Matthew Norman: Unlike Jan Moir, I'm nearly lost for words

Diary: Even by Mail standards, Jan's censoriousness is astonishing, and the instant response has been spectacular

Matthew Norman: Yum Yum Yentob sings for his supper

After a mixed week for the BBC on the courage-under-fire front (see George Alagiah, below), a rousing thank the Lord for Alan Yentob.

Matthew Norman: Gordo the fingernail vs Cam the puppet

Here we go again. Every four or five years, without fail, the prospect of a live, televised election scrap between the party leaders is tantalisingly raised, and this time it might even happen. Peter Mandelson has green-lit it already, of course, and where the Senior Prime Minister has led, Gordon may just follow in desperation for a last-minute game-changer. Some find the idea unappealing but, as anyone who watched the Obama vs McCain trilogy may agree, these debates are far the most reliable guides to judgement and temperament.

Matthew Norman: Comical Desi's sword of truth

These are not words I expected to write without some potent psychotropic substance seeping through an intravenous drip, but Richard Desmond becomes a role model to us all. The fearlessness he showed in donning the Jonathan Aitken Memorial Suit of Armour to fight Tom Bower for his good name - and on the notoriously murderous terrain that is Mr Justice Eady's courtroom - speaks for itself. So does the plain spoken reverence for truth displayed in the witness box. Above all, though, it's the Corinthian sunniness that seems such a useful paradigm for troublesome times. The post-verdict statement posted on his own Express web site echoes one of modern history's most resilient wartime orators. Churchill, perhaps, in 1940. Or possibly Comical Ali in 2003 as the coalition tanks rolled into Baghdad. "His biggest mistake," declared Richard of Mr Bower, "was in thinking I would not go to court to fight to uphold my reputation."

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