He couldn’t help himself. His trickery and manipulation was in his DNA.
My headache was back. Making big white spirals at the top of my vision. Lack of sleep, mostly. So I told said to him with a weary sigh to, “Just get on with it.”
Sir Alan sat back. We all did.
And listened to his cultured tomes as he spilled the whole story.
Ch 50 – Jo and Joe.
Might I have some more wine, before I begin? My throat is rather dry. All this chatting. I said OK. Then I told Vanessa to, “get me another beer. And if you’re more than five seconds, I’ll see if I can’t take off Sir Alan’s earlobes from here.”
I squinted down the rear sight of the Beretta 92. Lining it up with Stuart’s head. Just for effect. As I said, I had no bullets in the magazine. Which was just as well. As he had quite small ears. Or, perhaps, just a big head.
She leaped from the sofa. I heard her heels skidding on the hallway marble. She was back in good time. Her shaking hand giving me another bottle.
“Sit down,” I commanded. And she did. Pulling her legs back up under her again. Might be an involuntary protective impulse with her. Fetal.
I got the top off and drank from the bottle. Bixby and Stuart hadn’t moved. Had hardly dared to breath. It had been a long five seconds.
“Jo Cox, eh? That old trick. So she isn’t dead either?” I asked, nodding in Bixby’s direction.
Sir Alan let out his breath in a long blow. Relieved the moment of supreme danger had passed and he hadn’t lost any extremities. Also knowing there was a lot of danger still left to navigate. But, small steps, and winning minor battles, to bigger victories was his whole life.
“Oh yes. She’s dead,” Marmon told me.
“That poor girl,” Vanessa said softly. Not even aware she’d said anything out loud.
I looked at Sir Alan.
“Of course she’s dead. You saw it yourself, Joe. She was murdered in the street.
There were witnesses. There was a trial. Something horrific like that couldn’t just be conjured up”
“I’m so very reassured.” I said to him. “Knowing something like that couldn’t just be conjured up.” using my best sarcastic tone.
I took another swig. Good beer the Bixbys had. LeFebreve, the label said. French I suppose. I really must ask them where they got it from, one day.
“However. There is a certain situation that we all know of. Not entirely dissimilar.,
eh? A situation involving a Lord of the Realm and the four of us? Wouldn’t you all agree?”
“It wasn’t the same, Joe. Only the outline plan was. It was completely different. No one was..I mean..no one was seriously hurt,” Vanessa said. I saw one of her shoes had come off. Her calf was folded back along her thigh. Her foot really was tiny.
“It was just that.” Bixby continued. “Just an outline of that terrible event.”
“We just thought it would be a useful catalyst.” Sir Alan now taking charge of the explanation. The professional was required. “Now, Joe, don’t get too upset, all right?
Just allow me to explain it all to you. Look..Why don’t you put down that pistol? I promise not to move. We’ll all sit on our hands. So we can’t reach out to you. But it will be much safer if you put down the gun, eh?”
“It would be safer still if I shot each of you in the stomach. Then I could really relax as you told me the story while being unable to get up from the floor. We’d have hours too. Takes a long time to die from a stomach wound. So stop your games and get on with it.”
“OK, Joe. OK. Whatever you say. You’re still the boss! You know you have full control. We won’t do anything without you express permission..”
he was still talking like some hostage negotiator he must have read about. Some failed businessman selling a paperback for other executives to buy on expenses.
“How to use real world Hostage Situations to Close YOUR Deal!” By Hunter Biden Jr.
He might have picked something similar up at an airport, onetime.
“The Jo Cox murder almost won it for Remain,” Said Sir Alan.
“It wasn’t planned. It was a real event. Unpredictable. A psychotic Leaver with a gun and a blade. Killed a young, female, mother and Labour MP. Who was heavily associated with Remain. You must recall this was after the polls had shifted towards Leave…I mean to say, it was unbelievable. For the first time since polling had ever been undertaken on our EU membership. Not once had Leave had anything even close to a majority. It was two thirds Remain. Always. But, at the crucial moment, because of ..well..let’s just say the EU wasn’t as helpful to us as they might have been, polls began to show a tiny lead for Leave.
Then, the Cox murder. Within hours there was blanket media coverage. Death of an MP is big news. Public execution, even bigger. Within a day, the sympathetic coverage was moving the polls back to us. She was murdered on the 16th June. The referendum was on the 23rd. I tell you Joe, tragic as that brutal slaying was, it was a lifeline for us in Remain.”
“Oh, Alan! How could you say such a thing?” Vanessa asked him. Appalled at his callousness.
“I’m just explaining it to Joe, Vanessa, my dear. So he has the full picture. You see Joe, we’d been slipping back for a while. That pathetic Cameron deal. ‘The Mogg’ being a thing. And then, worst of all, Johnson and Gove defecting.
Private polling showed Farage was only attracting a certain section of the voters. But once Johnson was on board, it changed.
A whole section of Tories and Labour decided they could vote leave too. We had the data. C2DEs were already looking mainly at leave. But so were the bottom of the ABC1s.”
He’d dropped into his familiar presentation jargon. Explaining the method used to devise the solution. He was only missing flip charts and Power Points.
“They were the ‘Well off, but pissed off.’” That’s what we labelled them. And there was enough of them to swing it. I tell you Joe. Twenty years work, supporting Remain, and we suddenly found we were losing!
It was unimaginable. It was heading for 42%-58% for Leave. Though we made damn sure that information never got out. But it was true all the same. We were heading for such a big defeat on that first, original, Brexit Referendum. That there could be no way back.
Then, the MP woman was shot and stabbed. By a far-right Looney. What a Godsend.”
“Alan! Stop it!” Vanessa commanded him. “Have some respect.”
The infamous charm and politeness of Sir Alan must have run dry. He ignored her and continued,
“That slaying gave Remain a huge boost. Those pictures! Blood on the pavement.
The crazy man yelling about “Britain First!” It was terrific. For PR reasons, I mean.”
He held up a placatory palm towards a scowling Vanessa Bixby.
“If I had wanted to craft it, I could not have picked better people and places than what actually occurred. He emphasised the newspaper headline spacing with his hands.
‘Nazi racist shoots beautiful Liberal, tolerant mum.’ In daylight too! So the best photos are obtained. With a killer seen by all. Not a Jill Dando, night time, unexplained event.
There was even a Heroic granddad stabbed trying to stop the fascist mentalist. And what a killer! His home being a shrine to far-right USA, pro-slavery groups. It was perfect.”
“I’m sure she appreciated it.” I said.
Vanessa was quietly fuming at him too.
“All I mean is, if it had been a set up, to swing the vote, all that was wrong was some minor detailing. Some better framing.”
The big man shifted a little towards me. Using his hands as he talked. As if he were arranging different coloured blocks on a planning board.
“I’d have had the children with her at the time of her murder, of course. Make sure at least some of it was caught on camera.
Airbrush her dodgy husband out, obviously. Replace him for a boring accountant for some green environmental company. But also a caring, soup kitchen, volunteer type.
And, the main thing to change, would be it happening two weeks earlier! That would be the key! When the Cox woman was killed, at least twenty five percent of the country had filled in their postal votes. Too late to change their minds.
People would have been shocked. Then, as the story faded, all that neo-Nazi stuff in his home would have come out. And his demonic rantings during his hearing. Back into public consciousness just in time for the vote.”
He realised that the Bixby’s were looking at him. With various expressions of diastase and revulsion.
Odd for Lord Bixby. Who was right in on the deal. And she looked at him with abhorrence.
There was politics. There was spin. They were used to that. As was I.
But there was also this darker world. This black-arts cesspit.
Where the manipulator was not just content to frame a negative as a positive. But this went much further.
To recast the Good, as the Holy. The Virtuous as the Virginal. Who are ultimately raped by the Hellish Beasts from the evil darkness of the graveyard.
Sir Alan might have been onto something. About us being similar in our lines of work.
Police work is a seedy business. Petty and jealous. Abusive and ugly. I was much less shocked than them. I was around this kind of deception all the time.
Then I realised we weren’t similar at all. He was winning me over. Watch it!
“To swing the vote, I needed more than sympathy for a troubled love affair. I needed shock. I needed people to get on their phones and Eugoole the bodies. To put their hands over their mouths and say, ‘How awful.’ And to feel that tremor of fear that bad things are happening. And those bad things could happen to them. Far Right Anarchists could be jack-booting down their streets. That murder could easily happen to them. If Brexit went ahead.
So I needed blood. Lots of it. And I needed it quickly.” He sat back. Slightly flushed. He’d been winding himself up with his righteousness.
I thought on what he had told me. The whole plot.
First he’d set me up to be a lover for Lady Vanessa. To elicit sympathy for Lord Remain. Photos and film of her in an embrace, and more, would show horrid Leavers, such as myself, uncaring in their actions to good and wholesome and virtuous Remainers.
It wasn’t much of a plot, I thought. It was a media story for a day or two, at best. It wouldn’t swing many votes. But I doubt Sir Alan had ever intended it as anything more than a way to involve in the Bixby’s into his REAL plan.
The murder plan.
Now that would work.
Sons Of Tommy, Former Brexit Party member, Ex-Department Inspector, with a massive Euro-Grudge, tortures and kills prominent Remainer in horrific and brutal basement slaughter.
Now that, would be a story. That would swing some votes. And some necks. Mainly mine. There was no way I was supposed to still be alive right now. Sir Alan must be really pissed that there weren’t “Joe Malone Didn’t Kill Himself,” memes already on the web. He must have been furious the police assault team had missed me at my offices. And that I’d not been, “..tragically killed resisting arrest.”
He must have gone into an even greater rage when I hadn’t been swiftly cornered by any of the thousands of police searching for me. Trapped in some kebab shop, or a freight yard. Surrounded by armed police with the loud hailers telling me to give myself up.
Sir Alan would surely have arranged a Hillary Clinton style ending for me. A newsreader for BBCNEWS24 going live to the scene where the young reporter informs the public of the tragic ending to the siege, with the words, “..Before turning the gun on himself.”
I’d be dead. Bixby would be dead. And Remain could get the votes they needed for a third Referendum vote.
“So that was what this whole thing was about. A pretend murder. Just to swing some nervous, Union backed Labour MPs to stick with remain?” I asked Sir Alan.
“Yes. Just that. A pretend..death. It was just a sophisticated political plot., really. No harm was meant to be done to anyone.”
“Only thing is, “I said to them, “It wasn’t just a pretend death, was it?. The person I saw in the basement had once been a human being. Before someone put them in a compactor and crushed their skull, smashed their ribs, and squeezed the life from them.”
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file