He leaned in awkwardly, at the wrong angle. I expected it to turn into a kiss, but he was lost somewhere in the ear region, leading with his forehead not his lips. It was barely a nose graze, more of an affectionate head butt. No, I’m not describing the ending of my latest date, but rather our new Prime Minister’s Number 10 ‘miskiss’ with wife Sam (Cleggover was thankfully nowhere to be seen).
I’d only just recovered from an entirely unexpected outpouring of emotion seeing Gordon, Sarah and their two sons skip off to pastures new. All Dave really had to do was grab Sam, kiss her firmly and I would have sobbed. Instead I found myself yelling at the television as David Dimbleby glossed over it – ‘David Cameron, kissing his wife’ – ‘no he’s not, Dimbleby! He’s doing the awkward British public schoolboy shuffle! That is not a kiss!
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It’s 6 a.m., the morning after Election Day, and Britain is really no closer to finding a new leader than it was 24 hours ago. There are a couple of cold vegetarian sausage sandwiches in front of me, several baffled political correspondents, a comedian and a historian. The suspense clearly became too much for some: One guest was suddenly escorted off the premises for calling Lord Ashcroft a four-letter word and another commentator was so drunk he had to be carried safely ashore. Everyone that remains is thoroughly confused. It’s been a long night on the Thames—I’ve been aboard the BBC’s election night boat for hours: the political and literary glitterati have all gone home to bed, and it’s slowly becoming apparent that those of us who are still awake are going to have to finally get to grips with the concept of a hung Parliament—for the first time in 36 years.
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Gross Misconduct, By Venetia Thompson
Reviewed by Arifa Akbar
Friday, 30 April 2010
It is a few months prior to the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and the City is still flying high. Venetia Thompson, a well-spoken university graduate, finds herself working among the barrow boys of Essex at a brokerage firm on the upper echelon’s of Canary Wharf’s mirrored towers.
Her new world is an adrenalin (and prescription drugs) fuelled alternate universe that is swollen from its own excesses and spinning out of control. The “factory floor” is devoid of any moral pulse; cameraderie bases itself on casual racism, sexism and obscenities.
Thompson, perversely, finds it alluring, for a while, until she is sacked for gross misconduct. For someone who observes this world through a Cristal-induced hangover, while lurching out of Nobu and West London’s best lapdancing clubs, Thompson’s narrative is sharp, insightful, and very, very funny.