Working in Politics…..

They stormed into the building filled with a fervour, like a spoiled teenager demanding everything and yesterday. Why wasn’t this ready and where’s the room and get the projector…TDFS! ‘TDFS! TDFS!’ Rolling that little sing-song phrase off their tongue with glee. Their insider cool phrase. They had lots of those. (Tout de fucking suite) And He in the middle. The Big Man. The Billionaire. The Asset Striper. The bane of the Tory Party. Cruising amongst them with an air of preternatural calm his eyes narrowed scanning everything. Keen. Sharp. Faster than you could even imagine. Just in a different league. And how it impressed them. And you. And then, as a flock of birds turns on the tiniest movement of The One, they stopped. You had noticed this before. How they suddenly could become an angry herd, or a hushed reverant flock. All within a second with time to spare to watch him and stare out from behind his shining glare, with their looks a meek mirror of his. They could read him like a mariner can read the weather. But that’s not quite right. No one, apart from his closest lieutenants looked at the Great man directly. They watched him peripherally or if he was in a terrible rage not even that. Instead they would filter him expertly through the right hand man’s series of nods and winks. He was like gelignite. Stay back. Not you. Faster. Slower. Be quiet. You’d only started there a week before. Green you’d been aware, but now you realise pure jade all-the-way-through. You’d no idea. But that endeared you to some. And you were smart. That helped, a little. Bizarrely you spoke to him on the phone on your first day. Four whole busy days ago. And a day is a long long time in Politics. And the call dropped out. He rang back, a minute later, with barely suppressed rage rippling through the plastic of your phone. He had lisped, is there a problem with the phones today? And you said no, let me put you straight through Sir James. But now he has brought them all to a halt. They hold up. Look to him. Some do. Some wait. They know their place. He turns, swiftly slowly. Locks you in the laser stream of eyes bluer than you’ve ever seen. Blazing away, holding you, just as long as he wants to. And you look back somehow holding that gaze, being held in it, but your deference still most obvious. You can see that this moment is his to play with, that all of them are. Here in his Kingdom. And eventually smiling he says (remembering remembering remembering what he had said to you!) ‘Is there a problem with the phones today?’ You flash a look to his lieutenant. Speak man he mimes. ‘No problem today Sir James, all is well.’ ‘Do you hear that Patrick!’ So posh. Like a foreign language. ‘All is well. And you are settling in I hope.’ ‘Absolutely Sir James.’ ‘Excellent. We are very glad to have you. Do have a good day.’ And then they are gone. You spend the rest of the day on the cloud he has placed you upon.


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