Running the Country

Daisy Waugh eavesdrops on the chattering classes

We were only having a giggle really…

It’s how all great ideas begin.

Very true.

So go on. I’m on tenterhooks!

Well, I was saying to Tim — we were talking about the litter, actually. One of these days some kid’s going to step on a syringe and they’ll get HIV — it’s what I said to the lady at the council. But — was she interested?

Of course not. What’s the big plan?

I was saying to Tim…and then it sort of evolved into a big, old moan about how we pay all these taxes, but nothing ever gets done…

Too busy…

Fiddling expenses. That’s right. So I said to Timmie — If you want a job done properly, be it running the country or picking up litter — you’re better off doing the thing yourself.

Afraid so.

And he said: “Well, why don’t you then?”

Pick up the litter? Bit rude.

No! Run the country, you dildo!

Oh. Bloody rude, then.

Rude? I don’t think so…

Sorry to be dense, sweetie. But I’m not quite understanding…

Well, you’ve read about Esther Rantzen?

What about her?

And that guy, who used to go around with the white suit — What was his name? 

God knows.

Anyway. We, the public, that is. We all moan about our MPs. Right?

Right!

But there comes a time when you’ve just got to stop moaning, and do something.

I suppose…

The country’s crying out for honest, decent people. To stand up…

What’s Esther Rantzen got to do with it? I thought she was dead.

I don’t think Tim realises how serious I am. But you know, for the first time in my life, I just have this feeling…Almost like a calling.

Golly.

I’ve been ever so busy, looking up all sorts of things on the internet…And I’ve decided. I’m going to stand as an Independent MP!

Oh. My. God…

Serious.

So. What sort of a prospectus-thingy are you going to stand on? You’ve got to have one…

Oh, I’ve got hundreds of them…I’ll email them to you.

Well…

It’s all the stuff that people really, seriously care about. Green issues. Obviously. Anti-BNP. Because they’re a menace. Mostly, it’s just about Integrity…The dread “I” word!

Sounds very impressive.

Going forwards. Not looking back. Going forwards into the future…

Wow!

With Integrity. Plus, with Maisie off to big school next term, I’ll have lots of time on my hands. I was thinking of aromatherapy…

Never mind aromatherapy!

Could be fun, couldn’t it? Gossiping in the tearooms…Changing the country’s agenda…

You’re giving me goose bumps!  

New wardobe…Paxman…I just bet there’s free parking, if you know how to swing it…

An autumn note

“For many, the end of this uneasy year cannot come quickly enough”

An ordinary killing

Ian Cobain’s book uses the killing of Millar McAllister to paint a meticulous portrait of the Troubles

Greater—not wiser

John Mullan elucidates the genius of Charles Dickens
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