It has slowly begun to dawn on Ed Miliband that he's got another twelve months of electioneering in the provinces to endure.
Waking up in a cold sweat, the Labour leader grabbed hold of his wife and growled, "I don't know if I can do it." He then went and sat in the bath for two hours, rocking backwards and forwards with his head in his hands.
"You can't blame him," said a senior Labour colleague. "Thanks to these bloody local and European elections, we've all had to leave the safety of London and travel up north on these things called 'trains' to visit squalid little red brick towns full of stray dogs and poor people. Ed's an urbane career politician from an affluent area of the capital. Pretending to like half a pint of brown ale in something I'm informed the proletariat call 'pubs' before enduring the misery of kissing a dirty baby that's probably infested with lice is almost too much for the man to bear.
"And now they're telling us we all have to do it again for next year's general election? Jesus Christ. My dry cleaner has only just managed to get the stink of Bolton out of my Savile Row suit. They made me eat a Mr. Whippy ice cream in Skegness and in Hull I had to stand there and listen to a man with bad breath bang on about immigration. We're supposed to put up with more of this for another twelve months? I'm sorry but you can forget that. I'm leaving Westminster for a job at Goldman Sachs."
Mr. Miliband was said to be 'bracing himself' this morning for his next visit to his Doncaster constituency where he is likely to be presented with a plate of pie and peas made by an overweight dinner lady he is expected to pretend to have something in common with.