BUNHILL: The Beast of Yeast in a boardroom blitz

"Things can only get better" was the Labour campaign tune, and how well chosen it was. After 18 years spent licking their wounds, kicking their heels and standing on the outside looking in, Labour's leading lights are finally fit for office - for the office.

Tony Blair said that New Labour meant business, and we should take him at his word. After courting our captains of industry so assiduously, it is only natural that Labour MPs should trade in their modest stipends in five years' time and follow the well-trodden Tory path into non-executive directorships.

To start with - and on the basis that if you go far enough to the left, you'll come back on the right - the curricula vitae of the more red-blooded socialists make compelling reading. The City beckons for Ken Livingstone, who will go from lizards to Lazards and a career in merchant banking. Then there's Denis Skinner, who will be offered a directorship at Ranks Hovis McDougall, turning the Beast of Bolsover into the Beast of Yeast.

Moving further to the right, how many members of Peter Mandelson's campaign team does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: none - he's the Prince of Darkness. So Mr Mandelson - along with Jack "Curfew" Straw- can look forward to a bumper payday at Silentnight Holdings.

The most lucrative positions, however, await our new Prime Minister who is already being lined up for the detergents company Unilever, and Celsis, a biotechnology firm which has come up with a system for detecting microbes in food and household products. That way, Mr Blair will be able to be tough on grime ... and tough on the causes of grime.

In the fallout following his attempt to take over the Co-operative Wholesale Society, details are emerging of another Andrew Regan bid for a venerable British institution. Amid rumours of a split, the General Synod of the Church of England is at this moment meeting in emergency session to consider a hostile bid from Regan and his asset-stripping acolytes.

The C of E is believed to be grossly undervalued with unlimited invisible earnings, billions in untapped property development potential and uncollected musical royalties going back centuries. The chairman of the Church's parent company was unavailable for comment last night, though he is said, mysteriously, to have been spotted in a number of different locations. Mr Regan is believed to want to split the organisation into a trinity of specialised operations prior to selling.

A bidding war between Rome and Tehran-based multinationals is expected, with a promised windfall for confirmation certificate holders from the Italian company's banking division seen as a masterstroke from the likely winner.

Roll over, Tory boys

After the success of the Tesco "electoral roll" political sandwich (see 'hills passim), the Bunhill psephology team are smacking their lips in anticipation of the gastronomic delights that will accompany the Tory leadership contest. So much so, in fact, that we can't resist a few suggestions of our own.

Those wishing to express a preference for Michael Howard (hard to believe, I know) can do so by buying the oxymoronic-sounding hardline bread and water sandwich - an unsound bite of negligible nutritional value - while supporters of William "Tory Boy" Hague, who first addressed conference aged 16, can feast on a smorgasbord of smarmy bratwurst. Sadly the Redwood camp will have to go hungry, as expressing a preference for food is an emotional response unbecoming in a respectable Vulcan.

In truth, however, even these meagre morsels might prove too rich a diet for the slimmed-down Conservatives. Still, one filling comes to mind that would be more than adequate for them all - sour grapes with hard cheese anyone?

In the light of Richard Branson's successful sale of his Virgin Radio interest to London's Capital Radio, it is worth noting that the plethora of radio stations that we now take for granted were once seen as undesirable intrusions on our airwaves. In fact, a candidate in the 1964 general election was roundly ridiculed for advocating their creation in his campaign.

As has been noted elsewhere, the potential MP in question was none other than Screaming Lord Sutch who, in the same election campaign, also called for such other obviously preposterous measures as votes for 18-year-olds and all-day pub opening. Lord Sutch was unable to stand in the recent election as he needed to care for his sickly mother, who sadly passed away last week - all at Bunhill Towers extend their deepest sympathies. John Major, Tony Blair and Paddy Ashdown all expressed their regrets that Lord Sutch would not take part, Mr Major saying: "I shall miss him, he is a national institution."

Indeed he is. In recognition of his eminently sensible policies, Bunhill exhorts the ex-PM to include Britain's sanest Loony in his resignation honours list. Step forward Lord Lord Sutch - of Barking?

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
Life and Style
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager / Development Manager - NW London - £58k + 15% bonus

£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant / Telemarketer - OTE £20,000

£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own