Slight Return – The Bluetones
Tony took his seat, his palms glistening with sweat. He rubbed them on his trousers under the table, and coughed. The gathered photographers, newspaper hacks and television media all turned their attention towards him. He tried not to notice the camera flashes, or the blinking red lights on the video cameras, much as he attempted to ignore the sound of pens scribbling on notepads, and dictaphones thrust towards him.
With a deep breath, and a comforting pat on the shoulder from his wife Liz, Tony began to read out his resignation statement. He praised the people who had helped him reach the dizzy heights of politics, thanked those who had supported him through the troubles caused by his own lack of foresight, and wished his successor at the Foreign Office all the best. Naturally, he omitted the part played by the gutter press in his downfall, and also the Prime Minister for forcing him to resign or face the indignity of being sacked.
His statement finished, Tony stood up and left the room, turning his back on fifteen years in front line politics. He had hoped the prepared statement would have been enough for the media, but to his dismay, as he reached the lobby of the hotel, he could see a further scrum blocking the way to his car.
“Fuck,” he exclaimed.
“Don’t panic, Tony,” his wife soothed. “I’ll send Patrick first to push them back.”
She nodded and a burly man in his fifties stepped forward and led them through the throng of shouting journalists and to the safety of his car. Liz got in the drivers seat and soon they were speeding away from the hotel and into traffic. Tony let out a sigh and loosened his tie.
“Well, that’s that,” Tony stated, matter-of-factly. “My political career down the toilet.”
“I’m not going to say I told you so, Tony dear, but if you will go around taking drugs with prostitutes on Government time, you’re bound to come unstuck.”
Tony nodded wordlessly and looked out of the window as the city gave way to the green, leafy Surrey countryside.
Tony spent the next couple of days and weeks at home watching television and reading the newspapers, hoping that, finally, his name would be out of the headlines and he could begin to pick up the pieces of his broken life. He missed the hustle and bustle of Parliament. He watched PMQ’s and gazed wistfully at the seat he would have been in, now filled by that conniving shit Philip.
It was the very next day when he got a call from the Prime Minister’s secretary asking for him to come back for an urgent meeting. This was followed by phone calls from his former cabinet colleagues who had received news on the grapevine that there was a way back for Tony.
His hopes raised, Tony raced back to London to meet the Prime Minister. He was looking forward to being back in the game…