8.35am: Drive through gates of Palace of Westminster. Drive to barrier, switch engine off, open bonnet, open boot. Security crawls all over car. Lots of slamming of boot and bonnet. Drive through barrier into underground car park. A sad reflection on the world we live in today.
Quick breakfast. Dash to Wilson Room for Health Committee. Select Committees are one of the better democratic institutions in Parliament. The Health Committee reviews the effect of Government policy. At the moment we’re investigating dental services. Today’s witnesses were informative, interesting and more to the point, agreeing with me. Found out that the Government doesn’t know how many full time equivalent NHS dentists there are.
11.25am: Dash to Commons Chamber for Business Questions. This is the poor man, well the back benchers’ version of PMQs. Ask the Leader of the House why the European Union debate is being so heavily curtailed. Suggests that she should be bold and courageous and that the EU Committee sit next week during the MPs’ half term break. Er sorry, I mean constituency week.
Now I think about it, it would have been a stupid idea. The cubby hole of an office that I work from with my Parliamentary Assistant has become engulfed with moth infestation. Now you may think that moths are passive creatures. Not ours. They form themselves into mini squadrons and launch surprise attacks when we’re not expecting it. Now I assumed that the moth gorillas lived in our office as I am prone to leave various articles of clothing around for emergency use. Never know when I’m going to throw a cup of coffee over my new suit. But no. The whole of the T-Block is infested and the authorities have decided to poison the blighters. However they are slightly concerned that they might also poison the MPs, so we are banned from our offices, in fact locked out for a week.
1pm: Cheese and biscuit lunch with PA. Have twenty minutes before I’m due to speak in topical debate. Phone rings. Desperate Whip on other end pleads with me to attend Commons Chamber as topical debate is about to start. Normal human beings don’t know that under House of Commons rules, if an MP wants to speak they have to attend right from the beginning of the debate.
Have two cheese biscuits left. Dash to the door clutching one biscuit. Reconsider, go back for last biscuit. Only to find PA about to devour it. Wrestle it from her, run to Chamber dropping crumbs. Able to speak for 23 minutes on health issues effecting Wellingborough.
Leave Chamber to meet Managing Director of East Midlands Trains. Mobile phone rings. Eldest son ringing from Afghanistan. First time I’ve spoken to him since his deployment. Brings me back to reality. Makes me realise that the decisions we make at Westminster really do affect people.