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  • January 11th, 2016 by
    Christmas presents

    Parker the Parrot, our very own parliamentary reporter, had a bit of time off over Christmas. Here’s what he got up to.

    Christmas Day

    Family sent me some feed and beak polish for Christmas. Thoughtful of them. Also received a feather duster from an MP I broke a rather unfavourable story about last year relating to some, ahem, unsavoury habits he’d indulged in. I wasn’t sure if he was sending me a threat or telling me he was clean now.

    Boxing Day

    A typical Boxing Day: leftovers, bad TV and residual sense of exhaustion due to weeks of endless Christmas songs.

    Still, starting to get into the swing of this holiday malarkey – it’s nice to have a break away from the Westminster drama. Texted the party leaders to thank them for their lovely Christmas cards. Asked Ed Miliband why he was still sending them to me. Asked Tim Farron why he’d started.

    27th December

    Realised that I haven’t really achieved the goals I set myself in 2015. I haven’t got fit, haven’t learnt Italian, haven’t mastered the piano (I did try, but it’s very hard to play with feathers instead of fingers). To be fair, I’ve been too busy keeping up with the political discourse surrounding Jeremy Corbyn’s beard and the role it has to play in twenty-first century electoral politics. Maybe I should start a blog about great political beards…

    28th December

    Used the day to brainstorm ideas for a book I could write on modern UK politics. Surely that’d give me some clout as an authority in the analysis of British politics? I’m thinking, something that breaks down the clichéd and over-simplistic notions of nasty Tories and loony lefties; a deep investigation beyond the superficialities of the, media-heavy, issue-lite politics we consume every day.

    Then again, I could just dig out the fifty best political gaffes ever and give it to Buzzfeed. It’ll take less time and goodness knows more people will read it.

    29th December

    Tried to go to the Star Wars movie but the ticket office said no costumes allowed here. I explained I’m not in costume, I’m a parrot. He said no parrots allowed here…

    30th December

    New title idea for my book – Birds in Britain: The Demonisation of the Avian Class.

    champagne and fireworks

    New Year’s Eve

    Hosted a party with some of my political correspondent friends from the media. The night turned sour when a presenter from ITV News drank too much of the punch I’d made and clashed with the BBC over whether the license fee was fair. It wasn’t pretty. All became rather surreal when someone from Sky started looking for camera 3 to cut to Faisal for an update on a suspected party re-shuffle. I worked out later they were unhappy about my seating arrangement.

    New Year’s Day

    Feel terrible. Hungover, and had to do the post-party clean up. Paxo stayed over to help but ended up just watching the boxset of The Thick of It. He made us watch his guest appearance on repeat.

    I’ve set myself one New Year’s resolution: don’t take another holiday for as long as possible – it’s more hassle than it’s worth.

    Oh yes and one more, check in at Boisdale as often as possible to keep myself sane!