Downing Street review
There are two kinds of people who stand outside Downing Street when the air is minus-5 (it's freezing cold this morning!): the curious and the furious. The curious are tourists. The furious are home grown. The cold must be keeping everyone away today because there's only one other person here (six if you include the coppers, seven if you include me) and I recognise him off the telly -- I'll tell you about him later.
There's no sign of the Prime Minister anywhere. You'll know she's coming out when the coppers clear a space in front of the gates so her car can speed away without stopping. It's not like Trooping the Colour when the Queen smiles and waves at all the tourists from her open-top carriage, the PM sits behind tinted windows, blue lights flashing in them from the sirens on the bikes. It's a bit like trying to take a photo of a criminal through those tinted windows of an armoured cop van as it speeds away from court.
In all the times I've been here (which must be about a million billion times by now) I've never seen the Prime Minister come out of the door once. Not a single time. Given how cold it is this morning it would be quite nice if she just gave us a wave to thank us for coming. Or maybe she could bring out a tray of teas to warm us up? It's not like she's got anything important to do. The policemen could search us for tomatoes first if that's what she's worried about.
I don't blame her for hiding inside though because we're in the middle of Brexit at the moment. Imagine how it must feel seeing a load of angry banners behind a barricade at the end of your street. She must feel like a military general staring out of her tent and seeing an enemy army encamped on a distant hill. When the Queen wakes up in the morning she has a brass band playing bagatelles beneath her window... the PM has a boorish chorus of cranks and crazies.
The other guy standing here today is a Brussels brouhaha. If you've been following Brexit on the news then you'll know exactly who I'm talking about: he's that posh guy in a top hat and blue suit who stands outside Parliament for 24 hours a day. He's standing outside Downing Street this morning holding a selection of plaques in one hand and is using the other to bash on his top hat to stop it toppling off into a puddle. But how can I sneakily take a photograph of him when we're literally the only two people standing here? I'm assuming that he doesn't mind having his photograph taken given that he sneaks himself into every camera shot he can (this guy would photobomb a funeral), but I'd better ask him first I suppose. I do it while he's straightening up his star-spangled cape and we admire it for a while, like we're admiring a velvet ballgown.
On the telly he comes across as quite eccentric, but in real life he's quite a nice fella.
I’ve been here before…
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