bankers from the City who have exchanged their bonuses for a thatched roof Disneyland life of green wellingtons and Farmers Markets
Somewhere out in the night Jeremy Clarkson is sulking over a late night tumbler of scotch.
Somewhere out in the night Rebecca Brooks is talking to New York.
But in the Cameron house all of the lights are burning. Hyped up special advisers all but hyper ventilate as the results of their night of nights fizz through the blackness of the ether and into their top of the range tablets.
And it is unbelievable.
Better than any of them had dared to dream of.
‘I never felt more like singing the blues … the Tories win and Labour lose….’
The South of England is as blue as the Caribbean Sea.
Only a few hours earlier, the exit poll had rendered their sharp hungry faces all but speechless. Now the result from Nuneaton has turned them all into believers. Acolytes. Disciples.
After eighteen years, the show is back on the road.
And in the middle of it all, Dave sits on his sofa wearing the smile of a man who suddenly owns the world. The smile of a man born to rule the world. Bred to rule the world. Groomed to rule the world.
And this time there will be no tortuous hours of schmoozing those 'holier than thou' shits from the LibDems. Twats. For by now it is abundantly clear that the holier than thou shits are well on their way into the dustbin of history.
Shame for Clegg of course. But life’s a bitch, right? Should have joined the right party in the first place.
But in a sky as blue as the electoral map of the South of England, there are clouds gathering out on the horizon. Dark clouds. Angry clouds. Clouds than promise to well and truly screw up any planned barbeque for later on. Dark enough to bugger up a carefully planned menu of Pimms No l and those super sausages from that splendid chap at the Farmers Market.
And Dave is in two minds about the Scottish clouds. The Scottish storm. The Scottish hurricane.
In so very many ways, it has been such a completely perfect storm. Watching that Bryllcreamed prick Douglas Alexander being put down by a twenty year old student was as good as watching a fox being ripped apart by a pack of hounds. And then Murphy. And Curran. The last vestiges of the smug prancing arrogance of New Labour.
What goes around comes around guys.
There’s a new show on the road now. A new sheriff in town.
And there’s no getting away from the fact that playing the Scottish bogeyman card has been the game changer. The sheer undiluted gullibility of the people never ceases to amaze him. When George first laid out the strategy, Dave had had his doubts. Come on George. It’s not like they're the bloody IRA. There is a limit. Isn’t there? Even the British aren’t that bloody stupid.
Or are they?
Well it seems they are. Maybe they always have been.
Fear of marauding Scottish bands certainly appears to have swept through the streets on Nuneaton.
One of the bright young things presents a tablet screen for his inspection. Baggy cords and designer stubble. Son of a pal from school. Eyes gleaming with the blazing burning buzz of victory. Well. Dave hopes that’s what it is. Dave hopes there are no inappropriate residual traces of the taste of Colombia to be found on his ludicrously over priced toilet cistern.
“Check this out boss.”
It's a tweet.
“They’ll be dancing in the streets of Grand Cayman and the British Virgin Islands.”
A slow smile.
“Bloody excellent. Grab another bowl of Twiglets from the kitchen would you, Tarquin. There’s a good lad.”
And the still the great SNP storm rages across the north of the Realm. Unbelievable. He pictures the ashen face of Ed Milliband up in Doncaster. Watching the same storm wreak the same havoc.
You didn’t believe it could actually happen, did you Ed?
Another and another and another.
Seats from ghastly places which have been painted red since the dawn of democratic time. The heartlands. The bed rock.
But not yet completely perfect.
For everything to be completely perfect, there needs to be one more splash of yellow on the map.
For Dave knows his history. Because they know how to do history at Eton. It’s all part of the job of preparation. If we are going to groom you for one of the top slots, we need to to tell it warts and all. And there are always lots of warts in the process of losing the greatest Empire the world has ever seen. Bumps along the road.
So many of his predecessors have been screwed over by storms which came raging in from the far corners of the Empire. Good men one and all. Good men made to look stupid care of wild eyed colonials burning with the desire to be free.
And for just a few moments, Dave’s attention wanders away from the screen and away into pictures from the past.
He can see Disraeli all the way back in 1878. And how he yearns to shoot the messenger. The messenger is wearing a frock coat and his message is enough to warrant immediate execution. News from the Cape. A Zulu army has wiped out a British column at a place called Isandlwana. A bunch of bloody savages.
Same room. Lord Salisbury this time. White faced with fury. Yet another good pal from school wiped off the face of the earth by the bloody Irish. The bastards. The endless bloody bastards. Vermin. Murderous swine. And eighty of the uncouth bastards in the House of Commons…..
Winston Churchill. The man who saw off Hitler. But he could never see of bloody Ghandi. A skinny little waif mincing about the place in his idiotic rags. The bloody cheek of the man. Outrageous. Turned up for an audience with the King looking like a beggar straight off the streets of Calcutta. Some reporter asked him if he was possibly a little under-dressed for an audience with his king. And what had the wretched little sod said? For Christ's sake. ‘Oh I think the King was wearing quite enough for both of us….”
On and on the list rolls on along through Dave’s mind. Much like a trolley clattering along a hospital corridor.
Anthony Eden and Nasser.
Harold Macmillan and Rhodesia.
Maggie and the bloody Irish again.
And Dave knows that the process of disengaging from Empire can be a complete and utter bloody nightmare. Especially if you have the wrong sort of chap in charge.
And who cops it?
The Prime sodding Minister cops it. That’s who. Disraeli hadn’t been within ten thousand miles of the carnage at Isandlwana, but he still caught all the flak.
And now it is clear that all roads are heading north.
His legacy will be framed by Scotland, Scotland, Scotland.
Scotland has presented him with the keys to the big house. Now he knows in his bones that Scotland will frame the way he will be remembered. Scotland will make him or break him.
And all of those history lessons bought and paid for at such eye watering expense have taught him well.
The key to getting out of Dodge in one piece is having a good Viceroy. If you have the right kind of Viceroy, you can get clear without looking like a complete laughing stock in Washington and Moscow and Berlin and Paris. Especially bloody Paris. Bastards.
And in the midst of the designer comfort of his sofa Dave knows he is going to need his own Lord Louis Mountbatten. His own Chris Patten.
With the right Viceroy, he will be able to get out of Scotland with a semblance of dignity. With the right kind of Viceroy he will be able deprive the gloating, preening bastards in Paris the chance of a bloody good laugh.
But with the wrong kind of Viceroy….
It will be like the bloody Yanks legging it out of Saigon with their tails between their legs.
The thought sends a shudder through him. And now his moment of truth is growing ever closer. The moment his destiny might be decided.
And democracy can be such a complete and utter twat at times. A trace of a smile. Isn’t that right, Nick?
It is time for democracy to deal out her cards.
Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale.
A place nobody gives a shit about.
A million acres of inconsequential Scottish nothing. Sheep and deep fried bloody Mars bars.
But it is the place that now holds the key to his legacy.
And all Dave needs is for the historic Scottish storm to claim one final victim. And surely it must. On this night of nights for the marauding SNP, it simply has to be. It can’ be anything else.
The moment of truth arrives and Dave holds his breath…..
Emma Harper, SNP – 19,961
David Mundell, Conservative ……….
Come on, come on, come on….
Bastards, bastards, bastards, bastards ………………"
“What on earth is the matter dear….”
And all of the bright young things are flocking into the room to see what the terrible thing is.
Dave sinks back into the sofa and raises a weary arm. A weary hand. A weary pointing finger…..
And on the screen the Right Honourable David Mundell is cavorting around the stage like a nerdy teenager at his first school disco.
“Him. That's what's wrong. That useless, worthless piece of shit.”
Slowly and one by one, the consequences climb up the ladders into his brain. And they rain on his parade. And they block out the warm glow. And they piss on his chips.
He curses himself for ever allowing himself the luxury of mentally trawling the benches of the House of Lords for the perfect last Viceroy of Scotland. The right kind of chap. A chap from the right kind of school capable of holding their knife and fork properly. A chap to look good on a horse. A Mountbatten.
And all he bloody needed was the chance dump the LibDems and for the great SNP storm to sweep Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and bastarding Tweeddale clean of the last trace of blue.
But the storm has run out of steam.
And against all sensible odds, the shambling cretin has managed to buck the trend of the night and hang on. 800 lousy votes. Eight bloody hundred. And now dave knows the way history will remember him is in the bumbling hands of David bloody Mundell.
He can’t help it.
He can’t help picturing the hapless git being taken apart piece by piece by Salmond and Sturgeon. And a shiver runs though him.
Talk about bloody cannon fodder. Jesus. They’re going to toy with him. Run rings around him. Mock him. Like vicious kids pulling the legs off a spider.
And for the next five years, Dave realises he is going to have to suffer seeing the useless twat sitting at the Cabinet table. His Cabinet table. And all because 800 deluded so called Labour supporting wankers have chosen to tactically vote to get their pathetic communist rocks off by ticking the Tory box on the ballot paper.
A nervous cough.
“We probably need to get moving boss. You know. The count…”
“Yes. Of course. The count.”
“You OK, boss?”
“Me? OK? Not really. Not at all in fact.”
“But I thought…..”
“Of course you did. Why wouldn’t you?”
“We’ve got the wrong Viceroy, Tarquin. The wrong bloody Viceroy. And he is going to make us us look like complete twats. And there isn’t a bloody thing I can do about it.”
And somewhere far out in the gentle Cotswolds night a dog fox barks.