A Last Chance for Peace, having waited at an appropriate distance for several weeks, finally presented itself to the Prime Minister of a Small But Significant Bit of the Free World. Since that distinguished individual possessed a security team comprising only the most blatant Material Interests, strategically massaged to look like Tough Decisions, the Last Chance for Peace had a difficult time gaining access.
"What do you want?" asked the Prime Minister of a Small But Significant Bit of the Free World, as the bruised and multiple-orifice-traumatised Last Chance for Peace was finally flung into the room.
"O most worthy and liberal potentate," gasped the Last Chance for Peace, "I have been waiting for more than a month for the privilege of your attention."
"Ah yes," said the Prime Minister of a Small But Significant Bit of the Free World; "but you were a whole extra mile away, and I was much concerned with matters of state. The National Swerve Initiative, whereby the Government concerns itself exclusively with getting out of the way, is by no means so easy as it sounds."
"But do you not know," said the Last Chance for Peace, "that your armies are on a war footing? Are you not aware that Catastrophe is on the horizon?"
"It is not my Catastrophe," said the Prime Minister of a Small But Significant Bit of the Free World, having taken a brief glance; "that Catastrophe was made by the previous Government, in spite of my own party's fervent support."
"But what of the millions of innocents who may be caught up in its Horrible Consequences?" asked the Last Chance for Peace.
"The Government will get out of their way," proclaimed the Prime Minister of a Small But Significant Bit of the Free World. "They will not be prevented by red tape or legal obfuscation from fleeing, screaming, starving, seeking private medical care or escaping the Catastrophe in their own legally bought and maintained helicopters."
"Catastrophes are notoriously unpredictable," said the Last Chance for Peace cannily; "supposing this one should rebound upon you?"
"Then the Government will get out of its way also, thanks to the National Swerve Initiative and some obliging people I met at University."
Then, perhaps because the memory of his schooldays caused the Prime Minister of a Small But Significant Bit of the Free World to recall some traumatised orifices of his own, he looked upon the Last Chance for Peace with a more charitable eye, and a thin but detectable scum of benignant interest formed on the cold porridge of his features. "Supposing I fail to take you," he said, "what happens then?"
"Your citizens will revere you as strong and decisive, even if corrupt and repulsive; your Cabinet will unite behind you for fear of appearing almost as weak and flabby as they actually are; the Opposition will offer critical support amounting to glorious impotence; and your Material Interests in the slaughter trade will grow even more, ah, robust," said the Last Chance for Peace.
So the Prime Minister of a Small But Significant Bit of the Free World seized the Last Chance for Peace and threw it out of the window. It fell on the head of an Accredited Member of the Free Press, who immediately filed a story about having been injured in the first major firefight of the war.