Intern if you want to – The Case of the Smouldering Chalet

I arrived at the member's house to thank them for housing the intern to discover they had burned it down!

Working in politics you get to work with a lot of interesting, influential and even exciting people.  It’s one of the reasons that lots of people are attracted to work for the Liberal Democrats and other political parties as interns.

Over the years I have worked with many interns and many have found jobs in politics, discovered it wasn’t for them or gone on to great and better things.

During the last general election, in South East Cornwall, the party had two interns.  Both of them shared a chalet with each other in a very nice part of the constituency in a very rural location.

The chalet belonged to a member and they were happy to house the interns for the period of the election.  For one reason or another one of them moved out to be nearer the office leaving the other alone in the chalet.

Everything seemed to be fine for the period of the election, but there was some evidence that they perhaps hadn’t got on particularly well.  After one had moved out the other started coming in better dressed and less tired and this was welcome if a little surprising.  He seemed a little quiet, even sheepish, but he worked hard, which is what you want from an intern.

After the election was over and the seat was retained I went round to the member’s house to thank them for the accommodation they had provided to be met by a building that was black with smoke damage and clearly very badly burnt down!

In my shock I was told that apparently when one had left the other had taken to using candles for lighting and left one of the candles alight at night and burned down the chalet, and almost themselves with it.

The fire brigade had been out to deal with it and no one had said a word.  I was stunned.  It did however explain why the intern had gone quiet, and more importantly they had become better fed, washed and bedded.

So, my advice is, if you get an intern who suddenly starts to be cleaner, more rested and better fed, just check they haven’t burned down the place they are staying in.

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