You may have worked out from the sudden burst of blogging that I got my speech out of the way today. I'd sat through the statement on employment by James Purnell (actually trying to get called so I could talk about getting to work and bus fares - why is it OK for First Bus to whack up fares when the price of fuel rises, but not reduce them when it drops?) and then suddenly, as my moment in the spotlight grew ever closer, the Chamber started to fill up with Tory MPs. There were hundreds of them; their benches were full. They all seemed very excited. Had they all come to hear me? And why was Boy George on the frontbench? Was this going to be his retaliation for me publishing that photo not once, but twice?
But it turned out they'd been summoned by the whips to mount a show of support for George's call, under an obscure parliamentary procedure, for a debate on the PBR, which he did in a 90 second burst that only the dogs could hear. (David Blunkett's Sadie put her paws over her ears). Then all the Tory MPs stood up and made 'rah, rah' noises, and the people in the public gallery thought it was all very funny, and the Speaker said they could have their debate tomorrow. (For the record, I think he's right). And as quickly as they had all piled in, they all piled out again, leaving me in full command of a nearly empty Chamber.