This article is from the June 2012 issue of Total Politics
Seeing red in the morning
Recently, my Labour MP came across the following in a morning briefing email: “… At 11am, shadow public health minister Diane Abbott gives her first major speech on public health, where she is set to call for an end to the current ‘chips and Playstation 3 culture’.”
Outraged, my MP shouted: “Her first major speech? She’s been a shadow health minister for nearly a year and a half! What the f*** has the [unprintable] been doing?” I can confirm he didn’t vote for her in the leadership contest.
A question of beauty
My MP has a major soft spot for a reporter on one of our regional news shows. During the election campaign, he came away from an interview, saying: “I swear news presenters are getting prettier every election.” Now, when a media bid comes through for him to do an interview, he always asks if we know which reporter will be posing the questions. I can’t help noticing that he’s never turned down the interviewer in question, but has often said no to some of her male colleagues…
Asleep on the job
The other day I was explaining the intricacies of our casework programme to a work experience student. It was her first day, so I expected her to be enthusiastic and on the ball. I realised I was fighting a losing battle, however, when I looked across and noticed that she’d fallen asleep. My MP was sitting right next to us, though, so I had to pretend I hadn’t noticed while gently jogging her awake.
Not just a load of rubbish
After Ollie Letwin got caught out binning his constituents’ letters in St James’s Park, my colleagues and I have devised a game that we play most days. Rules of engagement: the rubbish from the offices in our building is dumped in clear plastic bags and left in the hallways to be collected.
On our way to the office, we have a quick peek to see if we can get any gossip. If I were a tabloid hack, I would definitely spend more time rooting round some of the bags on our corridor. And, judging from what’s in them, a hell of a lot of party political activity seems to go on during work hours. As any good researcher will tell you, that isn’t quite what taxpayers’ money should be used for.