Today Mr Moan tries to put Eva straight on Horace and the nuclear deterrent.
The former Russian Olympic shot put champion, Eva Brick, completed her swim in Landsbury’s Lido, showered and ran round the outer Serpentine pathway to greet her mentor. Mr Moan gasped as she completed a series of back handsprings and scissor leaps before she picked up Mr Moan and lowered him onto the luxuriant Hyde Park grass.
“Mr Moanie,” she cried. “What is a Slapp?”
The founder of the British United National Kingdom Party (BUNK) reacted by diving into the undergrowth as he anticipated a demonstation of tsuki from his karate-trained companion. Eva grabbed his ankles, pulled him out and laughed.
“Mr Moanie,” she said. “It’s part of my studies into the British Constitution: it says in my text book that a Slapp is a strategic lawsuit against public participation. What is that?”
The penny dropped as Mr Moan asserted himself by leading Eva to a bench where they sat and ate their cheese sandwiches.
“Eva,” he explained. “Russian oligarchs pay huge fees to British barristers in order to sue their critics into silence. To avoid scrutiny they use lawsuits to intimidate anyone who challenges them including publishers, authors and journalists by imposing on them massive legal fees. They don’t care about winning the case.”
An Example to the World
“But Mr Moan, Horace talks about the British Parliament being an example to the rest of the world. How does that fit with these Slapps?”
“As you know Eva,” explained her companion, “the word ‘democracy’ comes from the Greek ‘demos’ meaning people and ‘kratos’ which translates into rule.” He paused. “Every five years the people elect a ruling Party which means getting at least three hundred and twenty six MPs elected so that the Prime Minister controls the House of Commons vote.” He laughed. “That is where democracy begins and stops. Once a Prime Minister is in post he can rule like a dictator because no-one can challenge him.”
“Or her, Mr Moanie,” laughed Eva as she playfully smacked her companion on his ears.
She finished her lunch by downing a fruit yogurt and completing a series of breathing exercises while Mr Moan groaned inwardly at memories of Mrs T and Theresa May.
Who Controls Horace and the Nuclear Deterrent?
“Mr Moanie, who controls Horace?” she asked her mentor.
“Nobody with perhaps the exception of Mrs Horace. She seems to have an influence.”
“But what about what they say in my text book is the Executive?” she asked.
“The Executive, Eva, are the leading Cabinet members, but they are paid so much money they do as Horace tells them. If they rebel, he sacks them and keeps them quiet by promising them a knighthood.”
“Mr Moanie, what about the British free press?” she cried.
He surprised his political student by standing up and patting her on the head.
“The press are part of Horace’s weaponry. He gives a news conference and is asked about record numbers on hospital waiting lists. He says “I am today committing £40m to the NHS to solve this problem.” The media carry this as headline news and Horace comes across as a guardian angel.” He paused and rubbed his ears. “There is no follow up, no-one knows whether the money reaches the medical world or even if it does, how it is spent.”
A Slippery Eel?
“But he can be challenged in Parliament, Mr Moan?”
“If he comes under any pressure he announces a Royal Commission, which allows him to pay even more money to the good and great who are on the committee and who do very little. By the time the Committee reports, Horace has long moved on to another topic such as our nuclear deterrent.”
They were now walking alongside the placid waters of the Serpentine with Eva feeling ever closer to Britain’s next Prime Minister.
“Mr Moanie, what is the nuclear deterrent?”
“Ah! You ask the crucial question,” sighed Mr Moan. “It is based at the HM Naval Base, Clyde in Scotland. It says on the Government website, ‘The reality is that it protects us every hour of every day.’ He laughed. “The truth is that there is, at any time, one nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarine sailing beneath the waves.”
“But who controls it?” shouted a worried sounding Eva Brick.
You Cannot Be Serious!
“Mr Moanie, you can’t be serious. Nobody would allow that situation.”
He stopped and stared at his political companion.
“I suggest you read the Government website, Eva. It says that ‘only the Prime Minister can authorise the use of our nuclear weapons.”
“No, no , no Mr Moanie, that simply can’t be right. You are saying that the PM can single-handedly authorise the firing of a nuclear deterrent weapon?”
“I hope that we never find out, Eva,” said the leader of the BUNK Party.
Eva walked on, turned back and faced her lover.
“Mr Moanie, you are forgetting one thing. We women know how to use our powers. Perhaps Mrs Horace is the best hope we have?”
They walked on together into the sunshine.