Friday, 28 August 2009

Brownadder the Second {rate} Part 1

Bank holiday fun

It is the year 1588. Lord Brownadder has been summoned to court to see Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, to explain the country's current dire situation.
The Queen is seated upon her throne, talking sternly to Lord Brownadder.

"Lord Brownadder, when I was advised to appoint you as Lord Treasurer, advised by you Lord Brownadder, you promised me riches beyond the dreams of Croesus. Yet the current Lord Treasurer instructs me I have to cut back on my spending as gold has become as rare as a helicopter in Afghanistan."

"Ma'am, I sent our best Privateers, Sir Goodwin, Sir Blank, Sir Applegarth to sail the financial seas,plunder galleons and bloat our economy with silver.."

"And? Where are my pearls Lord Brownadder? Where are my jewels?.. where are the things that can only get better?" asked the Queen.

"Your majesty, it was all going so well. I raised huge sums of money from levies on the markets; Wyehill, Spitafields, Bartholomew fair .. I raised a wind tax on the millers - A windfall tax if you like -I charged a customs duty of 400% on those new tobacco and potato products, and an outrageous ale and sweet wines duty of 600%, a window tax, a second barn levy ..A merchants levy of 17.5% ..The stealth taxes,"

"Stealth taxes Lord Brownadder?" enquired the queen.

"Yes Ma'am. I had Ed Ballsdrick stealthily creep into peoples homes and rob them."

"But where are these sums now Lord Brownadder?" asked Elizabeth. " Your treasurer, Lord Darling, decided to bow to pressure from the mighty courts of Spain and France and impose a pipe smoking ban that has driven away the peasants and forced the ale houses to close. He has declared the sale of fried potato snacks to be unhealthy and therefore outlawed them, insisting on five turnips a day instead.
The duty has dried up. Now when my dressmaker demands a farthing what am I to say has happened to the great wealth that you said you had created. Didn't you promise me an end to boom and bust? "

"Majesty.. If you please, I actually said an end to the Tory loom that bust, referring to those new Flemish looms we purchased under PFI { Pretend to Fund It} being so much hardier than the old Tory ones..
But what happened was a commerce hurricane. Large firms like Medici Lynch and the Hospitaller Sienna Banking and Church, or HSBC, ran into monetry trouble investing in the sub-primitive markets in the Indies.
Financial Tempest, which started in the New World, crossed the great sea and lashed our shores. It was divined by God and so it wisna t'ae do wi me. " explained Brownadder.

"A tale about as believable as a Home office crime statistic Ma'am," came a voice from behind Brownadder. He turned to see the suave, ermine and silk clad figure of Lord Mandlechett enter the chamber. Brownadder groaned inwardly. This he didn't need.

"Lord Brownadder set up a commission to monitor the Independent London Royal Exchange in '87. The FSA was granted charter to observe just such things as fluctuations in the corn prices, the movement of Florins across the sea. The bill of exchange rates of the Genoese and the proportion of credit that the average white cart man was taking from the lombards to purchase the latest high definition portrait.
Observe it did, act it did not. About as independent as a Daily Mirror press release. The sweet FSA is how it is known by the merchants in the city."

"Mandelchett! What are you doing here?"

"I came to see the queen about these awful expense claims for moat cleaning. They are truly terrible your Highness. I'm afraid the drawbridges and portcullises will need doing as well."

"Very well," said the queen, signing the bottom of the very thickly wound expenses scroll being proffered. "Oh Cardinal Mandelchett, how sweet to see you again," glowed the queen.

"Cardinal!" exclaimed Brownadder incredulously,"When, in the name of Jesu did you become a Cardinal?"

"Hmmm you really have been away from court for a long time Brownadder. Why we never saw or even heard from you during the entire harvest recess this year."

"I was appearing on Big Brother"

"Ahh, the mystification is ended. If you had been here serving the Queen, as I have, then you would have known that Her Royal Majesty has seen fit to reward me with a few merited titles."

"That's right," proclaimed the queen."
Lord Mandelchett has been entertaining me with his stories of his stay at the French court. We spent some time on a beautiful barge of a friend of his, Duke Deripaska. Lord Mandelchett advised me that it was in the interests of our nation, and my own interests as Head of State and the sexiest Queen in Europe to add a few extra offices to his influence. . In gratitude I rewarded him with "First Cardinal, Secretary of State for guilds and farms.."

"What the .."

".. Lord Chamberlain, Lord President of the Privy Council, Commander of the Cinque ports..Lord High Constable.."

"But surely.." tried Brownadder.

".. Warden of the Essex Marshes,Lord High Steward, Drinker of Burgandy, Eater of Gloucester - Baron Mandelchett of Herefordshire and Hartlepool, The Kingmaker.."

"Well I don't believe it.."

" And of Foy, your majesty," added Nursey Harman, who had been knitting quietly by the Queen's side.

"Of Foy, of course, Lady Harriet. You know my Lady-in-Waiting don't you Lord Brownadder?"

"Yes. Lady-in-Waiting for my job" muttered Lord Brownadder darkly.

"And I am thinking of giving him a grace and favour residence. Perhaps Hampton Court?"

"Too kind, majesty" said lord Mandelchet bowing low.

"But Ma'am that is my official residence,"exclaimed Brownadder in alarm.

"No, Lord Brownadder. As I do not think you will be Lord Privy Seal much longer unless you can fill the royal coffers, bring an end to the famine, help the starving and unemployed of the kingdom and GET ME SOME PRESENTS!" bellowed the Queen.

"But Ma'am, I have a plan already. A cunningly crafted plan that will restore all our fortunes like an ill judged comment from Dan Hannan."

"Well you'd better. Or heads will roll faster than people resigning in one of your cabinet reshuffles.."

And with that the queen swept angrily from the chamber, followed by a smug and satisfied Lord Mandelchett.

To be continued...

The Brownadder tries for a Fourth term
Part 2
Part 3
Brownadder's Bunker


James Higham said...

Bill, have you been published and if so, where can I pick up a copy?

Demetrius said...

Aaarrrrggghhhh, to be continued!!! But how long how long?

Anonymous said...


ScotsToryB said...

Bill, My Liege,

T'were as if the C21 came alive on my screen.

I look forward to part the second, the seconder and the thricelet thriller third becoming available.


p.s. Can ye confirm the rumour that it was her Maj and not His Mandel that quoth 'Thou art an Income poop, Darling'?

Anonymous said...