Thursday, 28 April 2011

Chillax Melvin

This man is jolly well miffed and something tells me his home is a bunting free zone!


Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Calm Down Dear

Everyone is bleating on about Winnergate. Deary me, anyone would think we don't have a economy to straighten out or a conflict in Libya to deal with.

The Left is up in arms. Typical. "How dare he refer to a female as 'dear'! It's sexist. He would never have said anything like that to a man."

Actually he did in 2007. Here's an extract from dated 12th December 2007.

David Cameron (Leader of the Opposition; Witney, Conservative)
February. Thank you, but why was it not in the Prime Minister's statement? The whole point is to announce things to the House of Commons! I know that the Foreign Secretary's speeches are normally corrected after they have gone out, but he might want to advise the Prime Minister rather more about how to get the content right in the first place.
On aid— [Interruption.] Calm down, dear; there are more questions to answer. On aid, can the Prime Minister—with the help of the Foreign Secretary, who is now fully engaged in this—tell us how much of the very substantial UK aid is being spent in Helmand and how much in the rest of the country? Should we not be focusing our aid efforts to a much greater extent where our soldiers are deployed and where so much is at stake?

If anyone has a clip of this then I would be most grateful.

All in all it's very overblown. I refer to men and women as dear, darling, sweetie, and slave (in the intern's case anyway) and I have yet to be called a sexist pig. But then maybe it's only allowed because I'm female. Oops, hang on. Female is still allowed right?

Anyway, back to work!

Sun, Chocolate, Bercow and Babies

I walked into Portcullis House Tuesday morning without a coat after leaving it in the office on Thursday. I know many people are sniggering that it will be raining for the royal wedding but I wanted the sun shine to stay put. What’s the point in getting a tan if you can’t then put your skin on display for the world to see? Thankfully the sun broke through and succeeded in blinding me as I typed by mid-afternoon.

The boss has been on fine form all day. I walked in just before Big Ben chimed 9am to find him at his desk, feet up as he chuckled into his papers. I fear it may have been a sugar overdose from the weekend. There was a moment today when I stared at him in sheer absolute panic as he waved me off and trotted down to the Member’s lobby with chocolate stuck to his trousers. Frankly I give up. If he can’t even eat a chocolate egg, stolen from his children, without making such a mess then I don’t think there’s much hope for him.

I watched John Hemming MP try to raise the subject of Super Injunctions in the chamber today. Bercow slapped him down like a under paid pimp, it was a depressing sight. Whatever happened to Parliamentary privilege?

There have been whispers about certain individuals, true paternity and things people may or may not have done eight years ago before meeting their current partner. I will say no more as I don't know if it's true. However I will be keeping my eye out.
No reason fo posting this, I just wanted to share.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The Fresh Prince of Bone

The boss actually thought I was going to be in the office and working on Bank Holiday Monday. I received a call on my mobile at 3:30pm.

"I've been calling the office for the last ten minutes and no one is picking up, where are you?"

"I am currently sitting on my roof with a near empty wine bottle and an overflowing ashtray. Where in the name of Theresa May's shoe collection do you think I would be?"

"In the office: working!"

"It's a Bank Holiday!"

"Oh. Is it? That explains a few things. I'll see you tomorrow." Click.

One MP I did see about during recess was Peter Bone. Like everyone else he was somewhat dressed down. Untucked shirt, no tie or jacket and, amazingly enough, a pair of very trendy trainers! I thought for a moment I was seeing the Fresh Prince of Bel Air before me. Loving your style Peter.

One can only wonder what will happen during the next three days. Will it just tick along as normal with anti-Tory comments being made in the vain hope of being fired or will a senior Lib Dem finally grow a pair and just resign from the government they seem to disagree with so much? Stand up for your principles lads! And I say lads because they have so few women in their parliamentary party. 

Of course if you believe the Guardian or the Fabian Society then you'll know that the Lib Dems could lose the few ladies they have at the next election. Women with beards! That's the key. How could a local Lib Dem party turn down the chance to select such an individual? Cripes.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Batman and the Hangover Goblin

Well hello there!

A few times over the last five days I thought that Parliament would be recalled. I must say I did hope that it would happen. 

Today it felt like it was just me, Rachel and the security guard who doesn't like me much. That doesn't really narrow it down, not after I shouted at one of them last week. There is a general feeling that they make the rules up as they go along. Some days an intern gets past them, other days they can't. Some days you're only allowed near a commitee corridor if there's an event. The words "jumped up little fascist sh*t" may have passed my lips one afternoon last week. I was angry enough that the guard in question merely nodded and stepped back.

I got into the office very early Friday morning as I had to get on the roof and retrieve my pass. Yes, that is what I said!
Rachel and I had drinks with a few others on Wednesday night. I joked about getting a photo on the roof. It is after all settling into roof weather and I know a lot of people who have gone up there after a few glasses. These people include MPs as well as staffers. I thought if they can go up there then surely we can too. What harm would it cause? Firstly it helps not to fall out of the door and on to the ledge. My knees are black and blue! Secondly I don't recommend dancing in front of any spot lights, not unless you want the Metropolitan police thinking that f*cking Batman is paying them a visit.

As we were giggling and making our way back, one of the lads with us (silly blonde quiff and overly white teeth) grabbed at my chest. Was I more annoyed that he grabbed my security pass and threw it into the shadows or that my chest didn't warrant a grope? I guess we'll never know.
Either way I had to gingerly make my way onto the ledge Friday morning, run to the corner, grab my poor pass and scurry back without being spotted. There was a split second when I caught my reflection in an office window and thought 'I look quite sexy this high above London!' before mentally slapping myself and heading back in. I could have gone up there on Thurday but the Hangover Goblin wouldn't let me.
You've all seen the Hangover Goblin, right?

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Bad Felicity!

Which dedicated bag carrier is at her desk, looking amazing and firing off emails at 9am on a hungover recess morning. You bet your arse it's me! It's important to get at least one email to the boss before 9am so he knows that I am working. Yesterday the email simply said 'You'll never believe this but there's post here for you!'

There has been a higher level of drinking than normal this week, what with the sunshine and everything. This has resulted in a serious lack of posting on my part. I think I've done the Westminster pub crawl every night this week and I believe I've seen more Sky News reporters out and about than I have MPs which when you think about it doesn't actually mean much.

So yes, I am writing this at my desk on a Thursday morning and once it's posted I intend to eat a full English in the vain hope that it might get rid of the taste of Bacardi.


Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Recess: It's Oh So Quiet!

Imagine being a five year old child and becoming lost in an old museum. Everything creaks and flutters with moths. There's nothing exciting about all that dark wooden panelling and stone floor and then you turn a wrong corner and suddenly you're staring up at something ghastly and frightful. Is it a statue about to come to life, a Baron who swears blind that he only took the peerage to please his wife or perhaps a painting that stares down at you with Victorian disgust? That is what work has been like. For a few brief moments there's some noise and movement and then it's back to the echoey silence of the Westminster Palace at recess time.

A few of you have emailed me over the last few days and I thank you for the images.

Most MPs have gone back to their constituencies but not all. No, there are a few dedicated and hard working individuals hanging out on the terrace and necking the champers. 
Diane Abbott conspiring to bring down the Bourgeois
In some offices where the MP has taken a few days off, the staff have taken it upon themselves to decorate with campaign posters. I am told that the Sergeant at Arms has removed the poster as it breaks Parliamentary rules but when the photographer asked whose office it was, he was told to take a hike.

I'm told this is Graham Allen Parliamentary office
I know what my dear readers are thinking. 'That's boring Flick, why are you putting up random photos like this?' Mainly because it links into the AV campaign and therefore gives me an excuse to mention that the No to AV guys have Rik Mayall on board as Alan B'stard, the man who almost single handedly sparked my interest in politics. Amongst other things...

Toodles x

Monday, 11 April 2011

"Who did I prefer: Lord Flashheart or Baldrick...?"

The AV referendum can be now be explained in the most simplest of terms if like me you are a shallow person.

Which of these two men do you like best? 


Or another way is to say "Who did I prefer: Lord Flashheart or Baldrick...?"

Friday, 8 April 2011

Felicity vs IPSA

Since recess is slow and the only thing to look forward to is a pimms on the terrace, I would recommend that my dear readers send me bits and bobs I can post up here. Feel free to send me something funny, or weird or even down right indecent. If you think something is worth sharing then I am all ears and eyes.

I had this email today from a staffer working for one of the new intake.

Hi Felicity,
Just thought you may find this funny as you too are probably swamped by angry constituents complaining about the NHS reforms. After mail merging and folding the replies (there were many) I discovered that I had dated it 2010, probably because of the vast number of election letters I wrote around about this time last year. Anyway cue swearing and our shredder getting a work out !
Keep up the good work!

As I've mentioned in a previous post, IPSA have been changing their minds about things. Most recently it's the AV Referendum. A month ago this was perfectly acceptable to have on an MP's website, either for or against. In the time it's taken to put in the invoice, add the logos and maybe a few links or photos, IPSA have changed their policy and are now sending back claims. 

"It's against the rules."
"I was told differently a month ago."
"No, you must have been told wrong."
"When was this change made?"
"About two weeks ago."
" it was correct then but IPSA have since changed the rules and we're being punished for your lack of communication? Do you have a email going out to tell MPs when there is a policy change?"
"So how are we meant to know?"
"I would suggest that if you or anyone else in the office is unsure about what is and isn't allowed then you should call and ask us."


Wednesday, 6 April 2011

PICT, Interns and The Ugly Game

The office was an uncomfortable place to be today for several reasons. Firstly there was the sodding rugby and my male colleagues were arguing about who were the better team.

I know that disliking the rugby and the cricket and horse racing and all other sports makes me a bad Tory. I don't care, not a bit. There are far more rewarding ways to get out of breath and sweaty, thank you very much. That grown men threw pens, box files and eventually a tea cup at each other has put me off even more.

Secondly there was the intern issue. The boss pulled me to one side and asked if we were paying Rachel at all. His ‘hands off’ approach is a bloody nuisance sometimes. I reminded him that we had started paying her daily travel about a week ago and I occasionally brought her lunch if I had felt that I had been particularly mean to her. This happens quite a lot.
I don't mind paying interns but I do hate the paperwork. It's just another form to fill in and send off to IPSA which they then process and use to magically suck the life from the poor soul who filled it in. I know this to be true and as such, have had a priest in to bless the IPSA filing cabinet.

According to the tech guys in PICT (Parliamentary Information Communication and Technology) one of the severs went down and this resulted in a number of MPs not getting their emails. So if you emailed an MP on Tuesday and thought 'that arsehole hasn't got back to me and s/he has a Blackberry!' then it will because of that. Possibly... 

The boss made reference to two MPs getting a bit touchy-feely in the chamber at the start of the week but he wouldn't say who it was. If any dear readers know, please do tell.

Had an email from a constituent asking why their local supermarket had put 1p on their petrol prices last week. Our response was mainly made up of the supermarket's customer service contact details and a 'feel free to ask them yourselves.' People are getting lazier, I swear.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

"U-turn if you want to, I'm off down the pub."

The day started out well. I found a five pound note on the pavement and proudly waved it in people's faces when I got into work. No Tesco sandwich for me today, oh no! However after inspecting the menus and finding that today's lunch was mainly crap with a side order of disappointment, I spent it on a pack of fags and a can of diet coke. Smoky, fizzy fun!

A possibility of a u-turn on the NHS reforms brought my boss out in a red hue. He chomped through an entire pack of biscuits and slurped at his tea, all the while calling senior Government types every name under the sun. I can see why he is so angry. After all it's him and those like him who spend a great deal of time telling the constituents why we are making these reforms. A u-turn makes them all look like tw*ts! Heck, it makes me look like a tw*t as I also spent twenty five minutes on the phone explaining to a man why PCTs must be scrapped, cremated and their remains scattered across running water.
I have a little game that I play where if I think I'm going to be on a call for a long time I try to see how many quotes from or references to Mel Brooks films I can get in. I have yet to find a topic where Dracula: Dead and Loving It doesn't work.

Top tip to any female readers: don't buy M&S 'ladder resistant' stockings. You know why? Because they're not resistant! I had a ladder from thigh to ankle by lunch time and they were brand new on. I chose to keep them on mostly because I didn't have a spare pair. That and I find the way men react to a ladder or hole hilarious.

Rachel is back at work and appears quite chipper! Generally still on the quiet side apart from the one moment today when she pointed out a well known BBC political chap and loudly asked "Why does he walk like he's been done up the arse?" I walked away and left her to buy her own coffee.

According to Guido there's a rumour going round that Gordon's off in the next week or so. Let's all take a moment to remember...

Friday, 1 April 2011

"We wanna to be free to do what we wanna do!"

I thought since I had wasted a Saturday in Hyde Park listening to over paid union bosses and self-obsessed media luvvies, it was only fair that I also attend the Rally Against Debt. Who am I kidding? You couldn't pay me to keep away! It all sounds like jolly good fun and I look forward to chanting "Greed is good!" and "What do we want? More of our own money left in our pockets! When do we want it? Now or as soon as possible within a economically stable time frame!" Or something along those lines...

So I am looking for suggestions for placards and chants. What's the best you've got?

On another topic: I spent FORTY FIVE minutes trying to fix the bosses computer today. Seems something in the thingy got corrupted as a judge and stopped work. Cue lots of swearing and banging of fists from his corner. It's not like I had any of my own work to do. Oh wait... I've got into the habit of asking if he has turned it off and back on again just to pre-empt the PICT guys when I call them for help.

IPSA have been making a few changes to their policies. Problem is they're not telling any MPs or staffers when they do it. I am thinking about visiting a butchers, buying some giblets and then visiting IPSA on their home turf. I figured I would get a clearer and quicker answer to my questions by divining from chicken entrails on the street outside their office than I would if I emailed or called. Especially if I needed information first thing in the morning because those hard workers at IPSA start at 1pm. That's 1pm to 5pm! You chaps must be exhausted!