Scene: Office of the Prime Minister
8.01 am: Phone rings on the Prime Minister’s desk.
9.30 am: Phone rings again.
10.00 am: Phone rings again.
11.35 am: Phone rings. Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar answers.
GISL CEO Andy Johnson: Good morning, Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar: Don’t “good morning” me! Who is this? My staff said someone was ringing my phone off the hook in the wee hours of the morning. Was that you?
Johnson: Ahmm. No, ma’am. This is Andy Johnson. I ahmm… I didn’t call earlier. That must have been someone else.
Prime Minister: Okay. Well, go on. What can I help you with?
Johnson: Yes, Prime Minister. I haven’t heard anything about an official response from the government on the passing of the “Iron Lady.” I think it will be very appropriate if…
Prime Minister: Andy, you calling to give me work? If I want a Ministry I can give one to myself you know. I thought Jack was dealing with the Scrap Iron Association anyway?
Johnson: Ahmm. No, Prime Minister. I meant Margaret Thatcher; the former British Prime Minister. She died this morning.
Prime Minister: Oh. Right. Of course.
Johnson: Prime Minister, I believe a well-crafted statement from you on this might get us a front page or two. Not to mention that we can subliminally compare you to Thatcher; that can do wonders for you at this point when a few rogues are questioning your competence.
Prime Minister: Ahhh. Nice. You mean like when I took pictures in the hardhat the other night and everyone thought I got their lights working again?
Johnson: Well. Ahmm. Something like that.
Prime Minister: Wonderful. And this Thatcher lady. Was she a sharp dresser too? I made Vanity Fair’s top fashion figures you know. Did she ever win anything that important?
Johnson: Ahmm. She was a really strong leader; just like you. But not as stylish.
Prime Minister: Trinidad and Tobago doesn’t know how lucky it is! Who will set this up the release for me this time? (Communication Minister) Jamal Mohammed?
The Prime Minister and Johnson laugh heartily.
Johnson: Your sense of humour is as sharp as always, ma’am.
Prime Minister: Yes. And that was an intentional joke too.
Johnson: Of course, ma’am. So, I will send you that press release now for your office to fax to media. Okay?
Prime Minister: Can’t I hold a press conference this time? You know Andy; I never thought that I took this job to stay inside all the time, you know. I’m starting to feel like the Roger Sant of this industry. I miss the cut and thrust of speaking off the cuff with those brilliant prepared speeches you do for me. Getting the chance to dress up and bond with the people and make everyone feel good about themselves. You know what I mean?
Johnson: Yes, ma’am. But you know those journalists always spoil things with silly questions about things like press freedom, integrity in public life, Jack Warner and section 34. It is best to avoid them.
Prime Minister: And it is not as if I don’t mind them asking questions eh? I don’t shout at them like Anil or threaten them like Jack. I have no problem with whatever they ask, so long as they stick to one question each and then just write what I say afterwards.
Johnson: Ma’am, they don’t deserve your time. Let me handle them for you.
Prime Minister: Did you include “we will rise” in that release? That’s my catchphrase you know.
Johnson: I thought it was “misspoke.”
Prime Minister: What’s that Andy?
Johnson: I said something is in my throat… But not to worry Prime Minister. Your release perfectly captures this very serious event. It is as professional as ever and in keeping with your recent statements. The Lady is clearly not for turning.
Prime Minister: Turning what? Am I supposed to turn something?
Johnson: No, ma’am. You are doing a wonderful job. I am honoured to write your words for you just as you would have thought them; if you were not so busy being Prime Minister.
Prime Minister: Good. Okay, it really is a busy morning for me. Just tell the staff to send the release straight out.
Johnson: Yes, Prime Minister.
Editor’s Note: This column is pure satire and all conversations are faked. No offence is meant at parties named; although they probably deserve it.