Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

The Journal OF Lynton Charles

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

The Journal OF Lynton Charles

Article excerpt

FIDUCIARY SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY

Monday Dolores, my transsexual PA, sighs heavily and tells me that there is nothing in the diary for next week. Or the week after. Or the week after that. In fact, there is nothing in the diary ever.

The decision by The Master, in association with the Sun newspaper -- a decision that I must say I agree with (and I must say it to someone soon) -- to postpone the election means that 100 ministers, three-score shadow ministers and 400 backbenchers have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do. And they have nothing to do for a whole month. Nothing, that is, except lunch with journalists, stand around in corners talking about how they're standing around in corners, invent mischief or -- worst of all -- start campaigning among their poor constituents and writing specious press releases to send to their local newspapers. Which, now I come to think about it, is a good idea. Just as soon as I've finished this rumination, I shall phone Harriet Toogood and attempt to concoct a "serious, but determined" story for Sallyanne Bertoni to put in the paper.

Tuesday One meeting with civil servants, and that's it. No grand openings, speeches to businesspersons or legislating to do. More time to think about politics. The Egg, who is said so far to have had a good war (which means that he has sniped endlessly at the government for its handling of foot-and-mouth without actually managing to get on people's nerves), has finally fallen off his wall. It' s one thing for a bloke in a pub to say "Let the army get in there and sort it all out", because Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart or whoever is not going to bother to correct him. But you can't do that as a politician. Somehow, the trick is to sound as though you understand the bloke in the pub without actually sounding like him. Fall the wrong side of that line, and you're buggered.

Wednesday Lunch with a couple of the BBC's innumerable political correspondents (they always lunch in packs), as much to relieve the boredom as anything else. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.