Laurel looked crossly out of the window. It was raining. Typical, she thought to herself. How could things get any worse?
It has all been so different two weeks ago. Then she had believed that she could truly become the ‘Fauci of Downing Street’ - the tough, incisive expert who would front every news report, whose face was going to be seen in every sitting room in the UK, every night. She would be the ‘go-to’ person on whom the nation relied, called for endless interviews. A household name, the face of authority, just like Fauci had been in the US. She had even taken to doodling ‘Lauci’ on her blotting paper as she dreamed of greatness…..
Then, just as Fauci himself had, quite suddenly, been beamed back up to the Starship Enterprise, apparently because of some stupid Democrat poll, her plan had turned to dust.
Putin had invaded Ukraine and that was all people now cared about.
It was not personal she told herself. But it just wasn’t right that Boris was still there. He had been on a precipice. Now suddenly he was off the precipice and jetting round as a world leader. He was in every headline, praised by Ukraine and angering Putin.
It was really not fair. ‘With one bound Jack was free…’, she thought to herself, bitterly.
How could it be right he had escaped - especially when he had written papers about staying in and getting out of the EU – not even sitting on the fence like the Libdems, but standing on both sides? That still rankled, a lot.
And anyway, why was he PM when she wasn’t?
She simply could not understand any of it.
Putin had ruined everything. She had had it so well planned. She had asked for an interview about some international issue, she could not recall what exactly, but obviously something very boring compared to the huge global importance of events in Downing Street 15 months ago.
She had been going to use that interview to pounce. She had been going to ask, ‘So Prime Minister, did you enjoy the Victoria sponge cake at your birthday party?’
And Boris would have replied, she just knew it, ‘Oh yes, thank you, very nice’,
Then - she would have sprung the trap!
‘Actually Prime Minister it was a double chocolate fudge cake. Why do you think it is acceptable to lie to the British people?’
And that would have been it. Boris would have been finished. Kaput.
Then suddenly that horrible Putin decided to invade Ukraine and save Boris.
Why, she puzzled angrily had Putin wanted to save Boris? She could not work it out – unless perhaps Putin found Macron very annoying and saving Boris would annoy Macron? Yes, that must be it, she mused thoughtfully.
Really, it was all so difficult. A frown deepened the marked crease between her eyes. The crease had first come when her hairdresser had rung to cancel her appointment saying there was, frankly, no point. That had puzzled her as well. After all her hair was very practical, wasn’t it? Very Fauci she liked to think.
But now she was very worried about bigger things. How she could possibly come indispensable to the British people when Boris was racing ahead, by now almost a tiny dot in the distance?
Then – she suddenly had a big idea. Of course she knew she could not just talk about Victoria sponge cakes – people would think if children were being killed in Ukraine that cakes weren’t important.
But - what if she wrote to say she was not writing about cakes?
That was pure genius. No one would spot that. Sitting back and smiling, she told herself, ‘Lauci, you are really very clever!’
Grabbing a piece of lined paper, she licked the end of her pencil and thought hard. What to say? Nothing came to her. At all.
She chewed the other end of her pencil and then thoughtfully spat out the broken pieces of wood. Still nothing.
Irritably she threw down her pencil and turned on the news only to see a BBC article online with a headline: Ukraine war has put the brakes on efforts to remove Boris Johnson - for now.
Her pulse quickened, no, she thought it cannot be. She read on:
We can't just put this in a box for six months - if you say it's just about a piece of cake that's one thing, but if you frame it as about breaking the law you made and lying to Parliament it's quite another.
And then another heading:
Brand still damaged
She was devastated. This was like getting to the pyramid and finding the grave robbers had already cleared it out. It couldn’t.
What on earth was she to do?
To be continued...