Thursday 26 May 2022

A Modern Cromwell by Clive Gresswell, a frothy cappuccino.


Oliver Cromwell was sweating in the steel suit he wore seated on the Diaz in the time travel garden. It was a lovely day in May and the revolution had gone refreshingly well. Oliver had slipped forward in the time tunnel curious to know what had become of his great Parliamentary experiment. Unfortunately, with the advent of television, the internet and professional propaganda he did not like what he saw. Cameras were beaming Prime Minister’s Question Time onto the rear garden wall and Boris Johnson was in full flow. Ministers such as Jacob Rees-Mogg and Brandon Lewis were backing up their leader with shouts of ‘bravo’ as they nodded their heads sternly in agreement with the great man. Oliver recalled that the Parliament he had empowered was nothing like today’s poor substitute for the democratic body in action and then there was the whole Irish Protocol question. It seemed to Oliver that Minister’s today threw caution to the wind making hard and fast pronouncements such as if people were finding things hard going, they should get themselves better jobs. Perhaps the ones presently taken by the incumbent politicians, sprang to mind.

Oliver groaned, holding his head in his hands.  Had it all been for nothing? Despite the balmy weather he didn’t like the course the country was taking and was even contemplating slipping back to the 1640s and raising an army of time bandits for the early 2020s. Another Civil War would even things up a bit.

“I’m not even sure people would believe the corners people take with politics these days,” he muttered under his breath. Certainly, the Puritans would not have been able to stomach all the drinking and debauchery that went on. Oliver felt sick to his back teeth as he watched the television news focus on Parliamentarian after Parliamentarian breaking the unwritten protocols of good governance.

Oliver winced as he watched news item after news item glossing over embarrassingly corrupt behaviour that would even have cost many a  slovenly monarch his or her head.

There were even many similarities between now and then such as the advent of a looming trade war and the startling resemblance of Cromwell to the actor Richard Harris, who played him in the 1970 film.

Cromwell looked around him in the garden and decided it was time to grasp the nettle, go back through the portal and raise that army.

About the author

Clive enjoys writing metafictions and absurdist stories. He lives in Luton, UK, and is also a well-published poet. His latest poetry books are with erbacce-press. He has an MA and a BA in Creative Writing.

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