Hello! In blow to Anglo-Russian diplomacy, today VOLGA NEWS (English Language Edition) reveal extent of Russian surveillance of UK by publish transcript of conversation that took place last weekend in Downing Street.
CAMERON: Come in Nick. Oh thanks, did you put the Canderel in? Great. Ok. Please sit down. No not there. There’s a more comfortable seat in the corner. That’s better. Now look. The Boundary thing. You’ve seen the advanced copy. Well it will cause all kinds of difficulties with some of my MPs and some of yours. I – [Raucous noise.]
CLEGG: What’s that?
CAMERON: Next door. George. He’s got friends round and they’re pawing through Vickers. Now. Boundaries. Nadine will be very upset. I don’t think even my plan to cure her frustration by getting George to come over and comfort her will help. Vince will be cross too. He’s got used to working with George, you know, discussing which lines to take. So it seems to me we have two options.
CAMERON: Well first there’s the one for people like Nadine. They think – I know it’s – oh, I mustn’t laugh – they think you have too much influence over policy. [Tape contains five minutes of hysterical laughter at this point.] Anyway, they see you as dangerous toxic assets. So they’ll want Conservatives ring-fenced and protected from you to avoid contagion.
CLEGG: What do you think of that?
CAMERON: Going it alone? Losing you Nick? The very idea you’re some emissary from all those CND badge wearing, Real Ale drinking, Amnesty International joining, razor-phobic sociology lecturers you call a Party Conference is simply absurd. Actually you fell in line with exemplary speed. On economics, abandoning opposition to rapid deficit reduction, backing VAT rises, supporting us on tuition fees, benefit capping and slashing. And now on social questions. As the riots broke out, why even Simon Hughes was calling for rubber bullets, Evan Harris demanding the army, and you calling it “criminality, pure and simple”. All this smoothed the way for our new, erm, coherence on law and order. It’s like you’re there and not there.
CLEGG: But we are there. You can’t govern without us.
CAMERON: Quite so, making up the numbers, and don’t think I’m not really grateful. But this all brings me to the second option. And here I’m looking north of the border for inspiration. Now you know Murdo Fraser’s campaign in Scotland? Proposing to abolish the Scottish Conservatives if he becomes their leader? Well I’ve decided to let that play out.
CLEGG: But I thought you opposed it?
CAMERON: I do. But it’s a long game with these things. I’m going to back Murdo. I’ll even suggest a new name: the SCOTTISH NOT ENGLISH PARTY, or SCONE. And he’ll win. But then there will be splits, terrible faction fighting over which of the three pronunciations of the party’s name is correct.
CAMERON: You’ve read Macbeth. Then I’ll intervene and say that on reflection the name doesn’t work because the letters S and E are too suggestive of a party run from London. So they’ll rebrand again. As CON. And I’ll welcome them back. But I think the broad idea might have legs in the rest of the country. With a different party. And that’s why I’ve asked the Boundary Commission to bring forward new proposals.
CAMERON: Well I asked them to reduce the number of seats. They’ve done a great job. But it causes problems. So now, I want them to sort out the mess by reducing the number of parties.
CAMERON: You see Nick, we live in a democracy. And democracy is about choice at the ballot box. And choice has to be meaningful. And it hasn’t been for some time. Everyone aiming at the middle ground, Blair years, sons of Thatcher and all that. But with the two Eds trying to out-mad each other in concern for social issues and redistribution and what not, a choice is emerging. Sort of. Thing is though Nick, given just how helpful you’ve been, where does your party fit in?
CAMERON: Now it’s early days and of course there will be consultation and you’ll be able to put your points across. But I’ve asked the Commission to consider three things: does a party have a distinctive policy identity; does it regularly command more than 25% of the popular vote in General Elections; and would you have dinner with its activists.
CAMERON: Now I know that doesn’t look good for you Nick, but believe you me, there will always be a place for you and many of your MPs under the new political arrangements. Join us. How else am I going to win in Sheffield? And I’ll always need a Deputy. There will always be things to do around here for someone as handy as you. Look how wonky those shelves are for a start. It’ll be fine. Just don’t bring the weirdoes. What do you say?
CAMERON: Good. Now. What’s next? Ah yes. The Euro crisis. You used to like the Euro Nick, am I right?