And then there was silence. Stratford stayed Tory, Gordon Brown resigned and our new Prime Minister entered a political civil partnership, except without the sex or advanced LGBT rights. Nick Clegg has emerged as either a brave pragmatist or a morally negligible shyster (I say both, with a side order of bewildered hilarity at his actually acquiring power), and Theresa May is quite definitely a homophobe.
After days of political prevarication, which I spent rushing in and out of a netless workplace, and asking tourists if I had a government yet, I witnessed the death of the printed newsrag (what’s the point of a paper you can’t reload?) and the resurrection of the dessicated zombie that is the Conservative government. I took the early 1990s as a promise that things would never have to be that bad again; when in 1997 Labour promised Things Could Only Get Better, I had the temerity to believe them. I too got horribly sentimental at Brown’s CitizensUK speech, and the moving pictures of his delightful small boys, but I think I’m fairly clear-eyed when I say that now, things can only get worse.
If you took a pin to Portcullis House today, spun round and jabbed the first available face, you would stand a better chance than ever of pricking a white, Oxbridge male who spent his formative years in a boarding-school, and who regularly munches fox for his Sunday lunch.
But I’m still here, and I am still addicted to politics. I look forward to watching Labour regroup and rebuild, and even if Dave&Gideon have banned elections (I thought that was something we frowned on, in our nominal democracy) until 2015, by the time the electorate does get to refill the Reichstag, we should have something better to offer the 19 million people who did not want a Conservative government. I also look forward to watching David Cameron turn into a jowly, pop-eyed psychopath, while Nick Cameron does his best impression of Dorian’s portrait in the attic.
Dr Sophie Duncan is Fellow in English at Christ Church, University of Oxford. She works regularly as a historical advisor and as a dramaturg for theatre, TV, radio and film. She likes theatre, detective fiction and cocktails.