I was in a small country’s embassy in Brussels earlier this week, meeting with their Minister for European Affairs (who I knew personally long before he became a minister, but this was a professional meeting). It was a slightly rushed affair because he was being lined up by his ambassador to do the airport run, and also he kept on being interrupted by phone calls. I wondered vaguely why he didn’t just turn his phone off (especially since he answered every call with a terse “I’m in a meeting, call me back later” in either English or his own language), and then it occurred to me that he might be waiting for one particular call.
And then his phone rang again – not with its usual shrill ring tone but with the music of the March of the Imperial Storm Troopers from Star Wars – “POM POM POM pa-pa-POM pa-pa-POM”. The minister looked relieved and took the call. It was the Prime Minister.
I was deeply amused by this. The Prime Minister is a rather short, jolly but sharp guy, who really does not look like a storm trooper of any kind, imperial or otherwise. So perhaps I was getting an insight into the real dynamics of internal government communication. Or perhaps just into the sense of humour of the Minister for European Affairs.