Pogo wasn’t always his name, he was born with a different name, a civil name that took him through school, college and university, a name that was on his Masters doctorate under the title of, Legal And Political Ethics of 20th Century Britain. Pogo, then and now, believed heavily in a fair system, a democracy and a right to vote on important current affairs.
These ethics are the reason that Pogo became a learned man, a man that studied many subjects considerably for many years: History, Law, Current Affairs; he even extended his thirst for knowledge into Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology and Behavioural Science. This man passed all these subjects within the top 5 of each class, and this secured him a very promising career in politics. He brushed shoulders with all his peers and became a sponge for all the advice they had to offer. However the more he learnt of the studies and practices within the social dynamics of our current government, and its legal system, the more he became indifferent to them.
Two short years in politics is all Pogo could stomach. In those two years Pogo had learned more about politics than he had from any book or classroom in his entire life, real politics, the politics that represent public deception, lies, greed, war, terrorism; all this and more. This was a Government that was so far removed from the general public, that the politicians within would be incapable of representing such values. Pogo became more and more frustrated with these bureaucrats, their red tape, the unnecessary paperwork, the secret paperwork that attempted to justify the unnecessary paperwork, the paperwork that no one would see, such as, who had to be bribed, or paid off, to allow the wheels of progress in our society to move forward; usually for the wrong or unjust reasons. Pogo’s frustrations made him desperate for change; he wanted a fair society devoid of injustice and greed.
Several weeks ago he had been fortunate enough to acquire sensitive material of the Prime Minister and another man, that Pogo presumed was a friend or colleague, and a prostitute, in various erotic acts, not all of the common vanilla variety that ordinary folk seem to practice, their faces displayed with irrefutable clarity. This was his first bargaining chip in an attempt to right the wrongs of greed and injustices against the general public. Pogo was still in office then, and when the time was correct he presented the Prime Minister with this dilemma, a manila envelope placed before the head of the country.
“Open it, may I?” Pogo gestured at the chair. He was nervous but self assured that he was doing the right thing.
“Certainly.” The Prime Minister opened the package and eight glossy photographs tumbled out on to the desk in front of him, clear pictures of the PM and another man in various states of ecstasy with a prostitute who seemed to enjoy her work a little too much and to every sordid detail. The PM remained calm, a little more flushed perhaps, a slight sign of distress and anger in his eyes.
“What do you want Mr. Williams?”
“What does the country want?”
“We all know too well what the country…”
“Why aren’t you providing then?” Pogo interrupted. The PM sighed.
“How long have you been here?” He asked the question as if Pogo should have known better.
“Don’t start that with me! We all know what’s going on, organised privatisation, real estate control, a fraudulent legal system, stealth taxes, farcical wars, terrorism…”
“Yes, yes I know, and you know as well as I…”
“Save it” Pogo silenced the PM for a second time.
“I want change for the people, you sit here day after day in this ivory tower with no real clue of what’s going on out there! We provide a second rate way of life and I can’t be a part of that any longer! …You need to stop listening to America as well; they’re more destitute than we are; yet you follow them, or you’re advised to follow them by the rest of the cabinet, what are you? Scared they’ll turn they’re back on us? They won’t, they can’t, they’re tied in to the same ventures as us, and keeping cordial with a nation for fear of war, is terrorism in itself, represent the public for Christ’s sake!” Pogo composed himself with a silent breath, he had no intention of getting irate and yet he was half way there.
“I apologise, but we have lost the way.”
“You’re values are very commendable, you remind me of how I was when I started on my journey into politics, ready to right the world of it’s injustices and wrongs but sooner…”
“I won’t lose my way”
“It’s not about that, there’s more to…”
“I wish I had some other means, but this is politics now, this is what it has become! Justice, truth and honour are all very dead in this place…will you accept my terms or shall I release these?” Pogo tapped the pictures. The PM had a saddened look on his face, he had travelled in that brief moment to somewhere else, perhaps he couldn’t deal with the realism of this moment, his career on the precarious edge of a frying pan, to burn or continue taking the heat of a nation? For a moment, he was relieved that he could have been absolved of the pressures of this status, only to think what his wife and children would have to face, and then the fear represented itself like a panic stricken worm at the centre of his brain. That night was much bigger than the pictures could illustrate. He became ever more terrified, a world treaty would collapse on the release of those pictures, not to mention the investigation into the whereabouts of the now deceased hooker. He was deeply worried, his face went pale, he became light-headed and his mouth went dry.
“I’m willing to listen to your terms but I’m not the only…”
“Yes or no?” Pogo interjected, he knew he had very little time, he had no idea of how far this went or what he was really holding.
“What do you want?”
“You mean the people, what do the people want.”
“What do the people want?”
“It’s simple, give pensions, education and the NHS the money from the stealth taxes that are in place for future law and the personal fund, it’s taking far too…”
“How do you know about future law? I can’t touch tha…” Future law was the funding for the Global Police network that had become GloPol.
“You will or your arse will be all over the papers!” The PM paused for a second.
“Very well, I shall begin negotiations tomorrow to abolish these ventures, but these people are above you and I, you’re playing a very dangerous game Mr. Williams, I’d advise you to reconsider well you still can. Try to change things the correct way, you don’t want to do go…”
“A desperate disease requires a dangerous remedy, politics has become far too diseased to change the correct way.”
There was a knock at the door.
The PM raised his voice slightly.
“You have two weeks, by then I want to see progress! If anything happens to me, my job or my position then these pictures will be released to the news networks and all the press, do you understand?”
“Perfectly.” The Prime Minister said through gritted teeth, he looked angry and scared; the way Pogo thought he should look, things were going well. The Prime Minister stood up and composed himself.
A rather attractive lady entered the room in a perfectly fitted business suit, she had dark sultry features, her long, straight hazel hair had been tied back in a posh pony tail, she gave a short stare towards Pogo, her eye shadow perfectly matched to her dark brown eyes, she smiled wryly at him as she walked by and engaged the Prime Minister. Pogo felt flattered and took this as a good omen.
“Ms. Styles, do you have the repor…” Pogo closed the door. He walked away from the Prime Ministers office on shaky legs, blackmail had never been in his ideology, nor had he intended it to be, but he could see no other way.
The opportunity for blackmail had presented itself at one of the Prime Ministers personal functions. He had heard early on in the evening that the fourth floor of the hotel was to be off limits to all guests, however the PM was allowed access, Pogo was curious to find out why and he found it surprisingly easy to gain entry, perhaps most politicians no longer exercised free will, or had any curiosity, but Pogo had oodles of both, fuelled by frustration and desperation, he climbed the unguarded fire escape stairs at the rear of the hotel which took him to the fourth floor, a fire escape door stood in front of him, naturally, it was unable to be opened from the outside, however, there was a large ledge spanning around the external perimeter of each floor of the building, Pogo quietly walked this ledge past two windows before spying the Prime Minister and his debauched group, in their forbidden act of lust, the curtains had been closed carelessly, offering a slit where he had a view of the bed, and armed with a camera phone, he had caught enough of the incriminating ordeal on film. Pogo had no idea that this was or what he’d find, at the very worst he had expected a secret meeting with power hungry business men, and at the least, a secret rendezvous with his wife, engaged in a stolen moment of passion, away from the busy PR schedule that the Prime Minister had to maintain. Ironically, this act was a perfect metaphor for Pogos’ interpretation of modern politics; everyone screwing everyone over just to get by, simply not happy with anything other than greed and excess, it was also a beacon of hope, because now, perhaps he could really change things. Leverage.
Pogo left the House of Commons that day feeling like a soldier of the people, he was satisfied with the changes he had requested, and the sacrifices the political world would have to make. He caught the tube from Westminster which would take him to his apartment in Canning Town, and sat reading one of the better broadsheets, it reported disaster after disaster, more terrorism, more poverty, more death, raising taxes, more injustices, less room for prisoners, a failing justice system; on any other day, each bold, black headline would feel like a bullet fired at him, BANG! BANG! BANG! But today he felt different, today he had armed himself with hope, and once again he felt he had the power to do good, to make some steady, productive changes, he had began to think about his next moves when a pair of big, bright red shoes caught his eye from the gap between the base of the paper and his trousers, they moved about in a peculiar fashion. He moved the paper aside just enough to peer around and witness a psychotic looking clown, holding a rather large fish, he was grinning at him.
“Can I help you?” Pogo asked nervously.
“Nooooooo, no, no, no, no, no, no…I can help you though, new clothes, haircut, a little facial hair…bikini? No, that ain’t for you is it? Save that for Elizabeth, yup, gonna need weapons though and armour, you could do with that RIGHT now! It’s all a bit…”
“Excuse me, who are you, what are you talking about?”
“My names Whoopee...
© Richard Withey. All rights reserved.
For Chapter 1 go to https://theprose.com/post/110639/chapter-1-yesterday-had-48-hours-extract