The backdrop conundrum

An MP (nameless to protect his identity!) has received an email from Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons Speaker, setting out the arrangements for parliament to meet virtually.  Apart from guidance on clothing (ties optional, no pink shorts),  Sir Lindsay urges MPs to think carefully about having a suitable backdrop.  The MP shows the email to his wife and asks her:.

‘Where would be the best place?  The kitchen perhaps?’

‘Certainly not.  I’ll need to be in and out of there all day and in any case someone might catch sight of our Aga or my Mary Berry cookbooks.’

‘What about the sitting room?’

‘The wood burning stove would be a definite no no and the dog sleeps in there.’

‘Hmm. I guess it’ll have to be my study.’

‘Yes, but you’d better tidy it up and think about the books on the shelves.’

‘I could have our leather bound Encyclopaedia Britannica on display.’

‘Don’t be silly, you’d look like a proper fuddy- duddy.  No one has encyclopaedias anymore.  It’s all online.’

‘Yes, I suppose so.  How about having our Lee Child collection behind me?’

‘Might send the wrong message, anyway he doesn’t need any publicity. You’d be better off inviting struggling authors to donate their books and arrange them strategically on the shelves behind you.’

‘Not enough time to get that organised.  Anyway, I’d have to vet the books in case they were unsuitable.  I know, how about having the Union Flag behind me like they do at the daily press briefings?’

‘Too risky. Someone might mistake you for a Secretary of State.’

‘What about the garden?’

‘Definitely not.  Nosey journalists might spot the dovecote and the croquet lawn in the background.’

‘Oh hell!  All too problematic.  I’ll go to the House instead and social distance on the back benches.’

‘Very well, dear.  That might be for the best.’

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