The Politician's Husband (2013) s01e02 Episode Script

Episode 2

NEWSCASTER: 'Westminster is in crisis mode 'since Aiden Hoynes' resignation speech.
' To be honest, I'm still trying to get my head around why he went ahead with it.
My God, what is he doing to us? You're eliminating the competition.
I'm screwed, Freya.
You'll get back.
Wrong way! We avoid the traffic this way! Wrong way! Freya Gardner.
Hello there, Freya.
There's been a development.
The PM will assume you've put ambition ahead of your loyalty to me and then when the time is right, you condemn his immigration stand.
How many times have you stepped aside for him over the years, Freya? To stay top dog, you may have to unleash the bitch within you, Freya.
KIRSTY WARK: You either support your husband's stand or you do not, which is it? Just because you don't agree with someone, doesn't mean you don't respect their point of view.
We'll take that as a no then.
DOOR OPENS, CLOSES What happened? An error of judgement.
OK.
Say it.
I let you down.
Worse.
I betrayed your trust.
Say it! You're thinking it.
Put me out of my misery and bloody say it! Do you think that that was easy for me? Do you think that I wanted to do that? It's OK.
You did what you had to do.
It's about survival.
I get it, I get it.
I was wrong to push you into it.
Oh.
Oh Oh, thank God.
All the way home, I kept thinking that I'd done for us.
That we'd never get back from this.
Come on.
We're better than that.
It's only bloody politics, isn't it? DOOR CLOSES So what was it? A summons to the Whip's office? Veiled threats about how loyalty is a two-way street and this is where you earn your Party spurs? Oh, you know how Marcus is.
He throws everything at the wall until something sticks.
Such as? Oh No shame in self advancement as long as it coincides with the greater good.
That's what stuck, is it? No.
Yeah.
What? Do you remember how it felt when you were first elected? Standing on the podium.
Not just the feeling that you were beating the odds but You might actually change lives.
Yeah.
And then you get to Westminster and you realise that, that's just an illusion.
That power, real power, is only ever on the front bench, isn't it? After all these years, Aiden.
To finally walk into that cabinet room.
There's no feeling like it.
You must have felt it too.
Empowerment.
Diaphragm? Done.
SHE MOANS THEY PAN SHE GASPS HE GRUNTS SHE WHIMPERS HE SOBS Oh, God! DITA: Noah! Time to get dressed.
You too, Ruby! RUBY: I can't find my ballet shoes, Dita.
KNOCK ON DOOR Sorry.
You hurt me, Aiden.
Tell me, do you feel better for it? We can all do things we're not proud of, Freya.
Do you remember when I first walked into Westminster with you after I was elected and everyone assumed that I was your researcher? Well I am done with waiting in the wings.
Oh, the Times Magazine want to do a profile on us.
Could be a useful positioning piece for me.
You don't need me for that.
Oh what, and miss the chance to showcase our fairytale marriage? Our domestic idyll? We are the golden couple, after all.
Kenny! Morning, Minister.
Old habits.
Sorry.
Thanks.
How's it going? Yeah, can't complain.
You? Oh, still in the ring.
Grandkids? Thriving.
Tiring.
You know my wife, Kenny, how she always likes to think the best of people? Can make her vulnerable.
I don't have to tell you what a cess pit Westminster is.
Shark infested, more like.
Mmmmm.
How about you give me a heads up? Just keep me in the loop on what's going on with her? That way I can always make sure her back is covered? Knowledge is power, all that.
Consider it done.
MACHINE WHIRS Aiden.
That's what I said.
I'd tell them! Wait in the car, sweet.
Dad will be right there.
Why can't you take me to school? I have this new job now, I told you about it, remember? I promise I'll be home in time for bed, all right? Kenny! Minister.
Thanks.
I assume it's all right for me to use your study? I need your ISDN line, more space for meetings.
No problem.
ENGINE STARTS I hope it goes without saying, Kenny that anything you hear in the car, stays in the car.
No exceptions.
Yes, Minister.
ON RADIO: 'Now throughout the summer we've been discussing books to 'take on holiday for summer reading ranging from crime to 'feminist literature and it's not too late.
'The children are going back to school, which is when those 'without kids take advantage of the cheaper prices and quieter 'flights to catch some sun before autumn takes out and so to romance.
'Always up in the best seller lists' We'll need to target the most deprived areas in the pilot scheme first.
All set for your big moment in the House later? Bring it on.
PHONE RINGS Aiden? Bad moment? Is everything OK? Is it Noah? No, no, no, no.
Justtouching base, that's all.
All good? Is that Bruce? It's Drew.
ErmI'd best get on.
Bye.
DIALS NUMBER Aiden.
Hey, how's it going? Yeah, good.
Just running late for a meeting in the House.
Something I can do for you? Aiden? Is Lian there? Hi.
I was wondering, is it an idea I get copied into Freya's diary? That way I can give you back up.
If I know what's coming up, we can guide her through the pitfalls together.
I'll have to clear it with her first.
And have her think we lack confidence in her? Rather you than me, love.
Bull's-eye.
Thanks.
Dust.
It goes without saying, Mr Speaker, how reluctant I am to speak against the Opposition.
BOOING AND BRAYING SPEAKER: I will have order! But I have to say that it's beginning to feel like Groundhog Day! LAUGHTER AND BOOING How many timeshow many times have they been banging on about the necessity of safeguards in the Bill? Yet these new draft proposals are just a rehash of all the previous ones.
Little better than regurgitated sound bites for the benefit of the media! You'd know! You'd know! Mr Speaker! Mr Speaker, the Honourable Member opposite has been constantly lambasting us at every opportunity about the importance of integrating public services.
Yet these new safeguards that he has cobbled together, and about which he has been trumpeting so loudly to the media, they do the exact opposite! Here, here! Bravo! YELLING AND JEERING Robert! Hi, Jack, how are you? Good to see you.
Freddy.
Aiden, good to see you.
Thanks for finding the time.
So.
Here I am, present and incorrect, as requested.
The vacancy on your committee.
Is it filled yet? What, from Secretary of State to serve on a humble Select Committee? That's a bit of a downward quantum leap, isn't it? Wellsince the beating we took over the expenses debacle the committees have got real teeth now, don't they? They can make a real impact on Government policy, curb its power, really, hold it to account.
Look, surely the fact that I ran the Department's a bonus.
I have direct experience of its budget and expenditure.
Which means I can offer the committee unique insight into the viability of its policies.
Look, I know, I know.
Some might see my presence on the committee asdivisive.
That I'm somehow out to cause trouble for Babbish.
No, nothing could be further from my mind.
This is about drawing a line under the past, Freddy.
About moving forward.
Frankly, I can't think of a better way to start than under your stewardship.
I just want a chance to prove myself to the Party.
You know, prove I'm, I'm still an asset, not a liability.
And if you don't get elected.
Could anything be worth the humiliation of that? If humiliation is the price for rehabilitation Risk I have to take.
On the subject of tweets, there's a hot one doing the rounds.
That Babbish has rented office space in Victoria Street, purchased a dozen pay-as-you-go phones.
Hash-tag: leadershipcampaignHQ.
Back in the day, when Portillo's stab at a leadership coup got blown, that nuked any chance he had, didn't it? Who tweeted it? Deepthroat25, so called.
Twittersphere's going mental over it.
Incendiary stuff.
Whoever's behind it is remarkably well informed.
This place is always awash withrumours of coitus or coups.
Your wife seems to have Babbish's ear of late.
Perhaps she's in the know on it? When the PM picks up on it is the point.
A case of, "I can't stand the tweet, get out of my kitchen" wouldn't you say? You talked to the PM about those tweets yet? Bit of a car crash, I fear.
Even on a good day he's convinced half the cabinet are scheming to oust him.
Who was it rallied the damn loyalists for him over Hoynes' bloody leadership fiasco? Does that not count for anything? He claims it was opportunism, buying you time to micromanage your own leadership coup.
Uncharacteristically prescient, as it goes.
When I do make my move, he'll see me coming now, won't he? He'll have a ring of bloody steel round him.
The bastard behind that tweet has done for me, hasn't he? So change the mood music.
Get something eye-catching on your blog.
Or better still, get the FT or the Telegraph to run it.
I'll hit the phones, put out a call to arms myself while I'm at it.
Have you ever thought, if we devoted the same amount of time and energy to solving unemployment or child poverty as we do our Westminster power games, we might have solved them by now? I'll not forget your support on this, Marcus.
I shall hold you to that.
Oh, by the by, Hoynes has been putting himself about the Estate, pressing the flesh.
Freddy Seaborn's in particular.
Sounding him out about a vacancy on his committee.
He gets onto that committee, he'll obstruct me at every turn! You think? And no pictures of the children.
Done.
And any questions about Noah and Asperger's are off limits.
I've made that clear.
And please, not the woman juggling home and career thing.
Aiden called this morning, asking to be copied into your diary.
To give him a heads up, should you need advice or? I said I'd have to run it by you first.
Obviously.
My diary is confidential, Lian.
No exceptions.
No, of course.
Absolutely.
DOOR BUZZES She about? I'll just go and Nah, I know the way.
Thought we could grab a quick one before you head home? Few things we need to cover before the CBI gig tomorrow.
Can't we have a briefing before the meeting, Bruce? I need to get home for the kids' bedtime.
All well? You seem a little The notes for the CBI agenda are there if you want sight of them.
This Twitter thing.
It's, it's not Aiden's handiwork is it? He'd never stoop that low.
Not even to conquer? HE LAUGHS No, you're right, he'd never put you in harm's way like that.
Well if it got out, you'd be guilty by association, wouldn't you? Freya arranged it.
She said you knew about it.
How was it with Noah today? How do you think? Shifting the gear out my office, you know how he is about strangers in the house.
I naively assumed we'd be sharing the office, not that I'd be banished to the shed.
Is that what I was all those years? So your turn at the dispatch box today was a triumph.
You don't need me to tell you that.
Lian says you were asking to be copied into my diary.
Help co-ordinate things on the childcare front.
Just trying to keep a jump ahead, Freya.
Cover the bases.
D'you catch those tweets about Bruce? Who hasn't? Trending all day.
Any ideas who's behind it? Someone on his staff probably.
You know what a high-handed prick he can be.
How's he holding up under it? Barely seen him all day.
SHE LAUGHS Lovely.
That's great.
That's lovely, good.
Just a bit of space.
That'll do, that'll do.
That's it, that's the one.
Lovely, well done.
Great! Thanks.
So the focus is as much on the personal as the political.
If you're ready? Since your promotion to Cabinet, have the demands of it impacted much on family life? Oh, we're pretty adept at juggling all that now.
It's about organisation as ever and Anticipating problems before they whack you in the face.
Communicating, not competing.
But politics is competitive.
"A blood sport," didn't someone call it? Which is why we never bring it home.
Once we're through that front door, that's it.
Family and each other.
So does Freya's new job mean that you're now picking up the slack on the domestic front? Cooking and so forth? I can turn my hand to it when needed.
He's being modest.
His moussaka is second to none.
It's a Serbian recipe rather than the Greek.
Kefir yoghurt instead of bechamel.
We have some in the freezer if you want to take it home.
Do you wear anything special when you're cooking? An apron? A chef's jacket? Perhaps we can get a picture of you in it? Ah Aiden doesn't wear an apron any more than I wear a pinny.
We're not that anachronistic.
Not so long ago you said you hadn't ruled out having another child.
Westminster's hardly mother friendly, let alone holding down a demanding Cabinet post.
Is that another sacrifice that you're prepared to make? We're more than happy with our family the way it is.
Even if it was on our radar, which it's not, this is Freya's moment.
Any sacrifice would be worth that.
That's quite a man you have.
We've grown used to politicians parading their wives for public display.
Yet the husbands of female politicians remain largely invisible.
Perhaps they prefer their privacy.
It's not because the success of their wives might make them appear Emasculated? You'd have to ask them that.
Of course, you already have a public profile.
But political ambition's in your DNA.
It must be a wrench, watching Freya going off every day, living the life you once had? Aiden has always been very supportive over my career.
Never more so than now.
Yet on television, when asked if you backed him over his stand on the immigration issue, your answer could hardly be construed as supportive of him.
Having different perspectives and opinions is what makes a marriage strong.
It keeps it vital, alive.
If Freya should ever decide to go for the leadership, would you support her in that too? 100%.
She'd be the candidate to beat.
Even if you were after the job yourself? Assuming Bruce Babbish doesn't get there first, of course.
There are barely half a dozen spaces for disability badges yet time and again you see able-bodied people parking in them.
I'll look into it and get back to you.
Thank you, sir.
Thank you.
They just don't get it, do they? They think that influence is the same as power.
It's not even close.
Ruby in bed? Yeah.
The office rental was not for a leadership campaign HQ, as has been alleged, but simply to provide overspill space for my parliamentary office.
As for the pay-as-you-go phones, they were purchased for local Party workers, gearing up for the forthcoming council elections.
But has the Prime Minister asked for your resignation, Minister? I have just left the Prime Minister.
As he says, such toxic twitter campaigns are nothing short of a coward's charter.
He told me I have his full and unconditional support.
As far as he is concerned, that is the end of the matter.
HE MUTES TV Isn't that your old office? Mmmm.
We waited there with the children, didn't we? At Christmas we We went towhat was it? What is it that you call it? A pantomime.
Catch you later.
Not rushing off, are you, Freddy? Well depends if, err, it's an offer I can't refuse.
A double of whatever he was imbibing and a whisky, no ice.
Certainly, sir.
Looking good, Freddy.
A diet of pasta and red wine, you too could have a body like mine.
Marcus was telling me about your godson.
Impressive young man by all accounts.
Lancaster University, yes? Loughborough.
Of course.
Word is he's after a research job in the Fiscal Policy Unit? Won't be a shoo-in.
He'll face stiff competition from the usual Oxbridge mafia.
Have to put our heads together, see if we can't shorten the odds for him, eh? Prove that social mobility is alive and well in Westminster.
Shouldn't be beyond our combined ingenuity.
Chin-chin.
THEY LAUGH Damn thing keeps playing up.
Battery? Battery? New one in this morning.
Has he joined in at all? His teacher had a word when I picked him up from school.
Apparently he's very withdrawn of late.
Freya's not around as much, is she? Or I'm the poor substitute.
It's early days.
Freya thought learning to swim would help his confidence.
His co-ordination.
That was what, three years ago? How is Freya? I saw them together, Dad.
She and Bruce.
In Westminster.
Thick as bloody thieves.
Their departments often have to work in tandem, don't they? It's inevitable that She lied, Dad.
When his name came up, she lied about seeing him.
To protect you, I expect.
In case you thought she was Fraternizing with the enemy? PHONE RINGS Freddy, what news? Hit a bit of a snag on the committee issue, Aiden.
There is no vacancy after all.
Roger Quincy changed his mind about resigning.
I thought he had health problems? Yeah, bloody gout would you believe? Talk about big girl's blouse.
One sneeze and it's swine flu.
He formally resigned, Freddy.
You can still force a vote.
Babbish got to him, didn't he? It's a cockup, it's not a conspiracy! And there are other committees.
Nothing very special about this one, is there? All right.
Fuck! WHISTLE BLOWS Everybody get out of the pool! Come on, out you get! Out you get! Come on, come on, that's it, that's it, good boy.
What is it? What's happened? Oh, dear God.
I'm on my way.
Come on out, Noah.
Your tea's here.
You must eat.
Peanut butter, your favourite.
Cut diagonals, no crusts, just as you like them.
You've had a scare.
A big one.
And the best thing, when something like that happens, is to talk to people.
To be with people.
Mmmm? Not shut yourself away.
TENT UNZIPS RECORDING OF WAVES GENTLY LAPPING PLAYS RECORDING STOPS OK, come on, let's get it over with.
How I took my eye off the ball, we nearly lost him.
Mmmm.
We didn't, did we? What, it never happened to me? What about when he went AWOL and they found him wandering in the park? Orwhen he had a tantrum at the station and nearly jumped off the platform? You're human, join the club.
Sometimes I feel like that man.
What was his name, the one who the Gods punished by making him roll a boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll down again, but he had to do it for all eternity? Sisyphus.
But it's Noah's who's being punished, isn't it? I mean, we can go to work, we can get away from it.
The Asperger's.
Buthe can't.
There's no escape.
People often ask me if I feel guilty leaving him.
MostlyI just feel relief.
To be free from his rituals and his obsessions, just for a few hours.
SHE SIGHS What's that say about me? How brave you are.
Admitting it.
Diaphragm.
Oh, I have to go to Birmingham in the morning with Bruce.
How so? Joint initiative, unemployed setting up their own companies.
I'll see how Noah is in the morning and if it comes to it, Bruce can go on his own.
Oh please, no, not that again.
It's that look you get whenever I mention his name.
I applied to be on the BIS Select Committee, did he tell you? Nuked before I got airborne.
And you assume Bruce did that? Fine, whatever.
I'm wasting my breath.
I don't know why the fuck I bother.
I'll try.
I will.
I'm so sorry.
Love me? I never stopped.
HE PANTS HE GROANS It's OK.
It's all right.
No.
I want to.
No! ON RADIO: 'Now that Ms Gardner's finally stepped out from the shadow of her husband, 'it's safe to say we're looking at a politician 'who's definitely found her mojo.
' 'Now the question whether or not the great explorer George Mannering 'reached the summit of Everest in 1924 has been disputed for years.
'During the 1924 British Everest expedition, 'Mannering and his climbing partner' Jesus! I have to do this.
Please don't speak.
I have eyes.
I know what goes on this house.
And I know you would never ask.
You are too good a man.
Too loyal and Dita.
Dita! No-one need know.
It is between us, the two of us.
I'll know! Justcover yourself.
I'm flattered but it's not happening, OK? I'll pack my bags.
Leave in the morning.
No, there's no need for that.
It was a misunderstanding.
We'll put it behind us.
It never happened, OK? Dita? Did I ever suggest, ever imply, that this was even a possibility? You're a man.
You have needs, don't you? Off out for a bit.
OK.
DOOR CLOSES That's enough! That's 30 seconds down on last time.
Technically, we should keep moving.
Technically, we should be in the bloody pub.
How's Noah doing? Missing his mother, as ever.
Can't be easy for Freya either.
When she's not wowing Westminster.
You knew what you were doing, Aiden, when you resigned.
You played the odds and you lost.
With a little help from a friend.
That wasn't down to her! All those years you were riding high, she sat in the back seat for you, didn't she? She did it without rancour, without self pity.
Don't tell me it's beyond you to forgive her.
HE PANTS We needed a debrief before Cabinet tomorrow.
The car was more private than the train.
Is that good enough? Where are the kids? Dita took them to Dad's for the night.
I wish to God I knew where your damn head was these days.
Me too.
I'm through it now, Freya.
The feud with Bruce, all of it.
I'm done with it.
Truly? Mmmm.
I'll drink to that.
GLASSES CLINK I was beginning to bore myself, frankly.
Seconded.
Thank God you hung in.
The moussaka will be a while yet.
I've got a few emails to send.
Don't be long.
Mummy! Dita's run away.
She's taken all her stuff.
I never came onto her.
Not in thought, not in deed.
Then why would she claim such a thing, Aiden? It took two of them to drag him off.
They think it was triggered by what's been happening at home.
I am not the reason that you did this.
I am just the excuse.
Don't worry about Freya.
Everyone knows your marriage is bullet proof.
The way I see it, it's up to me to find a way out of our impasse.
An idea I came up with while I was still running Business and Skills.
In the end, we're all sacrificed on the altar of his ambition.
You have a son who's totally incapable of deception.
I have one for whom it's second bloody nature! If you lie down with dogs, you get fleas, Mr Speaker, and we are infested with them.