It's a strange thing but I could swear when I moved into my new office as the Minister of Immigration that there was enough room to not just practise my putting but give the ball a fair old whack down an imaginary fairway.

But now it seems actually kind of cramped. It feels like there's a whole lot less room.

It's as though the walls are closing in.


Well, the first rule of politics is: ignore it, and it'll go away! Works every time. So I put my feet up on my desk and got to grips with the crossword.

I took a cursory glance at the clues and got the gist of it, felt its pulse, and solved the puzzle in next to no time.

An aide came in and dropped off some newspapers. He noticed the crossword, and leaned in to take a closer look. A smile spread across his face.

A little while later I could hear his raucous laughter in the staff kitchen. Other people were cackling, too.

One thing I'll say about the Labour-led government: it's never short of a laugh.


It's a strange thing but I could swear I used to have a desk.

I stepped into my office this morning and there was only room for a chair. The walls seemed a lot closer together; I walked from one side of the office to the other, counting my footsteps, and only got as far as eight.


I walked from one side of the office to the other, counting my footsteps, and only got as far as six.


I needed to find out what was going on. I went to the top. I asked, "Is this something to do with my handling of the Karel Sroubek decision? Because I stand by it. I gave it considered thought, I followed due process, I went through it with a fine-tooth comb from 4.30pm to 4.37pm.

"I really studied the case. I mean have you seen the photos of Karel Sroubek? Sort of guy who wouldn't hurt a fly.

"And we all know what the Czech Republic is like. Dark, shadowy place, ruled by a criminal underworld, there are knifings and poisonings every day in its ancient capital, Bucharest, and suicide by drowning is common in the River Danube which flows from the Black Sea. He wouldn't stand a chance!

"I did the right thing here. The moral thing. The quick thing.

"All I'm trying to say here is, can I have my desk back? And, come to think of it, my chair. I'll settle for the chair. Okay? Boss? Hello?"

"Mate," said Clarke, "she's not here."


I only got as far as two footsteps.


I knew I shouldn't have risked it but I stepped into my office and the walls closed in on me and I couldn't move, I couldn't breathe, I couldn't even call for help.

The only thing to do in the situation was to stay there, trapped, and wait to be taken out and shot.