''Like me, like me," plead the eyes of the wannabe MPs on the hustings platform, but we are an ungrateful, bitter electorate, trained by the tabloids to confuse venting our spleens for animated discussion.
Later this month, Kofi Annan, the secretary general of the United Nations, is due to receive an honorary degree from the University of Oxford.
Elation joined ecstasy on new Labour's banned list on election night. Staff at Millbank were so petrified of anyone outside seeing any signs of joy at the outcome, they put films of silver paper over the windows. And it was grim faces all round for staff on check-in duty for the press pen.
As we near polling day, in the family-oriented suburbs of north London, some nice mummies and daddies display ever more radical tendencies. Take last weekend. At the Crouch End Festival, the massed ranks of the moderately wealthy were eating ice cream and pushing prams in the sunshine.
There are certain words and phrases that gloriously defy reality. "Tory moderate" or "British tennis champion", for example, are expressions that should only ever be used in jest. It is almost guaranteed that I will start to giggle when I hear "Channel 5" and "news" said in the same breath.
The William Hague bus is an altogether more subdued experience than life with new Labour.
As-salaam aleikum, readers. This Muslim greeting should make it clear that we are returning to Oldham and the issues at large there.
The issue of the 13 teenagers, all black, who died in a fire at New Cross, south-east London, 20 years ago, keeps coming back. I have received a third letter from the police, inviting me to their offices to be interviewed.
<em>Election 2001</em> - He is prone to impotent rage but, when he has an idea, it becomes new Labou
The singular achievement of Tony Blair and his new right movement is the convergence of British parliamentary politics into two almost identical factions.
On the Blair battle bus for a day, and what an illuminating experience. So far from pushing protesters forward to create incidents with the Great Helmsman, as alleged by Margaret McDonagh, the Labour Party general secretary, the media are cabin'd, cribb'd and confin'd.
School sure has changed since I pulled up my knee-high navy socks for the last time 16 years ago. Stephen Twigg, the MP who ousted Michael Portillo so gloriously in 1997, gave a Q&A session at his old school in Southgate last week, and I went along to get a taste of the election atmosphere.
In making my most recent series for Channel 4, White Tribe, I visited Oldham. I later wrote my New Statesman column (28 June 1999) on the town, expressing how it was very divided along racial lines, "and dangerously so".
All penises are at least eight inches, and nobody is ever bald: welcome to the gay men's online dati
Recently, I was visited by canvassers. The friendly face appearing over a clipboard asked of my voting intentions.
Judging by their behaviour, the androids (Tony Booth's phrase, not mine) in Millbank actually believe that Labour could lose the election. Here is the evidence.
''And what do you think of old people?" asked the producer of the live afternoon show on ITV. The four co-presenters, myself included, looked thoughtfully at our hands for a moment and searched for a fitting soundbite that would stagger the audience without offending or annoying anyone.
''How much would it take for you to strip, Lauren?" asked Edwina Currie during her Radio 5 chat show, with what she imagined was a wicked sharpness in her voice. I sat and pulled a face at the other end of the phone line before I answered, because the question is getting really tired.
My Italian cousin, visiting from Milan, was livid: the Economist was a dirty little rag, she screeched. The Financial Times was a waste of paper.
As George Bush escalates the new cold war begun by his father, the attention of his planners is moving to the Middle East.
The military engagement over China, and the subsequent manoeuvres in Taiwan, have given us some indication of George W Bush's approach to foreign policy. But it is ordinary Trinidadians who have had a direct and frightening taste of it.
The grand old man of Tory politics has pronounced his party dead. BBC News 24's Nick Robinson persuaded Sir Edward Heath to give a valedictory interview after five decades in parliament.
Wine was guzzled and everyone at the party after the show was in a mischievous mood. But staggering from group to group (two glasses had done for me), I heard the same questions cropping up over and over again: "Where are they?" "Why isn't one of them here?"
Two political clowns, both members of the Tory party, have been occupying the stage for the past week or so: Lord (John) Taylor of Warwick and John Townend, MP for Yorkshire East. Their speciality is race relations.
After hearing Robin Cook's now infamous "chicken tikka masala" speech, I decided that my definition of hell would be seeing Cook make an acceptance speech for winning the Most Patronising Politician of the Year Award.
More accurate estimates of Tony Blair's cull of backbenchers are starting to emerge, suggesting it will fall short of large-scale slaughter.
A new study claims that aromatherapy (and by extension complementary medicine in general) has no inherent power to stimulate our mood or to heal us. Unless we want it to, that is.
If this country depended on the Commission for Racial Equality and the official political parties for its racial stability, we would be in the midst of the most awful internecine war.
The other day, I attended a conference at the University of Sussex on the "new imperialism". What was extraordinary was that it took place at all.