Thursday, July 31, 2008

‘The Scottish press conference’

A blasted heath, Westminster. Enter Milibeth, Thane of South Shields, stage centre-left.

Milibeth: Is this a throng of journalists which I see before me, their microphones toward my mouth? Come, let me brief thee.

Reporter 1: Lord Milibeth, are you plotting to become King?

Milibeth: We have got a King. We have got a good King who has got good values.

Reporter 2: But do you seek to force King Duncan out?

Milibeth: I’m not campaigning for anything other than a successful Scottish monarchy.

Reporter 3: Do you think Duncan will still be King at the end of the year?

Milibeth: His leadership has shown itself to be of strong value, and one which shows itself to have brought a team around it who are able to make a contribution. His Majesty will lead us forward and the rest of us have a contribution to make.

Reporter 2: Do you intend to kill King Duncan, though?

Milibeth: The starting point is not debating personalities but winning the argument about our record, our vision for the future and how we achieve it.

Reporter 1: But will you categorically rule out any attempt to kill His Majesty?

Milibeth: Well look, with all respect to you guys, I don’t think there’s much point in doing that. I’d previously categorically ruled out murdering Banquo, and nobody believed me.

Reporter 2: But Banquo was murdered. When will you own up to your role in that?

Milibeth: It’s true that sword crime is a serious problem – although I don’t endorse the scaremongering claims that we live in some sort of ‘broken society’ – but I mourn Lord Banquo’s untimely death as much as anyone else. As to the identity of the culprit, I’m afraid it would be quite inappropriate for me to comment on an ongoing police investigation.

Reporter 3: What of reports that you have been consorting with three vile witches to divine a path to power?

Milibeth: I have regular meetings with many party colleagues. Alan Milburn, Stephen Byers and Charles Clarke have government records they can be proud of, and I’m sure they have a positive role yet to play.

Reporter 1: But you haven’t even mentioned Duncan’s name!

Milibeth: Ah, haven’t you heard? It’s bad luck to utter the name of the Scottish Prime Minister. Now if you’ll excuse me, all I want to concentrate on is getting on with the job of being Foreign Secretary.

Exit, pursued by a barely concealed smirk.

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