Number 10, Selhurst Park. A potboiler

The new guy sat at his desk.

What should have been a smooth transfer had been a long, drawn-out affair, including organisations that should never have been involved in the first place.

The last chap – let’s call him ‘Mr A’ – left one hell of a mess. Years ago, Mr A had come to power with huge goodwill just for not being his own predecessor. He’d inherited a benign economic outlook (for which he, naturally, claimed credit), but a decade later: chaos and debt. He played with the money men and lost with calamitous results.

Widely regarded as flawed, feared as a bully, Mr A had a high regard for his own ability. This led him to respond churlishly to advice from his predecessors. Yet, among the debris, there had been moments of high drama and personal triumph. Mr A hoped history would look favourably on his tenure.

But in the short term, people had turned against Mr A. He had alienated many, many supporters, by ridiculous statements and unpopular policies. Even though they still believed in the cause, they rejected Mr A’s leadership. His appearances in the last few weeks caused more anger from his critics.

The new guy sat at his desk. His partners in power were due for a meeting. They were all extremely rich men. They had an immense goodwill behind them: people wanted them to succeed. But at the same time there were fears of a return by divisive characters from the 1980s.

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