Not nice. Hair fall out. Glow in dark. Drop dead

Angela raises a toast to global warming; George raises a toast to himself; Cherie raises a toast to

The G8 summit. Tony sits with his headphones on, pretending to look interested in Angela Merkel's opening statement. George Bush is beside him, thumb in mouth, gently snoring.

Merkel: Welcome to Germany and we'll start the G8 in traditional fashion. The opening session will begin when the first plastic bullet is fired.


Far off, several loud pops are heard followed by the cries of protesters being shot at and tear-gassed.

Merkel: Excellent. I declare this G8 open. Now - last year's minutes. Africa was top of the agenda and once again our rhetoric far outstripped our performance. Congratulations all round. Next, debt cancellation. The cancellation programme was cancelled. Thus doubling the total amount of cancellation, as it were. And finally, global warming, which I'd like us all to toast with a glass of this fruity new Chardonnay - from Iceland! Cheers.

Far off, civilians scream as the riot police charge. Their cries wake George Bush.

Bush: Huh? What? Er, no, let me assure the Grand Jury I never conspired to wage aggressive . . . hang on. What is this?

Tony: The G8.

Bush: Ah, God. I thought I was being impeached. Hey, is old fatso with you here?

Tony: At home, practising being a wax dummy. Sorry, world statesman.

Bush: Right, and has he got a position on Iraq?

Tony: Yeah. Backwards.

Bush: Uh?

Tony: He's pulling our troops out in September.

Bush: The crazy bastard! We've got to stop him.

Tony: How about a street demo? That always works.

Bush: Ah, Jeez. Well, look, can we at least make sure it's a phased withdrawal.

Tony: It is. He's fazed. That's why he's withdrawing.

Scene 2: An hour later. A drinks party to celebrate the end of the opening speeches. Angela Merkel takes the mike while Cherie chugs back free champers.

Merkel: Fellow world leaders, congratulate yourselves on the coherence and friendliness of your deliberations so far. We hope the afternoon's discussions will continue to . . .

Cherie grabs the microphone.

Cherie: Oh shurrup you boring ole gasbag. Now lissnup everyone, it's Tony's last G8 ever ever ever and I just wanna say that at this point in history the EU is in dire need of a president who'll combine vision, leadership and vitality with a grey quiff, trim waistline and a beautiful, mysterious, wife . . .

Her microphone is discreetly unplugged . . . by Tony, who glides over to George Bush.

Bush: Yo Tony! Sign my petition on global warming.

Tony: You?

Bush: It's to persuade Al Gore to cancel that freaking concert.

Putin creeps up.

Bush: Yo Vlad! Now what's this about strategic missiles? You're kidding, right?

Putin: Kidding? No! Serious. If Nato stick shield in Poland, Russia stick nuke up Nato!

Tony: He's only saying that for the domestic audience. We'll soon make him eat humble pie.

Putin: And I soon make you eat Putin pie. Not nice. Hair fall out. Glow in dark. Drop dead.

Bush: Hey, you can't talk to him like that . . .

Scene 3: Downing Street. Gordon Brown is recording a speech on a TV monitor.

Gordon [reads]: Brave members of our beloved armed services, you're coming home at last! The war is over. And we almost won. Don't be disheartened. As Scottish football fans know, second place isn't all that bad . . . once you get used to it. Our aim was noble. Our ideals were principled. We came to spread democracy across Iraq. We ended up spreading Iraqis across Iraq. Not quite the same thing but we did our best, so I'm proud to declare Iraq another triumph for British arms. And so onward to our next victory - withdrawal from Afghanistan. Our chief goal there is to crush the evil heroin trade. According to my pocket calculator, the entire Afghan poppy crop has a cash value to farmers of just $11bn. A trifle! With our European partners I propose that we buy up the country's annual harvest and dispose of it safely by dumping it round at Kate and Pete's place . . . [Breaks off] Ed, I can't read this garbage. Who wrote it?

Ed Balls: Well you wanted someone cutting edge and vaguely socialist. So I hired Ben Elton.

Gordon: A millionaire who hasn't had a left-wing principle for 20 years?

Ed Balls: Er, there's someone better?

Ed Miliband runs in.

Miliband: Oh cripes! Trouble at the G8. The Cold War has restarted!

Gordon: Thank God for . . . er, ooh how unexpected. Quick. The hotline to Moscow.

Scene 4: Later. Gordon speaks to Putin.

Gordon: The Cold War, Vlad! It's my kind of war. No shooting. No fuel bills. No expensive smart bombs. And the whole army's kept in barracks all year, popping out only to ruin the annual firemen's strike. Plus I can order eight new nuclear submarines - and build them all in Scottish constituencies.

Cheers Vlad.

Putin: And in return?

Gordon: Bake all the polonium pizzas you like.

Putin: Dosvydanya, friend!

This article first appeared in the 11 June 2007 issue of the New Statesman, Russia: The beggar becomes the belligerent