Tamzin Lightwater

Diary of a Notting Hill nobody | 26 April 2008

Tamzin Lightwater's unique take on the week

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What on earth is wrong with the general public at the moment? Why, according to the so-called opinion polls, do more people like Alistair Darling than Gids? Have they gone mad? Gids is clever, dynamic and handsome, whereas Darling, as Daddy so rightly pointed out at breakfast this morning, looks like a bemused old badger in rimless specs. I mean, for heaven’s sake, what’s not to dislike?

Gids hasn’t taken it at all well. Poppy and I sent him a sympathy card — found the perfect one at Cards Galore, Westminster branch: ‘Sorry your ratings have gone topsy-turvy, Wishing you luck in the next YouGov survey!’

Strangely enough, Dave didn’t seem that bothered. When Mrs Spelperson proposed a vote of commiseration at morning strategy huddle, he just said: ‘Ah well, these things happen eh!’ V odd.


Back on Boris duties. So exciting! There were two big planning sessions today, entitled ‘Scenario One’ and ‘Scenario Two’. I went to ‘One’. It turned out to be a top-secret brainstormer, drawing up certain ‘emergency measures’ in case Boris wins. Campaign chief Brandon gave us a v interesting presentation about how the Bozmeister might be ‘contained’ until 2010, which seemed to involve an awful lot of people forming a circle around him wherever he went. Then there was a third meeting for groups from both sessions, entitled ‘Best Case Scenario’ which went on for ages and was all about whether we actually wanted him to win or not. No one could decide, so we drew up a memo to Jed which said: ‘Mayoral contest internal strategic guidance: What will be will be.’ He’s just had a volcanic stress massage so he should be OK with that.


Oh dear. Jed has decided that Gids’s poll rating was a damning indictment of the public’s continued view of us as rich and out of touch! He says that now Britain is poor and miserable, we need to work harder than ever to ‘Be The Change’. So an email alert is going out to all MPs: ‘Are you having trouble paying the mortgage? Or struggling with gas and electricity bills? If so, don’t keep quiet about it. If you’re bankrupt, bust or just plain broke, it could be a golden opportunity to reconnect with the electorate! See guidance below for placing your financial sob stories in the media.’

We’re also trying to find Dave a ‘personal poverty angle’. This is tricky. Cancellation of his lasagne supper due to pasta shortages at Waitrose was ‘a good start’, Jed says, but we need something more ‘gritty’. Don’t think Sam will be too happy to hear that she may have to be laid off from Smythson’s in a terrifying slump in leather desk tidy sales.


Am still confused about 10p tax row. Why can’t we join with Labour rebels and vote to reverse Brown’s Evil Attack on The Poor? Wonky Tom says we ‘can’t just agree with a load of lefties, even if what they’re proposing would rescue people on the bread line. It’s the principle of the thing.’

Had to sit through another local elections ‘Expectation Management’ meeting with Mr Pickles. Yawn! Can’t believe anyone really buys this stuff about us being so brilliant we can’t possibly win any more seats.

On a more sensible note, we’ve had a tremendous response to our poverty memo. MPs queuing up to tell us about alimony payments, school fees, holiday homes, dining clubs and race horses they can no longer afford. People of Britain — we share your pain!