Granita Tapes Meeting 3, Part 1: The US Election
1. The third secret summit between Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder took place at the Granita Restaurant, Islington, London on 11 September 2004.
2. An Australian NanoBug swarm, which has only now surfaced after supposedly going on Fosters (TM) walkabout, made the recording.
3. Topics discussed were:
* The US Presidential Election
* The wider situation in the Middle East
* Progress towards the Unholy European Empire
4. To allow for the slow translation from French -> Strine -> English, each of the four topics of the meeting is covered in a separate post.
Part 1: The US Election
Blair. (Smiling oilily). OK, I’m rotating chairman; so Gerhard: welcome to my humble Eagle’s Lair; Jacques welcome to Vichy-sur-Thames!
Chirac, Schroeder. (Groan).
Chirac (Brightening up). The BA flight was excellent – Air France was on strike. It’s great, on BA - you get your own seat, they feed you and nobody swears at you!
Schroeder. (Smiling lugubriously). Of course I flew incognito on Lufthansa (Ed: Acronym for Let Us Fondle The Hostesses And Not Say Anything). And it was sooo good to walk straight through the EU Citizens Fast Immigration Lane past all those Australians, New Zealanders & Americans waiting in the Foreign Alien Bastards Very Slow Lane.
(Ed. NanoBugs make rude nanocomments about absence of queues at Gallipoli etc.)
Blair. (Brightly). Goody, well let’s move to our first topic, What To Do About The US Election, due in less than 2 months. I suggest our usual round-robin with objective assessment, then proposal. Gerhard?
Schroeder. (Ponderously). I suspect we are all in agreement about the players. My PsyWar people have profiled President Bush and their conclusion is that he is highly consistent. He is physically fit – more so than any of us. As a young man he successfully piloted one of the many unstable fighter planes the US produced at that time. (Ed: pauses to sob incoherently something about F-104s, widow makers etc.)
Chirac. (Encouragingly). Let me continue with my people’s results, we agree so far. Bush has the strong self-discipline of the reformed alcoholic. He is self-confident and positive in outlook. In consequence of his previous business interests and Governorship, he is an experienced manager. By which I mean that he has wasted an enormous amount of other people’s money.
Blair. (Boyishly). Crikey, that’s what my lot say too. What do your boffins (Ed: nerds) say about me?
Schroeder, Chirac (Nervously, waving arms). Oh, nothing important, don’t bother your pretty head! Hey, what are you using on the hair now?
(Ed: Blair is diverted into a discussion of the relative merits of Rogaine v Finisterade).
Blair. (Confusedly). Where were we. Oh yes, let’s see - John Kerry. My Foreign Office tells me that he will be unpredictable as President. He is less fit than any of us (only does girly things like wind-surfing). He is elitist, pro-European, anti-American and very wealthy. Mind you, my FO is all gay, so they may just fancy him less than Bush.
Chirac. (Frowning, lighting Gauloise). But my Intel people say the same, and, of course, Frenchmen are not gay. They also tell me that Kerry is probably not a war hero, in fact quite the contrary, so is eminently bribe-able by those with evidence. Which we have from the North Vietnamese.
Schroeder. (Clapping hands, delightedly). My people say all of this too! Plus Kerry has no managerial experience. He's only been a lawyer and a politician, like you and me Tony. So he’d mess up as much as we have!
All. (Nodding wisely). To true, too true.
Blair (Frowning while pouring drink). So, on the one hand we have a consistent man with whom we all violently disagree, and on the other a weak man who thinks we’re great, will mess up America, and who we can easily manipulate. So it’s a no-brainer who we support.
All. (Raising glasses in toast). George W Bush!
Chirac. (Holding up one finger). Because we can predict Bush, whereas Kerry could do anything to prove his manhood, like start a serious war!
Schroeder. (Holding up two fingers). Because if we can bribe him, so can anyone else!
Blair. (Holding up three fingers). And finally because without a strong US economy, Europe is in the toilet!
All. (Cheerily). (Clink glasses, drink several toasts.)
Chirac. (Raising eyebrows 4 inches). Of course Bush will be re-elected anyway. The economy is good and he’s a wartime president. Kerry can only muster the people outside the market economy: bureaucrats, teachers, public workers, welfare recipients, etc. Not enough.
Blair (Looking earnestly boyish, again). But we can help. I can obviously be the Good Ally, which suits me fine a) because I am in a funny sort of way, I like the guy, but b) because I don’t want Rumsfeld to nail my head to the floor again (sniffs and others wince sympathetically). How can you chaps help?
Schroeder. (Leaning forward conspiratorially) Well, I’ve already told Kerry – quite off the record – that he has my full support. He’s bound to brag about it. Plus I’ll have one of my ministers say that with Kerry as President, we’ll help in Iraq (which we can’t of course). Should be worth one point for Bush.
Chirac. (Holding hands wide apart in French sort of way). And France will do her bit. I have convinced my friend Kofi to mount a last minute assault. He’ll tell the BBC that the Iraq war was illegal. Since all Americans think he’s a crook (all laugh nastily), that’s another point to Bush. And, with the help of the New York Times, he’s going to mount a last minute surprise about missing explosives.
Blair. (Laughing boyishly). Excellent, excellent, easily another point for W! And Rumsfeld will add a few more heads to his box, hey hey. And….
Chirac, Schroeder. (Excitedly). Yes, yes?
Blair (Expansively). I will use the nuclear option.
Chirac, Schroeder. (Feigning terror). You don’t mean…?
Blair. (Standing up, arms spread). Yes, The Guardian!
Chirac, Schroeder. (Laughing nervously). No, no, anything but the Guardian!
Blair. (Giggling madly). Anything? Yes, I’ve persuaded the prat (Ed. English term for Alan Rusbridger) that runs it of a cunning plan. As we know, Ohio is a key swing state. Sooo..
Chirac, Schroeder. (Widening eyes). Yes, yes?
Blair. (Fiendishly). The Guardian is going to have its readers write letters to voters in the key Ohio county. Giving all the left-wing-Guardian-elite’s reasons why they should vote against Bush and for Kerry!
Chirac, Schroeder. (Rolling on floor). Fiendish, fiendish, almost inhumanly clever. That’ll deliver the state to Bush, no problems.
Chirac, Schroeder. (Getting up, looking nervous). Er now Tony, you aren’t thinking of doing anything that horrible to us are you?
Blair. (Looking transparently honest). Noo, noo…
Chirac. (Looking frightened). Because I don’t think France could take it. Not a letter from the Guardian. I mean we’re a proud and resilient nation, but (Ed: blathers on about 1000s of years of adversity, Agincourt, Crecy etc. etc.)
Schroeder. (Kneeling, with pleading expression on homely features). And please Tony, not Germany. We are a young, fragile democracy. We can only take so much. Whatever happens...not the Guardian!
Blair. (Leaning back, looking expansive). Don’t Worry! We’re Friends! As soon as I’m President-for-Life of the UEE, all my pre-addressed letters to Rusbridger will be destroyed. You have my word as an Englishman, er Scotsman, on that!
Chirac, Schroeder. (Looking only somewhat reassured). OK, fine, good.
Blair. (Standing up, boyishly). So, let us drink to the re-election of G W Bush, the 44th President of the United States of America!
(Clinking of glasses, evil laughter).
End of first session.