Sunday, 30 January 2011

Introducing Felicity Parkes

By day she stalks the corridors of power, by night she inhabits the Sports & Social. Felicity Parkes is the inebriated oil that keeps the cogs of Westminster Palace turning. She is fuelled by a constant flow of double G&Ts and a desire to be the last one standing. Often spotted leaving the scene of unparliamentary acts...

“That was a job well done; you get first dibs on the bottle of vodka!”

Now that's not something you expect to hear from your boss unless of course you work in the adult entertainment industry or perhaps for an unlicensed casino on a seafront somewhere. However I can say with some certainty and only some, that I don't work in either of those places. I work in Westminster for a Member of Parliament whose idea of rewarding his staff is giving us a free run of the drinks cabinet. As if we didn't already do that whenever he's in the chamber, in committee or out to lunch! In fact come to think of it, we don't even wait for him to leave the office anymore.

I have decided to write a blog about my role and experiences as a staffer for a Conservative MP. I'm typing this from a pokey little office on the Westminster Estate, surrounded by case files and Hansards. My hands are shaking but is this from nerves as I write my first blog post or from the three cups of coffee I've consumed this morning to combat a possible amaretto induced hangover? I guess we'll never know.

There are a lot of rules that I live by as I attempt to do my job from day to day and I'm going to share a few of them with you here because I'm nice like that.

  • ·         Don't get sloshed until the job is done. I once made the mistake of having a few too many drinks with lunch and then tried to fill a speech with quotes from South Park.
  • ·         Never share a personal problem or fear with a colleague, it WILL be used against you for either professional gain or general entertainment. We had a dog fearing intern leave after only two days because of a little incident involving an accidental chaining to a van filled with police dogs. Oh how we laughed.
  • ·         Beware the socialists in the Sports and Social. They love their karaoke but they can't take criticism about their singing skills. Even the MPs will throw a punch if you tell them they were more Shane Richie than Lionel Richie.
  • ·         No matter what you get up to on the Estate or what you do with your colleagues, until you're caught with a smoking gun in your hand – deny everything and blame the intern.

I'm afraid I will have to leave it there for the time being. My boss has just graced us with his presence and then left again for a meeting. I do believe he's left behind his blackberry and his meeting notes...and his security pass. I had better make sure he's got his flies done up.