Living with Liam Byrne
I find it necessary to issue you with this 11-page memorandum because since 6th May things here have not been entirely to my approval. Opposition means that I will have to rely on you to satisfy my requirements to a far greater extent than before, and since thirteen years of government have corroded your memory of how I require things to be done, this aide-memoire will assist you. Please study it carefully and commit it to memory.
Coffee / Lunch. My first coffee should be brought to me in bed exactly six minutes after the alarm clock has gone off. I like a cappuccino at exactly 11am and a mug of soup at 12.30 (Tomato on Monday, Chicken and Vegetable on Tuesday, Mushroom on Wednesday, Asparagus on Thursday and Oxtail on Friday).
The dining room should be cleaned before I come down in the morning. The newspapers should be laid on the table in alphabetical order. The white-board should be cleaned before I come down. If I see things are not of an acceptable quality I will blame you.
When briefing me on our neighbours, you should tell me not what you think I should know but what you expect I will be asked. For example, number 42 asked about our tomatoes this year and you had failed to brief me.
Notes for the milkman should be printed in Times Roman in 16 point and centred left-aligned on one sheet of A4 80gsm white paper.
Never put any suggestion to me unless you fully understand it and can explain it to me in 60 seconds. The suggestion that we holiday in Malta this year was particularly poorly informed and you struggled to name the Maltese Head of State, the currency and describe the climate.
You will maintain a grid showing what I am doing at any moment in time. "At home waiting for call from BBC", "At home waiting for Ed to call", "At home waiting for Warrington Gazette to call", "At home waiting for anyone to call" are all acceptable headings.
I will maintain my open-door policy and you may approach me in the dining room at most times when I am not on the phone, but you must remind yourself ten and five minutes before our meeting is due to end of its termination.
Finally, you will never, ever, comment that nemesis inevitably follows hubris.