Hi. Tony here.
My friend and colleague Damian has kindly let me onto his Interblog to say a few words to you, our allies and friends in America, on this special day. [Blokey twist of head. Adjusts tie. About-to-tell-joke half-smile.]
Y'know, it seems only yesterday that I was practising the chords of Steppenwolf's “Born To Be Wild” for a jig with my band Ugly Rumours. Given that our bass-player, the Hon Collum Bentley is now a High Court judge, “Crazy” Hugh Montague gave up playing rhythm guitar to take over his father's commodities broking firm, and drummer “Sticks” Fanshawe died tragically in a horrible croquet accident in '74, I suppose it would be difficult to argue that we've grown up to be “wild”, but Cherie says I can still be quite a handful sometimes after a night out with the boys. [Cheeky grin. Adjusts hair. Flattens tie.] Especially when one of the boys is Euan. [Smirk. Wait for laughter. Tighten jaw and straighten face for serious bit.]
But it's not just rock'n'roll music and fast food and Hollywood movies and all the other undemanding pleasures of popular culture that you have given us, the British people, since you so bravely negotiated your de-merger over two hundred years ago. No, the contribution of Americans to our freedom, to our security, to our very survival as a democratic and tolerant state is so much deeper than that; deeper than Shirley Bassey and Supertramp; deeper than Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, and Cary Grant.
[Gimlet gaze. Pause for effect. Lift hands in gesture of intelligent forcefulness.] Since that terrible mutual misunderstanding in Boston over export duties, Americans have given their very lives for the defence of the precious values our two great nations share. As your ironically named Central Intelligence Agency puts it, we are indeed “slightly smaller than Oregon“, we cannot build a reliable bathroom shower, and our burger bars have not yet implemented the bottomless Coke. All of these things are true, but our armed forces have demonstrated in conflict after conflict, operating alongside your own, that they not only kick righteous failed state arse, they do so more politely than any other regime change agents—and without the unnecessarily provocative headwear.
Yes, we are fewer in number, less wealthy, and our teeth are in need of attention, but I come to you humbly on this, the anniversary of your nation's birth, to address you all on behalf of the people of the United Kingdom, to apologise for past slights, to recognise our kinship, and to return your countless kindnesses with a unique offer of our own. [Stroke collar. Give Condoleeza that look that Cherie likes. Take deep breath.]
I have a modest but radical, novel but traditional, bold but reassuring proposal for you all. Let us on this day, the Fourth of July, the year of Our Lord Two-Thousand-And-Four, forge a new kind of transatlantic alliance, one informed by the mistakes of the past; one tempered not just with the blood, sweat and tears of our shared struggles in two World Wars, but built upon a more ancient foundation: [cliffhanger hesitation] a shared monarchy. To you, the people of The United States of America, I offer today our very own Queen Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith. [Wait for hubbub to subside. Step back from lectern. Take deep breath.]
Yes, I realize this may seem to some of you like a retrograde move, but please hear the full extent of the proposition I am presenting for your consideration here, today, in all sincerity and goodwill. Rest assured that your adoption of our Head of State would not carry any tax obligations whatsoever: you would not be expected to license your televisions; your “gas” would remain cheaper than urine, and, save for some ceremonial soldiers hanging around the gates of the Queen's Washington residence with dead animals on their heads, this plan would entail no significant UK military presence on your soil. No, what I am proposing [bask in audience's relief] is best thought of as a minor constitutional reform—hardly even that. This would be a tiny, but hugely beneficial, “tweak” to the noble and widely admired machinery of your state.
The next time the President of The United States dallies with a junior member of staff on government property or the representatives of the two main political parties tie for the number of votes cast in a presidential election then, instead of domestic turmoil and international mockery, a simple solution will be at hand: everyone will pop round to Queenie's to sort it out over a nice cup of tea. No embarrassing scandals in the press; no problems with a politicised judiciary; no lawyers running about trying to set national precedents. Your leaders will pull up an upholstered regency chair, stroke a corgi, and chat with our Liz about what would be the most sensible solution. Instead of your administration being paralysed by agonising weeks of legalistic navel-gazing, everything will be sorted out over a couple of creamy scones.
The rest of the time she will merely be a figurehead. You'll be able to hang on to your assault rifles (hey, you'll have a real excuse for keeping those militias well-regulated and ready-to-go), retain your idiosyncratic spelling of our language, and we'll even let you carry on calling it “football”. [Aw-shucks grin. Knit hands. Raise eyebrow at George.]
People of the United States, thank you for listening so generously to my suggestion, and congratulations again on your freedom. Remember: she'll visit that much more often (as will her eligible grandsons) and she won't cost you a single one of your cotton-pickin' dimes.
Good afternoon and happy Independence Day, fellow citizens!
[All rise as Humphrey Lyttelton leads Charlotte Church and the Band of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards in “The Star-Spangled Banner”, sung to the tune of “God Save The Queen”.]
[Remove lapel mic. Ask aide if now would be the right time to mention the Tony Blair–Jenna Bush dream ticket. Smile and wave.]