Big Society: 6.05 pm – Iain Duncan Smith is in The Diary Room (with an exorcist?)

Big Society: 6.05 pm – Iain Duncan-Smith is in The Diary Room

Big Society: Good afternoon Secretary of State.  Found any exorcists in your new department…?  I’m sure there are quite a few demons over there?

Ian Duncan-Smith: hahaha… no, demons, yes… but no exorcists here.

Big Society: So… you have the distinction of being the only leader of a parliamentary party forced out on a vote of no confidence by your own party.  Recovered?

Ian Duncan-Smith: Yes, absolutely… they called me the ‘Quiet Man’… I even told them not to underestimate me… but they did… but now I’m back with my Centre for Social Justice and a good team.

Big Society: yes… it would appear that you are back. William Hague is another former leader.  I was surprised they didn’t have any room for Michael Howard – the leader who never slept – but I suppose they had to shoehorn all those Lib-Dems in.  So… what has it being like trying to persuade some of your more, shall we say, ‘right thinking’ colleagues  of the value of your centre for Social Justice?

Ian Duncan-Smith: A bit like shining a pencil torch into a dark void.

Big Society: hahaha – ah well… they’re a bit busy at the moment trying to fend of Dave’s brilliant new plan to infiltrate the 1922 Committee to stop it being an internal focus for dissent.  Still… some of your colleagues must have been a bit pissed orf not to have got a nice little number or sinecure and now find those jumped up tree huggers bigging it up in the corridors of power.  Well… it has to be said that social justice agenda is right  at the heart of David Cameron’s repositioning of the Tory party under the Compassionate Conservative schtik.

Ian Duncan-Smith: Yes, absolutely… Mrs Thatcher was right in 1987  to talk about the inner cities. She just never got there.

Big Society: So getting fired by the men in suits didn’t bother you that much… you’ve come back.

Ian Duncan-Smith: It was difficult being leader, I make no bones about it. The Labour Party was in the ascendant, we weren’t. We were still tearing chunks off ourselves. But I have no regrets.

Big Society: How long do you think it will be before some of your disenfranchised and disenchanted back benchers and paid up members of the awkward squad will kick off… to use a modern term?

Ian Duncan-Smith: Not long…. but we have a lot of goodwill in the country with this new politics schtik and with quite a lot of people selling their old principles down the river and becoming ‘born again politicians’ we have a majority…. Labour want to re-group so can’t afford to bring us down yet, so even if a few Lib-Dems escape… we should be OK for a while… Even Ed Balls is trying to persuade people he has mellowed and will listen… hahaha…. I can’t see it myself… but who knows…?  we live in interesting times.

Big Society: Normally, Secretary of State, I can listen endlessly… but I’ve just had a call from our producer…. he’s telling me you are just too reasonable and sensible these days… can you come up with real fruit loop stuff next time you come into The Diary Room..? . perhaps encourage Nadine to go for judicial review of the Speaker election… or get some of them to call for an immediate restoration of hunting and tiger shooting, withdrawal from Europe, abolish the Human Rights Act that sort of thing…?  you know… the shit that sells newspapers and makes Daily Politics and Newsnight watchable?

Ian Duncan-Smith: Ok… err…. I’ll see what I can do… bye Big Society….

Big Society: Bye… mind how you go…. Exorciso te romanum and all that!

***

Lawyer’s disclaimer! All, well some it,  entirely fictitious and made up… obviously.

Big Society 12.05 pm: The Lord Chancellor is in the Diary Room

Big Society: Good afternoon, Lord Chancellor. Any “xenophobic and legal nonsense” being cooked up today in The House?

Lord Chancellor: Good afternoon, Big Society. While I had anticipated that I might be doing something with George at the Department of Business,  that has gone by the board to accommodate dear old Vince.  I am, however, delighted to be at the Ministry of Justice.  I am a Bencher of my Inn and my legal experience should, after all, give me a bit of a head start in my new department.  It is not as if I will need to read Law made Simple unlike Theresa over at the Home Office.

Big Society: Indeed.  Did your predecessor leave you a letter saying that there was no money left?

Lord Chancellor: hahaha… no… nothing like that… although there was an absurdly large report on the reform of Civil Justice in the drawer with some very amusing comments in the margins.

Big Society: So.. you’ll be getting down to business, trawling through american websites, to see where you can buy pre-fabricated prisons and prison ships to accommodate all the “have a go heroes” who  don’t quite come within the provisions of Theresa May’s new ‘Good Samaritan’ law?

Lord Chancellor: We will have to wait for  the draft legislation on this.  I suspect it will not be that different from the present law by the time she finds time to get around to it.  She has rather more pressing matters to attend to.

Big Society: Indeed.  Been boning up on the unwritten British Constitution and your Human Rights Law?   Your predecessor, Charlie Falconer was accused  of designing the new Supreme Court on the back of a fag packet over whisky with Tony Blair.  Are we going to be seeing reports of you enjoying a beer and a large cigar with David Cameron and then revealing a Bill of Rights with so many holes in it  that even a recidivistic first year law student  with a bad hangover could see the problems?

Lord Chancellor: Hahaha.  No, I think I can safely say the the future of our constitution is safe and the Human Rights laws will also be in safe hands. Government tends to bring about a re-assessment of the more ambitious manifesto claims.

Big Society: The Coalition agreement talks about repealing a raft of laws, preserving the right to jury trial and curtailing the misuse of anti-terror legislation.   You are going to be fairly busy are you not?

Lord Chancellor: Modifying a statement I made some time back… I have certainly not got re-elected to retire, and I shall certainly start trying to push my influence in government as far as I possibly can

Big Society: You said some time ago..and I quote..“The Conservative Party have got to ask themselves, ‘How do we persuade people who at the moment are voting Labour and Liberal Democrat to vote Conservative?” It seems that your party pulled a blinder and didn’t need to get the people who voted Lib-Dem to vote Conservative, they just had to persuade the people who the voters voted for to come in with you.

Lord Chancellor: Hahaha. We live in remarkable and interesting times, Big Society.

Big Society: You are a Big Beast in political terms and Cameron took a risk in putting you back on the shadow front bench, given your well known views on Europe.  Not a great deal of European dimension in the Ministry of Justice is there?

Lord Chancellor: No… I don’t think I’ll be troubling our friends in Europe on too many Justice issues… but a re-shuffle may come along soon… and…modifying something else I said some time ago… of course I’d have loved to be Chancellor or Business Secrtary. But I’m not nursing a grievance.  I’ve got to go…. The Chairman of the Bar wants to talk to me about legal aid and a few other matters.

Big Society: Good luck… he knows what he’s talking about.

Lord Chancellor: Indeed… we’ll have another chat soon, Big Society

Big Society: I’m always here.

***

Lawyer’s disclaimer! All, well some it,  entirely fictitious and made up… obviously.

Big Society: 9.05 am – William Hague is in The Diary Room

Big Society: 9.05 am – William Hague is in The Diary Room

Big Society: Hello, Foreign Secretary.

Hague: Hello. We think a great crisis is coming for Europe. The last thing Britain should do is associate ourselves with the fastest shrinking part of the world economy.

Big Society: Ah…. I see you have settled into your new role well….So we don’t need to discuss Europe today, because, obviously,  you have no foreign policy thoughts about Europe. Is that why you jetted off to Washington in an unslavish way?

Hague: It was important to see The Secretary of State so she could be told, firmly, what our position is.  It is all very well President Obama calling Dave and saying how important the ‘special relationship’ is to him, but the truth of the matter is, under Brown, it wasn’t.  Do remember that Obama has one Kenyan parent and our foreign policy in Kenya all those years ago wasn’t to the taste of many Kenyans… indeed, any Kenyans. Britain is not exactly top of his list of favourite world destinations.  This is why he sent the bust of Churchill which has been in the Oval Office for years back.  Some regarded that as an insult.  This is why he shook hands with the policeman outside Number 10 – who he found much more amusing and interesting than Gordon Brown. Britain and America do have a special relationship and we must work together to undermine the Liberal-Democrats in our country and, for the moment, in our government.

Big Society: You once said of a former deputy prime minister…The Deputy Prime Minister will present a bill that is rambling, over-inflated, illogical and ridiculously cumbersome – funny coincidence, that.”…  Can you see yourself re-cycling this marvellous quote in relation to the new deputy PM who doesn’t seem to have a job in government?

Hague: I can tell you this…. that when Dave goes off to a meeting with a member of a centre-left party  and refers to himself as a liberal, he is on manoeuvres, and is busily building coalitions as only he can.

Big Society: Now you are back from the United States, what is your first priority apart from marginalising the liberals in your new LibCon coalition?

Hague: Failed parties and widespread poverty of thinking are problems growing today but are scarcely new in human history. But on top of these problems, worrying enough in themselves, come two central challenges which are immense in their scope and which the world has never had to face before. The first of these is the certainty of irreversible damage to the Liberal-Democratic party. Our Coalition, which as you know I negotiated. It brings a very real threat to the very existence of that party, if you listen to the new and eloquent Secretary for Business describe the predicament of a party,  no part of which is now visible as a separate party save for a few remote parts of Scotland, where dissenters like Ming and Charlie hold court.  The Maldives, no part of which is more than six feet above the sea,  may well have a problem if the climate change experts are right, but it will take hundreds of years before they disappear and they can plan.  The Lib-Dems could disappear by Christmas.

Big Society: So your hasty post-election coalition was part of a grand plan… as has been suggested by conspiracy theorists all over Twitter?

Hague: Indeed.

Big Society: And your thinking on relations with the rest of the world?  China, Russia.. for example?

Hague: Not only is the world not converging around our new democratic norms – global freedom suffered its third year of growth in 2008 – but older  democratic nations like , France, Germany and even Italy, Spain and Portugal all once run by dictators,  do not necessarily share our view of how to conduct foreign policy. China, Zimbabwe and the recent elections in Afghanistan are more in line with our current practice – you only need to look at the way we handled things with all those long queues of voters unable to vote to see how Britain is catching up with these new democracies.

Big Society: Any plans to invade Iran?

Hague: In Britain, “Liberal interventionism”, which started in America, has generated much debate and we are more than happy to subscribe to it and invade Iran if they don’t do what they are told and the Americans invite us to help.  It is in the national interest that we continue to invade countries, not least, because it gives good employment to our national armed forces.  We must not disconsolately cease to make the effort. Foreign policy is above all about the protection and promotion of our national interest, and even narrowly defined and limited by lack of money and  the mess the last government left behind them, the British national interest requires our continued fully active engagement in invasions of other countries. No other nation or group of nations are going to increase the protection they afford us, and the essential alliance we enjoy with the United States  depends directly on us continuing to do what we are told by them.

Big Society: Isn’t that rather slavish?

Hague: Not at all.  This is a time of great financial crisis, a time of great hardship – and as we are going to inflict great hardship on the people of our country, we must not drop our guard and lose opportunity to do so on other countries as well with our friends across the sea.  Our new Liberal-Democratic friends may have to search long and hard in what is left of their consciences, but by the time we get around to Phase Two at the end of the year it may well be too late to return to the Liberal-Democratic party. There won’t be one.  Why do you think that Dave has appointed 20 liberals – nearly half their party – to government posts?  Collective responsibility is only part of the answer, the other part is that either they will have to become National Liberals and join us as Tories or return to being an unruly and irrelevant rabble in Parliament – as I know them to be having negotiated this coalition – and be mocked by all, even the DUP and SNP.

***

Hague’s Mobile Rings: Dave… Yes… I’ll be with you shortly.  I’m in The Diary Room with Big Society, setting our record straight for the people who didn’t vote for us.  I’ll be with you at the National Security meeting shortly… is Clegg coming?……. Ha Ha Ha – excellent… the tree huggers and sandal wearers will have apoplexy when they hear  he has approved our plans to go into Iran with the Yanks.

***

Hague: I’ve got to go, Big Society.  Good talking with you… we must do this again.  I’ll get my new Lib-Dem secretary to give you a call and liaise.

Big Society: Bye Foreign Secretary…. I’m always here… you know you can consult any time you wish….

***

Lawyer’s disclaimer! All, well some it,  entirely fictitious and made up… obviously.

Big Society, 15th May 1.05 pm: In the Diary Room with…Nick Clegg

Set in a pastiche of the well known TV programme  on Channel 4 ….. Big Brother… Charon, taking the part of ‘Big Society’,  talks to some of the key players in these game-changing times..

The plan is to write a series of short scripts and do a recorded programe – usually 5 minutes or so in length – covering the events of our times.  I’ll see how it goes.

The first recorded programme…

In The Diary Room with Nick Clegg.

The part of Big Society was played by Charon and Nick Clegg was played by Tim Kevan, author of BabyBarista

Listen to the programme (5:03 mins)

Script

Coming soon… In The Diary Room with Theresa May

Lawyer’s disclaimer! All entirely fictitious and made up… obviously.

Big Society House: 2:05pm – Theresa May is in The Diary Room

BIG SOCIETY HOUSE: 2.05 PM – THERESA MAY IS IN THE DIARY ROOM

PODCAST VERSION

Download the podcast

Script

(5.08 minutes)

The part of Big Society was played by Charon.  Natasha Phillips, author of the Divorce Manual blog

***

Big Society: Hello, Theresa.  How are you settling in?

May: Hello.  It’s tough, but I am tough and I will and can be tough when tough is needed.

Big Society: Do you like being at The Home Office?  You haven’t got much experience of Law & Order. Not really your field is it…you’re more of an equalities person aren’t you?  Let’s see… you voted against repealing section 28, voted against lowering the age of consent in homosexual relationships to 16, voted against gay adoption rights, voted against The Human Fertilization and Human Embryology Bill which would give lesbian couples the ability to receive fertility treatment .  Quite an impressive record for a Minister of the Crown holding an equalities portfolio…. can we expect this ‘Midas touch in reverse’ pattern to continue in your thinking at The Home Office…?

May: Well that was…. then… now is different…. we are in a game-changing coalition situation situation where the national interest takes precedence over personal interests… I want to be known as a “tough” Home Secretary. I think I am tough and willing to be tough when necessary,” she says. “I’m down to earth and that’s important. What I hope, in terms of me, is that people will be able to say she was tough but fair.

Big Society: Some of the crowd outside the Big Society House are asking if you and Chris Grayling are thinking of setting up a  Bed & Breakfast business together.  Are you?

May: That is a ridiculous question.  Dave said that people have to start looking up to politicians again and I am a very tough Home Secretary, so don’t get lippy with me…. I want RESPECT! And..another thing, people were surprised when I was made Home Secretary… let me say that there is no truth in the tweets on twitter that the old Tory grandees saw the words ‘Home’ and ‘Secretary’ and thought…’Ah…Give it to Theresa.. the one with the leopard skin kitten heels’.  No truth at all.

Big Society: Theresa, It can be very pressurised in The House… it is only Day 4… calm down. Have you got any sensible ideas which you wish to implement at the Home Office?

May: Yes, we want to create a climate where people can kill burglars in their own homes and tell yobs to ‘shut it’ without fear of being beaten up by them… in fact, we are going to enact a ‘Good Samaritan’ law so that ordinary members of the public can beat up young thugs, yobbos and benefit scroungers on the make without fear of prosecution.  We think this will make ordinary people feel much safer in their homes.

Big Society: Do you really think it is a good idea to empower people to ‘have a go’ themselves?  What if they do so, encouraged by the Home Office,  and get killed or injured in doing so?

May: Well, of course, we’re not suggesting that everyone will want to be a ‘Good Samaritan’ and beat up thugs, yobbos and benefit scroungers, but if they do and survive, we should reward them by not prosecuting them for murder or assault in our courts.  My plans will also reduce police costs and that is very much in the national interest.

Big Society: Yes…..how are your plans going to put more Police on the streets by cutting the police budgets?

May: We are going to reduce costs by cutting down on the evidence… sorry… paperwork….. that Police officers have to provide.  This means that there will be more of them on the streets than there are now with fewer policemen.  People will feel safer when they are out beating up thugs, yobbos and benefit scroungers.

Big Society: So your thinking is highly developed then?

May: I like to think so.  I am tough.  I can and will be tough.  We are going to empower people and control our Police better by replacing highly professional senior Police Chiefs with a rag bag of nutters voted for by the general public.  We saw how well the hung parliament worked when people got what they wanted… our game-changing Coalition… being able to choose their own local nutter to run their local Police force will empower people and get me off the hook, because I will be able to hold the people to account for not doing ‘their’ job.  Simples.  Tough love, would you not agree?  I’d better get back to The House…. I have to read a Nutshell book on Criminal law so I’ve got a vague idea about what I can and can’t repeal.  Nice talking to you..and… as Dixon of Dock Green used to say when people felt safe in their houses killing burglars… mind how you go.

Big Society: Bye, Theresa, You know you can come and talk to us any time you wish.

Lawyer’s disclaimer! All, well some it,  entirely fictitious and made up… obviously.

Big Society House: Day 3, 1:05pm – Nick Clegg is in The Diary Room

Big Society House,   Day 3, 1:05 pm – Nick Clegg is in The Diary Room

PODCAST VERSION

The part of Big Society was played by Charon and Nick Clegg was played by Tim Kevan, author of BabyBarista

Listen to the programme (5:03 mins)

Big Society: Hello Nick.  How are you settling in?

Clegg: Hello Big Society.  Well, we got off to a cracking start, apart from Vince telling The Times that he wasn’t that keen on the Coalition with the forces of darkness and preferred to cosy up to the Dark Lord. Oh, and I suppose it isn’t that helpful that we have probably irritated quite a lot of our members…. but in the national interest, and certainly mine, sacrifices have to be made.  The wheeze to ensure the coalition stays together and to keep us in power until 7th May by proposing a 55% majority to dissolve parliament hasn’t been that well received and it was unhelpful, almost unpatriotic some would say, for Charlie Falconer to refer to ‘zombie parliaments’ on Newsnight

Big Society: Are you feeling pressured?

Clegg: Good grief no.  I went to Westminster, born to rule and all that… they call us Old Wets, you know… we can hack anything.  As Giles Coren said only this morning in The Times, Old Etonians, or OEs as they are better known,  and Old Wets take this sort of thing in our stride.  It is expected of us… we wear our learning lightly, you know.  I wasn’t that happy with Giles telling everyone, however, that dear old George Gideon Osborne was cleverer than me and David, so I’d like to put it on record that St Paul’s is, as Giles so rightly described it, Grange Hill without the girls in a concrete building south of the river.  Enough said.

Big Society: Are you going to have enough to keep you busy?

Clegg: Good grief, yes.  Hang on…what do you mean?   Of course I am going to be busy, making speeches all over the country explaining why I sold my party and my principles down the river.  This will take a great deal of my time and is in the national interest.  We are at the start of a game-changing era.

Big Society: You haven’t got a department to run.  Don’t you feel a little bit marginalised?

Clegg: Good grief, No.  I am Lord President of The Council – I am sure I’ll find out what that means soon enough if I can get ten minutes with Dave – and I am, of course, Deputy Prime Minister in charge of reforming parliament.

Big Society: That’s going well, isn’t it?  Your Tory housemates are all delighted by that, delighted that you fell for it hook, line and sinker.  The crowd outside are baying for blood.  Do you think you’ll be the first to be evicted from The House? Does that trouble you?

Clegg: Good grief, No.  I’m an Old Wet.  I can handle anything… born to it. I’m very relaxed. It is time this country understood that we are in the midst of a hung parliament, a major financial crisis and that  tough love is needed.  The 55% majority  to ensure that we remain in power is in the national interest and is game-changingly game-changing. Between you and me, Big Society… I think Vince will be the first to jump ship… sorry, I mean.. be evicted from the House.

Big Society: If you don’t get evicted from the House before 2015, when are you going to start your election campaign to remind the country that there is a Liberal-Democratic party… or are you going to stay in bed with Dave forever..and become a Tory?

Clegg: Good grief, no.  ………….. Sorry, Big Society…. I can’t answer that question… hadn’t really thought that through…. I’d better talk to Dave and see what he thinks and come back to you… that is how Coalitions work in the national interest… Bye for now, Big Society…

Big Society: Bye, Nick… come back and speak to us anytime you like.

Lawyer’s disclaimer! All entirely fictitious and made up… obviously.

***

Lawcast 167: Carl Gardner on the 55% rule and the civil liberty reforms planed by the LibCons

You might like to listen to a podcast I did with Carl Gardner on the 55% rule and the Civil Liberty plans of the new LibCon axis of evil/paradise party…. you choose… you are the Kingmakers after all

Listen to the podcast