Who is Jack Winter ( Part 5) Final.
He stood in the shower. The cold water hit his body hard making it sting. He hadn’t had a warm shower in years. Warm showers tended to make him drowsy. Cold water woke him up, made his body shiver. He called this his “shaking phase”. It was like every organ in his body was been shaken into life. He liked the “shaking phase.”
The girls had gone and Patrick was asleep on one of the sofas.
He put on his “emergency outfit” that he kept at the club. This was a full set of spare clothes, shoes, socks, pants, shirt, suit, and tie. He often used the emergency set. It was quite common for his clothes to end up covered in various bodily fluids, not always his own.
After two lines of coke hit his system he was ready to leave. Patrick was still naked and snoring as he shut the door.
The PM had said “The House” and not “Number 10” so he headed back to Parliament and for the PM’s private chambers.
He was greeted by Stephen Wilkes, the PM’s private secretary.
“Hi Jack. Good you could come back so soon. Everything okay back in Essex?”
“Yes, all sorted. Storm in a teacup really.”
“Good, good. Look, I’ll give you the heads up. This morning the PM had a long chat with the Foreign Secretary. Your name came up a number of times. All good stuff Jack so no need to be nervous. He’s waiting for you in his office.”
Jack shook his hand and noticed how limp it was. It was like holding the hand of a dead man. He hated that sort of handshake and the people that gave them. It made him want to vomit.
He knocked on the oak panelled door. A voice boomed from inside.
Harold Simpson was sitting on his desk. Not behind it on a chair. But actually sitting on top of it with his legs folded. He looked like he was doing some kind of yoga.
“Jack, Jack, good to see you and thanks for coming so promptly. Don’t mind me, I do this for fifteen minutes every day, helps with circulation and muscle tone. Come and sit down Jack. I’ll be done in a few minutes.”
He did as he was told and took a seat next to the PM’s desk.
There was silence for a full three minutes. The PM had his eyes closed during this time. Then suddenly he seemed to spring to life and literally jumped off the desk.
“Wow, always feel amazing after that. You should try it sometime Jack. It’s really beneficial.”
Jack thought that half a bottle of scotch, two lines of coke and two blues and greens would have the same effect.
“Might need a bigger desk, Prime Minister.”
The PM laughed. A natural laugh that was infectious. Jack found himself laughing as well.
“I expect you’re wondering why I wanted to see you so urgently.”
“Yes, Prime Minister. I hope everything is okay. Hope I haven’t let the party down in some way?”
The PM was striding round his office. He’d heard rumours that he was always on the move, even during cabinet meetings he would walk and talk at the same time. Some of the cabinet actually called him “Strider” in secret.
“No, no, nothing like that Jack, quite the contrary actually. I’m off to Afghanistan in an hour’s time. Surprise visit for the troops, good for moral and all that and I wanted us to have this chat before I leave. You probably know already that I’m planning a cabinet re-shuffle when I return and I wanted to have everything in place for when I get back.”
He stopped walking and looked straight at Jack.
“Up for a challenge Jack?”
Jacks mind was racing. He’d obviously frightened the life out of Charles Winthorpe earlier with his blackmail threat so his plan was working. He was hoping for Trade and Industry. He knew with his contacts he could make a small fortune from that appointment.
“Of course Prime Minister, glad to help in any way I can.”
“That’s the spirit Jack, Charles said you were a good man. Before I go any further I just need to confirm a few details, that okay Jack?”
“As you know I’m very big on traditional family values. You’ve been married and divorced twice Jack. Can I ask what the circumstances were on those occasions?”
“Indeed Prime Minister. I met my first wife Elaine when we were both at University, we married when we were both twenty two. We were both ambitious people and looking back now we were never really suited. We divorced three years later. I haven’t seen Elaine for twenty years now.”
That was a lie of course. Elaine had caught him in bed with their next door neighbour. The divorce had at first been messy but in the end they divorced due to irreconcilable difference once Jack had threatened to disclose her drug taking at university to her new employers.
“And the second marriage Jack?”
“I met Shirley when I was thirty six and was a councillor for Havering. We both desperately wanted children but found out that we both had problems in that department. It put a terrible strain on the marriage and in time we drifted apart. We divorced very amicably four years later. I still see her from time to time. She’s re-married and is very happy.”
Another lie. Shirley hated his guts. She’d once held a carving knife to his throat and threatened to stab him in the neck if he didn’t stop sleeping with hookers. Their marriage had been one of convenience for both of them. He needed to look respectable to get into government and she thought she might one day become a Ministers wife. In the end she got fed up with his womanising, drug taking and drinking.
“I’m very pleased to hear that Jack. I just wanted to know so that there are no surprises that could come out and bite us later on.”
Now the PM sat down at his desk and once again looked straight at Jack.
“Tony Blair was Prime Minister for ten years and won three Elections. Want to know my theory on WHY Jack?”
Jack just nodded.
“Because he appealed to everyone. He was a bit of old labour, a bit of new labour, a bit Liberal and a big chunk of Conservatism. He also surrounded himself with people that appealed to certain sections of the public. Who do you think I believe was his biggest asset?”
“No Jack. Most people didn’t like Gordon Brown. His biggest asset was John Prescott!”
“Oh yes Jack. It was a stroke of brilliance making him Deputy Prime Minister. He and Blair were chalk and cheese. Blair was immaculate, fit, spoke well, super cool, trendy. Prescott was well…none of those things. But he appealed to a lot of people Jack. A lot of good honest working class people. They liked his rough and ready approach, his no nonsense style. He looked like normal people do. He was overweight, he drank beer and ate pies and smacked people in the mouth from time to time. With Prescott at his side, Blair won in 2001 and again in 2005. We have an election next year Jack. I want you to be my John Prescott. I want you to be my new Deputy Prime Minister!”
Jack heard the words being said but they were taking time to sink in. This was more than he could have hoped for. Did he really say DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER?
Harold Simpson thrust out his hand.
“We’ll make a good team Jack. Me and you. Say yes and help me win the next election.”
Jack took his hand and grasped it firmly.
“I’d be glad to accept the position Prime Minister.”
For the next five minutes Jack was in a state of shock. The PM talked about making him Secretary Of State for the Environment as well, just as Blair had done to Prescott in 1997. He agreed with everything. Details would be sorted when the PM came back from Afghanistan and the announcement would be in seven days’ time.
Jack made his way back to his own office. It was now quite late and the halls were quiet. He sat down at his desk with a tumbler full of scotch and his thoughts. At the beginning of the day he remembered sitting in a pool of his own piss thinking about who he was. He knew he was an alcoholic, a drug addict, a sexual deviant, a compulsive liar, and a blackmailer. But who was Jack Winter really?
Easy. Jack Winter was the new Deputy Prime Minster for United Kingdom!