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New Statesman, The (1987-92)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

'Happiness Is a Warm Gun' Synopsis

Campaigning SDP and Labour Party candidates are involved in a car crash. On election night, the Conservative candidate, Alan B'Stard, wins the largest majority in the House of Commons. The local Chief Constable, Sir Malachi Jellicoe, reveals that he knows Alan was behind the accident, but doesn't turn him in, preferring blackmail.

In his House of Commons office, Alan rehearses a speech with his dimwitted colleague, Piers Fletcher-Dervish. The law Alan is being blackmailed to introduce will arm the police. Alan is unable to finish his speech due to writer's block, so he steals one written by a colleague and delivers it in the House of Commons in the real author's absence. Alan's speech is met with cheers from the Conservatives but fierce opposition from Labour MP Bob Crippen. The real author arrives and stands up to deliver his speech but is jeered into silence by MPs who have already heard it.

Alan's bill goes through and he calls his wife, Sarah, to deliver the good news. He celebrates by committing adultery. Meanwhile, Sarah is in bed with Alan's publicist, Beatrice Protheroe. Alan's bill faces more opposition from his Bishop, in the House of Lords, but it ends up going through easily.

Alan meets his accountant, Norman, in a disused railway carriage. Norman has acquired some imitation revolvers for Alan from dubious sources, to sell to the police. He charges Alan £2,000 for the supplier's name, because he is saving for a sex change operation.

At his local pub, Alan chats with the landlord, a former executioner. He is there to meet Sir Malachi, who is with an imaginary friend he thinks is God. Sir Malachi is happy that Alan's bill has become law but won't give Alan the dossier that implicates him in the crash.

Alan realises that Sir Malachi is an insane religious fanatic and convinces him to give him the dossier by persuading him that the Bishop is the Antichrist. Sir Malachi goes after the Bishop with his gun, but Alan has called the police, who are at the church waiting to arrest him.

As Alan drives home, he speeds and is chased by the police. He does not stop so they open fire at him. The gun backfires and the police car swerves off the road. Alan smugly drives on - he knew the gun was faulty, as he sold it in the first place.