17 April 2007

The Prospect of Des Browne Falling on His Sword 6 April 2007 – 16 April 2007

Image: Defence Secretary Des Browne   The Prospect of Defence Secretary Des Browne Falling on His Sword, following the media and political furore over his decision to allow the 15 sailors captured by the Iranians to sell their stories to the highest bidder, has passed away following a statement by Mr Browne in the House of Commons, during which he apologised for making a mistake but failed utterly to plummet on to the assorted sabres, daggers, katanas, zweihanders, rapiers, spadones and schiavonas proffered by members of the opposition parties, much to the disappointment of the large crowd that had gathered to witness the death-defying-enabling feat.

The Prospect was conceived rapidly following the release of the Iraq hostages when the Defence Secretary chose the aftermath of one of the more significant naval cock-ups since Robert Maxwell accidentally took up deep-sea-diving to go on holiday and thus failed to question the Navy’s ruling that the sailors could profit from their tales of derring-do and attempts to escape their captors by doing exactly as they were told.

The Prospect was a popular child from the moment of its conception as the newspapers that had failed to offer enough money to secure the sailors’ stories called instead for Mr Browne to thrust his breast forcefully on the nearest pointy object, claiming that sensational tabloid revelations about the sailors' plucky plan to outwit the Iranians – by agreeing to be paraded on Iranian television praising their captors, calling for Britain and America's immediate withdrawal from Iraq and having a nice cup of tea – had caused more damage to the reputation of the Navy than the carnage resulting from a Saturday night in a Plymouth public house.

Despite the Prospect's popularity, it was clear from the outset that the child's father, Mr Browne, had little time for it. Within days of its birth he was already denying he was its father and seeking to smother it by reversing his earlier decision and halting the further sale of stories by the nation’s greatest military heroes since Captain Mainwaring and Corporal Jones.

Despite - or perhaps even because of - its father's callous attitude towards it, the Prospect remained dear to the hearts of large sections of the press, the opposition parties and Iran's President Ahmadinejad. Speculation reached fever pitch as a nation held its breath for Mr Browne's Commons statement, fully expecting him to the decent thing, acknowledge his parentage of the Prospect and allow it to fulfil it's destiny by dropping him on to the nearest sharp implement from a great height.

It was not to be. Expressing "a degree of regret that can be equated with an apology”, Mr Browne failed utterly to acknowledge his offspring, leaving it to pass away as peacefully as a boat full of Royal Navy ratings and Marines surrendering to an Iranian boarding party.

The Prospect of Des Browne Falling on His Sword will be buried quietly at sea, but not too close to Iranian waters. It is survived by the Prospect of Des Browne Being Brutally Assassinated in Gordon Brown's Cabinet Reshuffle.

1 Comment:

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Ha! Well done, Dodo! I think the assassination theory in your last paragraph will come to pass.