Matthew Norman: Do Osborne's guests all get amnesia?

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The Independent Online

Amnesia has many potential causes, and some are more obvious than others. In the 1945 noir classic The Lost Weekend, for example, alcoholism robs Ray Milland of recall, but with the 2010 remake shot at Dorneywood the memory loss is harder to explain. All we know is that Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks had a pyjama party at the Chancellor's retreat, and this knowledge gap leaves wiggle room for gossip that the BSkyB bid may have been discussed. Preposterous. You might just as credibly surmise that when Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin met at Yalta, in the year The Lost Weekend was released, they discussed military matters and the post-war construction of Europe; when in fact, as all decent historians concur, their chat was confined to baseball, borscht recipes and the musical oeuvre of George Formby. However, since there seems no way of silencing all the silly speculation, I ask this question: was James Murdoch also a cast member of The Lost Weekend 2: This Time It's Catching? James remembers a visit to Dorneywood late in 2010, although naturally not the precise date. If it was the same weekend as his chief executive and his placeman in No 10, it would hardly cement any growing suspicion that Mr Osborne was the BSkyB organ grinder to Jeremy *unt's errand-boy monkey. But it would be nice to know for the record. Meanwhile, a plea. Chancellor, for God's sake have someone check the Dorneywood gas fires. Something must have caused this outbreak of mass amnesia, and potentially fatal carbon monoxide poisoning should be investigated without delay.

I hate to be the buzz kill, but if you thought the dancing dog raised the talent show-winning bar to an unscaleable height, what were you thinking? On the night Ashleigh and Pudsey won our version, self-styled "magic mentalist" Christian Gog took Romania's Got Talent after strapping himself to a heart monitor and reducing his pulse rate to zero (or "death" as we doctors call it). Simon Cowell, raise your game. Third place in Bucharest went to a woman who solved Rubik's Cube blindfolded and one-handed – and even Ed Miliband couldn't do that. To allay any resulting feelings of inadequacy, I offer Little Ed this titbit. For the first time since he became leader, Betfair makes Labour favourite to win most seats at the next election. The droid is on the march.

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