As you know, there are two by-elections going on at the moment, and one of them is in BROMLEY in South East London, so we can occasionally here the sound of metaphorical gunfire from my flat by the river.
I have already told you about the Conservatory Candidate Mr Bob Neill
[Gabriel Woolf: Neill before Sutekh!]
And how THAT happens every time I mention his name!
But now it turns out that Mr Bob may have FORGOTTEN that in fact he is being paid £5,000 a year to do YET ANOTHER job – and this one is what is called POLITICALLY RESTRICTED, which means that he cannot stand for Parliament while doing it at the same time.
Credit where it is due: I may be a fluffy elephant, but it took a monkey to spot this dropped coconut!
Even the in-flight magazine of the Conservatory Party has now noticed!
Most people, of course, RESIGN from this sort of job before standing for election, because they have to sign a form, called an ASSENT TO NOMINATION, that says that they are NOT doing any jobs that ruled out under the House of Commons Disqualification Act of 1975.
I SUPPOSE Mr Bob might just have forgotten – although that might be a bit worrying to the people of Bromley, in case he just FORGETS that he has to be their MP one day!
As it turns out Mr Bob's job (number four) is going to cease to exist on Friday anyway, so even if he IS elected he will ONLY be breaking the law for about 24 hours.
Of course, the Conservatories REALLY ought to be against that sort of thing, even for only 24 hours, as they don't usually want to let anyone else get away with breaking the law, after all they made an AWFUL fuss when Mr Mandelson made a false declaration on one of his forms, even though no one got hurt or lost any money then either. Except Mr Mandelson, of course.
But they seem to make special exception for someone if he is one of their own… as Mr Balloon himself has special reason to remember.
Even so, you would think that if they were truly HONOURABLE people, then they would at least issue an APOLOGY
How about that, Mr Neill?
[Gabriel Woolf: Neill… no chance!]