Notes for a Novel


The scenes are set in the present, with two partisan sectors, with vastly differing ideas, opinions and motives: both attempting to capture the public’s minds and intentions before a vote, a referendum ballot; finally takes place to determine whether their Country stays within a large group of Nation States: or takes a decision to leave that group forever.

A tiny number of scheming but deeply cynical politicians, of varying political colours but with strongly-held views and ambitions, gather in a smoky room in a Georgian house in Lord North Street: all intent upon one thing and one thing only, to agree on a plan, a single act, which would bring public opinion strongly across towards their viewpoint.

The most cynical man in the group, a former advisor and master-spinner himself, addresses the group seated around the highly-polished table towards the conclusion of their secret debate. No notes were to be kept, all mobile phones had been switched off, batteries ejected, before the conspirators had departed their homes and offices before their separate anonymous journeys to a house which had already been ‘scrubbed’ and tested for electronic and recording devices; for this was one meeting which could not, and would never, be referred to again, once the meeting had concluded its truly terrible purpose. The speaker tapped his pen against the exquisitely-cut and decorated crystal water jug, and the ringing tone sharpened the attentions of the listeners.

“We are agreed, gentlemen, on the proposal which has been discussed. As our plan calls for one, and only one, sacrificial ‘lamb’ for the stewpot, I will now access the names which have been placed in the bowl before us; one candidate from six of the main areas within the Kingdom. All preparations are in place, and the scapegoat ‘patsies’ already seeded and in place, with a formidable team to finally mould his mind, already tormented by his own mental instabilities, once the target has been chosen. The rest of the ‘patsies’ will receive the mental health treatment and medications which those unfortunate people should have received immediately their diagnoses were completed. The back-up evidence; of instability, of threats and of weaponry preparations, are already in place, via the Internet, so we can proceed.” As he finished his sentences, he leant forward, dipped his hand into the bowl, and brought out a single slip of paper, folded over three times. He spoke the name revealed by the paper, and the eldest of the six other men, one who had sat silently for most of the meeting whilst sat around the table flinched, hesitated for maybe five seconds, then slowly nodded his assent to the choice.

The speaker remained standing. “Again, gentlemen, we are agreed, we do this terrible thing, because our opponents are gaining upon us in the race towards the Referendum Vote; we sacrifice this one; so that we might, by inference alone, blame this one death on our opponents: and the fools who follow us will leap upon this tragedy as if it were Manna from Above: and our Colleagues in Brussels, in all the capitals of Europe, will breathe easier because we, above all else, know that might is right!”

The chosen slip of paper, was gathered together with its five fellows, and deposited upon the flames of the wood-fuelled fire burning in the set-back fireplace. The word on the paper, shrivelling fast in the hungry flames, bore a single word; Cox!

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