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The policy wonk rethinking your profession

The policy wonk rethinking your profession

MONDAY: Plans for the Departmental Christmas Fancy Dress Party are underway. The theme this year - steamrollered through, of course, by Heavy Si Schama - is "Shakespeare". As is traditional, former education secretaries are invited. Charles Clarke has bagged Falstaff. Ideal, really, as he's grown a massive white beard anyway for his stint as Father Christmas at Selfridges. Estelle Morris has got a fantastic costume for her Lady Macbeth, although apparently it makes her look like Bjork's mum. Ballsy's coming, too, temporarily suspending his scowling sulk to show what a good sport he is. He'll be Ghost Of Murdered King from Hamlet, lurking in the corner with a soft drink and a face like a bag of potatoes. Blunkett, of course, is Lear. Ruth Kelly will be Mistress Quickly - possibly a reference to the speed at which everyone lost faith in her. (NB, don't ever use the word "faith" in her presence. She starts glowing and quoting Leviticus at you.) Nobody's telling Alan Johnson about the party as nobody can actually remember him doing anything at all apart from drinking all the Cinzano.

TUESDAY: The Gove will be coming as Richard III. Fliss from Strategy saw him trying the outfit on "for a laugh", when he and his new best mate Simon opened the revamped Royal Shakespeare Theatre last month. They'd been larking about in the wardrobe department after lunch, modelling some of the clothes and giggling. Schama looked pretty convincing as Charles I, even with the #163;2,000 spectacles. But The Gove looked positively exquisite as Richard and was so taken with the outfit - black studded leather doublet and hose, fuck-off sword - that he insisted on borrowing it. He certainly raised a few eyebrows the next day by wearing it to Cabinet. In retrospect, it was a careless mistake to simply get out of the ministerial car and breeze into Number 10, cheerfully waving to the photographers.

WEDNESDAY: Well, The Times has the friendliest headline: "Shakespeare In Gove". And the Daily Mirror the most hostile: "Gadzooks! He's a Dick!" But not one of the papers has missed the godsend of a line, "Winter of our Discontent". And this winter is shaping up to be definitely discontentful.

THURSDAY: Just when we thought things couldn't get more irritating, some smartarse student (English probably, or classics, something pointless) has written an Edward Lear-alike nonsense poem about Gove and Vince Cable called The Veal Calf and The Dinosaur. It's very "personal". Yet, ironically, it's all over YouTube.

FRIDAY: Gove's had enough. He's ordered a crackdown on shouty people in bobble hats protesting about education cuts. Good luck shifting the occupation at that Yorkshire Sure Start, where a sustained "dirty protest" is now in progress.

As intercepted by Ian Martin.

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