WILLIAM WALDEGRAVE: a misconception. The impression was given last week that the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is a wet fellow, unsuited to the sweaty exigencies of government, a view supported by a report in the Observer that he occasionally takes a glass of wine with a meal. The Captain, however, has just been assured that Willy thinks nothing of a couple of glasses of Calvados after lunch. Sacre bleu. This is a man. Nuff respect]

Max Hastings: a misconception. It was reported in the UK Press Gazette last week that the Daily Telegraph's editor was 'one of the world's great tennis players'. This is not true. It was the playful opinion of Mr Hastings's frequent opponent, Michael Green, chairman of Carlton Communications, who added that Mr Hastings was 'almost as good as me'. The Captain can reveal that while Mr Hastings undoubtedly possesses a strong will to win, there are problems in the area of what we sportsmen refer to as 'hand-to-eye coordination'. I had better be careful, though: this is a man who as a boy once shot up the family garden furniture with a sub-machine-gun. Nuff respect]

Stuart Higgins: a misconception. It has been put about that the new editor of the Sun lacks the bite, edge and decisiveness of his predecessor, a man called MacKenzie, and that this is reflected in the current state of the, er, Currant Bun. Not so. Last week we asked him, following the Waldegrave (qv) outburst, if he would lie in the course of his work. 'No comment' was the gutsy, no-nonsense response relayed through his secretary. Some time later, his secretary rang back. On further reflection, he had changed his mind. Now he wished to say 'No'.

The New Statesman & Society: a misconception. Some of you might have thought that glee ruled at the above organ following its financial rescue by wealthy socialist Philip Jeffrey. Not so. The future of editor Steve Platt, thought uninspired and expensive (the Clare Latimer-John Major fiasco), will be considered by the board this week. Jeffrey, brought in by Platt, is fighting to keep him. All reassuringly traditional and poisonous.

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