By Paul Goodman
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Imagine what it's like to enjoy a pint or two, be locked away in the Priory for years – and then suddenly be released into a brewery.
It's fair to say that Michael Fabricant, MP for Lichfield, doesn't mind a bit of publicity. But his confinement for many years in the Whips Office constrained his natural talent for it.
Mr Fabricant stepped down as a Whip at the last reshuffle, has gone on Twitter – and is becoming a tweeting sensation.
I'm not referring only to his tweets about fake boobs and naked photoshoots. Have a look at the ones above and below.
Those tweets helped to keep the Andrew Mitchell story going after last Wednesday's PMQs. Mr Fabricant protested his innocence – see below.
And he insists that he doesn't bear a grudge against the former Chief Whip at all. At least, I think that's what he's saying.
Let's accept that Mr Fabricant wasn't trying to get Mr Mitchell into trouble. He was simply stating the bleeding obvious and, in other tweets, displaying his sense of humour.
But there's a problem here. As he well knows, being a former Whip, MPs are not allowed to have a sense of humour. Apologies. What I mean is that they're not allowed to show it if they do.
Apologies again. What I really mean is that they are allowed to show it, but not at the expense of their colleagues.
Yes, Michael: why were you cringing when watching Newsnight yesterday evening? What – or should we say who – could possibly have evoked that comment?
I am not suggesting for a moment that Mr Fabricant's tweets are always unhelpful to his colleagues or the Government. Far from it. See above, for example.
But let's just say that if were a Whip I would want him silenced, and fast. He must know this. And the Whips must know he knows it.
There's only one rational explanation. That his real game is to force them to buy his silence – by bringing him back to the Whips Office as Pairing Whip.
Follow Michael Fabricant MP on Twitter.