The Speaker (23/6/09)

Who will be the Speaker of the Realms? <dun-dun-daaaa>

For anyone who’s reading this and doesn’t already know, a significant part of the plot to The Adamantine Palace revolves around the Machiavellian manoeuvrings and machinations of a group of ruthless, selfish, murdering bastards for the position of Speaker of the Realms, a sort of Capo di tutti capi of the dragon-realms. Particularly astute reviewers have noted a sprinkling of contemporary social commentary (thank-you, Locus) present in this. Share with me for a moment, then, my amusement at the the current plight and manoeuvrings surrounding the appointment of the new Speaker of the House of Commons. Overlord of Fraud? Not for me to say; I’ll leave that to the bold men and women of the Daily Telegraph and merely observe that in many other countries, this level of expense-fiddling behaviour would be so mundane that no one would even raise any eyebrow. So let’s be glad we don’t live in any of those places, eh?

Yes, share my amusement and then share with me my disappointment at not having any say in who’s next to sit in the silly chair. Because, frankly, I’d like a say in the matter, and I’m not going to get one. Boo! Hiss!

Done with the disappointment now? Good. Let’s be honest, you didn’t actually care one way or another, did you? You were just pretending. No matter: Mere facts and reality should never be allowed to get in the way of a little bit of fun. Since any say I have in the matter will be purely a fictional say, I don’t see why I should stick to casting my fictional vote for people who are defined merely by their aspect of actually existing. No, far more fun to add my own candidates to the list (especially since the alternative would be ‘none of the above’, and using my fictional vote to tick ‘none of the above’ on my fictional ballet paper for a fictional election that exists only in my mind seems, well, noticeably unsatisfying).

Anyone with a serious interest in politics, look away now. They gone? Just closet geeks and nerds like me left now? Right. First the honourable mentions. These are the folks who didn’t quite make it into the top five, but deserve a mention anyway for the admirable qualities they could have brought to bear on the job, Starting with….

Conan the Barbarian: A personal favourite and old friend, Conan can be relied upon to clear up any mess, usually by turning it into a different kind of mess with more blood involved. Likely to be a short stint at the job, but probably very satisfying for almost all concerned.

Dr. Van Helsing, or indeed anyone else experienced in dealing with bloodsucking vampires. Um… because, well… because. Would probably have made it into the top five if Abnormal Lamont had still been in the house.

Severus Snape: Makes out like he’s one of the bad guys but actually isn’t. Worth a go for the withering sarcasm. “What is it now, Clegg?”

The wizard responsible for Pinocchio’s nose. Don’t know who he is, but we have people on the case.

John Connor and the heroes of all slasher flicks: They know what it’s like when everyone is out to get you and have good experience dealing with people that keep coming back again and again no matter how many times you think you’ve gotten rid of them.

Right. And now, without further ado, my own personal top five fantasy and SF candidates for the new Speaker of the House of commons:

Sneaking in at number FIVE is A Dalek! Can be any Dalek you like. Darren the Dalek, say. Rather let down by serious question marks over his ability to provide strong moral guidance, Darren the Dalek has nevertheless made the list simply for the satisfaction of hearing that the traditional call for “Order!” has been replaced by the familiar old favourite “Exterminate!” and general ensuing consequences.

In at number FOUR: HAL2000! Always calm, always patient, never losing his temper or raising his voice, HAL brings to the job a logical perfection and a guarantee to exactly follow the rules, perfectly and without question, whatever they are. May unexpectedly lock everyone out of Parliament on a point of order from time to time, but I’m sure we can live with that. Distinctive sound bite: “I’m sorry Gordon, I can’t let you do that.”

At number THREE: The X-men’s Professor Xavier. No more procrastination and tub-thumping during Prime Minister’s Questions, no with the Prof you get answers, plucked straight out of the mind of whatever minister matters. Now questions like “Does the Prime Minister truly believe that the Iraqi government is capable of deploying weapons of mass destruction against the United Kingdom in the space of forty-five minutes?” can have the answers they deserve. Like “No, actually, the Prime Minister is pretty damn sure that’s total bollocks, he was just hoping you wouldn’t ask.” Does that sound better? Thought so. Also brings a keen and willing intellect and a strong moral sense to the job. Telepathic powers may pose some security concerns, however.

At number TWO: Any D&D cleric of at least third level. Why? Silence 15′ Radius, that’s why. Extra credit may be given to higher level clerics who can throw a flamestrike or two into the mix.

But now for number one. This character brings both moral backbone and a certain flexibility to the job. He may not always be politically correct, in fact quite often he’s not, but he’s the perfect Servant to Society. With his trademark cry of “Oi! You lot! Shut it!”, expert in dealing with a rowdy rabble, my personal favourite, squealing into the lead around the last corner at the wheel of something that sure ain’t a Toyota Prius, the winner of this blog’s Fantasy Speaker award, let’s hear it for… DCI Gene Hunt!


I’ve missed something. What is it?

Oh yes. Psst… Hey Cameron… “Exterminate!

Damn. Now sitting and writing a piece about the Gemmell awards seems positively drab and mundane. I guess that can wait. Laters dudes. Got to roll with my Dalek fantasy for a while now.

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