It has been a very hectic start to the week.
But the time has gone quickly as I have been discussing the Euro crisis with my MP friend and mentor, Milton Mancini, the MP for Pipstock.
Now as you know, Milton has strong Italian connections although he has been resident in this country since a boy. Milton's father brought him here about fifty years ago to escape the stress of trying to remain at the top of his profession in Naples. But Milton inherited much of his father's entrepreneurial spirit and has become a key spokesman on business matters. As it is, he is a close mate of Vince although their views are somewhat different.
Whereas Vince adopts a quiet, softly spoken approach, using measured tones in an attempt to sound as if he is in total control, Milton has a more flamboyant manner. His language is a little more colourful, his arms tend to flail around and I know he makes Vince quite scared when he disagrees about something. I like Milton.
We have a similar policy on business and the Eurozone crisis. Like me, Milton has been disenchanted with European politicians for years. He has taken matters a stage further by trying to introduce his own currency into Italy so that he is ready when the Euro fizzles out. He calls it the 'Fondi' and he makes strange Italian jokes about his new currency by saying things like:
"I am becoming very fondi of my fondi, Quentin."
Milton owns a majority share in an Italian ice cream business that makes a sort of fruity slush puppy and so his jokes often go like: "I have sloshi to go with my fondi, Quentin. It is lucrativo to make me ricco."
Milton also has what he calls "agents" in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland who are trying to do the same. It was me who found Milton his Irish agent, Paddy O'Flanagan.
Paddy runs a bar in Dun Laoghaire and has already started to re-introduce Irish Punts. He issues 50 Punts for 100 Euros which he says means you get more money into the same sized wallet so your money goes further. It's Irish logic I know but Paddy means well.
Paddy also says that, "In Paddy's pub you pay punts for pints to get paralytic and pissed." It's used as a test to see if you can still say that by the end of the night. So you see, Paddy has got an acute business sense which is why I chose him as our agent.
Meanwhile, Milton and I have a plan to save Europe from economic catastrophe which I cannot yet divulge in this newsletter as it'll affect the value of the European Central Bank but if you're interested you can meet Milton or me in the Barley Mow in Westminster. We are always on the lookout for good new agents.
But let me focus on other smaller financial matters. And by that I mean the cost of living. Fortunately, with inflation and interest rates so low the cost of living has not risen too much recently although I am well aware of the plight of old people and others on fixed incomes - other than that Mrs Deloitte of course who funds her lavish retirement by betting, apparently successfully, on horses.
But let's not discuss Mrs Deloitte here as I'm already fed up with her. I told Milton about her and he was disgusted at the thought of an old lady making money from gambling. Instead, he has asked me to 'chat her up' sometime to see if she'd be interested in becoming an agent. I may try it sometime but it's not good for a MP to be seen to be fraternising with those living on the verges of criminality.
No, it's car parking charges I want to discuss today as part of my theme on the cost of living.
Do you know that the cost of car parking in the multi-storey car park in Krupton has gone up from 50p per hour to 80p?
Now where is the fairness in that? I have asked the Council for a better explanation than their weak excuse about the cost of maintenance and the need to find other ways to replenish their reduced funds. Join the club, I said, and I used the example of Mrs Deloitte who had resorted to gambling on horses. I suggested that the Council appoint Mrs Deloitte as a consultant and use her undoubted inside knowledge of horse racing to boost Council income. I suggested that if they did then I would Chair any meetings and so learn something from her advice.
But it's not so much the increased cost of car parking but the inconvenience. I always used to have the odd 50p coin in my pocket but 80p requires at least three coins. I'm damned if I will feed the machine a pound coin in case it's deliberately been tampered with by the Council and refuses to give 20p in change.
But for those that want help in reducing the cost of living this is my advice as your loyal MP. If you want a ticket in the multi-storey car park then I suggest you feed in 50p as usual and then give it a kick on the left hand side. It still spews out a valid ticket and saves you 30p. With over 500 users of that car park in one day I will be saving my constituents a staggering £150.