Dennis Kennedy MSP

30 May

Dennis Kennedy MSP  – a quite breathtakingly fat individual – waved graciously, smiled once more, then slipped out of sight into his campaign car with all the deftness of an oil tanker. At last, he thought, clutching at the door handle with his bulbous shortbread fingers. These voters really don’t let up, do they? He groped his way into the gleaming vehicle, taking many laboured breaths through his nostrils as he did so.

           Daffodils – the air freshener. His favourite brand, modelled on his favourite flower. He used to eat them on his long walks across the estate as a child. 

            ‘Move over will you,’ he said to Carl Plopp, his chief adviser, a man who always smelled very strongly of soap. The most striking thing about Carl’s gangly appearance were his massive crimson ear lobes. When the light hit them one got the vivid impression of a pair of ruby red earrings.

            ‘Sorry Dennis,’ said Carl politely, avoiding eye contact.  Carl had that jarring nervous habit  of addressing one by one’s name on an almost sentence by sentence basis.

            ‘Dennis, I was thinking. About the policy changes Dennis, that we’re seeking to –‘

            ‘Not now Carl, please.’

            Carl looked pensively upwards and bit his lip.  He took a lobe gently between thumb and forefinger and looked through the tinted glass of the campaign car window at the turmoil outside. He picked out two or three faces, good, wholesome, disgruntled Scottish faces. Disgruntled at Dennis or merely the state of the nation? He couldn’t decide.

            ‘Drive on Morris,’ said Dennis to his long time chauffeur Morris Butcher, ‘just honk the horn if you can’t get through.’

            As he shimmied into the car-seat’s leather lap Dennis caught a glimpse of his svelte new P.A’s glossy inner thigh. Oh! How he would like to clap his bulky hand on that little fillet. And what a squeeze he would give it. Now what was her name again? Janine? That’s right isn’t it? Janine. Gosh it’s busy in here isn’t it. Three, four, five people! Laptop each; smartphone each; and all manner of other dingly-dongly things. Busy busy busy. But – Dennis was full of timely buts – where in God’s name is the damn debate? There was never any debate anymore. People didn’t even know the meaning of the word. To hash out, to talk over, to deliberate, to discuss. He was in a bit of a slack mood – he often experienced torpors like this after a fudged liaison with the public.

            ‘Don’t be afraid to crush that woman over there Morris,’ said Dennis, ‘you see her? That one. That one there. The one in the turquoise anorak.  There. You see her? I should have the  secret police come around and bloody arrest her during the night.’

             Carl looked away again shaking his head.

            ‘Oh come on Ploppy,’ said Dennis chuckling, giving Carl a little slap on the thigh.

             A member of the electorate, a squat woman, fiftyish or so (whom Dennis would later invite to dine with him, unsuccessfully, at his townhouse in Stockbridge) was standing talking to the press with a lit cigarette in her hand. She was gesticulating wildly, running her exasperated hands through her short shock of egg yolk yellow hair.

            ‘What’s all this?’ inquired Chris Belcher (Dennis’ gifted media architect) vaguely.

            ‘Oh just some bigoted woman. Used to support me – us – the party – blah blah – but now you’re a disgrace she says – an effing charlatan – oh Belchy, you know the rest.’

            ‘Well I’m sure you handled it accordingly minister,’ said Belcher.

            ‘Turn on the radio Morris,’ said Dennis, ‘the noise of all these people outside is giving me a bloody headache. Oafs…fs, fs, office, eugh, eugh,’ he started coughing violently (cigars), ‘office party on Friday’s going to be literally mental isn’t it?’ he said, trying to suppress the cough and looking puffily in the direction of Janine the PA, his newest and youngest member of staff. ‘Literally mental’ was a bit of vocab his twenty year old often used. Things were also frequently ‘random’ for him and of course ‘literally random’. Everything was always so literal with that boy.

            Janine looked up in alarm. Outwardly she came across as a quiet, meticulous individual. After leaving boarding school in Perthshire it was off to Queen’s College Oxford (PPE), then down to London for a few years. As soon as Scotland finally became independent it was back up to Edinburgh, home. Actually this last move hadn’t really been part of the life-plan – the internal spreadsheet – at all. She had only intended to come back to Scotland when she was ready to raise a family. This stint (and she hoped it would be a relatively brief one) was a career move, pure and simple. Janine was in her late twenties, she didn’t have a lover, she was a free agent. And she knew from personal experience that there were only about three  bachelors in the whole of Edinburgh that would be of  any use to her. Nevertheless she was enjoying it here, for now. More than she would have thought anyway; yet the green space, the seaside smell, the flickering reminiscences of idle teenage summers all came together occasionally to make her feel queasy and weak in the stomach. But she had little time to reflect on the rumblings and stings of nostalgia: she had an important job to do, she was sculpting out a career for herself. She blushed under Kennedy’s gaze, ‘yes, minister, yes you’re-’

            ‘Christ,’ whispered Chris Belcher hoarsely, looking suddenly very pale, ‘Dennis,’ he hissed, pointing directly at the heart (and namebadge) of the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, ‘Dennis, turn that bloody thing off for God’s sake. The microphone. The microphone! How could you have been so bloody stupid? Morris turn up the radio.’

 

(jingle jingle) Breaking News (jingle jingle)

 

From our award winning political correspondent Greg Mundell.

 

News just coming in that the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Dennis Kennedy has threatened to crush a woman underneath a motor vehicle whilst simultaneously labelling the voting public ‘oafs’. This shocking news arrives amidst the unprecedented revelation by Kennedy that the Scottish Government has a ‘secret policing’ arm.

            We are coming to you live from Edinburgh where Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Dennis Kennedy has been out talking to voters in the run up to the elections in June. This is of course the first set of general elections since Scotland achieved Independence last year and a vital time for all those involved in Scottish Politics.

            Mr Kennedy believed that he had had a successful day out canvassing voters in front of local television cameras. However, the veteran politician had unfortunately left his microphone switched on as he vacated the rally in his campaign vehicle, which lead to a series of off-colour remarks being broadcast to a nationwide audience of dozens.

            Local hag, excuse me, local bag-lady Mary Montrose, who works tirelessly for a paltry wage at a supermarket on the outskirts of Edinburgh was the unwitting victim of Mr Kennedy’s eviscerating verbal attacks. A lifelong supporter of Mr Kennedy and the United Scotland Party she pitched up at her local rally to show support for Kennedy and voice her concerns about the nation’s future:

            ‘Oi, you, Kennedy!’

            ‘Why, yes Madam? Great to see you out. How are you today?’

            ‘Now, dinnae sell me any of yer snake oil ye big fraud!’

            ‘Whatever do you mean?’

            ‘You’re takin’ this country to the dugs!’

            ‘Now, of course you are entitled to your opinion Madam, but I simply don’t agree. The United Scotland Party are a party for Scotland and we have the national interest at the heart of everything we do. After all, we were the ones that took this country out of the union, out of oppression and let it flourish, let it bloom. ’

            ‘Ye’re a bunch ay bloomin frauds I tell ye!’

            ‘Have you any grandchildren madam?’

            ‘Aye, eighteen.’

            ‘How are they all?’

            ‘Eh …’

            ‘Well isn’t that grand. Good luck to you and your wonderful family. Great to see you out today.’

            Mr Kennedy proceeded to get swiftly into his campaign vehicle and drive off, but not without lambasting poor Mrs Montrose to his colleagues:

            ‘Crush that woman over there Morris!’ said the bloodthirsty minister to Morris Butcher, his driver.

            ‘I should have the secret police come and arrest her during the night!’ he said to Carl Plopp, his chief adviser.

            And as for the general public, Mr Kennedy had this to say:

            The noise of all these people outside is giving me a blasted headache! Oafs, fs, fs!

These unbelievable remarks are bound to be a huge blow for the USP’s re-election campaign. A frank and full public apology is to be expected in the coming hours or days.

 

This is Greg Mundell, award winning political correspondent, from Edinburgh.

 

Good afternoon.

 

Dennis crushed the microphone – little electronic traitor – between his fingers. His first thoughts were ones of repulsion and retreat (specifically, opening the car door, flopping onto the blistered tarmac and rag-dolling away unconscious down the road). Yet the next inkling was like a friend’s calm hand falling upon his shoulder and bidding him to take his time. Dennis, said the ghostly voice accompanying the hand, you will weather this. Remember Dennis, remember how the vultures swooped as you finally revealed that it was you – you were the hero that had liberated Walter Scott’s last pair of pants from The British Museum in London. And that time you misquoted Burns and the Russians thought you were declaring nuclear war on them! This wasn’t the first time something like this had happened (it certainly wouldn’t be the last). He would weather this squall.

            Nobody spoke. Carl Plopp shed an individual tear which he would later disavow. Belcher tore out a clump of his own hair. Even implacable Morris had his head in his tattooed hands.

            ‘Morris,’ said Dennis quietly, ‘the air freshener, is it Daffodils?’

            ‘Yes guv.’

            ‘Good. Keep buying that.’

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