The past few weeks have been incredibly draining at Puddlecote Inc and there is more to come, so Mrs P and I ran off to Rome for a long weekend to chill for a bit. We ate loads of good food, sweltered under a cloudless sky at times, consumed more than our fair share of wine and - a real bonus - came across a seriously interesting business opportunity while there. It might require a few more trips back to get it sorted but ... oh well.
Thanks to glorious WiFi, though, there was an early evening window where I could keep track of what was going on in the UK, the Emily Thornberry snobbery being the most striking.
The left seem to be trying to play it down, but it's quite clear she showed modern Labour's hand when it comes to working class people. The original tweet was appallingly ill-judged but her attempt at wriggling out of trouble was truly laughable!
Ms Thornberry initially tried to defend her tweet. Speaking to MailOnline, she denied snobbery but said she was astonished to see people hanging so many flags outside their house.
She said: 'It was a house covered in British flags. I've never seen anything like it before.
'It had three huge flags covering the whole house. I thought it was remarkable. I've never seen a house completely covered in flags.'
When pressed that flying flags was common, she said: 'I was brought up in a council house and I've never seen anything like it.'Have you ever heard anything so ridiculous? Where I live it's difficult to find any road without flags during football tournaments and within a quarter mile of me there are three houses with flagpoles in their front garden specifically for the purpose of flying it 24/7/365. If she's never seen this she is woefully out of touch.
But then, her party's leader is a bit of a comedian too.
He said: ‘It's not the view we have of that family. Labour's never had that view of disrespect and I'm afraid her tweet conveyed a sense of disrespect - that's not my view, that's not Labour's view, it's wrong, it never will be our view and that's why I think it was right she resigned.’
Asked what went through his mind when he saw a white van outside a house with England flags, Mr Miliband replied: ‘What goes through my mind is respect - respect is a basic rule of politics and I'm afraid her tweet conveyed a sense of disrespect.’Respect? White van men up and down the country - whether displaying the cross of St George outside their houses or not - tend to like burgers, beer and baccy. Ed's party, though, are fiercely opposed to absolutely everything working people like to consume.
A Labour government would impose tough restrictions on the sale and advertising of alcohol, unhealthy food and tobacco, according to a leaked policy document.
The plan would end sports sponsorship by drinks firms and impose minimum alcohol pricing in an effort to cut the impact of drinking on Britons' health.
There would also be new laws to curb the amount of sugar, fat and salt in food aimed at children, and a ban on advertising unhealthy products on TV before the 9pm watershed.They don't respect the choices of working people, they despise working people because of their choices.
Luciana Berger is stomping all over Westminster trying to bring in laws advocated by stratospherically-paid fake charities which target calm enjoyment of products enjoyed by working class people. Just in the last few days she has been talking of the need to make it more difficult for white van man and his wife to choose what they can drink, and been badgering the Department of Health about pointless plain packaging. Andy Burnham wants to make Frosties history and Alan Johnson wants to ban Coca-Cola. Diane Abbott - part of the shadow health team, would you believe - vilely sneers about the concept of working people being allowed "a penny off a pint, a penny off beer, and you can have your fags as well"
They might claim that it's because working people are not making the 'correct' choices - a crass display of elitist arrogance in itself - but it doesn't even stop there. Any vaper will tell you that, while the EU Tobacco Products Directive was being drawn up, the only MEPs who contemptuously refused to listen to the thousands of pleas sent to them about e-cigs were Labour ones.
I'm little more than a glorified white van man who made good and come from sarf London stock - some might call it social mobility. Grandad Puddlecote was a lifelong proud Labour voter who lived in council houses on the same street for his entire 85 years and enjoyed tobacco and alcohol throughout all of it. He would spin faster than the lathe he used to operate if he could see the bastardisation of his party now.
Puddlecote Inc employees - the same type of people I socialise with daily - are woven from working stock and our biggest task while preparing for the annual staff party is making sure they have somewhere the approximately 40% of them who smoke can enjoy their tobacco at the same time as the alcohol we are paying for. It is becoming increasingly difficult thanks to attitudes promoted by Labour. I don't reckon the professional barbecue we put on this year would be received any better by the left either considering the usurping of the working man's party by rich Hampstead and Islington Labour snobs.
Thornberry did the country a favour by showing that Labour don't have the first clue about people in general. For Miliband to claim that his party respects the working class - while his party members furiously work to denormalise and outlaw their freedom of choice - is a just a sick joke.