In honour of Blair’s little announcement (and Ian Richardson’s untimely death earlier this year), I’ve just started watching the superb House of Cards again. It really is excellent – and wonderfully timeless. Here’s a transcript of the opening monologue, with alterations only to pronouns, job titles and names, marked by square brackets…
Nothing lasts forever. Even the longest, the most glittering reign must come to an end.
Who could replace [him]? Plenty of contenders – old warriors, young pretenders.
[Gordon Brown], say, the [Chancellor]. Too old and too familiar, tainted by a thousand shabby deals.
[David Miliband] – too young and too clever.
[John Reid] – a bit of a lout, a bit of a bully-boy. Yes, it could well be [Reid].
[David Cameron], the people’s favourite. A well-meaning fool – no background and no bottom…
Of course, the wonderful thing about House of Cards is that none of them end up as PM.
Sadly for us, though, there’s no Urquhart waiting in the wings – and his modern-day, real-life equivalent as Chief Whip is the no-mark “Blair babe” Jacqui Smith. Something tells me the only way she’ll be entering Number 10 when Blair exits on 27th June is when she’s summoned so that Gordon Brown can sack her. Ho hum… (Still, the image of her chucking Nick Robinson off the Palace of Westminster roof garden’s one that’s got something going for it…)