A most surprising email pinged into my inbox at the beginning of the week. Here it is.
“Hi Jamie - I am a political journalist on the BBC News Website - and I am contacting Lib Dem MPs to find out if they are intending to stand for the leadership. We are hoping to run a story today.
“Have you decided to stand or not? Can you tell me what led you to your decision please?
“With best wishes...”
I nearly spilt my three o’clock mug of tea with astonishment. Then I started to tap the screen of my iPad.
“I have absolutely no intention of standing for the leadership...”
I mean, well it’s like this - I am incredibly lucky to be where I am. Not a day goes by when I don’t pinch myself. In that regard I was amused by a lately-received (and entirely off the record) account of how my election result went down in my party’s London HQ.
Four in the morning and there was much hearty cheering – after all my party had rather mixed fortunes in the General Election – followed by an excited buzz of comment.
“Anyone here heard of this Jamie Stone?”
Later I found out about my security pass. Most efficient – it was there, newly-minted and waiting for me when I first stepped into the House of Commons.
Apparently in advance of election day the guys who make these passes ask each party to provide mugshots of candidates who are most like be elected as new MPs.
This is so that what happened to me, actually happens.
So that the new pass is there ready to be hung round the neck of the victorious candidate. Except that in my case, as you will glean from above, my party hadn’t put my name forward...
The day after the election there was something of a mad scramble in the Palace of Westminster to find a photograph of me. This they eventually did: it was one that I had posted on Facebook a year ago. It was of me and my sister-in-law’s husband Michael - enjoying pints of Guinness in a pub in the West of Ireland.
Luckily Michael and the Guinness have been cropped out of the official photograph. All the same, now that I look at my security pass, I have to admit that I am very much open-necked and tie-less, and that my hair definitely does need a bit of a comb...
Still, at least my better half likes the picture. And you can’t ask for more than that.
I close with one last vignette.
Three weeks ago the Father of the House Ken Clarke, the Prime Minister that we never had, rose to speak.
He elaborated on why Brexit was a thoroughly bad thing; and in doing so infuriated a number of Brexiteer MPs on his own side. Accordingly it was no surprise when the US Seventh Calvary galloped over the horizon and the Brexit Secretary David Davis suddenly reappeared on the Government front bench while Ken Clarke was still speaking.
I simply couldn’t help but notice that when Davis twisted round to watch Ken and try to interrupt him, the way he contorted his body and legs, I could see the soles of Davis’s black Brexit shoes - and that they had the most enormous holes in them.
Three in each sole.
On a Cabinet Minister’s salary?
Strange. One could almost think that it was symbolic...
Another time I shall write of Winston Churchill’s MP grandson Sir Nicholas Soames’s footwear.
Savile Row suit, Jermyn Street shirt and silk tie and...
Pink trainers. I guess that is sheer old-fashioned aristocratic confidence for you. Quite on a par with the ‘romper suit’ his grandfather wore during the Blitz.