As the light began to fade and whilst flickering street lamps shone down kindly on the growling Vicecream van retreating in a puther of exhaust towards the sanctuary of suburban Essex, the encircled defenders resisted to the last atop the Cable Street barricade – but the outcome was inevitable. Kettled tightly within a wall of riot shields they were ultimately subdued and bundled into waiting Black Marias.
Next morning the Fluffy Corp. newspapers trumpeted the government’s successes. GOTCHA COMMY SCUM! Hundreds, nay thousands, of arrests had been made – crowed the tabloids – and the courts put on special alert to take the vast number of arrestees. Following on from their victory in Cable Street the Loyalist marchers had liberated the commercial wharfs, though the media did not dwell on the fact that they found the dock gates lying open with the pickets gone and braziers cold, and the ships cats curled up innocently sleeping aboard their respective vessels.
The PM arrived at Lime Grove Studios to deliver his victory speech live to the nation. He had elected to sit at a heavy oak desk, solid and reliable. What he got was cobbled together from chipboard and lengths of 4×2, but stained and grained it looked impressive on camera. Behind him union flags, quite a lot of union flags, flanked a gilt framed portrait of Saint Margaret in sky blue twinset and pearls, displaying a winning smile and clutching the legendary handbag. He wore the dress uniform of a Brigadier-General in the Grenadier Guards – with slightly too many medal ribbons – to signify the conquest of the rebellious East End, victory over subversive socialism. Mr Fluffy sat on his lap, purring and receiving an occasional limp wristed stroke to the head.
The Prime Minister had read through his speech on the Autocue and supervised the correction of a couple of typographical errors, but would never be comfortable with the mechanics of seeing the words scrolling upwards in front of him. Make-up had given him a last primp and powdered Mr Fluffy’s nose, the cat had sneezed a smallish glob of nasal fluid onto the PM’s trousers. The floor manager was standing next to the camera, counting down with her fingers… 3 – 2 – 1.
A red light came on above the Autocue and the Saviour of the Nation began to read.
“Yesterday was a great day in the history of this wondrous isle!” Mr Fluffy rubbed an appreciative head against the clinking medals. The Sound Supervisor sighed and swore quietly to himself.
“It was a day of total victory for strong governance; a triumph for patriotic zeal forged in the white heat of battle. The crushing of the pinko-insurgent mob was a vindication of our righteous indignation: our triumph a glorious manifestation of the Big Society at work…” The broadcast continued in this vain for a full forty-five minutes, unrelieved by cutaways to relevant video footage or any of the graphic devices so beloved of the modern TV News channels. Well before the Minister climaxed all but the most patriotic of viewers had wandered off to make a pot of tea and even Mr Fluffy had hunkered down and was fast asleep.
Television ENG crews waited outside the courts for the arrival of the van loads of criminal anarchists; they waited all morning. No one came.
It was lunchtime when the first posts appeared on Twitter and the first images of arrested ‘anarchists’ in ski masks flashing their warrant cards and being released were aired on YouTube. It transpired that all those arrested had been working undercover as agents provocateurs for one government agency or another – with the exception of the three Kronstadt sailors, all of whom claimed diplomatic immunity and were escorted to an Aeroflot Tupolev Tu-114 flying out of RAF Northolt for a free trip home and a hero’s welcome.