A few dedicated Cabinet members remain, trying to persuade Herr Brown that all is not lost: Burnham, Balls, Johnson, Mandelson, the Miliband brothers and Darling gather round as they watch the monocular Scot hammer his nail bitten fist down on to his desk for the umpteenth time before throwing yet another Nokia across the room.
“What’s the bloody point of us having a drugs advisory committee if they don't do as they're told? And why did they go public with ridiculous ideas like telling the people that cannabis is no more dangerous than horse riding?” Brown gives Johnson a hard stare through his one good eye as the degree-less Home Secretary looks flushed and ruffled, not at all his usual dapper self.
“Well, Prime Minister, it’s like this: they’re the experts and they think that upgrading cannabis to a Class B drug after we’ve not long demoted it to a Class C drug is a bit barmy.”
“Who’s in charge here?” Brown asks menacingly.
“We... you are Prime Minster, but these people are scientists. They have some twisted and altruistic notion about telling the truth and being open with the facts. There’s little we can do to stop them. Dr Nutt was expressing an opinion based on his view of the evidence.”
“Well you tell fucking Nutt to leave the opinions to us and keep the facts to himself. And tell him he’s fucking fired while you're at it.”
“Well that could be a bit difficult, Prime Minister. He and his committee work in a voluntary capacity. It’s going to be awkward to sack him when we don’t really give him anything in the first place. Plus he said if we disagree with him then he and his colleagues will walk!”
Brown stares down at his briefing papers for a moment or two before looking up. “I blame that daft spliff-smoking bitch Smith. Ever since her arse of a husband was caught hiring porn DVDs, the public, the press and now even our own people are turning against us. I don’t care whether Nutt gets paid or not... just sack him! And let the rest of his team of pathetic delusional conspirators go with him if that's what they want. We can manage perfectly well without a drugs advisory committee. We’ll get ourselves a drugs tzar instead. What about Keith Richards? He’s taken a fair bit of gear in his time. If anyone knows about drugs, Keith does. Peter, can you give Mick or Keith a bell?”
“But Prime Minister,” Johnson pleads. “The scientists are only presenting the evidence. We can’t simply change the statistics or manipulate the facts to suit ourselves.”
“Why not? Alistair does it all the time. The Miliband boys make stuff up on the hoof when Paxman or that gobshite Humphrys gives them a grilling. Peter can lie in his sleep. Why can’t you? I want that arsehole sacked by tomorrow or else you’ll find yourself back on the postal round, delivering letters and Stannah leaflets, quicker than you can say Spanish practices! Do I make myself clear?”
“Perfectly, Prime Minister.”