I’ve no idea how much time MPs spend living in their constituencies, but I hope it might be considerable. If so, this must be a strain on certain marriages. How do Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper manage their cohabitation? Do they live at his or hers? Is their house cunningly right on the border of their two constituencies (neighbouring Morley and Normanton in West Yorks)? Perhaps they’re really preparing for a proportional representation system with bigger constituencies and more co-operative MPs.
At least they serve next door to each other. Pity poor Harriet Harman (MP for Camberwell), who, having such an important shadow front-bench role, ought to receive loving support from her husband. But he’s miles away, listening instead to the woes of Brummies from his constituency of Erdington.
It must, however, be very nice to be able to see one’s sibling every day during term. Wendy had to say goodbye to Dougie – sad, no doubt, for both; the fratricidal goings on in the House of Miliband are well-known. But Valerie can see her kid brother Keith, when he’s not being pompous in some committee or other. Angela and Maria can make an eyrie; Justine and Yvette can, from opposite benches, throw pies at each other (or whatever other childish pranks MPs fill their time with). Jo knows he’ll get to Westminster ’cos BoJo is in charge of local transport.
Glad to see a bit of lineage in the Commons still, too. The Wedgwoods are still going strong – Hilary, son of Tony, being the latest scion; the Gummer boy was not put off by beefburgers from joining the political fray. Tristam’s daddy wasn’t a MP, but was booted upstairs to a Labour peerage. Fellow public schoolboys Jacob and Zac also had political, though not parliamentary daddies; the father of another public schoolboy, Chuka, was a Nigerian chief.
Democracy’s great, ain’t it? Just imagine how it would be to live in an oligarchy…