Welcome to Chapter Four in the serialisation of the gripping and critically acclaimed new novel There There My Dear, the story that appears to be creating a few ripples in political high office. If you’ve missed events so far (there really is no excuse) then you can catch up right here!
There There My Dear
Finally away from the flashing lights and whirring cameras, the new Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister were able to drop their guards and be human again. Of course, coming from opposing political parties meant that the two men would often disagree yet put on a united front in the face of the press et al.
But now, after tortuous months of campaigning and media events, the two men simply slumped into comfy chairs, loosened their ties and let the outside world melt away. The famous black door of Number 10 Downing Street had closed behind them. If only for a few moments, this would be a time to relax.
‘I needed this. You?’ asked Joseph Bartrum, settling into his seat. Both men held crystal cut tumblers of fine whisky in their hands.
‘Do you know, I really did? I can’t remember not having to say something – I don’t know – considered or manufactured to somebody. God. I suppose we’d better make the most of this, hadn’t we?’ responded Dylan Connor.
Since the beginning of the year these two men, along with other party cohorts, had been fighting one another in a fierce battle for political power, and not one of them had pulled their punches. Week after week the papers had been filled with accusations, counter-claims and several personal slurs. The circus had come to town and it was likely to outstay its welcome.
Following the collapse of a high street bank, along with several major corporations, and the subsequent financial turmoil across the whole business sector, the political world had gone into meltdown and the main parties had actually seen the crisis as an opportunity to gain favour with the electorate. In retrospect it was obvious, but nonetheless unpalatable, that every opposing party would launch rhetorical attacks on the administration that had brought the country to its knees.
Like picking the lowest-hanging fruit, Opposition parties had savaged the government, highlighting its failings, and promised reform along with renewal and resurrection. Obvious, too, was the prospect of a hung Parliament. And so it happened. The coalition.
Hidden from the prying eyes of the media, Deputy Prime Minister Joseph Bartrum seized the opportunity to set out his stall.
‘Personally, you know, I really want this to be the start of something. Something significant, I mean’ he said, leaning forward and pointing forwards with his drink in his right hand. The whisky, golden liquor, seemed to dance in the glass.
‘Joe, the way I see it is that we have to bail out this sinking ship. And you know as well as I that it will not be easy. This is no walk in the park and there will be tough times ahead. The darkest hour, and all that.’ Dylan Connor then slowly leant back into the chair, his eyes searching for any signs of weakness in his deputy. Just as he had put his arm around Bartrum’s shoulder to lead him into Number 10, now he was demonstrating control and leadership, even out of the limelight.
‘But it needn’t be damaging. To either of us. Need it? I mean, we can make this work because, well, we have to make it work, don’t we?’ Bartrum seemed to be begging and although he didn’t mean to, he sounded subservient. Connor had established that he had the upper hand in this relationship. That his title confirmed this was just the icing on the cake.
‘Joe, only a week ago you were telling the world – well, anybody actually listening – that I was the last person to trust with the task of getting this country back on its feet. That I would do nothing more than hand over the nation’s needs to corporations and profiteers. Now you want to make nice and avoid damage. Well, my friend, it is too late for that. The next five years will seem a very long time to you – as Deputy Prime Minister.’
To Be Continued…
I’m incredibly excited to be sharing my new novel There There My Dear with you, dear reader, and I really hope that you’ve enjoyed the story so far. If you have enjoyed it, or have any thoughts (good or bad) on the story and characters, then please do leave a comment below. Alternatively, you can get in touch with me via my Contact Form at the bottom of the Home Page , or through my Facebook Page. I’d love to hear from you and you’re guaranteed to get a personal reply from me.
Chapter Five to be published next week.
Very best wishes,
Sign Up To Neil’s Newsletter for the latest news and book talk. Announcements, reviews, signings, talks & author events, competitions & giveaways…and much more! JOIN THE CONVERSATION TODAY!