Newry, Armagh and DownThe PM’s close protection officer whispers into his concealed mic: ‘I’ve lost contact.’
In his earpiece, Command: ‘Visiting Ireland in the middle of Conference was one fucking bad idea.’
‘She went to the Ladies. Never came out.’ He’s dashing around outside the pub, scanning the area, elbowing his way through gaggles of hairy old boys hugging pints of Guinness.
‘Shit, there’s another door to the garden and a gate out to the countryside. Have we got video cover?’
‘Standby. We’re hacking into the pub CCTV... Got her! She’s wandering across a field talking to herself.
‘She’s under a lot of pressure.’
‘This is not her usual mumbling and fingernail biting; she seems to be talking to the ground... Now she’s doing a little jig.’
The PM’s protection officer chuckles, ‘Yeah, Theresa’s still trending on Instagram. She’s neck-and-neck with Strictly.’
‘Sergeant... Is there anything else we should know?’
He hesitates, an instant too long. ‘Nothing I can recall.’
‘Remember where your loyalties lie, Sargent.’
A week earlier in the garden of No.10The PM lowers her G&T.
‘Do I detect traces of the emerald isle in your accent, Sergeant?’
‘Very perceptive, Ma’am. My family came from Newry, on the Clanrye river, near the border.’
‘It’s the border issue that concerns me most. I see no logical solution.’
‘Perhaps try something illogical, Ma’am?’ He indicates a clover sprouting from the lawn. ‘My mother used to say, “The petal on the shamrock brings a wish your way – good health, good luck, and happiness today and every day.”’
Theresa stoops. She picks the little plant. ‘This one’s got four leaves!’
‘There-you-go. Of course, for the wishes to work, you have to be in Ireland and catch yourself a leprechaun.’
The PM sighs. ‘Frankly, Sergeant, I’m so tired of this Brexit fiasco I’d give anything a try. My heart was never in it.’
Birmingham International Convention Centre at the End of ConferenceGlowing with success, backed by the acquiescent, smiling faces of Jacob Rees-Mogg, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, the PM prepares to field press questions.
She acknowledges a journalist in the front row:
‘Laura Kuenssberg, BBC News. Prime Minister, given this astonishing turnaround – the unanimous agreement of all factions within the Conservative Party to hold a second referendum, including the possibility of remaining in the European Union – I have to ask… Do you believe in magic?’