Tweet of the Day: Where lies the border between Voice and Style?
Thames River House, London, UK, 29 July 03:36 hrs GMT
Judith McAllister, Head of Britain’s Security Service, rounded the old oak desk. she poured a cup of tea from an 18th century kettle with gold trim.
“Tea, John?” she said to the Prime Minister as he sat in front of her.
“Thank you Judith,” said the PM. Her rubbed his temple then took a long sip from his cup, “So what now?”
She glanced over her shoulder at the empty chair behind the desk.
“I used to think that most of my superiors were useless idiots, concerned more with politics than policy, Sir Ian included. Now I know better. We, the Belgians, the French and the Spaniards got caught with our trousers around our collective ankles. I’m afraid that this is bigger than Wales, by far. This attack proves it,” she said.
“What about the girl?” asked the PM. Judith handed her boss a folder. He looked at the enlarged head shot. The same dark intense eyes he saw at St. Paul’s stared back at him.
“It’s a preliminary psych profile. Gwendolyn MacLir, twenty-five, graduated from the University of Wales with a masters in anthropology and Ancient History. Your typical strong, assertive, and well educated young woman, as all modern heroines should be,” said Judith.
“But can I trust her?”
“That remains to be seen. We don’t have a lot of intel on these wizards, for a lack of a better term. She came to you, so she must willing talk. But, and this is very important John, whatever you do, do not talk down to her, or allow anyone our side to do so. She needs to feel like she is a n equal partner, otherwise she will vanish.”
“So I should trust her?” asked the PM.
“Who dares wins, John. If even one they are willing to come to our side, we can’t turn that down. Just let me handle the negotiations, okay?”
“Okay, I’m running out of choices here. The Liberals want my head, Labour is of two minds, as always, and my own party is damned too quiet at this point. I would say they are damming me with faint praise, but they aren’t saying much at the moment.”
“Then this might be the opportunity we need to change things around. This was a terrorist attack, pure and simple. Throw in your own Jeane d’Arc and we might have a chance to turn this around. As for the liberals, you might think of giving them exactly what they say they want,” she said.
“Threaten to resign or maybe promise to resign once this is over. I know Jack Martin, he is a big talker but not a risk taker. If you resign in the middle of this, he would end up holding the bag and he definitely doesn’t want that. Although, “she canted her head to the side, “now that I think about it the second option might be the best.”
“You mean promise to resign after this is over?”
“Yes. It will rally your base in fear of losing the next election and will entice Labour to keep their mouth shut until this is over hoping that they can reap the benefits. It also hands over everybody favorite head in the proverbial pike. Throw in a promise of a thorough inquiry into the BNP’s actions and we might just survive this fiasco,” she said.
“Maybe I should just resign and hand it over to you, dear Judith,” he said with the first genuine smile from his lips in a very long time. Quitting as a strategic option had a certain appeal to him. It had all the appeal of a escape hatch to a a sailor in a sinking ship plus the satisfaction of sticking it to his rivals.
“Oh no, I don’t think so, Minister. Not in this lifetime. I don’t think my hairstylist could keep up with all the gray hairs,” she said with a tinkling laugh.