Friday, 14 January 2011

Sleep Deprivation Due To Electoral Success. Not To Mention Michael Gove & Norman Lamb.

"Comrades - the fightback has begun!" says The Boss when he arrives this morning.

"Hrmph," says Greg who, like me, stayed up too late last night watching the election result from Oldham East and Saddleworth.

Andrew glares at him, so then Greg tries a bit harder. He punches the air, but so feebly that it comes across as camp, rather than triumphalist.

"You look like shit," says Andrew. Who doesn't look any better himself, but appears not to own a mirror.

I do, and I can confirm that I look the worst of all of us, which I ascribe not only to being knackered, but to the as-yet unresolved trauma of finding myself agreeing with Michael Gove during part of last night's Question Time.

I don't quite know what happened but, one minute he was spouting the usual pompous rubbish in that ghastly voice of his, and the next he'd turned into Pob the Evangelist. For a man who looks like a very cold fish indeed - probably because his adoptive father was something to do with them - I wasn't expecting such passion and intensity.

I suddenly found that I wished Josh's education had reflected Gove's vision, rather than what he actually got: an A-Level in Film Studies and a job at the cinema shovelling popcorn. Then I spent the next hour worrying that I was having a breakdown or some sort of secular crisis of faith, and I couldn't concentrate at all by the time the TV coverage of the election result finally started.

When it did, I couldn't believe who was on the panel. Nor could Max, who took one look and then said what he always says in these circumstances:

"Oh, God. Norman Bloody Lamb."

It's like Groundhog Day. The same series of questions always follow this initial statement. Every single time Norman appears on TV.

"Why the hell doesn't that man even have a house in his constituency?" Max says. "Does he think he's too good to live in the same place as the people he serves?"

"How many times do I have to tell you?" I say. "I don't know. I've never met the man, and I only heard about it from someone else - so don't shout at me."

Mind you, if I think Max's shouting is bad, I'd better keep my Michael Gove epiphany to myself, and hope it wears off when I've had a good night's sleep. The Boss would kill me if he heard about it - even though he's a product of the sort of education to which Gove was referring.

And I'm not likely to get much sleep again tonight. Unless it's due to a drunken coma.

"Drinks this evening to celebrate," says Andrew, once surgery finishes. "Seeing as we couldn't be there in Oldham last night. I'll meet you in the George at 7:00pm. Go and invite everyone in the Party office too, Molly. Make sure you include everyone who's in there."

Then he wanders off to a meeting with the local Patient Liaison group, taking Vicky with him. I don't bother to ask why, as I'm so glad to see the back of her. It's pretty obvious that she didn't stay up too late last night. Dewy skin and bright eyes are occasionally very annoying to behold.

Greg puts his head down on his desk as soon as the door closes behind them. Then he pretends to snore.

"Oh, God," I say. "I know how you feel. I really want an early night tonight. I had no idea what anyone was talking about during surgery, as I kept starting to doze off and then jerking awake just as my head dropped forward."

"I bet that was attractive," says Greg. "But we haven't got a choice, anyway. His Master's Voice has spoken so we've got to go to the pub."

He's right, of course. And just because we're tired doesn't mean that winning the election isn't very good news. As is Andrew's unusual behaviour.

"The Boss even said to invite everyone," I say. "Maybe that means he's finally stopped thinking that everyone in the Party's out to get him?"

"Oh, I don't think that's his motivation," says Greg. "Haven't you been into their office this week?"

"No," I say. "Why?"

"Go and see for yourself."

I haven't got time, though - so I make Greg go and deliver Andrew's message while I try to finish today's surgery letters. By the time I've finally posted them, he's asleep on the sofa in the Oprah Room, though I shall have to go and wake him up soon. It's almost 6:40pm now, and we'll have to leave for the pub in a minute.

I'll just see if concealer will hide the bags under my eyes a bit first, while Greg's not looking. And laughing. There's nothing worse than someone who thinks he's a comedian watching you try to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, after all. Except finding yourself agreeing with a very odd Tory by accident, of course.

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