To those of you who did not win the first prize in the lottery of life by being born an Englishman, as Cecil Rhodes put it, it is a time of great joy to be one, I can assure you. We happy few, we band of brothers, are entering a “golden age” by receiving into our green and pleasant land, from China, hugely expensive pieces of infrastructure. This is in pretty fair exchange for sending the Globe Theatre to tour China doing Shakespeare, and mounting David Hockney and Conan Doyle exhibitions in Beijing.
You have no idea how exciting it is to us after all these years of fending for ourselves, lighting our own darkness, making our own ways between our towns, to have the Chinese come along and do it for us. Once we built our own power stations but now it is so expensive and complicated that they are going to build them instead. The French are going to be with the Chinese, helping them do what we cannot, which gives us an added thrill of gratitude. We actually invented railway trains but that was such a long time ago and we lost the knack and the money and who cares, innit? So we are getting their fast shiny trains, like Ethiopia does.
Ungrateful critics of these arrangements, who have claimed that Britain is in craven support of a repressive regime, have been firmly put in their place by Chancellor Osborne, who has made it clear that repeated performances of Much Ado About Nothing across China will eventually lead to the release of dissidents. This mutual bounty will not stop.
Shortly after President Xi’s departure from an England melodious with cheering Chinese students, other advances into the golden age are to be announced. In exchange for receiving regular readings from Dryden and Francis Bacon, the Chinese government will not only assist in expanding the Royal Navy through a joint China shipbuilding exercise, but also provide PLA Navy sailors who will join British sailors in permanently manning the new vessels. The PLA will also fund the removal of Trident nuclear missiles from Scotland for relocation in a new Anglo-Chinese facility on reclaimed islands closer to Germany. This will be for the inevitable but brief period of Scottish independence before Scotland too sees the value of an “age” with China.
Agreement has also been reached that the Chinese government should upgrade its embassy in London to a liaison office of the State Council, so that affairs between the two countries can be dealt with on an hour-by-hour basis at desk level. To facilitate this, all Chinese citizens may enter Britain visa free for unlimited stays, as may UK citizens to China, should they really want to. In return for these extraordinary privileges with the Chinese state, Britain will disassemble Downtown Abbey (aka Highclere Castle, Newbury) and ship it on permanent loan with leading cast members to Shanghai.
Since senior families of both nations value heredity, it has been agreed, as a final binding of the golden age, that when Prince George is 18, he shall marry a suitable offspring of the then President of China. Despite the change in England’s succession laws, it is known that the Chinese would prefer the first child of such a union to be a boy. A future King Jinpin I would seal for certain the coming centuries of union between our two ever greater and smaller nations.