Monday, January 30, 2017

Politician's Dinner

"Gary, it's lovely to see you, thanks for agreeing to meet up again."

"May I offer a particularly warm welcome to you, Miss Bingham. The third date is always the most... invigorating, don't you think? Please, have some wine."

"I must make a confession, Gary. I'm not here only for the date tonight. I was wondering; before we order any food, can I ask you a few questions? It's about my sister."

"You are, of course, referring to the honourable Mrs Dresden?"

"Yes - or Helen, as most people call her. She seems to have gone missing."

"I'm sure all of our hearts go out to all her friends and family during this difficult time."

"She's been gone for nearly a week now, Gary. Mum's been beside herself. You know how it is - Helen's a grown-up - she can get up and go if she chooses. But her mobile has been switched off, she hasn't been to work... And it's been nearly a week. We're going to speak to the police tomorrow. Is there anything you want to tell me?"

"Only that this is a matter for the relevant authorities."

"You two seemed to really hit it off."

"All I can say to the honourable lady is that I am happy to look at the issue she raises in due course."

"Because - the reason I ask - I was shopping on Saturday, Gary, in the town centre-"

"Which has undergone significant redevelopment, as per our manifesto pledge-"

"-and that was the last time Helen was seen. In a black Jaguar. She's been missing since Saturday."

"-delivering the best deal for working people, and I might add, the best deal for Britain."

"Gary, are you listening to me?"

"Yes, I've been perfectly clear about that, and I resent any implication otherwise."

"Good. Because the last person to see her was me, Gary. Did you know that? Oh, yes, go on then, I will have another glass - I only caught a glimpse, and the windows were tinted, but I'm sure it was her I saw. In the passenger side of your car. The black Jaguar. Which you happened to be driving at the time."

"My honourable friend raises an important issue. I am looking seriously at this and will make sure I have an appropriate strategic response in good time."

"Gary, was my sister the woman in your car on the day she disappeared?"

"Now, look - I would like to think I have been entirely transparent in all my dealings with you, Miss Bingham. My commitment in relation to honesty, openness and accountability is completely clear."

"Gary, I asked you a question. Oh, go on then, just one more - but that's all - I'm driving."

"Now, look - let me be clear about this - I do not sanction kidnapping, abduction or murder, and that will continue to be my position. I've been perfectly clear. I will institute an urgent review into all matters pertaining to the case referred to me by my friend the Right Honourable Member Sat on the Chair on the Other Side of the Table. I've been perfectly clear, and, if I may refer the honourable lady to my previous statement to the house on this issue, I will continue to be perfectly clear."

"Gary, were you in that car with my sister? Answer me!"

"I say to the lady opposite, I've already addressed her concerns, and wonder why the honourable lady wants to hear it again? I don't propose to give a running commentary on every ongoing development, thank you very much. Your sister was one of the many people shopping on Saturday, and I think it's absolutely right that we recognise the contribution these fine men and women make to the prosperity and growth of modern Britain."

"Gary... I miss her. I miss my sister. Was she in your car? I'm so sure it was her I saw!"

"Can I join my honourable friend in her sentiments so well expressed, and assure her that she speaks on behalf of both sides of the house in this matter. And can I congratulate her on a fine choice of wine for the evening?

"You like it? Gosh I have drunk a lot of it already, haven't I? What was I saying? Go on then, one last glass. Are you ordering another bottle?"

"I'll tell you what I am doing - lowering taxes, providing greater opportunity for working people, driving down unemployment - that's what I'm doing."

"Yes, that's very nice Gary, I know you're an MP, but what about the wine? Are you ordering that?"

"I'll tell you I am doing - providing more school places! Encouraging higher voter turnout! Making Britain work for working people!"

"I'll just order it then... Honestly, for a date, this is a lot of hard work."

"I can confirm that we are putting forward to the committee a motion for additional funding for any further meetings that may come up in future."

"Somewhere more upmarket than this place, I hope. Seriously, you could afford to take me to the Ritz on your salary."

"Despite the mess I inherited, I am proud to report a robust economic sector, in which there are many new opportunities for working people."

"You mean the Ritz isn't out of the question? Ooh, that would be nice... I've never been before..."

"I am hopeful that talks will be able to continue."

"Oh that is nice, Gary! What were we talking about? I'm lost... Go on, then, fill her up..."

"I have made a robust response to all the issues raised by the honourable lady, and the working men and women of Britain can rest assured that this government will pursue the very best deal possible for everyone concerned."

"Have you? Oh, that's a relief. I'm glad. Oh, my head hurts. I'm not sure I'm hungry any more, although for the life of me I can't imagine why. I was ravenous when I arrived."

"My honourable friend raises a valid point."

"Shall we just head out now? I suppose we could save a little money if we skip dinner."

"Hear, hear!"

"Oh alright then, you cheeky thing! Back to your place, maybe? You'll have to drive though, I'm feeling a little tipsy. Did you come in your car? Oh good, then I'll wait out front for you. What kind of car do you drive again?"

"A black Jaguar. With tinted windows."

"OK, I'll keep an eye out for it, ladykiller!"

"I look forward to it with great anticipation. Another glass?"

"Go on, then, if I must..."

(I wrote this in response to a challenge; to write a short story using only dialogue - which explains why there is no 'he said', 'she said', or any descriptive writing at all. 
I've always loved and hated the way politicians talk without actually saying anything or committing themselves. I took many of the phrases that Gary uses verbatim from Theresa May at Prime Minister's Questions, Wednesday 25th Jan 2017.)


  1. You've got the dialogue just right!

  2. Very clever. This is a very difficult style to pull off. Well done!
    By the way, there is an annual 'Dialogue Only' short story competition in Writing Magazine which you could think about entering. You won't be able to use this one as it has already been 'published', but I'm sure you can rustle up another!

    1. Thanks Helen - yes the story was inspired by that competition actually! I'm putting in a lot of work on developing my dialogue writing at the moment, so this is a little step on the way. I would have entered this for the competition, but it was only 50% long enough, and I didn't have the material to double the length!
      Thanks for reading :)


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