With apologies to Jerome K Jerome and anyone who loves the book as much as I do. As told to the blogger by David Cameron.
THERE were four of us – Gordon, and Nick Clegg, and myself, and the Speaker of the House. We were sitting in my room, smoking, and talking about how bad we were – bad from an electoral point of view I mean, of course.
We were all feeling seedy, and we were getting quite nervous about it. Nick said he felt such extraordinary fits of giddiness come over him at times, that he hardly knew what he was doing or what the fuck he was talking about; and then Gordon said that HE had fits of giddiness too, and hardly knew what HE was doing. With me, it was my fucking backbench that was out of order. I knew it was my backbench that was out of order, because I had just been reading a fees office circular, in which were detailed the various symptoms by which a man could tell when his backbench was out of order. I had them all.
It is a most extraordinary thing, but I never read a letter from the editor of the Guardian without being impelled to the conclusion that I am suffering from the particular disease therein dealt with in its most virulent form. The diagnosis seems in every case to correspond exactly with all the sensations that I have ever felt.
I remember going to the Commons Library one day to read up the message for some slight policy inclination of which I had a touch – hug a hoody, I fancy it was. I got down the book, and read all I came to read; and then, in an unthinking moment, I idly turned the leaves, and began to indolently study policies, generally. I forget which was the first distemper I plunged into – some fearful, devastating scourge, I know – and, before I had glanced half down the list of “Home Office Policies,” it was borne in
upon me that I had fairly got it.
I sat for awhile, frozen with horror; and then, in the listlessness of despair, I again turned over the pages. I came to ‘Anti-Social Behavior Orders – read the Hansard for Report Stage- discovered that I had supported ASBOs, must have had for months without knowing it – wondered what else I had supported; turned up tighter Border Security – found, as I expected, that I had voted for that too, – began to get interested in my case, and determined to sift it to the bottom, and so started alphabetically – read up decriminalisation of cannabis, and learnt that I was listed as having voted for it, and that the day of coming into effect would commence in about another fortnight. DNA databases , I was relieved to find, I had only supported in a modified form, and, so far as that was concerned, I might not be searched in TheyWorkForYou.com for years. 28 Day Detention I had supported, with severe reservations; and the war in Iraq I seemed to have been born preparing for. I plodded conscientiously through the twenty-six letters, and the only malady I could conclude I had not got was identity cards.