I feel I owe my loyal Sunday Telegraph readers an apology. I realise the tone of last week’s sermon was excessively peevish. You must have been wondering why Alan B’Stard, Britain’s richest and sexiest politician, was in such a bad mood.
Now, it is safe to tell all, since our 15 brave sailors and Marines (25 per cent of the Navy’s fighting personnel, if you exclude the 73 Admirals) are safely back in the bosoms of their families. There they will all enjoy some well-earned leave before facing courts martial for blubbing all over Iranian television, as if President Wheresmydenim-jacket was Richard and Judy rolled into one, with a beard.
The news of their arrest was a terrible shock to my system. By “my system”, I’m not referring to my health, but to my covert operation to supply Iran with what they have been led to believe is genuine high-grade plutonium for their secret reactor. This lucrative trade has been carried on using a fleet of fast motor launches, disguised as traditional Arab dhows. It was one of these that the ill-fated Royal Navy rubber dinghy was attempting to intercept.
Incidentally, it is an indication of how low the Prime Minister has sunk in the public’s esteem that on the issue of whether our sailors were inside Iranian territorial waters, my secret polling tells me most voters prefer to believe the Iranians than HM Government. But surely, I hear you ask (GCHQ can now listen in to all conversations in broadband-equipped homes, didn’t you know?) the sophisticated geo-location devices on board our fragile skiff would have ensured our chaps (and chapess) stayed within Iraqi waters?
Here I have another small confession to make: said devices, costing £500,000 apiece, are in fact faulty -satnav machines, removed from a shipment of Korean hatchbacks after British drivers found that wherever they wanted to go, they were being directed via downtown Seoul. I told Gordon when he trimmed the defence budget that he was encouraging unscrupulous opportunists like me, but he wasn’t listening, as usual. Apparently he’d just seen his latest pension statement and it was a bit of a sickener.
The developing hostage crisis presented a huge challenge to my political and economic interests. Despite my enormous store of personal political capital, I’d have found it hard to explain my sophisticated dealings to an electorate that has grown increasingly cynical – a trait for which Tony Blair must shoulder the blame, for the voters once had such high expectations of his Govern-ment.
I think what duped the public back then was Tony’s naively appealing statement “I’m a pretty straight sort of guy.” They assumed he was simply presenting himself as honest and uncomplicated. But I knew he was sending a coded message to Peter Mandelson, who at that time was always badgering Tony to “Let me take you to heaven.” (I’m told Heaven is a gay club, but Peter may have been using the word in its more ecstatic sense.)
So last week I had no choice but to fly to Teheran to talk personally to Iran’s big aubergine. I don’t mean the aforementioned unpronounceable president; no, I’m referring to their Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, not to be confused with the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini (of course not; almost identical names, almost identical beards, no confusion at all). I found the ayatollah an erudite, pious and companionable cleric, very much like our own Archbishop Rowan Williams, though slightly more kempt.
As the personal envoy of Tony Blair, I was able to promise the ayatollah that if our brave matelots and their leaky coracle were returned unharmed, then on Easter Monday the British Prime Minister would appear at Westminster Abbey stripped to the waist and whip himself with a barbed wire scourge. He would also beg for Iran’s forgiveness, and accept personal blame for waging war in Iraq under false pretences. Now all I have to do is break the news to Tony.
Returning home after flying our courageous tars back to Blighty, I was delighted to see that another of my policies has been adopted enthusiastically. I refer, of course, to “Speak Your Crime” CCTV lampposts. These will keep an eye on the criminal classes while our bobbies get on with their form-filling back at the nick.
Contrary to sensationalist press reports, these lampposts will not divert scarce manpower from the beat. In fact, the lampposts won’t be manned at all. The range of petty crime indulged in by the underclass is so predictable that each lamppost simply needs a repeating tape loop containing a number of pre-selected phrases: “Oy, you in the hood, put that in the bin!” “Hey, stop beating up that old person”, and “Setting fire to one of these lampposts is a serious offence”.