18 MARCH 2006, Page 13


TUESDAY Hateful, horrid Tessa Jowell. Things have gone mad at Tory headquarters since the stupid row over her silly husband. Everyone sweating over share certificates. I’ve been put on to a new unit monitoring ‘outside interests’. Poppy wrote ‘Jose Mourinho’ on her form and had to start again. Childish, really.

We have to ask our MPs whether they ‘or their spousal partner of choice’ have an ‘offshore’. They’re all being jolly rude about it. I don’t think any MP, no matter how closely related to Winston Churchill, should be able to tell a press officer to forcibly insert their official brief ... Well, anyway. WEDNESDAY AM More misery. We have to find out who has put money into ‘hedge funds’. No one seems to be asking the obvious question: Why would anyone put money into hedges? Aren’t they a bit vulnerable to the weather? Or are hedges eco-friendly? Memo to self: must consult collected works of Z. Goldsmith.

PM Am mortified. Apparently a hedge fund is something to do with ... well, it’s not something to do with topiary. How will I ever recover from this?

Some distraction as nice Mr Willetts pops in to the office for a chat. He talked about something called ‘Laffer curves’ and smiled a lot. When he turned round, somebody had stuck a Post-it to his jacket that said: ‘I BACKED DAVIS!’ He thought we were laughing at a joke he made about Davos.

THURSDAY Salvation! After hedge fund crisis, have been chosen to accompany Dave and Lord Hezza to Liverpool! In sole charge of diary. We will be establishing Dave as the positive, optimistic voice of urban Britain, which apparently not everyone in the inner cities is convinced of yet.

SUNDAY So excited. Don’t think I’ll sleep tonight. Mummy insisting I pack my cocktail dress just in case there’s a formal. Daddy said I should take my wax jacket because it’s cold up north, but Mummy said, don’t be ridiculous, Roger, the last time you were up north they were going around in horse and carriages so no wonder you were cold. Am bit nervous. Although Mummy was born in Melton Mowbray, I have never actually been up north.

MONDAY 1PM Utterly Miserable. All going great guns until we picked up the car at Lennon and McCartney airport. I was in charge of the map. I thought we would have sat-nav, but no, I have to do it all by hand. There’s a stupid one-way system and before we know what’s happening we’re somewhere called Dingle. I have never seen Dave angry before. Not a very ‘compassionate’ day, so far.

10PM Just back from Lord H’s room. I had to take him a copy of the Urban Renewal Task Force mission statement. Door was on the latch. When I went in he was standing on the balcony sipping chilled Pouilly Fumé gazing out over the city talking to himself: ‘What this place needs is a few hundred acres. Wrong soil? Hmmmm. I do hope Nanny Bee has remembered to take the dog out.... ’ I left the statement on the bedside table and crept back out.