"carrying it around as a prop for months"

People Another legendary Elizabeth Day interview, on this occasion with George Lamb. Everything is as you'd expect until ...
Which book are you currently reading?

I'm just finishing Charles Bukowski's Post Office.

Did you pick that because you knew you were being interviewed?

[Grins] There was a little bit of that, yeah. I had almost been carrying it around as a prop for months. Then I thought: "What the hell, I'm going to read it" and I quite liked it. My focus this year is I want to read more books. I want to start using my head again.
Is he joking?  Did he have it in his hand?  Peaking out of his jacket pocket?  Just sort of in his bag?  Was it an ebook?  The commenters are perplexed.  Insulting.  Sweary. 

Except, I do have some sympathy with him. As you know, in the past year, I've been trying to read more books for much the same reason, hence this, amongst other things.

Plus it took me months to read Elizabeth Wurtzel's Bitch way back when.  On this occasion, I don't think it fair of me to judge.  For a change.

Elsewhere in today's Observer Day (who's had a busy week it seems) reveals the following remarkable nugget in an article about ... well, you'll see ...
"Welcome to "Londres". In a closely fought race, the French residents of the capital are being courted as never before. Legislation passed by the French parliament in 2008 gave citizens who live abroad the right to elect their own politicians, in constituencies created specifically for expatriates. For the first time this year, national assembly elections – to be held in June – will effectively return an MP for Britain. No wonder, then, that interest in London in the presidential race, held a month earlier, has spiked."
Clearly the "effectively" is important in that sentence.  Does every French ex-pat everywhere have that privelidge? 

Apparently so.  As this other Guardian piece by Angelique Chrisafis explains, the voting law carves the world up into thirteen massive constituencies each with their own MP, "an MP for the US and Canada and an MP for north and east Africa."  I love this paragraph which explains some of the background:
The MP for "northern Europe" will represent French people in the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia and the Baltic states. But London is the heart of it, home to around 300,000 of the 400,000 French people in Britain, with so many French expats that it is considered France's sixth biggest city. Nicolas Sarkozy cemented the political importance of "Paris-on-Thames" during his presidential election campaign in 2007, staging an unprecedented London rally urging people to come home, saying: "France is still your country even if you're disappointed by it." To some it seemed as extraordinary as David Cameron taking a campaign battle bus through the villages of expat Brits in western France.
This whole thing makes ongoing discussions about the "West Lothian Question" seem very silly indeed.

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