Friday, 9 July 2010

Conspiracy Theory, Injustice and the Siege of Rothbury in all its Ghastliness.

Oh, for goodness' sake. I thought conspiracy theorists were supposed to be based outside Parliament, not be members of it. Now The Boss thinks the phones are bugged.

Not satisfied with banning Greg and I from talking to Party staff, and making us attend Friday briefings separately and on alternate weeks, now he's obsessed with listening devices.

Why does he think anyone would care what he says or does? He's still only a bloody backbencher, with no hope of ever getting promotion, especially given the recently-added extra handicap of being in opposition.

Whenever one of the phones rings while he's in the office today, he makes a dive to answer it himself, then takes the caller's number, and insists on phoning them back on his mobile. From the archive cupboard. God knows what his phone bill will be - don't think the office budget is going to cope, if he keeps this up. I shall be economising furiously at work as well as at home.

Greg doesn't seem to be having the same budgeting problems. He's wearing an Armani tie today - what the hell is that about? I thought we were supposed to look accessible, and not overdress for work? No choice on my budget. Compared to Greg's sartorial splendour, I feel like a hobo - to borrow one of Josh's many offensive expressions.

I have a horrible premonition that this feeling is going to be exacerbated a hundred times over when, or if, I ever meet up with Johnny. Probably better if I never meet him, and leave his memories of my exhibitionist younger self unspoiled by a present-day reality check.

Surgery is relatively uneventful, though depressing. Several very-disabled people worrying about what's going to happen about their benefits. The Boss provides no real reassurance as he can't resist the temptation to cast the coalition in the most terrifying light possible. They aren't any happier afterwards, when I escort them down in the lift.

I daren't leave them to find their own way out since I lost that wheelchair-bound arsonist. I hate lifts. They make me feel trapped and really panicky - a bit like I sometimes feel when Max and I seem to have so little to talk about.

There are also quite a few public sector workers fretting about possible redundancies, and someone from one of the unions, who talks tough and meets with The Boss' whole-hearted approval. The word "strike" crops up any number of times.

I hope my union will be this aggressive in my defence if I lose my job to ensure the survival of Carlotta's. I am really pissed off with her today, since The Boss told me that he'd asked her to write an article - in his name - for some publication or other, and that she could keep the £500 fee!

English isn't even her first language, and I spend my whole life writing creatively and affixing Andrew's signature to the fruits of my labours. But I am doomed to be forever in the shadows, my light firmly embedded in a bag-carrying bushel. (I can do metaphors as well as the next Spanish person, too.)

When I get home, it is to find Max brandishing an airline ticket and travel itinerary. It looks like any old itinerary - i.e. any reasonably competent person could have knocked it up on a home computer.

I make a non-committal grunt, learned from The Boss. Then Max makes a great show of writing the name of his hotel in the diary. I'm not sure what reaction this is designed to provoke, but it irritates the hell out of me. Then I feel like a conspiracy theorist.

Impending argument is prevented by Max turning on the TV, which is showing the siege of Rothbury. Live.

We both watch BBC News in horror, both at the events, and at the inanity and inappropriateness of some of John Sopel's comments. But then the man's just doing his job, which I suppose is what I'd also claim if I had to justify some of the things The Boss has had me do.

Can't help worrying that such blanket coverage may give some of our usual suspects ideas, though. Mr Beales will be polishing his shotgun right this minute, envisaging the effect notoriety will have on his business. Lucky the BBC's cameramen are better than Mr B at getting people's heads in shot, I guess - if that isn't the tackiest unintentional pun ever.

Sam arrives shortly after we have had enough of voyeurism, and have turned the TV off. I'm bloody sure Max invited him just to avoid any arguments this weekend, as I didn't know anything about his visit until last night.

It works, annoyingly, and the rest of the evening is spent cooking and eating, and generally acting like people with a social life. Josh and Connie even join in for a while, and I go to bed with an uncharacteristically warm glow. Unless I've become menopausal overnight. Anything's possible.

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