Back in Vogue?

Nova is dreaming of fame and Rishi is trying to get out of the doghouse


This article is taken from the February 2023 issue of The Critic. To get the full magazine why not subscribe? Right now we’re offering five issues for just £10.

My priorities are the public’s priorities,” Rishi says. Akshata looks puzzled. “Building a swimming pool?” she asks.

“No! Reducing inflation. James says I need to be the people’s prime minister.”

James is Rishi’s friend. He used to write nice things about him in the newspapers, but now he’s come to work for us full-time. He’s married to Allegra, who used to work for us and then went to work for Boris and then had to stop working for him because she didn’t go to enough parties. 

Rishi says it’s good having James around because it reminds him of school, but it’s also sad because it means there isn’t anyone writing nice things about him any more.

I want them to say how extraordinary I am

These days James spends his time explaining politics to Rishi. “People are worried about not being able to see a doctor if they’re sick,” he says. Rishi says this is all very insightful. Akshata says she doesn’t mind what advice he gives, so long as she doesn’t have to fire either of the cooks. I’m not sure she’s completely forgiven Rishi for making her pay tax.

Personally, I’m still worried about boosting my own profile. The Tatler piece turned out to be all about Akshata and how ordinary she is. For some reason she was happy with that. It’s very strange. When people write about me, I want them to say how extraordinary I am, and that I have the most beautiful coat a dog has ever had, which is true. Maybe we could have a crack at Vogue. I must give Amber a nudge. 

“James says I need to tell people things about myself that will help them understand that I’m just like them, whether they’re upper class, or middle class, or working class,” Rishi says. “Well, not working class.” 

“I thought you tried that.”

“I did, but it turns out that really liking maths isn’t a popular personality trait.”

“Oh really? Maybe you should talk about your time in a hedge fund more.”

“No, James says they don’t like that, either.”

“There must be something that you have in common with the rest of the country.”

“I’ve been making a list.”

“OK. What have you got so far?”

“Well, I think the government has been an absolute disaster.”

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