As usual most members of the Cabinet are on their holidays abroad again, and Lord Mandelson is charge (in Corfu, apparently) whilst Gordon is having his break at home in his constituency, Kirkcaldy.
I’m not in charge, says Mandelson (BBC News)
What about those foreign politicians who choose to come to Britain?
I’ve been compiling a list:
- Italy’s ambitious Minister for Minor Catastrophes, Paolo Gnocchi, is renting a semi in the suburbs of Ipswich again this year. The area has become known as Little Umbria because of the many members of the chatterati who go there, notably the editor of the political journal, Il Spettatore. They all network between strenuous games of bowls and quoits matches against the locals. Signor Gnocchi is often seen in the local Tesco, haggling over a packet of turkey burgers.
- Scandal surrounds the Swedish Deputy Minister for Recycling, who is spending several weeks at the Northamptonshire farm of billionaire British vinegar distiller Ted Umbrage. Swedish newspapers have been denouncing this fribij and claiming it’s another example of slis, because Mr Umbrage is trying to establish a giant herring pickling plant near Jönköping. The Minister, Mr Torg, says he and Mr Umbrage share an interest in Strindberg, but admits he was given a pair of wellies and a loud tweed flat cap.
- The Portuguese Minister for Statistics, Luisa Silva, has chosen to unwind by taking part in a “dig” organised by the University of Lochboisdale, somewhere in the Outer Hebrides. Her office says she will be working alongside a noted archeologist named Murphy and will be staying at the Balivanich campsite. She will be keeping in close touch with her office over the continuing crisis of the missing decimal point.
- The EU Commissioner for Footwear has bought a timeshare at Dorneywood and will spend the whole summer there, recharging his iPhone battery, relaxing and playing croquet.
- Fights have broken out in Knaresborough between the armed bodyguards of the Bolivian Minister for Single Mothers and the public relations staff of the Dutch Minister for First Aid. A dispute over a Mivvi ice lolly has been blamed. The nanny of the New Zealand Minister for Firework Safety is attempting to mediate.
- Last year, the Scottish holiday of Mr Weens, head of the Belgian opposition party, the Progressive Anti-Social Alliance, was cut short after he suffered gunshot wounds in what was thought to be an assassination attempt. Mr Weens is returning to Scotland this summer, hoping to have better luck with his grouse-watching.
- We also have some Chinese VIPs holidaying in Britain. The head of the powerful Bicycle Standards Committee is hiking with his family in the Midlands, walking the length of the historic trail linking five M&S stores. They will stay at Starbucks hostels along the way. Mr Hu, deputy chief of the Farmers Goodwill Movement, is rock climbing in Norfolk. His wife will take time to buy some authentic peasant handicrafts in Wymondham. Mr Hu’s office issued a statement saying: “He has for many years desired to visit Britain because it is the country with the second widest range of potato crisp flavours in the world.”
- It’s a working holiday for Marcel Tisch, Luxembourg’s colourful Minister for Noise Abatement. He will be staying in a traditional boarding house in Hackney researching his biography of Jeremy Beadle, “father of British political satire”, who was born in the borough.
- Ms Jerziwuk, the charismatic Minister Without Portfolio in the Polish Government, is not taking a holiday this year and is working with the disadvantaged in the Royal Yacht Squadron, in Cowes. She told reporters: “I also hope to have talks with my opposite number, Lord Mandelson.”