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. Then Jed screamed: ‘Get her out!’ Bumped into Poppy after they lifted me into the corridor. She’s not having a good time either. Gids so upset about CGT he’s thinking of retrospectively paying it. Things must be bad.
I do wish Mr Major would mind his language. He keeps ringing up and telling me he has a new plan to ‘deal with the bastards’. Jed says this is a technical term, referring to Mr Redwood. Thing is, I don’t think he really understands the way the former Cabinet minister from outer space works nowadays. He doesn’t so much rebel as ring up and tell us he will be sending over ‘our revised Budget proposals’ at 3 p.m. ‘In the unlikely event that the Prime Minister should not wish to accept this well-thought-through plan for economic recovery which commands the overwhelming support of the entire parliamentary party, do let me know so we can make alternative voting arrangements.’ To make matters worse, Danny Boy has just told Gids he thinks we should join the euro. This can’t be happening.
Limo-watch is such a bore. We sent Mrs Spelperson a memo reminding her that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than an Environment Secretary in a Honda Civic to enter the kingdom of heaven. But she just laughed and said the pap shots of her playing tennis were in a Grazia feature on celebrity cellulite. ‘This is my moment. I might never get any more famous than this.’ Which is fair enough, I suppose.