Neighbours from hell

Carole and Cherie prepare for life stateside, but Tony has other plans; meanwhile, Uncle Grumpy hatc

The Blairs' flat. Cherie is outlining her future plans to Carole.

Cherie: Posh and Becks have invited us to their place in LA. They know all the people from Hollywood so I'm going to get Quentin Tarantino to direct my aerobics video.

Carole: Quentin Tarantino?

Cherie: Yeah. Just like Kill Bill but without the fake blood.

Carole: And what's Tony got planned?

Cherie: Not sure yet. The vacancy at the World Bank sounds great. Apparently the boss's partner gets stacks of free dosh.

Carole: I think he should take over the UN.

Cherie: God, I'd lurrvvv that, wouldn't you? Imagine it. Big office in Manhattan. Champagne receptions every night. And Bono popping in now and then for a jam with Tony and a good old goss about disease and poverty and debt relief. If only!

Carole: He'd be perfect. Why can't he do it?

Cherie: Oh the UN, it's full of chippy third-world nations who think the Secretary-General should come from some failed state with no infrastructure and rampant inflation.

Carole: So . . . why can't he do it exactly?

Tony breezes in.

Tony: Hi girls. I mean, women. Now, I've decided, darling, I'm staying in parliament for another year.

Cherie: What? We'll never scrape by on fifty grand, Tony. That'll barely keep me in moisturiser.

Tony: Yeah but I can't ditch Sedgefield - just like that.

Cherie: Who?

Tony: Sedgefield, you know. That little place we go to when there's an election.

Cherie: Er, you've lost me.

Tony: Oh come on Cherie. Where I made Bill Clinton buy saveloy and chips.

Cherie: Oh before his heart attack? Right, well you owe those people precisely nothing. All they do is exploit your image. You know there are novelty ice lollies with your face on sale in the post office, and sticks of rock with "Irreducible Core" going through it.

Tony: Yeah, well, the post office was closed down last week.

Cherie: And what about the pet shop? They do a Tony Blair pooper scooper - "ideal for poodles". It's shocking. And you're not getting a penny from it.

Tony: Money isn't everything.

Cherie: Sorry, darling? Didn't catch that. I think my ears are bunged up.

Tony [slowly]: Money - isn't - everything.

Cherie: Did you hear that Carole? My husband has gone completely bonkers. Listen Tony, you need to get a grip. Copyright your image and charge royalties.

Tony: Like a rock star . . .

Cherie: Exactly.

Tony: Funny you should say that. Bob Geldof's arranging a farewell gig for me in Downing Street.

Scene 2: The Blairs' flat, later. Gordon tiptoes in and finds Leo alone watching telly.

Leo: Hello Uncle Grumpy.

Gordon: Er, hello, little Leo. So your daddy's a rock star now.

Leo: Yeah. And I'm going to the gig.

Gordon: Oh goody. Me too. Now, you know what rock stars do?

Leo: What?

Gordon: They throw the TV set out of the window.

Leo: Do they?

Gordon: Always.

Leo: But I'm watching it.

Gordon: Never mind. Daddy'll get a new one. Now, do you need a hand unscrewing it from the wall?

Scene 3: The Rose Garden. In front of a makeshift stage, an audience of millionaires on bail and dispossessed Blairites. Bob Geldof is at the mike.

Geldof: Roight then and welcome to Downing Street, yer freeloading cheapskates. And get ready to produce yer wallets, if you can remember where you've buried them. Now, every single penny we raise tonight is going to the Blair Foundation, which will help commemorate Tony's good works in office. So all we need is the price of a postcard, eh, Tony, you self-admiring tosser?

Tony: Yeah, ha-ha. Love a joke against myself. Er, get on with it.

Geldof: Roight then, yer stuck-up scumbags. Please insert your ear-plugs for the greatest prime minister since John Major. Here he is, Mr Tony Blair . . . now that's all from me. Good night and piss off.

Tony takes the mike. Gordon slinks into the garden, smirking.

Tony: Thanks, Bob. And I'd just like to say that although this gig was an unpopular choice, I did it because, hand on heart, I believed it was the right thing to do. Now, my first song is dedicated to young David Miliband there. Hi Dave. [Plays intro. Sings] "Nowhere man, please listen. You don't know what you're ." Oh my God!

A crash of glass and the Blair's TV screen comes hurtling through the window. It smacks Gordon on the head and sends him flying into a rhododendron bush where he startles an urban fox from its lair. The fox grabs his leg and bites. Gordon panics, trying to shake it off.

Gordon: Help me somebody!

The audience glance at each other, shoving their hands in their pockets and whistling.

Gordon [jabbing a finger]: You - you - and you - you're all fired!

Miliband: And your point is?

This article first appeared in the 28 May 2007 issue of the New Statesman, Gaza: The jailed state