In deciding to visit Mr A at his home I was aware that I was embarking on a potentially hazardous course. On the other hand, I took the view that I was by this stage
'. . . in blood
Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o'er.'
By which I do not mean to imply that I consciously intended to do Mr A any actual physical injury, but rather that I had by now concluded that my recent actions would, regardless of what I did, become public knowledge very soon. Once that happened, it did not require much effort on my part to imagine what Mr A himself would have to say about my conduct. The prospect of for once seizing the initiative – of, to use Miss B's phrase, giving him 'a sorting', whatever that may mean – held a certain undeniable appeal.
As I have already told the House, our route from Greenford had now carried us as far as Hampstead, the district in which Mr A has for many years lived. I know the area well. As a backbench MP, I had lived around the corner from Mr A in a basement flat. His own, substantial, four-storey house was familiar to me, and I directed Miss B to the appropriate street. For a moment, after we had parked outside, I hesitated. Was this, on reflection, really a sensible course? But then I resolved that I would continue. The media, after all, had frequently turned up uninvited on my doorstep over the years. Why should I not do the same to one of them? I left the car and rang the bell. Mr A himself answered the door.
Mr Speaker, I cannot claim to have the events of the next few minutes arranged with perfect forensic clarity in my mind. I recall that Mr A greeted me with his usual civility, and that he was carrying a bottle of champagne and a half-full glass. He did not seem particularly pleased to see me. He was, he said, expecting dinner guests at any moment, and made a general indication of regret that he was therefore unable to invite me in. Perhaps, he suggested, my office could contact his secretary and we could arrange a suitable date for an appointment the following week.
It was at this point that Miss B left the car and joined me on the doorstep. Her appearance on the scene seemed to affect Mr A's composure. She began quoting back to him several of the points he had been making earlier on the radio, and invited him to step over the threshold and repeat them. He seemed both confused and alarmed by her presence. I explained that she had recently come to work at No. 10 as part of a work experience scheme. This statement, which was part of my continuing efforts to protect her identity, was misleading, and I regret it. He finally agreed to admit us, and asked us to go upstairs and wait for him in his study, while he made arrangements, he said, for one of his domestic staff to greet his guests in his place.
The suggestion in various newspapers that, once in his study, I 'ransacked' his desk is absurd. The truth is that the room was relatively small and it was almost impossible for me to avoid glancing at his computer screen and seeing what was written there – namely, his column for that Sunday's issue of the Observer. It included the following passage:
'Unable, it seems, to tolerate even the mildest criticism, the Prime Minister is said by close colleagues to be exhibiting worrying signs of mental instability. "All Prime Ministers go mad eventually," one of his senior Cabinet colleagues told me privately last week. "The difference is that this one was mad from the start." '
I was still reading when Mr A entered the room.
I now proceeded to make a number of points, of which perhaps four stand out in my memory: first, that it was a pity, given his obvious genius for public administration, that he had never seen fit to offer himself for election; secondly, that it was richly ironic for a journalist, of all people, to accuse all politicians of habitually lying, as I had yet to read any article in any newspaper on any subject of which I had any knowledge that didn't contain at least one factual inaccuracy; thirdly, that I considered it morally contemptible of him to quote anonymous so-called 'senior colleagues' who, I was sure, had better things to do than pass the time of day with him; and, fourthly, that if I was mad – and I was beginning to suspect that I might be, for choosing to be a Prime Minister when I could have been a newspaper columnist – then I had surely been driven mad by him, and by people like him.
Mr A responded that he had, indeed, considered a political career during his time at Oxford, but had concluded that real power no longer resided in this House, which was full – I believe I am quoting him correctly – of 'little people'; secondly, that he had no views as to the respective merits of journalism and politics, except to observe that nowadays the former offered better rewards, in every sense, and therefore attracted individuals of greater talent; thirdly, that no journalist ever reveals his sources; and finally that he had no particular animus against me personally, but took the impartial view that all politicians were mad and liars, and therefore that whoever was Prime Minister at any given time was, by definition, likely to be the biggest and maddest liar of the lot.
I am not sure precisely how long this conversation lasted. As the House will recall, I no longer had a watch. Nor can I say for certain when I first realized that Mr A was deliberately keeping me occupied. But I should say that roughly twenty minutes had elapsed when Miss B, who had taken up a position by the window, suddenly interrupted our discussion to report that the street below was filling with policemen and photographers. It was then that Mr A disclosed that he had misled us. He had not, in fact, left us alone in order to speak to one of his staff, but rather to alert the picture desk of a national newspaper.
The House will appreciate that, until the Crown Prosecution Service has decided whether or not to initiate criminal proceedings, I am not at liberty to describe as fully as I would wish to do exactly what happened next. No party has yet been charged with a criminal offence, and unless and until that happens, Mr A has a right to anonymity. Miss B's published account is, frankly, incoherent. What is not in dispute is that witnesses heard voices raised, and that at some point Mr A and myself both fell, entwined, down the stairs, landing in the hall at exactly the moment when, as luck would have it, the front door opened to admit the first of Mr A's dinner guests, my right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Mr Speaker, I have tried to set out the facts as clearly and unemotionally as possible. Someone – I think it may have been Abraham Lincoln, or possibly it was Winston Churchill – once wrote that a night in a police cell is good for any man, and I feel that I have personally benefited from this experience. I have been treated as any other citizen would have been under the circumstances, and that is all I have ever sought.
To have been allowed to serve this country has been a great privilege. Over the course of the next few hours, I shall be having further discussions with my ministerial colleagues and others, and later this evening I hope to have an audience of Her Majesty the Queen. After that my own personal position will be clearer.
No doubt much more will be said on these matters in the days and weeks to come. In the meantime, it only remains for me to thank you, Mr Speaker, and through you the House, for the courtesy you have shown in listening to my personal statement.
Use the following questions and assignments in the discussion of the story.
How can you explain the title of the story? What does the abbreviation (PMQ) stand for?
Why does the Prime Minister give such a detailed account of the events?
The story is full of humour. How does the author achieve this effect? Give a few examples. Are the actual events of the story as funny as the style of the Premier’s presentation? Support your viewpoint.
Do you think anything like this could happen in real life?
My Son the Fanatic
By Hanif Kureishi
Surreptitiously, the father began going into his son's bedroom. He would sit there for hours, rousing himself only to seek clues. What bewildered him was that Ali was getting tidier. The room, which was usually a tangle of clothes, books, cricket bats and video games, was becoming neat and ordered; spaces began appearing where before there had been only mess.
Initially, Parvez had been pleased: his son was outgrowing his teenage attitudes. But one day, beside the dustbin, Parvez found a torn shopping bag that contained not only old toys but computer disks, videotapes, new books, and fashionable clothes the boy had bought a few months before. Also without explanation, Ali had parted from the English girlfriend who used to come around to the house. His old friends stopped ringing.
For reasons he didn't himself understand, Parvez was unable to bring up the subject of Ali's unusual behaviour. He was aware that he had become slightly afraid of his son, who, between his silences, was developing a sharp tongue. One remark Parvez did make - 'You don't play your guitar anymore' - elicited the mysterious but conclusive reply, 'There are more important things to be done.'
Yet Parvez felt his son's eccentricity as an injustice. He had always been aware of the pitfalls that other men's sons had stumbled into in England. It was for Ali that Parvez worked long hours; he spent a lot of money paying for Ali's education as an accountant. He had bought Ali good suits, all the books he required, and a computer. And now the boy was throwing his possessions out! The TV, video-player and stereo system followed the guitar. Soon the room was practically bare. Even the unhappy walls bore pale marks where Ali's pictures had been removed.
Parvez couldn't sleep; he went more often to the whisky bottle, even when he was at work. He realised it was imperative to discuss the matter with someone sympathetic.
Parvez had been a taxi-driver for twenty years. Half that time he'd worked for the same firm. Like him, most of the other drivers were Punjabis. They preferred to work at night, when the roads were clearer, and the money better. They slept during the day, avoiding their wives. They led almost a boy's life together in the cabbies' office, playing cards and setting up practical jokes, exchanging lewd stories, eating takeaways from local balti houses, and discussing politics and their own problems.
But Parvez had been unable to discuss the subject of Ali with his friends. He was too ashamed. And he was afraid, too, that they would blame him for the wrong turning his boy had taken, just as he had blamed other fathers whose sons began running around with bad girls, skipping school and joining gangs.
For years, Parvez had boasted to the other men about how Ali excelled in cricket, swimming and football, and what an attentive scholar he was, getting 'A's in most subjects. Was it asking too much for Ali to get a good job, marry the right girl, and start a family? Once this happened, Parvez would be happy. His dreams of doing well in England would have come true. Where had he gone wrong?
One night, sitting in the taxi office on busted chairs with his two closest friends, watching a Sylvester Stallone film, Parvez broke his silence.
'I can't understand it!' he burst out. 'Everything is going from his room. And I can't talk to him any more. We were not father and son - we were brothers! Where has he gone? Why is he torturing me?' And Parvez put his head in his hands.
Even as he poured out his account, the men shook their heads and gave one another knowing glances.
'Tell me what is happening!' he demanded.
The reply was almost triumphant. They had guessed something was going wrong. Now it was clear: Ali was taking drugs and selling his possessions to pay for them. That was why his bedroom was being emptied.
'What must I do, then?'
Parvez's friends instructed him to watch Ali scrupulously and to be severe with him, before the boy went mad, overdosed, or murdered someone.
Parvez staggered out into the early-morning air, terrified that they were right. His boy - the drug-addict killer!
To his relief, he found Bettina sitting in his car.
Usually the last customers of the night were local 'brasses', or prostitutes. The taxi-drivers knew them well and often drove them to liaisons. At the end of the girls' night, the men would ferry them home, though sometimes they would join the cabbies for a drinking session in the office.
Bettina had known Parvez for three years. She lived outside the town and, on the long drives home, during which she sat not in the passenger seat but beside him, Parvez had talked to her about his life and hopes, just as she talked about hers. They saw each other most nights.
He could talk to her about things he'd never be able to discuss with his own wife. Bettina, in turn, always reported on her night's activities. He liked to know where she had been and with whom. Once, he had rescued her from a violent client, and since then they had come to care for each other.
Though Bettina had never met Ali, she heard about the boy continually. That night, when Parvez told Bettina that he suspected Ali was on drugs, to Parvez's relief, she judged neither him nor the boy, but said, 'It's all in the eyes.' They might be bloodshot; the pupils might be dilated; Ali might look tired. He could be liable to sweats, or sudden mood changes. 'OK?'
Parvez began his vigil gratefully. Now that he knew what the problem might be, he felt better. And surely, he figured, things couldn't have gone too far?
He watched each mouthful the boy took. He sat beside him at every opportunity and looked into his eyes. When he could, he took the boy's hand, checked his temperature. If the boy wasn't at home, Parvez was active, looking under the carpet, in Ali's drawers, and behind the empty wardrobe - sniffing, inspecting, probing. He knew what to look for: Bettina had drawn pictures of capsules, syringes, pills, powders, rocks.
Every night, she waited to hear news of what he'd witnessed. After a few days of constant observation, Parvez was able to report that although the boy had given up sports, he seemed healthy. His eyes were clear. He didn't – as Parvez expected he might – flinc guiltily from his father's gaze. In fact, the boy seemed more alert and steady than usual: as well as being sullen, he was very watchful. He returned his father's long looks with more than a hint of criticism, of reproach, even; so much so that Parvez began to feel that it was he who was in the wrong, and not the boy.
'No!' Parvez thought for a moment. 'But he is growing a beard.'
One night, after sitting with Bettina in an all-night coffee shop, Parvez came home particularly late. Reluctantly, he and Bettina had abandoned the drug theory, for Parvez had found nothing resembling any drug in Ali's room. Besides, AH wasn't selling his belongings. He threw them out, gave them away, or donated them to charity shops.
Standing in the hall, Parvez heard the boy's alarm dock go off. Parvez hurried into his bedroom, where his wife, still awake, was sewing in bed. He ordered her to sit down and keep quiet, though she had neither stood up nor said a word. As she watched him curiously, he observed his son through the crack of the door.
The boy went into the bathroom to wash. When he returned to his room, Parvez sprang across the hall and set his ear to Ali's door. A muttering sound came from within. Parvez was puzzled but relieved.
Once this clue had been established, Parvez watched him at other times. The boy was praying. Without fail, when he was at home, he prayed five times a day.
Parvez had grown up in Lahore, where all young boys had been taught the Koran. To stop Parvez from falling asleep while he studied, the maulvi had attached a piece of string to the ceiling and tied it to Parvez's hair, so if his head fell forward, he would instantly jerk awake. After this indignity, Parvez had avoided all religions. Not that the other taxidrivers had any more respect than he had. In fact, they made jokes about the local mullahs walking around with their caps and beards, thinking they could tell people how to live while their eyes roved over the boys and girls in their care.
Parvez described to Bettina what he had discovered. He informed the men in the taxi office. His friends, who had been so inquisitive before, now became oddly silent. They could hardly condemn the boy for his devotions.
Parvez decided to take a night off and go out with the boy. They could talk things over. He wanted to hear how things were going at college; he wanted to tell him stories about their family in Pakistan. More than anything, he yearned to understand how Ali had discovered the 'spiritual dimension', as Bettina called it.
To Parvez's surprise, the boy refused to accompany him. He claimed he had an appointment. Parvez had to insist that no appointment could be more important than that of a son with his father.
The next day, Parvez went immediately to the street corner where Bettina stood in the rain wearing high heels, a short skirt, and a long mac, which she would open hopefully at passing cars.
'Get in, get in!' he said.
They drove out across the moors and parked at the spot where, on better days, their view unimpeded for miles except by wild deer and horses, they'd lie back, with their eyes half-closed, saying, 'This is the life.' This time Parvez was trembling. Bettina put her arms around him.
'I've just had the worst experience of my life. '
As Bettina rubbed his head Parvez told her that the previous evening, as he and his son had studied the menu, the waiter, whom Parvez knew, brought him his usual whisky-and-water. Parvez was so nervous he had even prepared a question. He was going to ask Ali if he was worried about his imminent exams. But first he loosened his tie, crunched a poppadum, and took a long drink.
Before Parvez could speak, Ali made a face.
'Don't you know it's wrong to drink alcohol? ' he had said.
'He spoke to me very harshly,' Parvez said to Bettina. 'I was about to castigate the boy for being insolent, but I managed to control myself.'
Parvez had explained patiently that for years he had worked more than ten hours a day, had few enjoyments or hobbies, and never gone on holiday. Surely it wasn't a crime to have a drink when he wanted one?
'But it is forbidden,' the boy said.
Parvez shrugged. 'I know. '
'And so is gambling, isn't it?'
'Yes. But surely we are only human?'
Each time Parvez took a drink, the boy winced, or made some kind of fastidious face. This made Parvez drink more quickly. The waiter, wanting to please his friend, brought another glass of whisky. Parvez knew he was getting drunk, but he couldn't stop himself. Ali had a horrible look, full of disgust and censure. It was as if he hated his father. Halfway through the meal, Parvez suddenly lost his temper and threw a plate on the floor. He felt like ripping the cloth from the table, but the waiters and other customers were staring at him. Yet he wouldn't stand for his own son's telling him the difference between right and wrong. He knew he wasn't a bad man. He had a conscience. There were a few things of which he was ashamed, but on the whole he had lived a decent life.
'When have I had time to be wicked?' he asked Ali.
In a low, monotonous voice, the boy explained that Parvez had not, in fact, lived a good life. He had broken countless rules of the Koran.
'For instance?' Parvez demanded.
Ali didn't need to think. As if he had been waiting for this moment, he asked his father if he didn't relish pork pies?
'Well.' Parvez couldn't deny that he loved crispy bacon smothered with mushrooms and mustard and sandwiched between slices of fried bread. In fact, he ate this for breakfast every morning.
Ali then reminded Parvez that he had ordered his wife to cook pork sausages, saying to her, 'You're not in the village now. This is England. We have to fit in.'
Parvez was so annoyed and perplexed by this attack that he called for more drink.
The problem is this,' the boy said. He leaned across the table. For the first time that night, his eyes were alive. 'You are too implicated in Western civilisation.'
Parvez burped; he thought he was going to choke. 'Implicated!'he said. 'But we live here!'
'The Western materialists hate us,' Ali said. 'Papa, how can you love something which hates you?'
'What is the answer, then,' Parvez said miserably, 'according to you?'
Ali didn't need to think. He addressed his father fluently, as if Parvez were a rowdy crowd which had to be quelled or convinced.
The law of Islam would rule the world; the skin of the infidel would burn off again and again; the Jews and Christers would be routed. The West was a sink of hypocrites, adulterers, homosexuals, drug users and prostitutes.
While Ali talked, Parvez looked out the window as if to check that they were still in London.
'My people have taken enough. If the persecution doesn't stop, there will be jihad. I, and millions of others, will gladly give our lives for the cause.'
'But why, why?' Parvez said.
'For us, the reward will be in Paradise.'
Finally, as Parvez's eyes filled with tears, the boy urged him to mend his ways.
'But how would that be possible?' Parvez asked.
'Pray,' urged Ali. 'Pray beside me. '
Parvez paid the bill and ushered his boy out of there as soon as he was able. He couldn't take any more.
Ali sounded as if he'd swallowed someone else's voice.
On the way home, the boy sat in the back of the taxi, as if he were a customer. 'What has made you like this?' Parvez asked him, afraid that somehow he was to blame for all this. 'Is there a particular event which has influenced you?'
'Living in this country.'
'But I love England,' Parvez said, watching his boy in the rear view mirror. 'They let you do almost anything here.'
That is the problem,' Ali replied.
For the first time in years, Parvez couldn't see straight. He knocked the side of the car against a lorry, ripping off the wing mirror. They were lucky not to have been stopped by the police: Parvez would have lost his licence and his job.
Back at the house, as he got out of the car, Parvez stumbled and fell in the road, scraping his hands and ripping his trousers. He managed to haul himself up. The boy didn't even offer him his hand.
Parvez told Bettina he was willing to pray, if that was what the boy wanted - if it would dislodge the pitiless look from his eyes. 'But what I object to,' he said, 'is being told by my own son that I am going to Hell!'
What had finished Parvez off was the boy's saying he was giving up his studies in accounting. When Parvez had asked why, Ali said sarcastically that it was obvious. 'Western education cultivates an anti-religious attitude.'
And in the world of accountants it was usual to meet women, drink alcohol, and practise usury.
'But it's well-paid work,' Parvez argued. 'For years you've been preparing!'
Ali said he was going to begin to work in prisons, with poor Muslims who were struggling to maintain their purity in the face of corruption. Finally, at the end of the evening, as Ali went up to bed, he had asked his father why he didn't have a beard, or at least a moustache.
'I feel as if I've lost my son, ' Parvez told Bettina. 'I can't bear to be looked at as if I'm a criminal. I've decided what to do.'
'What is it? '
'I'm going to tell him to pick up his prayer mat and get out of my house. It will be the hardest thing I've ever done, but tonight I'm going to do it.'
'But you mustn't give up on him,' said Bettina. 'Many young people fall into cults and superstitious groups. It doesn't mean they'll always feel the same way.' She said Parvez had to stick by his boy.
Parvez was persuaded that she was right, even though he didn't feel like giving his son more love when he had hardly been thanked for all he had already given.
For the next two weeks, Parvez tried to endure his son's looks and reproaches. He attempted to make conversation about Ali's beliefs. But if Parvez ventured any criticism, Ali always had a brusque reply. On one occasion, Ali accused Parvez of 'grovelling' to the whites; in contrast, he explained, he himself was not 'inferior'; there was more to the world than the West, though the West always thought it was best.
'How is it you know that?' Parvez said. 'Seeing as you've never left England?'
Ali replied with a look of contempt.
One night, having ensured there was no alcohol on his breath, Parvez sat down at the kitchen table with Ali. He hoped Ali would compliment him on the beard he was growing, but Ali didn't appear to notice it.
The previous day, Parvez had been telling Bettina that he thought people in the West sometimes felt inwardly empty and that people needed a philosophy to live by.
'Yes,' Bettina had said. 'That's the answer. You must tell him what your philosophy of life is. Then he will understand that there are other beliefs.'
After some fatiguing consideration, Parvez was ready to begin. The boy watched him as if he expected nothing. Haltingly, Parvez said that people had to treat one another with respect, particularly children their parents. This did seem, for a moment, to affect the boy. Heartened, Parvez continued. In his view, this life was all there was, and when you died, you rotted in the earth. 'Grass and flowers will grow out of my grave, but something of me will live on.'
'In other people. For instance, I will continue - in you.'
At this the boy appeared a little distressed.
'And in your grandchildren,' Parvez added for good measure. 'But while I am here on earth I want to make the best of it. And I want you to, as well!'
'What d'you mean by "make the best of it"?' asked the boy.
'Well,' said Parvez. 'For a start. . . you should enjoy yourself. Yes. Enjoy yourself without hurting others.'
Ali said enjoyment was 'a bottomless pit'.
'But I don't mean enjoyment like that,' said Parvez. 'I mean the beauty of living.'
'All over the world our people are oppressed,' was the boy's reply.
'I know,' Parvez answered, not entirely sure who 'our people'were. 'But still - life is for living!'
Ali said, 'Real morality has existed for hundreds of years. Around the world millions and millions of people share my beliefs. Are you saying you are right and they are all wrong?' And Ali looked at his father with such aggressive confidence that Parvez would say no more.
A few evenings later, Bettina was riding in Parvez's car after visiting a client when they passed a boy on the street.
'That's my son,' Parvez said, his face set hard. They were on the other side of town, in a poor district, where there were two mosques.
Bettina turned to see. 'Slow down, then, slow down! '
She said, 'He's good-looking. Reminds me of you. But with a more determined face. Please, can't we stop?'
'I'd like to talk to him.'
Parvez turned the cab round and pulled up beside the boy.
'Coming home?' Parvez asked. 'It's quite a way.'
The boy shrugged and got into the back seat. Bettina sat in the front. Parvez became aware of Bettina's short skirt, her gaudy rings and ice-blue eyeshadow. He became conscious that the smell of her perfume, which he loved, filled the cab. He opened the window.
While Parvez drove as fast as he could, Bettina said gently to Ali, 'Where have you been?'
'The mosque,' he said.
'And how are you getting on at college? Are you working hard? '
'Who are you to ask me these questions? ' Ali said, looking out of the window. Then they hit bad traffic, and the car came to a standstill.
By now, Bettina had inadvertently laid her hand on Parvez's shoulder. She said, 'Your father, who is a good man, is very worried about you. You know he loves you more than his own life.'
'You say he loves me,' the boy said.
'Yes!' said Bettina.
'Then why is he letting a woman like you touch him like that?'
If Bettina looked at the boy in anger, he looked back at her with cold fury.
She said, 'What kind of woman am I that I should deserve to be spoken to like that?'
'You know what kind,' he said. Then he turned to his father. 'Now let me out.'
'Never,' Parvez replied.
'Don't worry, I'm getting out,' Bettina said.
'No, don't!' said Parvez. But even as the car moved forward, she opened the door and threw herself out - she had done this before - and ran away across the road. Parvez stopped and shouted after her several times, but she had gone.
Parvez took Ali back to the house, saying nothing more to him. Ali went straight to his room. Parvez was unable to read the paper, watch television, or even sit down. He kept pouring himself drinks.
At last, he went upstairs and paced up and down outside Ali's room. When, finally, he opened the door, Ali was praying. The boy didn't even glance his way.
Parvez kicked him over. Then he dragged the boy up by the front of his shirt and hit him. The boy fell back. Parvez hit him again. The boy's face was bloody. Parvez was panting; he knew the boy was unreachable, but he struck him none the less. The boy neither covered himself nor retaliated; there was no fear in his eyes. He only said, through his split lip, 'So who's the fanatic now?'
Use the following questions and assignments in the discussion of the story.
1. Give your definition of the word fanatic.
2. What pitfalls can younger immigrants stumble into when moving to another country?
3. How did Parvez see his son’s future? What did he do to make it come true?
4. What began to bewilder Parvez about his son’s behaviour? Why did his son’s new life style and attitude turn into a source of constant worry for Parvez? What did he think this change could be indicative of? What frantic attempts did he make to find out the truth? Was the truth any better than Parvez’s initial apprehensions?
5. What was Ali’s new philosophy of life? How much did the boy’s new understanding of life differ from that of his father’s? How did Ali try to convert his father into his new beliefs?
6. Now, having read the story, which of the two do you think is the fanatic?
2 Whitsun (Pentecost) – церк. Троицын день
3 Green Paper - a small book put out by the British Government containing suggestions to be talked about which may later be used in making new laws.
White Paper - an official report from the British government, usually explaining the government's ideas and plans concerning a particular subject before it suggests a new law in Parliament.
4 nig-nog - B.E., taboo, a black person (considered extremelyoffensive)
5 Most of Britain's constituencies are called "safe seats". This means that one or the other of the main parties has traditionally enjoyed overwhelming support in elections for the seat concerned.
61 Aquascutum [,ækw'skju:tm] - an expensive clothing shop in London