LONDON, ENGLAND --
Prime Minister Tony Blair emerged victorious from a marathon, all-night game of Monopoly with his Cabinet and immediately dedicated his success to the people of Britain.
During a hastily-arranged press conference outside 10 Downing Street, Mr Blair revealed that victory had been assured at 5.33 am yesterday morning after his closest challenger, Chancellor Gordon Brown, withdrew from the contest.
“Make no mistake,” a drained but elated Prime Minister declared, “this was not simply a frivolous game of chance between some old buddies. This was about the hearts and minds of the British people.”
“Some were sceptical about my decision to buy up all four railway stations and the Waterworks and Electric Company, but I now feel vindicated.”
When asked for details of his triumph, Mr. Blair was evasive, but he did concede that Mr. Brown’s reluctance to pay the requisite £50 fine on his frequent trips to jail and his subsequent failures to throw a double may have been a factor. “My Honourable Friend is notoriously careful with the old coffers,” he noted wryly. “Perhaps his thriftiness cost him on this occasion.”
The Prime Minister may have praised his colleagues for their “steadfast commitment and resolution” during the team-building exercise, but a Downing Street insider suggested the evening had been far from friendly and was actually “fiercely competitive”. He highlighted an incident mid-way through the game where Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott overturned the board in a fit of pique after his idea to order in a KFC Mega-bucket was vetoed by fellow ministers.
Skullduggery was also hinted at as it emerged former Home Secretary David Blunkett was handed notes of the wrong denomination by successor Charles Clarke by way of rent for his hotel on Park Lane. "Clarke had this evil smirk on his face as he handed Blunkett a few £1 notes instead of the actual £1000-odd. Because the notes are the same size, Blunkett didn’t even notice,” the insider confided. “That’s pretty low, I mean the guy’s blind for Christ’s sake.”
But the main rivalry was reserved for Blair and Brown. “The PM was really psyched up,” the aide continued. “When Brown finally threw in the towel, Tony was right in his face screaming: ‘Take that you fat, Scottish, penny-pinching tightarse!’ and laughing maniacally. Then he started running round the room fist-pumping the air and yelling ‘I am the Man! I am the Man! Who’s the Man? I am!’ over and over again.”
The Prime Minister, however, was keen to play down a rift with his Chancellor. “Gordy’s fine,” he grinned. “Sure he’s a bit down at the moment, but he’ll lie low for a while, lick his wounds and he’ll be back stronger than ever. I know we’re all going over to number 11 next week for a big game of Kerplunk – winner gets first dibs on Tessa Jowell at the next party conference.”
Some of the money the Prime Minister accumulated during the epic game