But there was one spectacular exception: this week's political fire-cracker, chucked in by Margaret Thatcher. The Granny from Hell returned again to plague her successor and vastly amuse the rest of us. How John Major must loathe her, right down to the chapel hat peg eyes and new ill-fitting gnashers.
If the Baroness isn't two sandwiches short of a picnic, I am the next Prime Minister.
Talking of the next Prime Minister, you should have seen Norman Lamont's face during PM's Questions on Tuesday. JM was bashing on about how he negotiated the opt-out on the single currency while Norman, who actually did the business, was laughing fit to bust. This is not so much a stalking horse as a stampede waiting to happen, and all the smart money must now be on Hezza being leader by Christmas with "Badger" Lamont back in the Cabinet.
On Sunday, I was in Grantham at "Snobby" Roberts's old school. The occasion was a recording for the BBC's Great Antiques Hunt where I was judging the skill of two teams to identify and value items of political memorabilia. Politicians such as Margaret Thatcher spawn icons of reverence and ridicule. Intriguingly, it's the satirical rather than the heroic items which are increasing in value. Anyone who bought a few rolls of Margaret Thatcher loo paper in the early 1980s will now be sitting on a nice investment, providing they didn't actually use the stuff.
Back in London on Monday, I listened to Jim Naughtie's interview with Margaret Thatcher on the Today programme. As Oscar Wilde might have said, only a person with a heart of stone wouldn't have laughed. I imagined JM spitting out his cocoa-pops all over the breakfast table in No 10, and wondering out loud if a stake through the heart might finally lay her to rest.
Most politicians have a tendency to rewrite history, but Baroness Barking is into inventing it. What a nation of irrelevant buffoons we must look from outside.
On Wednesday, a meeting I really enjoy. The Commons Arts Advisory Committee. It's great fun deciding what pictures and sculptures to buy for display in the House. But we are still waiting for some truly adventurous artist to send us a study of a notable MP in the buff. If anyone is so moved, please note it should be of artistic merit and not a photograph obtained illicitly on behalf of some tabloid newspaper. The committee can't afford those prices.
If anyone has formed the impression that I'm only into media and luvvies, please note that on Wednesday I made two speeches in the House about Newham. One on Stratford School in my constituency, which could turn out to be the first GMS school to be closed by the Government, and the other on boundary changes in the East End.
On such occasions I find it difficult to control my anger. I don't do it for effect. Those I represent have been handed the shitty end of the stick for so long it's become a way of life. Somehow that must change. In this imperfect world it seems only those who stand up for themselves get listened to, so I've got to do a lot of shouting. Fortunately, I've got a truly fat gob.
The business of the House collapsed early on Wednesday evening, which is no longer a rare event as the Government adopts a safety first approach. But at least it gave me the chance to get home and watch the Travel Show on TV where I was a guest presenter from St Petersburg. I could do a diary on that wonderful city alone as so much has changed since I was last there 21 years ago.
The highlight of the visit was the "Hidden Treasures" exhibition at the Hermitage. To see paintings by Cezanne, Renoir, Gauguin, Pissarro and Van Gogh that the art world believed had been destroyed in the last war was an emotional experience. I don't believe Russia should return them to the descendents of their German owners. The paintings are on display in a public place and that's all that matters.
On Thursday, the talk around the House was again about JM's chances of survival, which look as promising as Radovan Karadzic winning the Nobel Peace Prize. The state of the Tory party conjures up for me the image of a captain trying to bring a sinking ship to safety while at the same time having fistfights with the crew. Ominously, even those MPs who remain loyal seem reluctant to voice their support. The smell of political death is everywhere.
Friday was a non-sitting day, which gets glibly translated by journalists into another holiday for MPs. After 12 years I ought not to react to such jibes, but I can't stop myself. The next journalist who talks about MPs' holidays will have to have "Erskine May" surgically removed from his backside.
For the record, Friday saw me taking pupils from two Newham schools, St Angela's and St Bonaventure's, around the House. And then it was off to the regular advice session in the constituency.
There really are times when I wish I had an MP to complain to, but would I believe a word she told me?Reuse content