Horace was triumphant. He was a rather rotund man with crazy hair who, although not conventionally attractive, had a string of women fawning over him in every port. It may have been his ego, which was as large as a red bus, or it may have been something else. He was currently supping a large glass of red wine and beaming with a large toothy grin. This wasn’t the reason of his self agrandissement though. With the help of his technical consultant, Mike Sperm, he had just led a victorious second referendum to take the country of Poeland out of Europe and move it to North America.
The previous leader’s attempts at Decampment had failed miserably, primarily due to the insistence of a backstop behind the wicket keeper in the Parliamentary cricket match. From that low point, things had just got worse. There were numerous cabinet resignations and a table and a couple of chairs also walked out. A degree of chaos that no one had ever seen before.
When the time came for another campaign, opinions were so divided that even the word itself had to have a hyphen. With such animosity, the referendum rhetoric was more bitter than a lemon. Those who wanted to stay in the European classification had warned of the dangers; clearly it was impossible to lift the foundations of the country – let alone drag it three-thousand miles across the Atlantic Ocean. This was all dismissed out of hand by the Decampers, who branded the claim ‘Project Very Scary Indeed’. Those who wanted relocation had patriotism and can do spirit on their side an clearly that kind of optimism was worth more than any dose that reality could provide.
Horace didn’t really care. He wanted acclaim and to be a national hero and he was achieving his goal. He was getting the cheers and the applause of the crowd and was loving every second of it.
He stood in the Great Hall and climbed awkwardly onto the top of the traditional pedestal where all important announcements in the Poelish Parliament were made. Above him the bell of two tonne Tess rang out signifying something of significance was happening. As the bell fell silent, Horace gestured to the crowd to hush.
He ruffled his hair dramatically and looked at the numerous television cameras hanging on his every word. The nervous energy was tingling down his spine and he knew instinctively just what was required. Now was not the time for leadership or for wise words – it was the time for bluster. He was ready to give it everything, all about pluck and can do spirit. His supporters were ready to lap it up whilst his critics had had enough of his plucking can do.
“People of Poeland,” he began, “the second verdict is clear and we must leave Europe. Today is a happy day. Soon it will take less than ten minutes to travel to the United States of America and countries like France and Germany will be thousands of miles away.”
As he paused for breath, the applause rang out and the bell above him tolled doom for all those present. No one noticed or even cared. The chants of “Go Horace” built up to a fervour and Horace fed on them as they massaged his ample ego. He gestured for silence.
“The plans are in the care of my deputy and are all ready to be enacted when you give the word. Soon we will have a preposterous future… Sorry I mean prosperous and productive future with the United States, not Europe.”
The cheers were deafening and Horace drank it in like a bottle of gin. He was tipsy on adulation and possibly from the two bottles of champagne he had consumed earlier. All was good in his world and he loved it.
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