22nd October 2010 at 01:00
The policy wonk rethinking your profession

Monday: The Gove hasn't looked this happy since that legendary lunchtime at a certain Soho karaoke bar, when he shared a private booth with Tony Blair. Little is known about what transpired. Blair certainly gave Gove an advance copy of his autobiography, My Excellent Adventure, dedicated "to Claudius the Emperor, from Augustus the GOD! Ha ha, only kidding. Utmost humility, etc." According to rumour, the two men shared a bottle of prosecco, then duetted on Love Lifts Us Up Where We Belong. Now once again the boss is smiling. When we heard Ballsy was moving from Shadow Education there was apprehension. After years of battling a giant platitudinous soft toy, The Gove was convinced the Opposition would now field a proper arse-biter. Instead they've chosen Azzy "Bifter" Burnham, the sentimental manchild whose boast during his Labour party leadership bid - "no strings attached" - was supposed to signal independence from the unions. Instead it drew attention to how much he looks like a character from Thunderbirds.

Tuesday: Summoned upstairs by Scary Paula. She wants me to meet Bifter: "get the measure of him and his ... advisers". Pff, easy. I'll just get him talking about his beloved Liverpool and "footie". He knows sod-all about anything else. As for his advisers, they'll be the usual twiglets, each with a 2:1 in PPE and tiny novelty rucksacks.

Wednesday: Email Bifter Burnham's PA in "strictest confidence". As there's a growing sense that Labour will be back in power by next Easter, it would be prudent to meet up with Andy, blah blah, discuss how we might unravel the Gove Horror, blah blah, hear some of his fabulous ideas and make-up tips. In the fictionalised world of Opposition politics, this works a treat. Meeting fixed.

Thursday: Arrive at the hideous converted post office in Wapping that now serves as Burnham's power centre. A harrassed-looking PA takes me to his office, becoming noticeably more anxious as we get nearer. The door opens, the PA scuttles off and I'm barely inside the cramped office when a cross, tiny Scouse woman blocks my way. "Who's dis bloody soft lad, Azzy? One of yer gay mates from the N U Bloody T, is eh?" She pokes me in the navel, hard. "Who sent ye, ye Southern poof? Ed Milibloodyband was eh? Next time I see him he'll feel my bloody boot up his arse. Our Az were promised bloody Exchequer, not bloody SKEWELS!" A sheepish Burnham appears from behind the desk. "Ah, I see you've met me Mam ..."

Friday: Still reeling after yesterday's two-hour bollocking from Mrs Burnham. It's clear she'll be The Gove's real opponent. Oh dear. Pushy middle-class mothers he can handle. Jabby working-class ones ...

As intercepted by Ian Martin.

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