Message is this week's Sunday Scribblings topic. So, I've chosen three true examples of politicians, whom it seems, just didn't get the message.

The government spokesman put on his best smile. It had been a disastrous night for his party. Now to put on a brave face and bluff his way through. "Well, you see Jonathan, our main problem is not that the public do not like our policies. On the contrary, they do. Thousands are telling us so on doorsteps, up and down the country. It seems to me that the public just doesn't understand the message we're trying to get across.

* * * * *

The French President was visibly annoyed. Should years of negotiations, setbacks, breakthroughs all come to nothing now, at the last hurdle. As France currently held the presidency of the European Union, it fell on him to save the day. He stepped up to the microphone. "People of Ireland, I am calling on you to hold a referendum. The future of Europe is at stake. We need a clear mandate from each member country and we need you to state clearly what you want."

"But we don't need a new referendum. We had one yesterday. We said what we want. We said NO!"

"You don't seem to understand. We have to hear you speak," replied the exasperated French president.

* * * * *

Every single President and world leader present knew what was at stake. This was not the time for words. The public wanted action, so action they would get. Copenhagen would be the last chance. That was why the final declaration was so unequivocal. "We recognise the need for action before it's too late. We also recognise the importance of working together to overcome this problem which threatens our planet. So we have signed an agreement that we will keep meeting and keep talking in order to find a common way forward in this matter. On this we are all agreed."

Instead of continuing the story as the prompt asks us to do, I have tried to rewrite the original two paragraphs in a different style.


‘God damn.’ Eddie Kerne’s voice had altered, from anger to shock. But he shifted back to anger quickly. ‘And what the hell were you doing while he was climbing off the bloody cliff? Watching him? Egging him on? Or having it off with her?

‘He was climbing alone. I didn’t know he’d gone. I don’t know why he went.’ The last was a lie, but he couldn’t bear to give his father any additional ammunition. ‘They though at first it was an accident. But when they looked at his equipment, they saw it had been tampered with.’


Do you know my own true son
What it is that you have done?
Such an idiot, I can't believe
That while he died, e'en his wife you did not leave.

Oh but Dad, tis not my fault.
Nothing know I about his vault.
And so, dear reader a lie so white
For once from his lips did alite.

At first, you see, an accident they suspect,
but then foul play still more expected.
For tampered his equipment was,
Thus murder they suspect because.


Tampered with, I've never heard anything so funny in all my life. You really want me to believe anyone would take the trouble to fool around with his equipment when all they had to do was leave him to his own means. The man was a walking accident. He never needed egging on, not when it came to doing anything stupid. And I bet all the time that was going on, you were in bed having it off with is wife. Oh, it really is all too funny.


Looking at him you'd think he was vacillating between anger and shock. Yet, as he stood there, straight as a ramrod, emotions in check, with even a touch of relief in his eyes, you'd never have guessed it. That's what made it so difficult to reply to him. I waited almost a full to minutes before blurting the first thing that came into my head. 'He decided to leave me have my way with his wife and go climbing alone. I guess he did so because he loved her. And of course, being an ardent team man, it made perfect sense for him to go off alone. He was always doing it.' After all that even I was unaware as to what was truth and what was lie.

Where Next?

Orlato adored fast cars, writing articles for punch magazine, avant-garde fiction and sailing with the world's beauties in tow. His luxury yacht was fitted with every luxury imaginable and supplies were flown in by helicopter once a week. Not that he did much sailing though; he left that to his crew. He concentrated on the beauties and his stock of fine wines which inevitably made up large part of his order every week.

Today, however, Orlato had a decision to make. The recent storms had left his yacht in need of some urgent maintenance work. But where to go? The nearest port where the work could be carried out, was Hong Kong. But the articles he had written at the time of the island's handover to China, made that solution impracticable. Although he often visited high-flying government officials, he didn't quite fancy a lengthy stay as guest of the country's security service. He could try heading towards the coast of Africa but if he was persona non-grata for the Hong Kong authorities, then the pirates that infested these waters were most certainly persona non-grata for him.

No, there was nothing for it but to make a frantic scramble back to Europe. His first thought was to head to Germany. There were more than enough workshops who could do the required work, and as money had never proved an object to him, their exclusively high prices were not a problem. Besides, while he was there, he could buy another Ferrari and take it out for a spin on the 'autobahn'. He loved the idea of those long, straight roads with absolutely no speed restrictions. But a quick check on the internet soon put him off that idea. Not only were there no Ferraris available, but the government had had an attack of greenitis and had laid down stingent new measures on road behaviour. You were still allowed to drive as fast as you can. No German government would take to take on that cherished right, but you were no longer allowed to own a car that drove as fast as you liked. And the amazing thing was that no one single German seemed to be distressed over this.

He could, of course, set course for the mother country, good-old England - as very distinct from the sing-song Welsh or the barbaric Scots whose palate had been ruined by centuries of whisky. In England everything was permitted, everything that is except that which was expressly forbidden. But the current government had passed so many new laws, almost everything was expressly forbidden, nowadays. He couldn't even buy a copy of his favourite author's latest novel without having to confront the pungent odour of underground book-stores, nestled deep inside the seedy intestines of the capitol city, far from the watchful eye of the CCTV freaks. No, there was nothing for it. He was going to have to eat his pride and lurch towards France. Not that the legal situation was much better there. Indeed, the French have more laws than all the other countries put together. But the Frenchman has learnt one essential lesson, one he prided them for. For the Frenchman everything is allowed, even that which is forbidden. France was Orlato's kind of country.

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