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Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody

Tamzin Lightwater looks back on 2009

14 December 2009

12:00 AM

14 December 2009

12:00 AM

January 2009

It was a simpler, more innocent world in those days. An inquiry into Mrs Spelperson paying her nanny with Commons expenses was widely seen to be ‘shocking’. Oh dear me! People hardly knew what sleaze was. Ken Clarke returns to the shadow cabinet in a deal forged by Gids over meatloaf — in a briefing we prepared later! Obama is sworn in with the sort of razzmatazz we are hoping to create for Dave next year, on a larger scale, obviously. And I beat 0 per cent interest rates by closing my savings account and spending all my money on an Hermès handbag!


Dave invents Responsible Capitalism and we all vow to buy things only from shops with a Compassionate vision for society. This makes the bagel run v complicated. Snow covers Britain and we issue Snowman Equality Guidelines to ensure our MPs do not just build fat, white ones. Carol Vorderman is made Dave’s Czar for Sums. Ken takes to smoking cigars in the Austerity Room with his feet up on the Ikea coffee table. When he comes out he talks endlessly about free markets so we decide to let him sit in there as much as he wants. Twelve points ahead in the polls, although weirdly voters still trust Gordon more than Dave to run the economy. Dur! Clearly our new policy of failing more people at A-level is bang on.


I perfect a technique for scuffing Dave’s brogues as Austerity Chic takes the country by storm! Sam reluctantly agrees to let me do her Louboutins. The recession is now so bad we are warning about deflation and inflation at the same time (although personally I think Gids should stop hedging his bets). We are inundated by defectors as Labour luvvies queue up to get a peerage from us! Gordon hits back by shutting Dave out of a Thatcher portrait-unveiling party. Are we bothered? Ken puts his Hush Puppy in it by claiming we are not going to cut inheritance tax. As he later makes clear, he was referring to an aspiration not to cut it, not a firm pledge. Armed with my new handbag, I go to Boujis and chat up a newly single Prince Harry. (Sadly, it was not to be.)


Our Expenses Helpline is jammed as the row over Jacqui Smith’s bath plug escalates. MPs are worried that they might, totally inadvertently, have done something similar. I spend weeks going through B&Q receipts looking for gazebos. Barack visits and only makes time for a quick chat with Dave during which he berates him for leaving the EPP. So sad. So much promise… The Damian McBride briefing scandal confuses everyone. No one will tell me what the embarrassing illness is that Dave had, although it’s obviously a verruca. Yuk! In the wake of this shocking attempt to smear Our Leader, we decide never to indulge in negative campaigning again. We will take the moral high ground and refrain from petty personal attacks.


Ginger Whinger Hazel Blears mounts the most preposterous leadership bid ever as rumours of a plot to overthrow Gormless Gordon grow.With useless Michael Martin gone, we sit back to let the Speaker election take its democratic course by threatening all our MPs that if they dare to vote for that upstart Bercow, they can kiss goodbye to a job in government. Oh, forgot to say, we got a bit bored of the moral high ground. Nadine Dorries blogs that she couldn’t have flipped her second home because she was cooking a 12-bird roast at the time. We put her under 24/7 observation.


In anticipation of the mass resignation of MPs that we are confident will happen soon, we commence search for ‘clean skins’ (people with no experience) to stand in safe seats. We triumph in the Euro elections and put the finishing touches to our new European alliance. Mr Pickles, who claims he once brought down communism in Poland, helps us find an eclectic bunch of outspoken Eastern Europeans with ‘good old-fashioned views on poofters’. We cross everything and hope it will be OK.


Dave resurrects the ban on outside earnings and panic breaks out among Tory MPs about how to survive on £64,766 a year. I collate handy hints for life on a budget — e.g. how to make do without a helicopter (borrow Lord A’s like Dave does!) It looks like our economic policy is swingeing spending cuts twinned with painful tax rises. Not sure how we got here… We say farewell to General Wellbeing and bring in a brand new measure of wealth called Gross Domestic Product or GDP. I get my hair cut like Chloe Smith.


It’s official. We are the party most trusted to make spending cuts! In keeping with our new hard-edged image we announce a groundbreaking scrappage scheme for bed-blockers who’ve fiddled their expenses. Some commentators complain that it’s one rule for ageing has-beens and another for Gids and Mr Gove. (Well, obviously!) Along with the rest of Britain, I go down with swine flu. Dave goes on holiday to Greece leaving Mr Grayling in charge to pioneer an approach to policy called Pub Ready — basically, policies people can get pissed too. Charming.


Mr Letwin and Mr Willetts argue for weeks about whether we are in a V- ,W- or L-shaped recession. Little Al Duncan disgraces us all by complaining that MPs are living on the poverty line. To be fair to him, gold, diamonds and oil are difficult markets to have directorships in. Mr Hague steps up his dithering over Lisbon. And Ed Balls makes a foray into Labour leadership territory by promising huge spending cuts and having his hair blow-dried flat!


Conference in our traditional heartland of Manchester is a triumph after we allow candidates to talk only in their own hotel rooms after they have gone to sleep. Boris entertains everyone with a brilliant comic routine suggesting he would make a better leader — hilarious! Václav Klaus signs the Lisbon Treaty and we can no longer pretend, I mean promise, to offer a referendum. We set up a commission examining the meaning of the word ‘cast iron’. Preps for a TV election debate also hit a snag when Mr Darling demands a live maths competition between him and Gids — ouch! Wife-swapping is all the rage.


The Great East Anglian Uprising breaks out and Liz Truss does battle with the beastly Turnip Taleban of Norfolk South West. In the end we smoke them out of their caves — or Elizabethan halls — and a truce is negotiated. But Turnip strongholds continue springing up all over the place. We send Cutie Backup. But the stark truth is — this is a war we cannot win. In the end Dave has to withdraw his all-women shortlists. It is an honourable defeat.


We end the year with a healthy dose of Modernisation and Change. In an attempt to de-Etonianise ourselves we decide to shorten everyone’s name. I am to become Tammy Waters, Dave is now Dav. Mrs Spelperson is Cazza. Lord A is Mike. Speaker Bercow is Berc. You get the picture. Happy Christmas.

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