THE PRIME MINISTER
SIR ROBERT RICHARDS, the Home Secretary
Downing Street. Early morning. Prime Minister’s office. The Prime Minister is sitting at her desk reading a report. A window to her left. It is raining. There is a knock at the door.
The Prime Minister looks up from her desk.
PRIME MINISTER. Yes? Come in.
Sir Robert Richards enters.
RICHARDS. Sorry to disturb you Prime Minister.
PRIME MINISTER. What is it Richards?
RICHARDS. I was just wondering if you’ve seen the papers this morning?
Prime Minister removes her glasses
PRIME MINISTER. I haven’t had a chance.
RICHARDS. Well, I think you should. It’s about our new armed unit Prime Minister.
PRIME MINISTER. Yes? What about them?
RICHARDS. Well, they’re all over the papers.
PRIME MINISTER. Good. It’s all going smoothly then I hope.
RICHARDS. Yes, it is but…
PRIME MINISTER. But what? I seem to recall you saying just yesterday how we would see a fall in crime rates by the end of the month. I hope you’re not changing your mind now Richards.
RICHARDS. No, Prime Minister, but…
PRIME MINISTER. So, in that case I can’t see how they can call this one a waste of tax payers’ money, do you?
RICHARDS. Well, it’s not about the money per say.
The Prime Minister shifts in her chair.
PRIME MINISTER. Well then. What is it? I haven’t got all day.
RICHARDS. They’re laughing about it.
PRIME MINISTER. Who is?
RICHARDS. Everybody Prime Minister. The whole world.
PRIME MINISTER. Why on earth for? You just told me it’ll be a roaring success.
RICHARDS. It will be, but… Well, it’s the name Prime Minister.
PRIME MINISTER. The name? What about the name?
RICHARDS. Tactical Armed Response Team?
PRIME MINISTER. Yes? And?
RICHARDS. Well, it’s just that… it spells out TART.
The Prime Minister closes her eyes, sighs, and shakes her head.
PRIME MINISTER. Oh! For pity’s sake! And you didn’t think to tell me before!
RICHARDS. We didn’t realise!
PRIME MINISTER. Are you saying nobody noticed?
RICHARDS. No, Prime Minister, nobody.
PRIME MINISTER. (sighs) And how much did that name cost us in tax payers’ money this time?
Richards rifles through his papers.
PRIME MINISTER. No don’t tell me! I don’t want to know!
The Prime Minister gets up and looks out of the windows. She turns to Richards.
PRIME MINISTER. So what are they’re saying?
Richards shuffles the pile of newspapers in his arms.
RICHARDS. Well The Times says: ‘Police revamp leaves a sour taste’, The Guardian has: ‘The new Met unit’s unfortunate name’, The Mirrors says: ‘PM tarts up the bobbies’, The Sun says: ‘The Police just got a WHORE lot better!’, and The Daily Mail says…
PRIME MINISTER. I’ve heard enough. This is British politics, how could something so farcical happen! I hold you responsible for this Richards.
RICHARDS. I’m sorry, Prime Minister. We’ll put it right. And the papers will soon move onto something else.
PRIME MINISTER. (sigh) Very well, I guess we’ll just have to rename them won’t we?
RICHARDS. But coming up with a new name will cost more tax payers’ money.
PRIME MINISTER. Not if you think of it.
RICHARDS. Me? I’m not qualified to do that!
PRIME MINISTER. You’re the Home Secretary Richards! If anybody’s qualified it’s you! Come on! Get thinking. I haven’t got all day.
Richards slumps into a chair on the other side of the desk and thinks. The Prime Minister stands by the window and continues to shake her head. Richards stands up suddenly.
RICHARDS. I’ve got it! How about Fully Armed Response Team?
The Prime Minister ponders on the new suggestion. And nods her head.
PRIME MINISTER. Excellent suggestion Richards!
RICHARDS. Thank you Prime Minister. I’ll get onto it straight away.
PRIME MINISTER. I’m glad we put an end to that.
Sir Robert Richards exists.