Monday, 6 December 2010

Under Suspicion - Spies, MPs, And Russians, Not To Mention MPs' Staff

Bloody hell - and I thought The Boss was a liability! At least he doesn't have a researcher who's been picked up by MI5.

Honestly, though - wouldn't you think it would have occurred to Mike Hancock MP that employing a Russian research assistant was slightly inadvisable, especially when he sits on the Defence Select Committee? Has he never heard of the Cold War, or read any John Le Carre?

And, although Andrew can do some pretty stupid things, even he wouldn't be daft enough to (allegedly) take young female constituents out to dinner and text them to "cheer them up." Or, at least, I really hope he wouldn't.

"Thank God we don't work for Mike Hancock," I say. "Things could actually be worse."

"Don't count your chickens," says Greg. "I've got a very bad feeling about Vicky."

So have I, but I don't think she's that sort of spy. Greg decides to investigate, anyway, though. He picks up a new notebook, opens it to the first page and then turns to face Vicky, his pen poised at the ready.

"Got any Russian relatives?" he says. Subtlety has never been his forte.

"Don't be ridiculous," she says. "Why?"

"Just something Slavic about your cheekbones. And you look like a woman who'd know how to make a man tell you anything."

"Thanks," says Vicky, as if it were a compliment.

She obviously hasn't a clue what Greg is talking about, probably because she thinks keeping abreast of current affairs means revealing as much Wonderbra-enhanced cleavage as possible. I keep hoping she'll catch pneumonia like my Nan always warned me would happen if you walked around with your bosoms hanging out all over the place.

"And no Russian friends?" says Greg. "Close friends? Take your time before you answer."

"I don't need to. I don't know any Russians." Vicky rolls her eyes."Now do you mind if I get on with what I'm doing?"

Greg makes a great show of writing down her answers in his notebook, but she doesn't seem to notice, as she's too busy concentrating on trying to mend one of her fake nails. When she decides that the task is beyond her, she phones for an "emergency appointment" at the nail bar, and buggers off to lunch.

I breathe a sigh of relief, but then Greg starts on me while I'm making coffee.

"Of course, we already know that we have someone with Russian connections working in the office, don't we, Molly?" he says.

He gives me one of those horrible meaningful looks he usually reserves for when The Boss makes one of his wilder claims to the media.

"Oh, for God's sake," I say. "I hardly think one disastrous date with a UK citizen who just happens to work in Russia counts as exposing myself to bribery and corruption. And, anyway, Johnny takes absolutely no interest in my job whatsoever. He's as unimpressed with it as I am. More, probably."

"Ah, yes - but you have always wondered what a man as rich and successful as he is could possibly see in you, haven't you?" says Greg. Somewhat insensitively, if you ask me.

"Thanks," I say, though not at all in the same tone as Vicky used earlier.

"Just food for thought," he says.

I glare at him, before passing him his coffee and spilling some on the letter he's just printed out. Accidentally on purpose. Hopefully that'll shut him up for the rest of the day.

Famous last words. Just after it gets dark, Greg comes into my office and walks to the window. He peers out, before diving to the floor.

"Get down! They're out there, Mol," he says, in a very loud whisper. "Waiting for you."

"Who?" I say. "Not Mr X and his cronies?"

I slide under my desk, banging my head in the process. Greg laughs.

"MI5" he says. "Look - dark car, and a man in a dark suit, speaking into his sleeve."

When I've managed to disentangle myself from the printer lead, I stand up and approach the window. Very carefully.

"For Christ's sake, Greg," I say. "That's Phil Ashbury, the Unison guy. He's got a meeting with Joan at 5:00pm. And he's just putting his gloves on."

"Or so he'd like you to think," says Greg, who isn't half as funny as he thinks he is.

I'm a bit unnerved now, though. I mean, what if MI5 are following everyone with a Russian connection? And how embarrassing would it be if they read my emails? They'd probably nominate me and Johnny for one of those bad sex awards after last week's woeful virtual performance.

I want to talk to Johnny about it, but I daren't. What if he's only softening me up before trying to find out everything I know? I bet it'll only be a matter of time before he starts asking me all about The Boss' position on cycle helmets.

I knew someone successful fancying me was too good to be true. Or anyone fancying me, for that matter. It's a shame no-one wants to take me out to dinner to cheer me up. Even an MP would do, the way I'm feeling, and it doesn't get much more desperate than that.


  1. Russian caviar ads on the feed now.

    By the way, does Greg have a home life? Or did I miss it when I was eating all I could with your vouchers in London, Oxford ... pretty much anywhere really?

  2. He lives with his Mum and Dad. Classic failure to launch.