You may know a little boy like Vincent. Kept silent for most of the week, his parents only let him out to play on Sunday. He’s not allowed to go far – just to one playground, here in Westminster.
Vincent can be boisterous with his friends, and plays a bit rough. He thinks that as he’s the biggest boy in the playground, he should extend an occasional slap or bite in the direction of the other kids to keep them out of trouble. Vincent usually thinks he’s right and the other kids should listen to him more. Deprived of access to the real world by those who care for him, Vincent finds any change to his routine distressing, and his world has been cruelly upset in recent weeks. His friends have vanished, and he has no-one to play with. Vincent is lonely. He wants his friends to come back. Just read these desperate messages posted on the Internet. I warn you, you might find them upsetting.
“@vincentmoss: Surely Boris Johnson, David Cameron, Theresa May, local MP David Lammy aren’t ALL on holiday? #tottenham”
“@vincentmoss: … Are statements and tweets good enough from D.Lammy, do you think? Shouldn’t he be more visible?”
“@vincentmoss: Even London’s *deputy mayor* Kit Malthouse is on the phone to Sky re Tottenham riots, is there no one not on a sun lounger?”
The truth is, the other kids think Vincent is a bit of a bully, and they’ve gone abroad for a few weeks to have a rest away from him. Vincent Moss is the Political Editor of the Sunday Mirror.
Just £1 will buy Vincent a picture of the Mayor of London, to help ease his pain. £3 will buy a life-sized portrait of David Cameron which Vincent can keep with him at all times. £10 will buy a David Lammy doll. Please, give today.
Vincent is just one of many youngsters left alone and frightened in corners of the Westminster playground this autumn. Have you seen Theresa? Sky’s Mark White is very upset by her sudden disappearance. This morning Mark made a television appeal for Theresa to issue a statement in response to the Tottenham riots. Mark is frantic with worry, and could barely hide his frustration from the cameras. Mark knows, as surely we all know, that Tottenham will not be able to heal the wounds until Theresa May distributes a press release.
£60 will buy an Easyjet ticket to fly Theresa back to Westminster and get her a cab straight to 4 Millbank. Please, call now.
The howls of indignation from broadcasters and journalists finding the Whitehall Quote Machine a little slower than usual to pump out gobbets for their bulletins are bemusing. In every direction, lesser-spotted lobby hacks are calling for politicians to cut short their holidays and get back to their desks – or better still, the studios. The same calls have not yet been extended to their senior lobby colleagues, but I feel sure Mark White will be opining the absence of Adam Boulton live on Sky any minute now.
Here’s some breaking news for what’s left of the lobby this August – we know our political masters are on holiday, and we don’t care. At all. If anything, it’s good that they’re having a break. Tired leaders make poor decisions. Do us all a favour, and stop testing whether they’re chained to their BlackBerries every minute of every day.
Boris Johnson cannot re-tarmac Tottenham High Road, but the people who can have already set about about it. David Cameron can’t restore America’s credit rating in the next two weeks. George Osborne can’t repair the Eurozone by next Tuesday, and Nick Clegg can’t… Well he just can’t.
Please, leave them alone. It’s August. Go find some impressions of the face of Jesus in toast. Find me a kitten that looks like Berlusconi. Play Solitaire for all I care, but for the love of it all stop trying to whip me in to moral outrage over Cameron’s fortnight in Tuscany.
Now I need a holiday too. Back in a week. Someone keep an eye on Vincent, will you? I’m worried he might be getting a bit obsessive. He keeps talking about posting pictures of his friends holiday whereabouts in the papers.