An Appointment at Noon

Novak & Goode, Going Postal
Past political crimes, grift and corruption.
Gallows in Tombstone Courthouse,
Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

The Medical Officer and the young lieutenant inspected the work of the firing party; “She’s still alive, the volley has failed to kill her said the MO,” the young lieutenant looked down at the sagging body of the prisoner which was strapped to a wooden chair, the prisoner was slowly trying to move and emitting a guttural gurgling sound. “A couple of shots must have gone wide,” said the lieutenant looking at two small streams of sand trickling from the bank of sandbags behind her and he started to open his holster to take out his Browning Hi-Power, “Not that, here take this,” said the MO proffering a 7.65 cal pistol, “Put it behind her left ear, its small enough not to explode her skull but stand at arm’s length, don’t forget the safety.” The lieutenant slowly raised the gun and fired a single shot into the prisoner’s head; the body convulsed sharply and slumped to one side; Theresa May died at 12.01pm after being executed by firing squad for treason at the indoor rifle range in the Tower of London.

The outcome of the Autumn 2024 general election had been a complete surprise, several new parties were on the ballot and the Labour vote was split and wiped out by both Corbyn’s Progressive Democratic Socialist Workers Party and the Muslims for Sharia Party all of whom gathered inner-city seats. These new parties gained 15 seats each and Labour managed to retain only 18 seats nationally, about the same as the Conservatives. The Liberal Democrats were wiped out following the Ed Davy Post Office scandal (for which he never apologised) and the SNP, Green and Plaid vote just evaporated. Who would have thought that the Postmasters Party would win 584 of the 650 seats in Parliament?

The general consensus was that of all the possible options the Postmasters were considered to be level-headed, honest and hardworking people. Given the devastation wreaked upon their lives by the Horizon scandal it was felt that they understand the awful impacts of government-sponsored corruption and grift on the lives and livelihood of ordinary people and of all those who sought to be elected, they were recognised to be the best people for the job, especially given they were all embedded and well respected in the communities they served.

The result was an enormous shock for the political classes who not only found themselves out of a job but also in a whole new world of misery following the announcement of a “national emergency” by the head of the Postmasters Party just six hours after winning the election. This announcement included travel bans and asset sale/transfer/bank withdrawal restrictions for all those who had been an MP since 1990; the scope extended to all those who had sat in the Lords, served on a Quango, held a Civil Service post higher than Grade 5, been a Metro Mayor or had held a post with the word director in the title in either the NHS or local government since 1990. The national emergency would be handled by special tribunals appointed by the Postmasters.

The border agencies were notified and all ex-prime ministers and their cabinet members were to be taken into protective custody whilst their performance in jobs they had held and their personal finances was scrutinised; over time this would include all the others on the list. They would have to account for any money accrued over and above their stated salary and explain how they had come by it. It was noted that many MPs had amassed multi-million-pound bank balances after a term in office whilst nominally earning only £80k a year.

The guiding principle was to be the recovery of any bonuses paid/pension rights removed where the individual in question could not demonstrate how they had improved a public service or saved public money and to also capture and confiscate any earnings gained by virtue of their office. There was also the matter of treason; the National Emergency Act 2024 reintroduced the death penalty for treason and this penalty was also extended to severe cases of malfeasance in public office. Trials were to begin immediately using special tribunals appointed by the Postmasters.

Of course, some attempts were made to flee; two days after the election the BBC announced that a twin-engine light aircraft heading for Holland had been shot down by cannon fire from an RAF Typhoon after failing to respond to radio calls to turn around and land. The plane had been hit in the port engine and landed in the sea but sank shortly thereafter. The pilot was recovered alive along with a small waterproof bag containing some 5,000 $100 bills, a number of bearer bonds and Bulgarian passports for Peter Mandleson and his boyfriend. It appeared Mandleson and his friend had been killed by the impact as they had undone their seat harnesses as the plane came down, whereas the other passenger, Piers Morgan, had been mortally wounded by shrapnel from the cannon fire and exploding engine and went down with the plane.

It seemed that the new prime minister was always on the TV with another announcement; first there was Civil Service reform; all departments would lose 40% of their staff; any money overspent by a department or lost to fraud would be recovered from the Civil Service pension scheme value. Sweeping changes were made to the benefits system; he recounted how postmasters had been integral in handing out bundles of taxpayer’s money by means of benefit payments to those who had never worked or contributed only to see the same people come in a few days letter to demand to “wire” a bundle of cash overseas. Benefits would now only be paid to new claimants who could trace their family in the UK back beyond 1960 and overseas wire transfers banned for benefit claimants. Those already receiving benefits and not meeting this criterion would find their payments reduced by 5% month on month. A “special” special tribunal would examine PO and Fujitsu staff implicated in Horizon.

Illegal immigration would be stopped and legal immigration reduced by 95%, migrants who committed a crime within 10 years of arriving would be deported, foreign aid would be cut to 5% of the existing budget, public sector salaries capped at £75k, charity salaries at £60k; these announcements were only the tip of the iceberg and other reforms were promised. The prime minister acknowledged that 34 years of treason, incompetence, wokeism and grift could not be reversed overnight as it had pervaded every department, institution and office of state but reversal would remain a priority throughout the new parliament.

There was of course a huge amount of wailing from the Left but opinion polling showed massive public support for these new policies and actions, the mood in the country was definitely changing for the better and improved even further after the announcement that all taxpayer-funded DEI roles were to be immediately abolished as it was felt taxpayer money should be better spent on improving service delivery rather than internal box ticking.

Within 60 days the first results from the special tribunals were announced; a number of ex-PMs, ministers and civil servants were found guilty of treason or malfeasance. These included:

  • Tony Blair (multiple acts of treason/war crimes)
  • Gordon Brown (Lisbon treaty)
  • John Major (Maastricht treaty)
  • Theresa May (Withdrawal Agreement/Migration Compact)
  • Ed Davy (Malfeasance whilst PO Minister)
  • Matt Hancock (Malfeasance whilst Health Minister)
  • Kier Starmer (Malfeasance whilst at CPS)
  • Andy Burnham (Malfeasance whilst Health Minister)
  • David Cameron (multiple acts of treason)
  • Olly Robbins (Withdrawal Agreement) *

Robbins was to be a “spare” in case there was a reason why one of the others did not hang; a decision about the fate of Truss, Sunak and Johnson had yet to be made.

All nine were to be publicly executed by hanging in Parliament Square during the 2nd week of February 2025. The intention of hanging in public was to show that past political crimes, grift and corruption were being brought to account and not rewarded with vast pensions and bonuses or swept under the carpet. It was anticipated that as the special tribunals conducted their work there would be a need for more hangings but these would be conducted inside prison. However, it was becoming clear that the overwhelming majority of those being investigated would only suffer imprisonment and financial loss.

A three-sided gallows similar to that used historically at Tyburn was built from English oak directly across from New Palace Yard on Parliament Sq.; it was however more modern and incorporated three trap doors on each side of the triangle so that measured drops could be used for each guilty party. Tickets to attend were sold via an online portal and the event would be televised and streamed. Demand was so great that the website for tickets crashed repeatedly but all tickets had gone within six hours, the televised coverage would be hosted by Ant and Dec.

A public competition was run to appoint two executioners, (one spare) and four executioner’s assistants (one spare). From within the depths of the Home Office relevant instructions and guidance notes (executioners for the use of) were found and protocols were established. The gallows followed the principles laid down for the design of Home Office-approved mobile gallows in every aspect except for shape. The gallows’ platform was 10ft above the ground (this would accommodate the maximum tabulated drop of 8ft 6inches which was only really likely to ever be used for Mayor Khan (due to his short stature). The gallows were ready three days before the scheduled time of the executions and the square was then closed to pedestrians and traffic and regularly patrolled by armed police.

The new chief executioner was a cheery middle-aged man from the Manchester area named Albert. He had quickly taken to his role and had decided to “drop” the condemned in three groups of three, each group going through the trapdoors 15 minutes apart. He felt that it would take too long to pinion, hood and noose nine prisoners at the same time and there was a risk of one fainting or collapsing whilst waiting for the trap to be sprung.

In hindsight this proved to be a most sensible decision; ever since being found guilty by the tribunal Theresa May had done nothing but shriek, wail and cry like a mad woman. Whether or not this was a put-on act in the hope it might save her skin was not known but the head of the tribunal recommended she be executed away from the public gaze. The indoor rifle range at the Tower of London was chosen as an alternative and had the history of being the location previously used to execute captured German spies and traitors, the execution time was to be the same as that scheduled for the hanging of the first group in Parliament Square.

Albert checked and double-checked everything; the weight and height of the prisoners had been taken, the drops calculated according to the Home Office tables, the new ropes had been stretched using large sandbags that approximated the weight of each prisoner and marked to show where the shackles to attach them to the gallows should be positioned. Around Parliament Sq. tiered stands had been built for spectators and controlled entry and crowd search points were established at each entrance to the square.

Albert had been particularly keen on getting timings just so and had walked and re-walked the route the condemned would follow from the New Palace Yard to the gallows. Each group of prisoners would be driven into the yard in a prison van just before the public were to be allowed into Parliament Sq. They would then be able to spend their last 45 minutes or so in the company of a priest should they wish. Then at 11.54 Albert would start to pinion their wrists and each would then be led by two prison warders along a tunnel of security fencing some 150 yards to the foot of the steps leading to the gallows. As Big Ben chimed noon, they would climb the stairs to the platform to the trapdoors where their ankles would be pinioned by an executioner’s assistant using a large cable tie, Albert would then place a hood over the head of each prisoner and position the noose behind their left ear. He was confident that before the hour had finished chiming, he would pull the lever to release the trapdoors on the three.

The nine prison vans pulled into New Palace Yard exactly on time, they had been escorted all the way from HMP Belmarsh and outriders had cleared each road junction or set of traffic lights ensuring unimpeded progress. As soon as the vans entered the yard the gates around the square were opened and the public flooded through the ticket checkpoints, no bottles or bags were permitted. Around the square an armed uniformed policeman was posted every 15 feet, if you were really observant you might have noticed figures wearing ski masks on the rooftops around the square. The public were in high spirits, there was a carnival-type atmosphere as they clambered into the stands and pressed up close to the security fencing that surrounded the gallows. The TV coverage had started and Ant and Dec set the scene and outlined how events would run; they then went on to say that from just these nine traitors alone nearly £200m in assets had been seized, the bulk of which came from the now defunct Blair Foundation.

After a final check of the gallows and each assistant, Albert walked over to New Palace Yard to brief the warders. As he walked to the yard he was cheered by the crowd, Albert waved and walked briskly as after all he had appointments to keep. The briefing for the warders was simple, “Keep them moving, don’t let them stop,” two warders would stand behind each traitor and propel them forward by means of holding their upper arms which would be pinioned behind their back; it also meant if the traitor faltered or fainted, they could be kept upright and moving. At 11.54 Albert entered the rear of the first prison van climbing up a set of small, broad wooden steps.

As he entered the warder gave the order, “Prisoner stand up,” the attending priest backed away; Tony Blair looked terrified but slowly rose from the chair; Albert extended his hand as if to make a handshake and by reaction Blair put his hand out; Albert grabbed Blair’s hand and twisted it behind his back fastening a leather strap over both wrists, it had taken him less than a minute; “Get ready lads,” he said, “I will strap the other two and come back, then we go; this one is for trap one.” The same process was repeated for Brown and Major, “When you see Blair come out bring your prisoner out and fall in behind; then we go, don’t stop for anything, the crowd seem to be in good spirits but you never know.” After pinioning Major, the “Gold Commander” for the event asked Albert if he was ready; “Yes,” he replied, “However I am a bit worried about Brown he has a severe tic and keeps making a deep groaning noise but we have a timetable to keep.”

Albert went to the first van and signalled for Blair and his escort to come out, as Blair hesitantly descended the steps Albert signalled to the other two vans and the cortege fell in at the gate. Blair was accompanied by a priest, “Make sure you keep up padre and don’t get in my way,” said Albert and with that the New Palace Yard gate was opened and the cortege headed by Albert marched out. The crowd went wild. There was a massive cheer which quickly turned to booing and shouts of derision; the prisoners penned in between the security barriers leading to the gallows steps had no option but to keep going forward propelled by their respective warders. The noise rose in intensity and the three prisoners looked terrified; the groaning from Brown increased, he sounded like a cow in labour with a stuck calf and Major had gone as grey as his prison tunic and had also started to shuffle awkwardly.

Albert reached the steps and looked behind. They were all present but Major had dropped back a little. Albert went to the top of the steps and the prisoners and their escorts followed. As Blair reached the top of the stairs Big Ben started to chime the hour; Albert said, “Trap one,” then, “Trap two,” as Brown passed and finally, “Trap three,” for Major. “I think he has soiled himself,” hissed the warder as he went past Albert.

Each trap has a number chalked on it as well as a “T” shaped mark of the type you might see on the floor of a gameshow TV studio indicating where a contestant should stand; each prisoner was positioned precisely on this marking. As the prisoners arrived the executioners’ assistants placed and tightened a large cable tie around their ankles. Before Major was even positioned, Albert had already hooded and noosed Blair and was now putting the hood on Brown who had stopped groaning. He slipped the noose on Brown, positioned it correctly and moved onto Major who had started to sway, Albert noticed that the crowd had gone quiet.

As fast as he could he hooded and noosed Major, the chimes continued and Albert shouted “clear” and with a deft step pushed the lever to open to the trapdoors. With a resounding crash all three prisoners disappeared out of sight A second later the last chime of the hour sounded but was drowned out by a huge cheer that rose from the assembled crowd, possibly even greater in intensity to that heard at the Cup Final at Wembley in 1966.

The crowd were so busy cheering that no one noticed the doctor slightly pull back the tarpaulin that surrounded the base of the gallows and enter through an overlapping join. After a minute or so the doctor emerged and walked up the steps of the gallows to Albert, “All OK,” he said, “They are all gone.” Albert knew the bodies would be left hanging for the traditional one hour but now prepared himself to get the second batch finished.

Given that Theresa May had met her end at the Tower, the second batch now comprised Starmer, Davy and Hancock. Albert followed the same protocol and all three went through the traps in the same smooth fashion. The booing and jeering was possibly even more intense this time and seemed particularly focused on Hancock and Davy; a few in the crowd attempted to strike them as they were marched past but were unsuccessful.

Burnham, Cameron and Robbins were next up; the three seemed to present a particularly sorry sight as they were propelled to the gallows and Cameron seemed especially distraught upon seeing six taut ropes disappearing into the dark void beneath the gallows. Again, with a resounding crash from the trapdoors the traitors disappeared from view.

It was then that the car horn sounded and then sounded again, louder and louder, “bugger” exclaimed a bleary-eyed Novak looking at his phone, “bugger bugger bugger”. The car horn was coming from outside the bedroom window, it was his airport taxi announcing its arrival, Novak had overslept as his phone alarm had not gone off, he turned on the light, pulled the curtain back and waved to the driver. He had better get a move on, but he could not forget this dream it seemed so vivid and detailed.

© Novak and Goode 2024