I have had a very busy week trying to find reasons not to stay in the house. This is partly due to trying to avoid my wife who is constantly asking when we intend to go and visit her mother in Macclesfield.
Apparently (quote): "September is nearly on us, autumn is around the corner, the schools will be going back, half term will soon be upon us, Guy Fawkes night is waiting and if we don't go and see her soon, it'll be Christmas."
"Yes," I said, "By the way, I'm away at Christmas."
Domestic responsibilities and timetables such as the above can be highly stressful for your loyal MP and, during August, I long for the relief and frivolity of PM Questions. But the experience is good for finding fresh ideas for clever delaying tactics. These always come in useful when dealing with demands for action on other frivolous, political matters such as dog fouling.
I have, in fact, used all manner of tactics for avoiding the visit to Macclesfield but any new suggestions can be emailed to me. But please don't copy anything to Anthea (my PA). Anthea may learn too much about my domestic affairs and mixing pleasure with official duty is stressful enough already.
However, I managed to stay out all day Wednesday by taking my son, Hector, to London to visit Madame Tussauds. Hector has a temporary obsession with anything artificial, grotesque and horrific. But even this tactic proved difficult as first my wife wanted to join us and then, God forbid, suggested that her mother took the train down and also join us. By this time I was running out of excuses so I told her that the idea was for a bit of father-son bonding and women of whatever age and relationship were out of the question.
"And we can't do Monday or Tuesday, either," I told my wife. "Hector needs to visit the Chamber of Horrors and they're stock-taking. We wouldn't want your mother getting lost and affecting the stock count."
Hector got the joke but my wife didn't and as a punishment I was given a shopping list for the supermarket.
And if you need to know how we got on here, then please press 'start'. Thank you. Please say whether you have a bag. Thank you. Please scan your items. Thank you. Please rescan this item. Thank you. Please select your payment method. Thank you. Please scan your club card. Thank you. Please take your change. Thank you. Now please sod off.
Yes, I really enjoyed the customer service and human contact.
But in case you think I've been bored during the last few weeks, let me introduce you to my new project - KelpiLeaks. As I write this, I am also sitting in a coffee shop with my lap top working on this new project.
All things need competition to keep them on their toes and KelpiLeaks is my new website for exposing examples of gross hypocrisy and bullshit.
So let us start with a brief introduction to the KelpiLeaks Bullshit and Disinformation File.
Each file is measured on the KelpiLeaks Bullshit Scale from 1 Star (mild bullshit) to 5 Stars (high quality bullshit).
Files are then divided into headings such as "EU Annual Accounts" or "British Education Leads the World" or "Mass Immigration under Control" or "Reduced Defence Spending means Greater Protection."
I need to point out that KelpiLeaks issues a health warning on its front page (we make money from the advert) because, if you then click on each heading, you enter a whole new world that can rapidly increase blood pressure and depression.
But let us cautiously venture into the "EU Annual Accounts" section as an example.
This section opens up with the press release from the EU that: "For the fourth year in a row, the EU's annual accounts have received a clean bill of health from its external auditors."
Now, this is really, excellent, 5 Star bullshit.
If a US or UK Company operated their accounts like this, the Inland Revenue would instigate an investigation and, if found guilty, Directors could face a jail sentence. By the way, I'm still trying to find out where Neil Kinnock now lives. Anyone know?
If you then click on the "European Court of Auditors" File you will find very useful information on the body charged with auditing the EU's accounts where you will see that for the 17th year it concluded that the payments underlying the most recent accounts were "still affected by material error".
Euro-speak like this is only 2 Star Bullshit as there is a slight hint that they know they are bullshitting (or being paid to bullshit) but can't afford to be honest.
However, if you then decide to wade through this huge file you will find your blood pressure increasing as you read such titillating snippets such as:
"The Court concludes that overall the supervisory and control systems are partially effective in ensuring the legality and regularity of payments underlying the accounts. The policy groups of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Cohesion, Energy and Transport are materially affected by error. The Court's estimate for the most likely error rate for payments underlying the accounts is 3.7 %."
My dear constituents do you know how much 3.7% of just the "Agriculture and Natural Resources and Cohesion, Energy and Transport" Policy Group amounts to in Euros? Let us not dwell there as my own blood pressure is increasing as I type this. Either way, it would probably pay off the Greek debt. I think I'll order another cappuccino.
But yes, KelpiLeaks is about to go global and I fear the wrath to come.
Firstly, I need to keep on good terms with Anthea (my PA) just in case of you know what.
But also, I've spotted a couple of chaps in leather overcoats smoking Portuguese duty-free cigarettes parked outside my house and suspect Jose Manuel Barroso didn't like my last Newsletter.
Never mind, I'll ask for political asylum in the North Korean Embassy and do interviews from behind the red curtain.