Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Weekly Diary: 1st June - 5th June

Return of the Eddie
Monday 1st June
Credit has rightly been given to Ed Miliband, who has returned to the Commons, freshly tanned and raved out from a holiday in Ibiza. In doing so, he is now a third of the way to equalling his predecessor’s Commons attendance record.
Here he is, now on the Labour backbenchers and back in action, with the look of a man who is saying “I look weird, and I don’t care. I’m out, loud and proud. And weird! What do I want? Equal electoral opportunities for people who look weird! When do I want it? Four weeks ago!”

Meanwhile, Boris has spoken in the Commons, and he is worried about relics from a bygone era being threatened by ISIS in Syria. He asks not as the MP for Uxbridge, but as the Founder, Chair and Exemplar of the Relics from A Bygone Era Society

Tuesday 2nd June
It is a sad day as news breaks of the untimely death of former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy. Kennedy was hugely loved and admired across politics and the country.
He was a gifted, amiable and principled leader, and carries a lot of affection for my generation, particularly through his frequent appearances on shows such as Have I Got News For You. One favourite appearanceis linked here.
It was first broadcast on 3rd November 2000, and covered some recent heavy flooding.
Deayton: What is the Liberal Democrats’ position on Global Warming?
Kennedy (quick as a flash): We’re very concerned.
Deayton: What was John Prescott’s response?
Kennedy: Unintelligible?
And with that, we thought Tuesday was all over. It is now, as Sepp Blatter announces that he will be standing down as President of FIFA. He says that he is doing this because he does not have a mandate from all of football, and also because it has transpired that the Pope is a Catholic.
The thing is that all of this was true on Friday, so what’s changed? Difficult to say, but it does seem that Mr Blatter is expecting a 5am alarm call any day now.

Wednesday 3rd June
The return of Prime Minister’s Questions brings back the sort of searing scrutiny you’d expect.
First a Conservative MP stands up with: “Would the Prime Minister agree that he’s marvellous and always right?”
To which the Prime Minister responds with “Well, I agree with my honourable friend that I am a rather flash man.”
Then a Labour MP responds with: “Actually, I have information that suggests the Prime Minister is dreadful and always wrong.”
To which Mr Cameron responds: “Well, I think the honourable member and the party opposite have learned nothing from the election, namely that our long-term economic plan is working in our northern powerhouse to prove that I am, in fact, rather flash, man.”
And on it goes for five years.

Thursday 4th June
Today sees the ballot for Private Members Bills – where individual backbenchers get to table their own bits of legislation for consideration by the House of Commons. Examples of successful PMBs from the last Parliament include The Control of Horses Act 2015, which is “An Act to make provision for the taking of action in relation to horses which are on land in England without lawful authority”. Yes, that’s right: Conservative MP Julian Sturdy took action on equine illegal immigrants.
Okay, the legislation was dealing with real issues. Niche issues, but real all the same. For instance, in the same Parliament, Dan Jarvis was unsuccessful with a Private Member’s Bill which tried to raise the minimum wage.
Still, not to worry: at least you can now evict an unwanted horse.

Friday 5th June
Bad news for Labour leadership hopeful Andy Burnham. Yesterday, more of Prince Charles’ Black-Spider memos were released, including one response from Burnham which he signs off with “I have the honour to remain, Sir, Your Royal Highness’s most humble and obedient servant.” This is the conventional response according to Debrett’s guide to etiquette, a tome well-respected by the Labour grassroots.
Some have suggested that this was an attempt to secure an invitation to tea, but this is unfair. If he’d wanted a tea invite, he would simply have written:
“Your Royal Highness, I am a humble man and yet I really like your Duchy Originals biscuits. I – who is humbler than all others and whose obedience knows no bounds – believe that I can only fully show you my appreciation for them in person. Please, please, please could we have tea together? I do not presume that you will permit it (look at me being humble), and I will follow whatever your commands are (see me be obedient). Yours grovelingly, YMHAOS.”

Events depicted may differ from actual events. In fact, this is a work of fiction, with some facts. But mostly, it's nonsense.

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