Be ambitious, if there is a local vacancy for a new minister, because one has resigned or been sent to prison or even if Prime Minister is up for grabs, what’s to stop you having a go? You know how to run the country because you have been telling your family, colleagues and everyone down at The Red Lion for years how it should be done. That’s the simple part, now all you need to learn is how to act in public.
1 What to wear If you are a chap this is easy, a suit and tie. You must either look smart or intentionally scruffy with shirt untucked and hair uncombed; a third option is smart casual, take your jacket off and roll up your sleeves to show you mean business.
Ladies, I’m afraid you can’t win; everyone is looking to see what you wear and whatever you wear will be criticised. The trick is to appear confident and wear red. Also choose attire that will not encumber you walking, standing or sitting (see no. 2 ). The comfort rule does not apply to shoes, do not wear trainers. Slip your feet into the most lethal heels you can walk in.
Handy Tip. If you identify as transgender you can wear whatever you like and nobody will dare criticize you for fear of being called transphobic.
2 How To Walk This is even harder than when you were a baby. You must be able to stride confidently, head in the air without tripping over cameramen, protesters, or paving stones, while at the same time giving intelligent answers to idiotic questions from reporters who are two feet taller or shorter than you. Can you also descend a flight of worn stone steps at a smart trot or get in the back seat of the right ministerial car? Good, but your ordeal is not over yet…
3 Leisure Time There is no such thing as me time now you are in the public eye. Prepare to be filmed leaving home in your jogging shorts and returning in your sweaty leggings and T shirt. If you are really unlucky you will be accosted by that television presenter who runs marathons; try to talk and breathe at the same time as she runs alongside you and asks about policies. Avoid the path beside the lake in case you fall in.
4 Caring for the Environment Learn to ride a bike and practise mounting and dismounting while negotiating a crowd of amused observers.
5 Make your country proud of you. Finally you have made it to the International Summit in A Nother country and the whole world is watching you. This is not like your holiday flight, there will be no jetty attached to your aeroplane; the door will open to bright sunshine or driving rain and an impossibly steep set of stairs; pause at the top of these to work out your choreography. Wave and smile then descend without falling or gouging your eye out on the huge umbrella being held to shield you from the sun or rain. Behind you will be someone very important in your life. See no. 6
6 Choose a Partner For the ceremonial bits it is polite to have a spouse who can engage in conversation with other world leaders while you are talking to their spouses, they will also need to know how to use the right cutlery at the inevitable dinner.
7 The Speech This is what it’s all about so don’t leave it till the last moment. It is okay to read from your notes, as long as they are not written on a paper napkin.
Handy hints: Remember which country you’re in, the name of their leader and why you are there. Recall happy historical links and if there aren’t any talk optimistically of future happy links. And finally, do you recall those ‘friends’ you met on holiday? Do not issue any invitations to visit that you may regret later.