Researchers' stories: off the record

Written by 31 Oct 2012 on 31 October 2012 in Culture
More behind-the-scenes capers from our anonymous Westminster staffers

This article is from the October 2012 issue of Total Politics

More Than a Feeling of embarrassment
I have a tendency to sing – loudly – when I think no one’s around. It’s a tendency I share with a good proportion of the population, but in Parliament it can prove to be a bit of a liability. Once, when I was halfway through a high, falsetto rendition in the kitchen (wonderful acoustics) on our floor of More Than A Feeling by Boston, I was interrupted by a perplexed MP. By the look on her face, she had been there a good while...
Billy No-Mates
My MP was quite excited when he was invited to, by all accounts, a pretty decent fringe event at this year’s party conference. Although the topic wasn’t exactly his strong point, he decided to accept on the basis that, 1) How hard could it be to witter on about anything? After all, he’s a politician, and 2) The other members of the panel were bound to be good company. I duly accepted on his behalf via email, only to receive a call around two hours later from a grovelling secretary, saying that they hadn’t meant to invite him and, although he could attend, they were revoking his invite to be on the panel. My MP put on a brave face, but it was clear to me that he was crestfallen.
Room for improvement
A friend of mine recently showed me a room in Parliament called the Lady Members’ Room. It’s a strange place. The door’s always unlocked and, researching its origins, I discovered that it was fitted out after the 1997 general election, when the number of female MPs increased dramatically. Apparently, they needed a place to breastfeed and this was the solution. It’s quite something – it has a TV, comfy chairs, desks, a shower room and a bed. My friend proudly boasted to me that this was his “sex room”. You see, it’s a mere stumble (or should that be fumble?) from the main researchers’ bar in Parliament, the Sports and Social club. My friend also told me that one night, deciding he couldn’t get home, he slept there, only to be woken by a distinctly unimpressed cleaner at 6am. 
Owzat for domestic bliss?
This time last year I wrote about my MP getting a duck in a local charity cricket match. Well, I can inform readers that things did not go much better last weekend: he was out for six. I spoke to his wife a few days later, who informed me that her usually brash husband is always quiet for a week after a bad performance. She also said that she loved it, because it is the only time she can tell him to do anything without him saying no.

Tags: Issue 51, Researchers' Stories

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