Helicopter blades, chopping, whirring, scything. Cold glass, morning condensation rising. Fields below, green and greener still to the horizon.
"15 minutes, sir".
Deoderant, rolling between sweaty armpits and clean white shirts. Two buttons undone. More condensation on the glass, motorway lights snaking through the fog. Houses, sports fields. More motorway lights, implacable and straighter, leading into the next grey mass.
"10 minutes, sir".
Moisturiser on the cheeks, affable smile. Cars down below, keeping pace. A schoolbus, and ambulance. Evidence of change, or the opposite, or… simply data. A dossier, town, industries, profile. Bigger, smaller, poorer, more disillusioned, aspirational, rust belt, green belt, transport hub. The need for better housing is…
"5 minutes, sir".
Faces, black ones, white ones, mostly ugly ones, hostile eyes, prying questions. A smile for the pensioners, a handshake for the local businessmen. An itinerary. school, factory, jobcentre, helicopter, 30 minutes.
"Landing in one minute".
Grey rooftops closing in. Times up, count down, the living dead, where did all the money go? Hospital waiting lists, young soldiers in body bags. Keep on message. Threat to economic stability. Supermarkets, supercasinos, banks shitting out money through horizontal arseholes in the wall. Legacy. An opening door, a tug on the sleeve, jumping to the ground and… Where the fuck am I? Ex-mining town, north-west. Helicopter blades slowing and ceasing. Silence, full of images. That won't bring my son back. Faces, young ones, old ones. Botched operations, she needed those cataracts. Earnings, savings, scroungers, money launderers.
A tug on the sleeve, a road like all the others, houses with blank facades and flags draped out of windows. More faces. It's all about trust. I mean change. Trusting that we can change. Or not. A school filling up with children, more faces and lunchboxes. How old are you? 8, 11, 75, 36. Foreclosures, waiting lists, disappointed faces. Your choices, your fault, your burden, your responsibility, your party, your government, your broken promises, your deficit, your deficiencies, your fallibility, your fatigue, your mismanagement, your interference, your recession, your choices, your fault. Your legacy.