“Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.” – Niccolò Machiavelli
They all sat with downward facing nervous eyes, worried lines like tramlines across their pale countenances. “Jesus Crist!” thought the Prime Minister, “what a bunch of weaklings? Why did I allow myself to get into this hopeless situation? I will probably go down in the annals of history but it won’t be as one of the good guys. That’s for sure.”
“Ladies and Gentlemen, I will be very direct. We are losing on all fronts. More of the voting public are learning to distrust our policies and our methods with each passing week. We have to find a way out of this mire. The only saving grace is that the other parties are currently just as mistrusted as we are. Today, I want to review the three main reasons for this; Finance, Climate Change and Immigration. God knows, there are plenty of others, but we have to begin somewhere. I want to come up with a reasonable way forward that can bring back confidence in us.”
George Osborne looked nervously across the table, his eyes flitting between the PM and the other two who were placed on the block today, Ed Davey and Teresa May. A short nod form David Cameron in the direction of George was enough to let him know that he was first and should begin.
George coughed briefly before he started. “The deficit…”
“Sorry George for interrupting, but I have one more thing to add. I don’t want us to leave today until we have a clear plan on these three topics with a view to gaining our trust and respect back with the populace. Carry on George.”
“Well, er…..the deficit has been coming down as we have announced publicly over the last months. Our research shows that more than seventy percent of the population still doesn’t understand the difference between public debt and deficit. They therefore assume that the debt is also reducing, which is a factor that we can use in our favour.”
“What?” blurted out Baroness Warsi. “Are you seriously saying that a natural deception or the stupidity of the average voter is something that we must use to our advantage?” She sat shaking her head in bewilderment.
“We have no choice. If we tell it as it is, Baroness, we will have riots on our hands. The truth is that the debt is rising and we have no serious solution to getting it down long-term. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place. If we make the savings necessary to control the debt, it means having beggars on our streets, widespread rioting, and emerging anarchy. To keep the lie going at least keeps the country in a state of control and you know that maintaining control of the population is our first priority.”
David Cameron challenged George directly. “Are you saying that we really have no alternative other than to mislead the public for as long as we can? Okay, let’s assume we play that game. What is the outcome? If the debt continues to rise surely it can only get worse. At some point they must hear the truth.”
He looked around the table at the solemn faces. No-one spoke but just stared at some invisible item on the table before them, not daring to raise their eyes.
George Osborne looked the PM directly in the eyes and went to speak, before changing his mind and shrinking back in his chair, shrugging his shoulders hopelessly.
Ken Clark broke the silence. “Now look here, I have many examples from my long career which I won’t bore you with today, but suffice it to say that the best solution for an deeply unpopular policy is to wait until the change of government at the next election, as we will definitely lose the next election, and to force such policies onto our successors. In other words, we let them do our dirty work for us.”
George Osborne and David Cameron looked across at each other. Their eyes said it all. They knew that there was no better solution on offer.
“Are we confident that until the time of the general election we can still maintain the current status quo? That means convincing the public that we have a workable plan. Is it sustainable until 2015?”
George became suddenly more positive and confident. “Yes Prime Minister. The national debt is forecast to just top two trillion pounds by the next election. This is already announced and I am sure we can hold to that promise. The problem comes afterwards when it becomes clear that we cannot regain control and the debt will continue to spiral up…..”
Cameron cut in again. “yes, yes, yes. I understand that.”
I propose a short break. Back here in fifteen minutes please.
Right Ed, climate change. I hope we can have some better news than we had before the break.
Ed Davey was flushed and clearly well out of his depth. “Well, you all know about the latest IPCC report, stating that with 95% confidence climate change is manmade. This is one of the most…”
Eric Pickles broke into loud laughter, which stopped poor old Ed dead in his tracks.
The PM responded quickly. “Is something funny Eric?”
“I am sorry David. Please forgive me, but it really is so funny. The IPCC is a joke. We all know that. The secret is in the name. The Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change is made up of administrators and scientists picked by the governments of the world exactly to make these kinds of messages. Ten or twenty years ago the people were taken in by it, but not anymore. More and more scientists are beginning to speak out. Just look last week on BBC Question Time. Come on Ed, admit it. You were annihilated by Nigel Lawson.”
Ed Davey swallowed hard, which was enough to tell Cameron that Pickles was right.
“The fact is, Prime Minister, that today most of the population still believe that we are warming up, that the Polar Caps are melting and that every large hurricane is a result of climate change. We still have them convinced. The IPCC has done its’ job well this year and managed to gloss over the fact that no warming has been seen for over fifteen years.” Ed Davey was trying hard to sound convincing, despite his highly coloured cheeks, which gave him away.
However, Eric Pickles seemed more knowledgeable that Ed Davey on this subject, despite the fact that it was well outside of his responsibilities. “The evidence is growing to the contrary by the day Ed. Boy-o-boy; I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes when the shit hits the fan.”
“When will that be?” said David Cameron thoughtfully. “Is it imminent?”
This time Eric Pickles answered. Ed Davey, the Secretary of State for Climate Change was no longer speaking. The focus was now moving towards the much wiser man.
“Within the next five to seven years for sure Prime Minister. I believe sooner rather than later. Once people realise that the whole exercise was only a ruse to get control and funding for clean energy because of the future war planned for the Middle East region, there will be hell to play. At a time when family budgets are really hurting and at the same time being loaded with all of this climate change tax, the fall out won’t be pretty.”
Cameron looked at all of the faces around him. Not one showed any sense of honour or passion. No one had any idea towards a positive solution.
Again Ken Clark broke the silence. “Here we are again David. We can break the news now, which would annihilate the Conservative Party for the next generation, or we can run with the IPCC report, maintain the scam at least until the next election. I vote for the latter.”
“Shit. We are like a bunch of gangsters sitting around planning our next crime. This was never how it was supposed to be.” At that outburst David Cameron realised that he had let his guard down, and quickly tried to correct the situation.
“So, we have two major deceptions to prolong for the time being. God knows; if there is one thing we seem to be good at it is deceit. The alternatives are unthinkable. I hope, ladies and gentlemen, that we can all continue to sleep at night.”
We take a break for lunch now. We meet back here at 2pm.
Cameron quickly called his secretary to arrange a lunch meeting with some of his key advisers. He had only two hours to firm up on his emerging plan.
“Bob, Caroline and Arnold, I have called you here for an urgent discussion regarding the next election in two years’ time. I need to know today exactly what our chances of winning are. I want no bullshit. I need to know today.”
Bob Croshaw was the most senior of the three and began first. “Prime Minister, it is not looking very favourable at the moment. We are polling 23% but can increase that for sure, however at the moment it looks very much as though Labour will win. They are the main opposition in a time of many difficulties. We are open to so many criticisms with not so many answers.”
“What about UKIP? Could they win?”
“Not a chance Sir. They are becoming quite popular, but people do not yet trust them with government. They are mainly guilty of reducing our vote. Without UKIP in the picture we could probably even beat Labour.”
David Cameron’s brain was whirring. He had an idea but needed to understand its’ chance of success.
“What could we do to ensure UKIP win the next election?”
The three looked at each other in astonishment. “What do you…”
“You heard. How can we make sure that UKIP win the next election?”
There was silence for a few minutes while each looked for an appropriate answer. Finally Bob smiled deviously. “Defection. Defection and funding. Sir, we would need a large scale defection from Conservative to UKIP. We would need to build a huge momentum in favour of UKIP. The public would love it. They need something to believe in again. With enough funding, which we could help with, I am sure that we could get them in.”
“Yes, and with large numbers of our party in there, we could probably control them from within, “said Caroline Porter enthusiastically.
“But Sir, you are not serious are you?” asked Bob, already knowing the answer from the look on the Prime Ministers face.
“Thanks everyone. I now know all I need. I don’t want a word of this getting out. You must be sure to keep this secret.”
“Of course Prime Minister,” they all replied simultaneously.
“Right, enjoy your lunch here. I need to get back to my Cabinet meeting.”
With that he was out of the door leaving three very confused but excited people with a buffet lunch, and very grateful for a bottle of red wine.
“Right, where were we before lunch. Yes, immigration. What is the situation Teresa?”
“Prime Minister, I have used the lunch break to organise a meeting with some key people, in order to arm myself with the latest exact numbers. We are expecting an influx after 1st January of between one and two million fresh European immigrants. We have no way to stem this influx. Our EU membership does not allow us to block the free movement between member states. As you know Bulgaria and Rumania come on line next year. Our benefits system draws them like flies to a….well, you understand.”
“Two million! This will cripple our services and infrastructure. There is no way we can support such a migration. There will be chaos.” It was Ken Clark, who stated the obvious for all to see.
“Hold on Ken,” interrupted the PM. “Two million will not flow over on January 1st next year. It will take some time. Teresa, do you have a view on the ramp up?”
“Actually, yes. We have to understand that the figures are estimates but it seems that we can expect four to five hundred thousand in 2014 and the same for each of the next three years.”
Cameron smiled. This was what he was hoping to hear.
“Four hundred thousand is manageable. This means that we can get through 2014 without too much trouble. By 2015 we will be engulfed in the next election. How soon can we run the election?”
Oliver Letwin jumped in. “Earliest, without special circumstances would be March 2015 Prime Minister.”
“What can you do to make the figures look better than they are for one more year?”
“That’s difficult. We could look at fudging the numbers based on illegal immigrants, especially the Roma. I would need to get back to you, but I am sure that we can show lower numbers, at least for one more year.”
“Ok. That is good enough for me. We take a short break and then I will give you my decision and we can conclude the meeting by 6pm.”
“Ladies and Gentlemen, what I am about to propose will come as a shock. I ask you to listen through carefully before giving your inputs. Also this discussion is of the highest secrecy. I insist that you all honour this because the consequences of letting this out will be dire. We all remember what happened to David Kelly.”
The PM allowed this last comment to sink in. He wanted to be sure that the people around him knew for sure that this was a matter of life and death. It was dangerous to make such an undisguised threat but he had to make sure of their loyalty, even if it was only through fear.
“We will begin by maintaining the deception on Climate Change, National Debt and Immigration until the end of 2014. You are all charged to find methods and lies, yes lies, to keep the general public quiet. For example we must make sure that any scientists who speak against our policies on Climate change lose their research funding immediately. George I will deal with the banks personally to ensure their support when declaring the state of the finances. I also want Murdoch on board. We need to use the media. Any other ideas you have will be discussed here next week.”
Ken Clark was the first to speak. “But, Prime Minister, what is the point of perpetuating these lies? The truth will be sure to come out in the end.”
“Ken, you have already given us the answer earlier today. We hold off and let the next government do all the dirty work. It will finish them for good, whoever it is. We need to ensure though, that it isn’t us.”
“But getting rid of Labour long term will only strengthen UKIP even more,” responded Jeremy Hunt. “Surely we will become second party to UKIP.”
The Prime Minister smiled. He was ahead of all of them. “Not so Jeremy,” he said. “It is UKIP who will win the next election. We will see to it. During the last quarter of 2014 I want at least eight of you to defect to UKIP. I want you to work with them, go amongst them and ruin them. By my reckoning when eight of you move over, at least forty or fifty back benchers will follow you. They must not know about this plan. We don’t want those traitors back anyway. I think we, er you, can ruin UKIP within two years. It will be the shortest surviving party in the history of democracy in Britain. Afterwards we pick up the pieces. Labour will never become a real opposition for us, the Libdems have all but disappeared and UKIP will be dead.”
Ken Clark smiled. He thought about how thankful he was that he hadn’t retired last year after all. He wouldn’t have missed this for the world. “I will volunteer first,” he said, raising his index finger. “My career will be over by then anyway.”
Eric Pickles sat stunned. This was a new era. Government based purely on deception. He thought about the famous quote from Stalin. “Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not give our enemies guns so why should we let them have ideas.” It applied in this case too. “Count me in also,” he said.