Imagine you are the Prime Minister. Your life was tough, so you took a gamble to improve it and called an election. That gamble didn't work. LIfe is harder. And now? Allies keep letting you down. Your European colleagues aren't helping. Every day must feel like you're walking uphill, through treacle.
Next, imagine you're an opposition MP. You see a huge hole in the Brexit Bill. You do all the right things, writing an amendment, finding support, making passionate, heartfelt speeches and interventions in the Commons. But. In the end, it is voted down because the government have more votes than you. So frustrating. So irritating.
OK. How about the Chancellor? Spreadsheet Phil. A bit of freedom. The power to make a real difference with the budget this week. But. No! He's trapped. Walking the tightrope between all the groups and individuals calling for radically different things. Add to that the pressure of knowing it's your job on the line if it isn't perfect. It's not an easy time to be chancellor.
What's the point of all this misery in your inbox on a Friday morning? Just to look at the competing pressures politicians of all flavours are under. How, when things get tough at the top, they're tough for everyone. And maybe, just maybe, in this week of Brexit and the Budget, looking for consensus and common ground through open and honest debate would be a lovely thing to do.
Sunday - As ever, I'd recommend the politics shows. They'll be full of people putting out their stall for budget spending. Marr has both Hammond and McDonnell and will be essential viewing.
Monday - Get in your pe kit and do some star jumps. Monday is a warm-up day in Parliament. There are some interesting bits going on like a debate about the abolition of the licence fee and a committee meeting about the borders and Brexit. Generally, though, it's all eyes looking forward.
Tuesday- Brexit Bill is back in committee today. Day 3 of 8. The headline news today is about the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Clause 5 explicitly excludes it. Labour (and others) really want it included. They have an amendment that keeps it in. More likely to succeed, though, is a cross-party amendment with support from Conservative rebels, SNP, Labour, Lib Dem and Green support that aims to keep it in under certain circumstances.
Wednesday - It's a rare Wednesday that PMQs takes second place, but that's the way it is on Budget Day. Hammond will take to his feet at around 12.45. He'll probably talk for an hour or so. He'll tweak, poke and fiddle with his levers to get productivity up and the economy running at full steam. Then Corbyn will take to his feet and give his verdict on the speech (spoiler: he won't like it). MPs will spend the rest of the day debating the budget.
Thursday - More budget debate in the Commons, while the Lords have a few general debates.
Friday - MPs are in their constituencies, but the Lords are debating Private Members Bills. Today, these include a bill on step-free access and one on homeschooling.
Our pick of the laws being debated in Parliament next week...
European Union (Withdrawal) Bill
This is the Bill that has been called the Great Repeal Bill. It repeals the original Act that took Britain into the EU in 1972, and transfers the laws that came from the EU into British laws. It doesn’t tackle each policy area individually, there will be separate laws for things like immigration, but it sets up the legal framework to make Brexit possible. Expect a lot of debate about this, the devolved assemblies in Scotland and Wales aren’t happy about it, and the Bill will transfer power to Ministers after Brexit to amend laws without a vote Parliament.
Data Protection Bill
This aims to bring UK data protection up to date and to widen the definition of personal information to include internet information such as IP addresses and cookies. It will also bring the UK in line with EU data protection laws so there is consistency after Brexit. The Bill will give individuals more control over their personal data and will allow people to request companies delete information held about them. It will also increase the punishment for organisations that do not comply with data protection laws.