Rang Edna this morning. Couldn't understand why she hasn't been in touch. Turns out she hasn't recovered from the trauma she suffered last week. It seems that she was cleaning outside the Lib Dem office when Mike German is reported to have informed his Assembly Colleagues that he was standing down next October. The BBC reported this as per the Lib Dem press release - which Edna reckons does not tell even half the story. She reckons that "German breaks promise and hangs on for another six months" should have been the headline. Sloppy journalism if you ask Edna.
Anyway back to the poor traumatised soul. She tells me that when Mike walked in (a bit late for effect), Peter Black asked him straight out about his promise to go after the Local Government elections. An awkward silence ensued. Jenny Randerson tried to inject some calm and change the subject - but Kirsty Williams started screaming hysterically. Eleanor Burnham rushed to the toilet and Mick Bates started pulling faces and humming a Bob Dylan song. Peter Black just started blogging in a quietly threatening way. And then the great pianist made his speech - complete with theatrical flourish.
"I believe we owe it to the great Liberal Democrat tradition, and in the wake of our glorious victory in the recent local council elections, (and every other election for that matter) that I, Michael German should remain as your leader. I am clearly the only one of us with the right balance of gravitas, intellectual authority, verbal dexterity and sheer animal magnetism to carry our great party to even greater electoral success and domination. I am king of the dispatch box, a master tactician, great pianist and probably a better performer in bed than either the 30 notches man, Nick Clegg, or the Monty Media Magnet, Opik".
Edna said it was a well prepared and delivered little speech, peppered with anecdotes, and was intended to end the silly nonsense of Mike German's retirement once and for all.
Edna tells me that all hell then broke loose. Quite upset her. The row reminded her of when her drunken father used to return from the pub after an argument with Aneurin Bevan. Kirsty started crying. Huge thunderous sobs - and whimpering "But you promised " in a high pitched screamy sort of broken voice. Eleanor disappeared to the Ladies again. Mick was still humming quietly to himself, and Peter Black was blogging furiously in the corner, looking like thunder. After a few minutes deafening silence, Jenny took Mike's hand, looked into his eyes, and broke the news to him. "Mikey, I think they all want you to resign". At first, a look of disbelief crossed his still youthful good looks. And then came the realisation, followed rapidly by the compromise. "Another six months. I can still be the leader all through the summer hols. And who knows. They might see sense if I give them long enough." The rest of the meeting was taken up discussing Eleanor's experiences on her two visits to the Assembly urinal.