Video conferencing, despite its security and privacy foibles, is currently the leaky lifeblood of British democracy.
It’s also giving the public a window into its elite’s digs. Some members of that elite opt for a relatable, domestic backdrop. Others go with ancestral portraits hung on Georgian oak panelling, and a particularly ridiculous subset accidentally includes a well-framed shot of its backyard Grecian temples. The mainstay of the genre, however, is a hastily curated bookshelf.
For some politicians, the intrusion of cameras into the home is an unwelcome encroachment upon an unpopular passion: Ayn Rand, David Ike, more Ayn Rand, or maybe sketches of Maggie Thatcher in a Union Jack bikini.
So, here are the shelf scandals we wish had happened – the embarrassing volumes and pictures, partially obscured by pot plants – that weren’t actually there, but feel about right.
- Mark Gino Francois
- Barely legal WWII fighter pilots
- Several binders labelled ‘NDAs’
- A stabby knife (for backs)
- The Mogg
- The Modern Gentleman’s Guide to Servant Discipline
- Avoiding Political Scandal: and how to apologise convincingly when you don’t (in cellophane)
- ‘Slightly eugenicy stuff’
- Liz Truss
- Several hundred unsold copies of Britannia Unchained.
- A lads mag but with mid-century debunked economists’ faces cut and pasted over models
- Long Government Words for Adults
- Sir Keir
- Whatever Blair’s autobiography is called (that’s enough – ed).