The intriguing inhabitants of Britain’s most famous house13 min readReading Time: 8 minutes
Hello, Hello! Today, it’s time for a topsy-turvy story involving a feline, Lord Buckethead(a man with a black bucket for a head), a high-profile breakup, a man who publicly proclaimed that the President of Russia looked like a house-elf, endless scandals, an Indian(well, sort of an Indian), and a woman who wants to wage a war against solar panels. Before we dive into the strange and fantastical world of this(surely made-up?) tale, unjumble this picture to unravel the location where it all happened.
The Famous Residence
Did you recognise the building? Hint: It’s the residence of the First Lord of the Treasury. Wait!?! The what-what of the what?? It’s 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister (wait, what about the lord of the what-what?). Yup. The British Prime Minister is also known as the Lord of the Treasury, and this fancy Lord lives right here in this British-looking building. But in recent years, no one’s stay has been too long. Why? And who’s coming in next? Let’s find out.
Before we go on, there’s a question that must be asked. Who has spent the longest time occupying 10 Downing Street in recent years?
The most official-official of all officials
Yup, it’s a very high-level official of the utmost importance, it’s the chief mouser🐭 to the British Cabinet, it’s Larry the Cat! He’s been charged with handling all rat infestations and mouse-related threats to the United Kingdom’s National Security. Unless, of course, it’s a mouse plague, in which case we should probably call in some of these people.
No, the British Cabinet is not the cupboard where the British keep their mouse-attracting cheeses. It is, in fact, a committee of senior officials responsible for running the British government.
Larry has seen three Prime Ministers come and go and has lasted in No.10(the cool lingo people in the UK use when referring to the PM’s residence) for over 11 years. Naturally, Larry the cat has seen some stuff. And now it seems to be taking its toll. Larry hasn’t seemed to want to go back inside No 10 of late and even had to be carried in the other day. This story attempts to unpeel the mystery behind Larry’s distaste for his own home as we get a glimpse at Larry’s opinion on the whole matter. Has he lost his appetite for rodents, or is there more to this single cat protest?
Disclaimer-Larry’s opinions are fictional and have been conjured by the writers at Owliver’s Post. He is a cat and therefore knows almost nothing about British politics(or so we think).
The beginning of Larry’s career
When Larry the Cat was appointed, things in No.10 were all business as usual. Sure there were scandals, and politics is never smooth sailing, but most challenges were ordinary. Larry was joining a long line of the British Government’s cats, and he knew what came with the job-well usually. Larry was a part of a scandal or two himself. For instance, when Larry was serving under his first Prime Minister, David Cameron, newspapers picked up a story that claimed that the PM and Larry didn’t get along. Things had to be cleared up in Parliament.
The Brexit bomb
Amidst all this fun and jokes, the ball dropped at No 10. In 2016, Larry’s world was rocked by Brexit. You may have been too young when this happened, but when it did, it was the biggest and most explosive news to rock the world. Somewhat like Covid-19 or maybe the monkeypox outbreak of the war in Russia or China’s threats in Taiwan, or perhaps, the resignation of the UK’s Prime Minister… Well, the world is quite..uh…different now… but, at the time, this news rocked the world. So, what is Brexit, and why is it causing Larry the cat such despair?
Well, Brexit is quite literally a combination of the words Britain and Exit. So, what was Britain exiting?
The United Kingdom belonged to a group of Western European nations that joined together for their common economic interests. These countries made a pact to trade services and goods freely with one another as well as to allow free movement from one country to the other. They also agreed to live up to the same set of rules, regulations and uphold human rights and freedoms.
This sounds pretty awesome. So, why did the UK want out?
Well, there were some people in the United Kingdom who felt the UK is far better and more productive than these other nations. They believed the UK was a free nation and didn’t need all the strict regulations and layers of government that came with the EU. Others cried that under the EU, it was as though the UK wasn’t free and was a colony of another empire🧐.
There were other reasons people wanted out too. And the biggest one was immigration. Since, for several reasons, including war and (coughs) the fact that Britain’s colonisation had left several Asian and African in poverty, people were and are fleeing to Europe for better lives. But when they come to Europe due to their desperate situation, they are willing to work harder and for less money.
This means that locals lose jobs and end up being unemployed and poor. The locals find it unfair that strangers get jobs in their country, but they can’t. After all, they found it unfair that strangers to the nation should have jobs when they didn’t. Moreover, they are not the ones causing problems in these people’s countries. Yes, Britain had colonised countries in the past, but the modern world is different, and so are the people who live in it. And so, the Brexiteers argued that leaving the EU would prevent immigrants from crossing through Europe and allow the UK to have its own strict policy that banned anyone from entering the country.
The ones who wanted to remain in the EU
Other people thought Brexit was a silly plan. In a country of millions, there are only thousands of refugees seeking help. And most of them are fleeing life-threatening situations. The UK would only lose out if it had to pay taxes and go through layers of checks just to trade with Europe. They also believed that these countries were more hardy against the threats posed by nations such as Russia when they co-operated and worked together. Moreover, the UK’s contributions of the UK to the EU had been widely exaggerated by supporters of Brexit.
Confused about the country’s name? The United Kingdom, Great Britain, Scotland, Wales, Ireland…what is the name really? Check out these maps to understand.
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson
One of the people known for lying about Brexit, and well everything, is this man:
Oops, that was embarrassing, this man.
Yes, this man.
Yup, that man whose entertaining photos make him seem like a slapstick comedian is Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, or Boris Johnson, the UK’s current( and also soon-to-be ex-PM). Also, the man who called Vladimir Putin a house-elf, and compared Britains relationship with the EU to ill-fitting underwear. But the problems with Boris Johnson began long before he became PM.
“He’s always been able to get away with things that mere mortals can’t”— David Cameron on Boris Johnson
Before his PM days, Boris worked for David Cameron or Larry’s first employer. And David Cameron and all of his supporters didn’t believe in Brexit (or so he thought). In fact, when he became Prime Minister, David Cameron was so sure that only a few radical-minded people wanted Brexit that he promised to hold a national vote on it as Prime Minister. But David calculated wrong! When he held the vote, the majority or 51.82% of the UK’s voters wanted to leave the EU!
All citizens of the UK who were 18 or older were eligible to vote in David Cameron’s referendum on Brexit.
And some of them, like Boris Johnson, had helped achieve this number by spreading false information and statistics.
Boris Johnson only decided to switch sides after Mr Cameron was already on the brink of the day for the vote. In fact, the night before the vote, Johnson had published two articles in the same newspaper. One of the articles claimed that Brexit was the only way forward for Britain, while the other claimed that Brexit wasn’t a great idea. It became clear to the people around that Boris Johnson had a bigger plan in mind. He wanted to be the one that shared a residence with Larry the Cat.
All of Larry’s owners so far have belonged to the Conservative Party in the UK.
Not my problem!
Soon after the vote, David Cameron was so defeated and embarrassed that he resigned from the position of Prime Minister and left his political party with the task of appointing a new leader. It was this lady: Theresa May. And even though she came in as a strong Brexiteer, ready to move on in a new immigrant-free, independent Britain, there was a problem.
The un-unkerfufflable kerfuffle
Leaving the EU wasn’t as easy as it seemed. It was a mess, a kerfuffle, a steaming pile of poo💩. She had to convince the EU to continue to trade with the UK and treat it as a good friend, just after the UK had ditched the EU. Her plans and talks all failed, and Boris was constantly looming over her head. Even though he worked in her government, he publicly shamed and disagreed with her plan. And soon enough, Theresa May was forced to leave Larry the cat alone in No.10 once again.
It was 2019, and after years of entertaining and bizarre politics, Boris Johnson got to take a stab at being Prime Minister. And it was this man that really got Larry mixed up in the wrong crowd. Come back soon for Larry’s cautionary take on Boris Johnson.