‘GOOD morning, the Nugee residence! The lady of the house speaking!’
– ‘Oh, sorry, I was trying to get through to Emily Thornberry.’
‘I have been known to use that name in another capacity.’
– ‘It’s Labour HQ here. We’ve sent you a letter officially confirming that unfortunately you have failed to progress in the leadership ballot. I just wanted to check that you’ve received it.’
‘Oh, that must be it here on my marble-inlaid, faux Hepplewhite hall table with barley-sugar legs. But you should be aware, my man, that I never open letters bearing second-class stamps.’
– ‘I see. So you’re Lady Nuggy now, then?’
‘Well, since my talent and intellectual superiority have obviously eclipsed my attempt to be seen by Labour members as ordinary and possibly even working-class, I may as well use my real title. After all, my husband Christopher is a judge, the Honourable Mr Justice Nugee.
‘And it’s not Nuggy like you are pronouncing it. You make it sound like a product from one of those dreadful fried chicken establishments. It’s pronounced Ng-ee. French Huguenot origin, you know. Quite exclusive.’
– ‘Well, that’s as may be, Lady Nuggy. I just want to clarify the voting figures. You needed 33 constituency parties to nominate you, but got only 31. It means the other three candidates, Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long Bailey and Lisa Nandy go forward.’
‘Oh, Heaven forfend! Wrong-Daily and Nice-But-Dim-Nandy! They’re both from the North, are they not? And Sir Keir, despite being a knight of the realm, he’s not exactly Mr Charisma, is he? I can’t see why my outgoing, friendly, bubbly personality and superb people skills did not win me more votes.’
– ‘Well, I don’t think it helped when you Twitter-mocked that White Van Man who was draping his house in Rochester with England flags back in 2014. You came across as a crashing snob.’
‘That’s nonsense. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s snobbery and one-upmanship. People trying to pretend they’re superior. Makes it so much harder for those of us who really are.
‘Now you do realise I am speaking to you on my pearly-white, slimline, push-button digital telephone with automatic last-number redial? And at this moment it is indicating that I have another call waiting, so please get off the line, you annoying little Labour Party person. Goodbye!
‘Good morning, the Nugee residence! The lady of the house speaking! Oh, it’s you, Jeremy. You’re calling to commiserate over the leadership and you’re sending me some early forced rhubarb from your allotment by way of consolation?
‘That’s, er, very kind of you. But I do hope you’re not going to arrive in your muddy wellingtons, stepping all over my new rose-petal brushed-velvet Axminster. Oh, good, you’ll send someone round with the rhubarb. I’ll use it for dessert at my next executive-style candlelit supper, complemented by my glazed Avignon and Royal Doulton chinaware. Goodbye, Jeremy. Christopher!’
– ‘Yes, Emily dear.’
‘There’ll be a package arriving soon containing soil-stained rhubarb. Please convey it around the side entrance, then put on a pair of my Marigold household gloves and get rid of it.’
– ‘You mean put it in the bin?’
‘Yes dear, in the green recycling receptacle.’
– ‘But it’s full.’
‘Then just dump it in a bucket. Sorry, bouquet.’