Magazine article The Spectator

Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody

Magazine article The Spectator

Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody

Article excerpt


What a way to spend the bank holiday weekend, up to my eyes in sleaze on the Lib Dem vetting unit. Dave rang from Chequers on speakerphone to read us the riot act while playing tennis. Balls ponging v angrily. So far we've found a couple of affairs, some flipping, a cash-for-planning row and a second home claim for a sunken Jacuzzi bath with 'erotic massager jets'. Also a lot of junketing. These Libs certainly like their overseas democracy monitoring. The Maldives seems to be having its 'first free and fair election' about three times a year according to their Register of Interests. What's really odd is that they are up to everything they were accusing us of doing.

Didn't Mr Clegg think to check before he called us horrid names? Gary going ballistic.

Says Danny Boy - that's Mr Alexander - better not do anything but breathe and say yes or he'll be back to cleaning the public toilets in the Cairngorms National Park. Who would be Chief Sec then I wonder? Me, probably.


Just had v traumatic crisis meeting to draw up emergency plans in case of more resignations.

Went through the list of who was left and it was really terrifying. Jed said we have to think the unthinkable. 'Come on, worst-case-it people!' Nobody said anything for ages, so I said:

'OK, I've got one. What if Gids was caught doing something he shouldn't? Just hypothetically speaking, obviously, Mr Cable or Mr Alexander would have to be Chancellor. . . ' The whole room fell silent. Gary went beetroot-coloured and screwed a piece of paper so tight in his hand I thought he was going to punch me. …

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