At long last, the mother of all farces has drawn to a close. Now inhabiting this bizarre corner of south east London for over four weeks, it is about time that I finally got into the 21st century.

Yes, there is internet here. And it just makes such a difference. The first point is obvious – in that it allows to me to post here at my leisure. I’ve lost track of all the things I wanted to write about in the past few weeks but didn’t get the chance to. There have been so many things to write about as the list of MPs I’ve met, and even better, observed going about their intriguing existences, has gradually lengthened.

But most of all, the feeling I mostly want to write about is just in general about how things are going. I was asked the question by a friend the other day, “Is it worth it so far?” The honest answer at the moment is a no. The simple reason for that is that I don’t believe I’ve derived any benefits from it as a person yet. I don’t really think a list of MPs who I’ve seen, or even talked to, is all that impressive to anyone outside of politics. Sure, I’ve been amongst some of the country’s, if not the world’s, best known landmarks. It is amazing to think that you’re working inside such an outstanding building… and it is quite a privilege… but is it contributing to me as a person? It gives me another story to tell, I suppose.

But then again, me being who I am, it’s not exactly something I’m likely to try to small talk into a conversation. I’m not like that. I almost feel embarrassed to admit things like this, because it’s so unexpected. If someone asks me, “What have you been up to?” I can only reluctantly part with the information about what I’m doing. And if I was just talking to someone in general, I would never volunteer the information unless I was specifically asked about my life. I don’t want to boast about a really great opportunity I’ve had because I start to feel like the other person might feel a little inadequate if I go on about such unique things as this.

Such is the quandary of the way I think. Some people really are shameless self-promoters. I hate them for it. But they also tend to be the most successful people in life, because they get themselves around and are well connected. There are thousands of these people in or around Parliament. They’re the people who wouldn’t hesitate for a second to sell someone else down the river if it advanced their position. They’ll conduct themselves in a thoroughly dishonest way to both get in, and out of, situations.

Most MPs find it difficult to say no. They get talking to someone – someone equally shameless and self-promoting – who will ask if the MP is interested in doing x, y and z to help out Joe Bloggs. The MP, who, 99 times out of 100, couldn’t care less, will agree just to get them off their back. Once you’ve said yes once, you can’t shut the door without telling these people some home truths. So you then spend your entire career, and wasting a lot of your staff’s time, by getting them to sit in on meetings for you, dodging calls, not returning e-mails, and generally getting them to lie on your behalf.

This has been 50% of what I’ve done so far. I have lied and bullshitted to people about what my MP actually wants to do.

And so far it has done nothing to endear to me this kind of life as a career.

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1 Comment

  1. Alcuin Bramerton

     /  Wednesday, 25 October 2006 @ 20:17

    Beware of froth, Matt. And beware of political frothpots. They retail self-serving unction. There are better people to be around.


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