Last weekend, as I was penning this article, Tony was flicking through his address book for the number of the Palace, and then looking at his diary to find a slot for an audience with Her Majesty.
If he was thinking what I was thinking, then this could be the last article until, hopefully, normal service is resumed after May 5th. The Prime Minister is, I hear, going to visit the Palace and announce that he plans to dissolve me and my 658 Parliamentary colleagues in the very near future. The country will then enjoy an interval in which there will be no MP’s to write articles on websites. This respite will be entirely cancelled by them fighting a noisy campaign to regain that entitlement after May 5th. The mood was summed up in a letter in the Times on April 1st “For many of us the prospect of another five weeks of pre-election campaigning has all the appeal of root-canal surgery.”
While Tony was making up his mind, I was preparing for the fray by having a tranquil weekend in the North Hampshire countryside. Aurelia and I went to Fremantle Farm, near Hannington, paid our £6 to Breakthrough, the excellent Breast Cancer Charity and collected our map. We were offered the option of a one hour, two hour or three hour walk, before our reward of a traditional English breakfast.
We disappeared off into the countryside and returned well within two hours. We were congratulating ourselves on completing the two hour walk within the allotted time, when a closer inspection of the colour code on the map revealed we had in fact completed the one hour course. Well, we did do a bit of talking on the way round.
I was then told by my wife that our English breakfast was also our English lunch; but it was a very substantial meal consumed at about midday so it was difficult to complain.
And then, in the afternoon, the theme of tranquillity continued. It was off to Binley for the traditional Daffodil Sunday, raising funds for Andover Riding for the Disabled. This was founded in 1972 by Dinah Murdoch and there are now over a hundred riders benefiting from the experience of being involved with a horse or pony each week. The Daffodil Day keeps the show on the road and we also stocked up with some of the plants that were on sale.
Tranquillity however is not the theme at Westminster this week.
We are shortly to be locked out of our rooms at the House of Commons; our stationery is going to be confiscated; our telephones cut off and our email accounts suspended. We won’t be able to call ourselves MP’s and, if we lose our seats, we will be at the Job Centre on May 6th. And if we don’t, we will be writing articles again.