Author Topic: Diary of an MP’s wife  (Read 375 times)

Online Taman Tun

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Diary of an MP’s wife
« on: September 15, 2020, 08:03:45 AM »
The Times is running extracts from a book written by Sasha Swire,  wife of Tory MP Hugo Swire.  I hope Sasha has some good libel lawyers on her side.

February 29 2016
Andrew Feldman has his 50th birthday celebrations somewhere in the City of London. It all goes wrong when Sarah [Gove] and Sam [Cameron], fur flying, have a set-to at the party, with everyone watching and listening in. When the wives get nasty, you know the men have a problem.

March 6
An overnight stay at Dorneywood with the Osbornes. Hugo and I mildly depressed by the frosty atmosphere between Frances and George. They barely talk to each other these days. He, as usual, holds court. The referendum is not really talked about but when he says they are renovating Dorneywood I say: “What’s the point? You’ll be out of here in two months.”  “Well, then I’ll have done it up for Andrea Leadsom. So lucky her.”

June 27
Referendum night. By 5am, it’s all over. I wake H to tell him we have lost, and that we need to get back to London to prop up Dave. While we are on the train Dave gives his resignation speech. Sam is in tears (later she tells me that she didn’t think she could go out there without drinking a large negroni. When they walked back inside, Dave apparently recoiled from her gin-sodden breath.)

H texts Dave and says we are around if he wants cheering up. He texts back and asks us to get down to Dean with two fat Cohibas and plenty of booze.

Dave is not there when we arrive, but Sam is. She is devastated — not by Dave’s departure, but by the “stupid” decision the country has made. She tells me she is sick with worry, and doesn’t know whether to carry on with her business. I tell her it’s going to be OK. Secretly, I’m mildly excited about Brexit.

When Dave arrives, he makes a lethal negroni before we progress to endless bottles of wine, whisky and brandy. Over dinner, he is incandescent with anger, which is almost wholly directed against Michael. As for Boris, he says that this whole episode was to do with his leadership ambitions and that he despised his lack of ideology, which is a tad ironic. David tells us that even when he switched sides, Boris was telling him via texts that Brexit “would be crushed like the toad beneath the harrow” and that he (David) would survive.

He concedes, when pushed, that he’d go for Boris over Michael who, he says, is too extreme. We agree that he has always been disingenuous.

After dinner, Sam conks out on the sofa; a whole set of children sit on her, but she does not wake up. Dave and H are now chomping on cigars.

We all laugh raucously when Dave tells us that when Ruth Davidson was asked whether she would appear on a Remain panel along with Angela Eagle, she said: “You can’t have two shovel-faced lesbians on together!”

August 26
Back from a stay with David and Samantha in Polzeath. Dave is still cross but not sure how he is going to maintain it when Sam will be seeing Sarah at the school gates in September. D says he is still waking up at 6am.

He tells us a nice tale of showing Old Ma May around the flat at No 10 when he was living there. Every room, she gives her Medusa stare. Not for her Sam’s Elle Deco style. Until she enters Sam’s dressing room (and let me tell you, it was large!) and she sees her racks of shoes. Suddenly sunshine enters her soul.

I think I’m going to like it here. Just one question . . . we won’t have to pay the bedroom tax, will we?

September 27
H has drink with Dave. He says afterwards that Dave is only half OK, that he has become lazy. The memoirs are not going swimmingly; he seems bored by the process and so is speaking into a microphone, which converts it into text. He is not interested in literary embellishment. Meanwhile, Samantha has been busy designing new interiors; apparently, she has bought so much marble for the renovation of their old house in Notting Hill “that the heel of Italy has fallen off the map”.

February 2 2017
At the big Brexit trigger vote, one GO turned up to give his views. Afterwards, he sits next to H on the green benches, who tells him about a dinner he is arranging for Dave, where he is going to present him with a series of paintings of prime ministerial locations — Downing Street, Chequers etc. GO is put out: why, he asks, is he not getting a set of paintings as well, of Dorneywood and the Treasury? His reaction is telling. He has always put himself on the same platform as Dave, never one step below.

February 28
To Dave and Sam for a curry supper at their recently renovated house in Notting Hill. Her business is taking off and Dave is making loads of money, and has no interest in taking on a big public job like Nato. Lots more time to chillax, put on weight and play the golf courses of the southern states of America, including Mar-a-Lago, where he was stunned by the narcissistic displays of the president.

Dave is being billed as “one of the most prominent global influencers of the early twenty-first century” by the Washington Speakers Bureau. As for all the dosh, he says every time he looks for a loophole to stash it away, he realises that George and he closed it, and laughs. He is dreaming of buying a house in Cornwall but still wakes up with a start, sweating about what to do with the NHS. He has only seen Old Ma May once and she was her usual frosty self.

Below the bravado, one does feel there is a residue of sadness. He seems to have cut ties with most of the political Notting Hill set, maybe because of the humiliation he feels. Is he motivated by money? Nope. Most of it is being mopped up by George anyway. What has Dave taken on? He says he is going to link up with some genome company in LA, but apart from that it’s just chairman of Alzheimer’s Research UK and the National Citizen Service.

It’s a mistake to think Dave is lazy, but it looks as if all his energy is being used for shooting, cooking, playing golf and taking his daughter riding; it’s as if he has retired.

May 3
Dinner last night at Hertford Street, for Dave. The paintings were presented. He was visibly moved. He is embarrassed about his £25,000 shepherd’s hut, but says he was only being nice to the owner of the business, who had asked if he could have a pic — how could he say no?

D is now on alert. He has exchanged on a holiday home in Daymer Bay but is adamant we don’t tell anyone. GO texts H to thank him for pulling the dinner together. He offers to come down to Devon and canvass. H says thanks but no thanks.

February 20 2020
To Dave’s last night. Boy George muscled in — he probably heard the star attraction was a huge pot of caviar, but then again, he must have access to the stuff day and night these days.

George says he’s off to LA to accompany [his boss Evgeny] Lebedev to Elton John’s Oscars party. He declares he is a bit nervous about it. I can’t imagine two more socially awkward men at a party together. He tells us the only people he has ever known in that world are Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein, and he is pretty sure they won’t be pitching up.

I ask Dave which Russians are bribing him with the caviar but Sam interjects that it was a Christmas present from Lady Astor. She looks exhausted — pale and fashionably thin. Mind you, I’ve never seen anyone mop up a tin of caviar as quickly as she did.

After G leaves, D says his friend is like a caged tiger; that he feels he has cocked up. In response H says his name was booed at the 1922 [committee] the other day because of his disloyalty to Theresa, that he could never go back — the MPs loathe him too much. Dave sighs: “Such a wasted talent.”
If the old only could, if the young only knew.