The Oval Office, Buck's Road, Douglas - Friday 5th January 2018, 17:53 GMT.
"Yes, what is it Shirley?"
"Chief Minister. Mr Thomas is here."
"Send him in Shirley,, and can you ring Lorraine and tell the little woman that she may need to delay our booking at Thai Thai".
"Yes, Chief Minister. By the way, HE Sir Richard has been on again to say he's only available to sign whatever bit of certificate thingy you want signed until 7pm, then he's off to his Zumba class".
"Chris, my old friend. How's your day been? Single Malt? Its a rather good New Zealand one. Ok, so Chris, have you had time to reconsider my golden offer to take over the Department of Dreams now Beecroft has finally gone?"
"Well, forgive me Chief Minister..."
"Oh, please call me Howard".
"Hmm, yes Howard. Well, as the 8th Caliph of Baghdad said in 1068 "the eyes of the sun do shrivel the larger stare but protect those that shield their eyes".
"Yes, I see Chris. Look, I'll keep it simple - that is KISS, but there is only one S really. You don't want the job, Dr Allinson doesn't want the job. Cannan is actually doing a half decent job where he is despite the fact I can't stand to look at him without bile rising in my throat..that only leaves a bunch of newbie idiots. Even Jason turned me down for crying out loud!"
"I have it, Chief...Howard! Dadaa! Who was your favourite US President?
"Precisely". And if you manage to turn around this mess that is jokingly called a health service, what will it be?"
"A bloody miracle, Chris."
"No, Chief. It will be the Phoenix rising from the Ashes!" Ford, Ashes..Ashes, Ford..don't you see? Ashford! David Ashford. Ideal Cannon fodder!"
"Yes, Chief Minister?"
"Open some of that Prosecco, call Mr Ashford and tell Sir Richard we will pop by Monday morning - in that order!"
"Yes, Chief Minister!"