The hunt for Felicity Parkes
Felicity works in Westminster. Look out for her future contributions on the TP blog.
Being anonymous is tricky at the best of times but when you’re based in Westminster it is a 24/7 mission. No other group save possibly a circle of nattering mothers by a school gate is as gossipy or nosey as Westminster staffers. It is little wonder I often see reporters and hacks sitting amongst researchers, secretaries and interns. Everyone loves a secret and no one hates being out of the loop more than a political aide or advisor.
I’ve had aides invite me out on dates or offer face to face interviews for senior jobs. There have been secret meetings set up to work out who I am, traps have been laid and inquisitions have taken place. I’ve watched it all either from afar or at the very heart of it with sheer delight.
It doesn’t matter anymore if what I’ve blogged has been verified or made up on the spot, real life or melodrama. Whether I am blonde as I say I am or actually a redhead? Am I a member of staff or a Member of Parliament? All that concerns the majority of the Westminster bubble is simply being in the loop. Oh and getting drunk, we mustn’t forget that.
Because there is a fair bit of drinking going on, and bless their little cotton socks, but quite a few newbies will neck their drinks at the bar and then spill their secrets with absolute gusto to whoever might be listening.
Not that I am judging when it comes to drunken mistakes, it wasn’t that long ago that I took the karaoke mike and for a moment considered declaring to masses of staffers in the Sports and Social bar: “I am Felicity Parkes!” Just like Iron Man but without the beard.
For the foreseeable future I shall retain my anonymity, or at least try. After all, the majority of the fun is in the mystery.