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Diary

Diary of a Notting Hill nobody

Tamzin Lightwater's unique take on the week

2 April 2008

12:00 AM

2 April 2008

12:00 AM

Monday

Head buzzing from v important Economic Strategy meeting. Total reorganisation of our smoothie expenditure, with half the budget to be spent on bran muffins. Lot of discussion about whether we should issue staff with vouchers to spend on either smoothies, or muffins, as they see fit, but in the end decided that we couldn’t leave something as important as workplace snacking to the vagaries of the market.

Also decided that while we can’t promise tax cuts, we can promise ‘a new era of economic dynamism’. Which is better than tax cuts, when you think about it.

Our new watchwords are ‘prudence’ and ‘stability’. We are preparing an exciting new pledge not to do anything which would put the long-term stability of the public finances at risk. And we’re going to have ‘fiscal rules’ that sound ever so grown up, and show once and for all that we really are a government-in-waiting. Hooray!


Bit embarrassing when everyone started talking about Mr Lansley and the ‘PMT Brigade’ — that’s ‘Pay More Tax’, apparently, not the other thing. How was I to know?

Tuesday

Walked in on Mr Hague rehearsing for PMQs tomorrow when Gordon’s away. Mrs May was standing opposite with a big paper hat on her head that said ‘Harriet’.

He was really getting into it: ‘I’m surpriiiiised the Right Honourable Laaaady isn’t wearing her bulletproof vest! She really ought to invest a bit more time in her constituency! Or are we to presume she has too many vested interests! Perhaps the matter should be investigated. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm!’ Nigel said Mrs May only had her eyes shut so she could concentrate better.

Jenny from DD’s office came over for respite. Says he’s trying to smoke out the 42-day rebels. Has a big map of the Commons chamber spread out on his desk and little fire symbols where the suspected traitors sit. He spends hours throwing mini grenades at the rebels and shouting ‘Gotcha!’ If it weren’t for Jacqui Smith calling him over to the Home Office, he wouldn’t leave his room. It’s nice that he’s found a friend.

Wednesday

So exciting. Finally got to meet Boris’s campaign chief, Brandon Finlay. He’s Australian and just like a character from Neighbours! Told him I hoped he was enjoying his stay in Britain. ‘Enjoying it? What sort of a country has pebbles on its beaches? You sit down for five seconds and get your a*** cut to ribbons.’ I suggested some sort of towel might be in order next time he visits our beautiful British coast. ‘There won’t be a next time, Tamara. No one bruises a Finlay a*** and gets a second bite at the cherry.’

I don’t really mind him calling me Tamara. It’s all part of the straight-talking charm. He told me: ‘We’re gonna win, sweets, cos we’re gonna tell Londoners the truth about Ken. And if that doesn’t scare the holy s*** out of them we’ll tell them a load of other stuff. Which reminds me, take down a memo. Find out a load of other stuff about Ken. Better still, just get on with doing that. I’ve gotta take Boris to have his hair re-ruffled.’

Thursday

Mr Clegg-over on the phone again asking to speak to Dave. Told him I’m under strict orders not to let his calls through unless he can promise the full 18 MPs and none of this ten business. Truth is, we’re not so sure we want him after his disgraceful comments about sex. There really is no room for that sort of thing in the New Modern Conservative party.


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