ELECTION 2001: `Judo Sesh Gd 4 Me 2! Same Time 2morrow?' ; What's Really Going on in the Corridors of Power? Our Top Mole Reveals the Private Words of the Election's Key Players
Beaton, Alistair, The Independent (London, England)
INTERCEPT: Phone call between Alastair Campbell and Keith Vaz MP, Minister for Europe. Transcript follows.
Keith: (picks up phone) Vaz.
Alastair: Hi, Keith. It's Alastair.
Keith: (surprised) Oh. Hello.
Alastair: How are you?
Keith: I'm fine.
Alastair: I'm sorry, I thought you said you were fine.
Keith: Yes, that's right, I'm fine.
Alastair: No, Keith, you're not fine.
Keith: Am I not?
Alastair: No. You're still sick.
Keith: Oh, right, yes. Sorry. I'm still sick.
Alastair: Good. Still too sick to speak to the press, right?
Alastair: And your wife, how's she?
Keith: She's fine.
Alastair: No she isn't.
Keith: Isn't she?
Alastair: No, she's just gone down with a bad dose of the flu.
Keith: Flu? At this time of year?
Alastair: Especially at this time of year, Keith.
Keith: But I saw her just about half an hour ago and she ...
Alastair: It's a new strain of flu. It comes on very quickly. Symptoms include compete loss of voice.
Keith: I see. So she won't be able to -
A: That's right, she won't be able to speak to anyone from the Standards and Privileges Committee. In fact, she won't be able to speak to anyone, full stop. Except you, of course, Keith. She'll still be able to speak to you.
Keith: Should she go to her GP?
Alastair: No, no. No need for that. It's nothing to worry about. Provided the patient remains in complete isolation, the symptoms generally clear up quite quickly.
Keith: How quickly?
Alastair: She'll be better on 8 June. Same day as you'll be better.
Keith: Oh, I see. That's the day I go to Downing Street to accept a post in the new government, isn't it? (Long silence) Hello? Hello? Alastair? Are you still there? (At this point the line goes dead.)
INTERCEPT: Text messages between Tory leader William Hague and his chief adviser Sebastian Coe.
William: Hi Sebs! How ru? Last nites judo sesh v hot. Want 2 do it again with u soon. Re manifesto launch. Suggest we say we can save pounds 5bn by cutting red tape. Wht do u think?
Seb: Dear Wllm, Thanks 4 msg. Yes judo sesh was gd 4 me 2! Same time same place 2morrow? Re savings: pounds 5bn 2 little. How about pounds 10bn?
William: OK. pounds 10bn.
Seb: Have spkn to Michael [Portillo]. He says best go 4 exact sum so it sounds like we hve costed it, eg pounds 3.2bn.
William: Brill. pounds 3.2bn it is. How about benefit fraud savings? pounds 1bn sound good 2u? …