I VOLUNTEERED to get up with the boys this morning and give Carolyn a lie in. The courier has just arrived for the Sunday morning pick-up of my red box, although this time it returns to the department without any of the work inside having been looked at, let alone completed – not because I’m in a huff (I’m really not), but because I’m not authorised, as of Friday evening, to open it.
Years ago, during one of Tony Blair’s reshuffles, one minister was attending a conference, waiting to deliver the keynote speech. She was called on her mobile and told her services were no longer required. Shocked, she hung up and turned to her private secretary to tell him the news. The private secretary expressed the appropriate amount of sympathy, then took the speech notes from the ex-minister’s hands, informing her that, as a back bench MP, she was no longer authorised to speak on behalf of the government. The private secretary then delivered the speech instead. Brutal, eh?