Friday, 4 March 2011

E.T. - Make An Appointment To See Your MP. Everyone Else Is Doing So.

It's mayhem when I arrive at work. Greg's wearing a party hat with *Dan For Barnsley handwritten on it, and The Boss is glued to his mobile - phoning every LibDem he knows to congratulate them on their party's "historic result."

It takes all my powers of persuasion to calm things down in time for surgery, which is going to be double its normal length today, as so many people want to see The Boss. God knows why - constituents obviously have no idea how pointless MPs surgeries are.

First they make an appointment, and then they wait for days, or sometimes weeks, while worrying about how they are going to present their cases to Andrew.

Then, when the day of the appointment finally comes around, they travel to the office, where they have to sit in the waiting room with a load of the usual suspects, before finally being shown in to the presence of the great man, who is probably only half-listening anyway.

After being asked for a brief explanation of their problem - much briefer than they've anticipated - they then get five minutes of um-ing and ah-ing, followed by The Boss telling them to go home, stop worrying and to leave it us. (Us being a very relative term.)

So I have no idea why constituents put themselves through this farce - when all they really need to do is phone the office, or send us a letter, to achieve a better result three times as quickly. Unless they find Andrew much more appealing in the flesh than Greg and I do.

Mind you, I wouldn't want The Boss to always be spared the agonies of dealing with constituents, especially the usual suspects, who are out in force, thanks to the bloody National Archives. Dealing with (non) reality is character-building, after all.

"Bloody hell," says Andrew. "Does everyone want to talk about UFOs today? Is no-one interested in The Fightback?"

"Don't you ever watch the news?" I say. "I blame the BBC. And the Government, who've decided to close the department that investigates reports of sightings."

"Yeah," says Greg. "And we all know who has to handle this stuff instead of the *MOD now, don't we?"

The Boss looks blank, so Greg decides to bring him up to speed.

"MPs like you do, Andrew," he says. "Except that you don't have to deal with these nutters, because Molly and I do it for you. Sparing you the joys of people like Mr Aitchison, who phones up every time an alien appears at the foot of his bed. Or John Newman -"

"God, yes - he's the worst," I say. "Does he have to go into quite so much detail about where the aliens insert their probes?"

"Can't say I blame them," says Greg. "I'm often quite tempted to shove something up his jacksie too."

The Boss perks up at this. Some men never grow out of finding the mention of bottoms funny.

"I bet that's what Nick Clegg felt had happened to him," he says. "When he heard his Party had come in sixth."

*Dan Jarvis, winner of the Barnsley by-election - details here. Look away now if you're Nick Clegg.
*MOD - Ministry of Defence. Missing a number of Harrier Jump Jets and an aircraft carrier, as well as a department to investigate UFOs.

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