In every office in the parliamentary lobby, there's a little poster with the World Cup fixtures. Lobby hacks have been organising the sweepstakes, and chatting about it for weeks. Every cup of coffee bought from the café down the hall results in a good five minute distraction as we peer at whatever game's on now.
But things became a little too intense yesterday when some enterprising hack found a vuvuzela – those profoundly annoying horns you hear in every World Cup match, like a swarm of flies preparing to attack. The first time we thought it was some new demonstrator come to join Brian Haw and the impossibly angry woman in Parliament Square. Then we realised it was coming from inside the building. And shortly after that we realised it was the sound of the Daily Mirror blasting through the halls of Westminster. No matter.
Personally I've found the noise has started to become invisible, but bear in mind I've sat through select committee hearings with Jacqui Smith, so I'm trained. Can you imagine a worse time for politics? With the World Cup on, no-one cares, including most political journalists. Thank heavens it didn't coincide with the election. But then – no government would be foolish enough to set the election date during a World Cup. No-one would turn up.