This article is from the May issue of Total Politics
Joyce’s choice tipple… or eight
Due to his terrible behaviour in a Commons bar, Eric Joyce has gained quite a reputation at my local rugby club. Last week, after a match, we all returned to the club bar and started drinking. A few guys in the team were keen on “doing a Joycey” – namely, trying to emulate his drinking prowess. They finished eight pints and three whisky chasers, while the parliamentary ‘head man’ reportedly drank “three or four glasses of wine” on that infamous night. Child’s play.
Recently, my MP had a rather important meeting with a rather important person, and decided to bring the VIP guest up to our office. There were three of us in our room, all doing our best to eavesdrop, but they persisted in keeping their voices down. We were rumbled, though, when my MP turned to his guest, paused the meeting, and shouted over to us: “I don’t hear typing!”
Having a ball
I was asked by my MP to draft a keynote speech by Friday morning, which he was due to deliver that weekend on the future of the party. Like any good researcher, I put it to the bottom of my in-tray and forgot about it until Thursday morning. I started on it, and was gleefully bashing away at my keyboard when my left testicle began to throb with a very dull pain. Initially I ignored it and continued with my tour de force. Unfortunately, the pain got steadily worse. I ended up sneaking off across the river to the A & E at St Thomas’ Hospital. I took with me a couple of articles and my notebook. I must confess, I’ve sat in better places when trying to work. I came back – my testicle was infected, if you're interested – and typed up my speech. My MP was delighted with the result, but was slightly perplexed as to where I'd been most of the afternoon.
‘We're not all in it together’
We all know about George Osborne’s phrase: “We’re all in it together”. I learnt recently, however, this doesn’t ring true for parliamentary researchers and civil servants. My friend, who works in a government department, was recently told that he had to stay over in a very swanky London hotel while attending a course, despite the fact that he actually lives in London. My friend queried this, saying that he could easily save the department money by going home at the end of the evening, but his calls for austerity fell on deaf ears. Ironically, that day I noticed that the IPSA had failed to process a claim I had put in for a £6.99 USB cable…
Lost in the post
Quite often, we get mail for an MP whose surname bears a striking resemblance to mine. I’ll be honest, we don’t like this MP very much. In fact, we dislike him so much that it has been known for his post to go missing.