Presidential debate at Morecambe’s Midland Hotel

Fifty-ONE is set in Morecambe
Fifty-ONE is set in Morecambe

Peter Swarbrick’s new political satire, Fifty-ONE, is drawn straight from tomorrow’s headlines.

Peter, who studied international relations at Lancaster University, has been a regular visitor to Lancaster and Morecambe with his wife, May Pearl, since the mid-1990s.

And his interest in the area provides the backdrop for his new ebook.

Star of the story is Morecambe-born comedian, Sidney Hancock – a kind of amalgam of Eric Morecambe, Tony Hancock and other English comedians of the 60s and 70s.

With the passing of the Queen, the nation enters a sad and frightening new world. The Scots declare independence, England votes to leave the EU and then, alarmed at its isolation, successfully applies to become the 51st state of the United States.

Meanwhile, middle-aged, downtrodden Sidney has become modestly famous on both sides of the pond for his role in Fifty-ONE, a TV sitcom in which he plays an English-born American senator. Sidney decides to celebrate his newly acquired American citizenship by running for president.

The book culminates in a presidential debate at Morecambe’s Midland Hotel – as Secret Service snipers take up positions on the roofs of Morrisons and Gala Bingo, FBI marksmen calculate fields of fire from the Polo Tower, and a US Navy submarine patrols the waters of Morecambe Bay.

“It was a lot of fun to write,” said Peter who originates from Preston but now lives much further away in Myanmar with May Pearl and their son Pascal.

After leaving Lancaster University, Peter worked for several years in London as a newspaper reporter before joining the United Nations secretariat in New York.

Starting in 1989, he spent 18 years in peacekeeping, in New York, Cambodia and half a dozen African countries including the Democratic Republic of the Congo. .

His ebook is available from Troubador.