I read this book in the '90s, so I think it was written in the late '80s or '90s.

It was set in a future London and the main character had a nightclub in Bermondsey. There was a Thatcher-like figure in government called Nanny.

The main character had a wife who was sick or addicted to drugs (can't remember) but she had an aquarium room where fish swam from one side of the aquarium to the other through a glass tube on the wall.

There was a plot with an MDMA-like drug that caused old people to explode, which was an evil plan from the Thatcher-like government to stop them having to care for an aging population.

1 Answer 1


Is this The Last Election (1986) by Pete Davies...?

Set in London toward the end of a bad century, this black comedy is a vision of a civilization gone wrong and of the human cost of maintaining an inhuman system

From a user review:

"The Last Election" is a distopian, political novel set in some unspecified future in London. Some critics have called it satire, others a thriller. In this future England, the Money Party reigns over the political scene, and they control pretty much everything, including the media. The Money Party tells everyone, "We're doing very well" - positive messages tend to keep the population from dwelling on the negative. The Money Party strongly supports the service sector b/c in this future state, people have been replaced by machines or by outsourcing because it is cheaper to do so. Money is not tied to goods but exchanges hands electronically. Disappointing to the Money Party, the population is largely jobless and therefore has copious amounts of freetime. The young cannot find jobs and are on welfare. They spend their time in dance clubs, doing drugs and drinking. There are 13 million OAP's (old age pensioners) collecting money from the government. The global economy is pumping less oil b/c there's too much of it, so the price has gone down. Therefore, there is less money to spend on public works like roads and hospitals.

The main characters are Wally Wasted, a bitter but beloved television personality w/ weak moral fiber; Grief, a very popular and rich nightclub owner and drug distributor; Bludge, a good cop; Milla, a closet People Party supporter and creative ad woman working for the Money Party; Moses, a chemist and designer of drugs; Crinkly, re-election campaign manager of the Money Party

B/c those with jobs are so lucky to have them, our characters often find themselves stuck w/ jobs that lean towards the immoral. Moses' job is to create ever-cheaper drugs for all the oldies; because he is driven by the desire to medicate to forget or to escape his life, these drugs often have a secondary aim: to get people high. In our story, Moses creates a new drug to devastating effects; b/c of the spin the government takes on this drug, our protagonists are finally triggered to do something drastic about their society and the direction it is headed.

From the Google Books preview of the book itself:

Grief asked himself, how do you explain geriatricide to a useless oaf like this? He tried, slowly and carefully. 'Wally. There's something going on you should know about. You have to listen, and you have to understand. The government is killing all the oldies, you hear me?

I found a match for the term 'explode' when searching the preview, but the preview only displays excerpts in snippet view, so I couldn't see (or therefore quote) the relevant text. The quote just above is what was visible when I searched with that term.

I also found the following quote when searching with the term 'nanny:'

Bludge sees Nanny emerge, and calls to Cairo to go. He throws the hand-grenade as far as he can behind him towards a knot of coppers on bikes around a car, then clunks sweetly into gear and glides towards Nanny's waiting limo at the kerb fifty yards in front of him.

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