Brexit Britain was dead. There was no doubt about that. Doctor Fox had believed it would recover – but belief was not enough. Old May had signed Article 50.
As she trudged through the snow back to her lodgings, Mrs May passed men carrying gammons and others who were managing to walk by themselves. The rest of the Cabinet and parliament may have gone on holiday for two weeks at the height of the greatest political crisis in history – but there was no rest for Old May.
The fog and frost so hung about the old gateway that it seemed as if the genius of Brexit himself was haunting the door. But it was nearly midnight and David Davis would still be eating lunch. Gove – lurched out of the shadows – clutching at a bag of straws.
“A Merry Brexit Christmas Mrs May!” Young Michael yelled.
“What do you want?” May growled as she approached, “probably hoping for a day off tomorrow on account of it being……”
“Why yes Mrs May ….it’s just Tiny Tim Martin and some of the boys from the ERG are having a lunch in Wetherspoons – no brussels and chlorinated chicken – I was rather hoping I might go.”
“Bah Strasbourg!” Old May hated Christmas, “go but you won’t be getting any OBEs however much you smarm up to me. Anyway – we’ve run out of metal.”
The Old House at Number 10 was cold and dark and May had no appetite for gruel that evening. She climbed the winding stairway past the portraits of old Prime Ministers – glaring down at her. As she passed each by it seemed to come alive.
“Boooooo!” Atlee jeered.
“Where’s your Dunkirk spirit!” Churchill added.
“Don’t look at me for support – you’ve made a right pig’s ear of things!” Thatcher chipped in. “I’ll be confiscating your Christmas milk.”
Old May climbed into her nightgown and blew out the candle. But just then a cellar door burst open and there were creaking footsteps on the stairs. The bedroom door was pushed aside and into the room stepped John Major – dressed from head to toe in a suit of the purest grey.
May had often heard it said that Major had no balls – but now he was surrounded by them – clanking at the length of a long chain.
“You’ve been ignoring my many appearances on the Andrew Marr television programme and other similar news and current affairs outlets.” Major began – smelling distinctly of curry.
“Dreadful vision!” Old May screamed – falling to her knees.
“Well a bit unfair – I mean Marr does do his best!”
“No youuuuu. Yoooouuuu. Why do you haunt me so? And why are you fettered to that heap of balls?”
“I wear the chain I forged in office.” Major replied. “That pink one is Portillo fresh from another one of his train journeys, that lightweight one is Peter Lilley and the others are all Michael Howard. Beware the IDS of March the 29th……..”
“But isn’t that something else altogether….”
“Silence woman! In the course of this evening you will be visited by three ghosts – and now I must away…..”
May followed him to the window – desperate in her curiosity – but Major was gone – seeping seamlessly into a paving stone.
Presently she felt a cold wind behind her and turned. Standing alone in the midst of her bedroom was an odd figure – like a child yet not so like a child as an old man. Jacob Rees-Mogg looked about himself and muttered:
“A pity it is a terrace. Still I suppose it will do for Nanny.”
“Oh spirit of the night – what do you want of me?”
“I am the ghost of Christmas past!” Jacob intoned. “Come to show you how wonderful everything was before it was ruined by progress.”
He swept her in his top hat and soon they alighted by a Victorian workhouse. Inside children – some as young as five – worked away shoeless at metal lathes.
“Can you see what socialized welfare, health and safety and education for ‘ordinary people’ has done?” Jacob implored softly as another child’s pals gathered round in a spirit of goodwill to carry his dismembered arm out of the workhouse and throw him out after it. “These children had purpose and jobs as chimney sweeps until such time as they died of diphtheria or bullet holes – but now their descendants sit about the place getting fat on hamburgers and not knowing one end of a rifle from another.”
“OH what happiness there is!” May agreed – taking in the scene.
She turned – but Rees Mogg had gone – spirited away in a Bentley and in his place was a hideous ogre of a man – so revolting that Old May let out a scream.
“Oh what monster is this?”
“My name is Rupert Murdoch.” The festering apparition managed – extending a withered hand. “Here to show you the Hard Brexit Christmas yet to come.”
“But I was promised three ghosts!” May yelled. “Where are the three ghosts I was promised?”
“It’s the Brexit dividend!” Murdoch shot back “we lied.”
Soon they were riding high above the clouds – until in the distance they saw white cliffs and blue birds and green hills and a ring of unicorns dancing in a circle while Boris Johnson sang Walking in the Air from the peak of a giant tin of Spam.
There were no queues at Dover – the roads were full – yes – but traffic was moving swiftly towards brightly coloured steam ships. And beneath them happy, smiling people – all driving Morris Oxfords waved gaily up at Mrs May while a formation of Spitfires flew overhead.
“God bless you Theresa May!” They cried as one. “Thank you for this wonderful hard Brexit and our blue passports and tins of racist jam!”
And there dotted about the countryside happy Grenadier Guardsmen sat drinking cups of piping hot tea and eating spoonfuls of marmalade – while girls in bright dresses danced about Maypoles.
“You see!” Murdoch whispered in her ear. “It’s a kind of heaven.”
And the music played on and cartoon penguins were dancing and May danced among them. It was all so lovely – so marvelous so –
May awoke and blinked. She was lying in a bus shelter on the Catford gyratory being poked with a stick by a man in a yellow vest.
At the ERG luncheon Tiny Tim Martin and his chums agreed it had been the best Christmas lunch ever at that particular Wetherspoons on that day of that year.
“But next year!” Michael Gove piped up, “someone else can put acid in Theresa May’s tea.”