Matthew Norman: Gloria puts herself on the line for Gordon

Diary

If tomorrow’s historians rouse the interest to analyse media-government relations in the New Labour age, a chapter will be reserved for GMTV. The favoured conduit of both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, who offered Fiona Phillips a peerage and a ministerial post, the breakfast station has long been an outpost for sofa government at its most literal.

So it seems reciprocal justice to find one Gloria de Piero poised to be parachuted into a safe Labour seat (Geoff Hoon’s in Notts) a month after resigning as its political editor. In that capacity, former Labour party official Gloria not only introduced presenter Kate Garraway to her husband Derek ‘Dolly’ Draper, the Mandelson aide turned New Age crystal salesman/psychotherapist. When news broke of Damian McBride and Dolly’s plan to smear the Tories almost a year ago, she also provided the News of the World with a story (about Barack Obama’s half brother being cautioned here for a public order offence and almost being refused entry for an overnight stay en route from Kenya to the inauguration in Washington) that relegated Smeargate from the front page.

How Gloria came by a story Downing Street and the Home Office must have been sitting on for three months is no less a mystery than why she reported it not for her employer but a newspaper that would otherwise have splashed with Damian and Dolly’s naughtiness. It is not for us to risk letting daylight in on the magic of GMTV’s proximity to the heart of government.

Instead, we wish Gloria luck as she attempts the most vertical rise from backroom apparatchik to elected representative since my friend Gerald Kaufman left Wilson’s kitchen cabinet for the back benches long ago.

If you can’t remember, it didn’t happen

Thanks to those of you who reported back on Mr Justice Eady’s speech launching the City University’s centre for Law, Justice and Journalism. Despite referring to his annus horribilis, Eady J seemed in buoyant spirits. The less good news is that no one raised the possibility, floated here last week, that he plans to retire this year. The closest to that came from the university’s chancellor, who referred to not wishing to write his obituary yet. Sadly, his Lordship’s privacy has been invaded by the four clips posted on YouTube, a highlight being this gem about the super-injunction. “I am not conscious that I’ve ever granted one,” he said, “but it’s conceivable that I might have done.” Well, we can’t all be Leslie Welsh the Memory Man, can we?

An attack of hysteria

On her Spectator-hosted blog, Melanie Phillips disabuses readers of the suspicion that she can be vulnerable to the lure of hysteria. Responding to Joe Biden’s criticism of Israel for building more homes in east Jerusalem, she disputes his assertion that the Palestinians deserve a state of their own.

“To put it another way,” she writes, nimbly twisting the VP’s point in vintage Mad Mel style, “why does Joe Biden think that Israel “deserves” to surrender? And why, once again, is a final solution being imposed by America on democratic and besieged Israel … ?” Is it me being fanciful here, or might MM be using that “final solution” subtly to compare Barack Obama with Hitler … a tactic previously reserved for the more ostentatiously in-bred extremity of the Tea Party spectrum?

If social services continue to ignore these cries for help, it can’t be long before five people line up on a news conference platform to announce their resignations.

Mouth where his money is

Showing no signs of enfeeblement is Rupert Murdoch. The digital media whizz, who recently asked an interviewer to confirm that “online” is the same as “the internet”, has been to Abu Dhabi, where he is keen to expand his interests, for a “Media Summit”.

In a wide ranging keynote speech, he was as uncloyingly complimentary to his Arab hosts as he has been on visits to China. “The West rediscovered Aristotle through Arab translations” was one gem (Rupert refuses help with his speeches, by the way, ever relying on his own reservoir of esoteric knowledge); warmly congratulating the locals on the oil without which the world’s leading economies “would grind to a halt” another; and, linking himself and that emirate as equal victims of an envious global press yet a third.

The delicacy of Rupert’s seduction technique with a potential cash cow never fails to enchant.

Cruel intentions

I was startled on Friday to turn on the radio just before 7am and hear Jim Naughtie being tested by Sarah Montague on words he was supposed to have memorised.

As a follow up diagnostic exercise for those who have failed correctly to answer the nice doctor’s question about the identity of the Prime Minister, that’s fine. Making a Today presenter do it live on air do it seemed cruel and unnecessary.

Heart of gold?

Self-effacing Sun man Gordon Smart seems a real sweetheart. The Bizarre editor, best known for greatly exaggerating the death of Chris Moyles’s career as Radio 1’s breakfast DJ, had quite a scoop with Mark Owen’s drunken infidelities – one of those red top elegances in which someone grassed up to a tabloid is offered the easy way or the hard one.

Mr Owen took the easy way, inevitably, confessing all in return for slightly softer coverage. Yet just as with the cane-swishing housemaster delivering six of the best, it seemed to hurt the punisher more than the punished. “He’s had the strength to admit his weaknesses,” wrote a saddened Gordon in a box on the side of the page, “unlike other heartless, cheating stars. He showed genuine remorse when we met yesterday.” Lovely fella, as I said.

VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
Homer meets Lego Marge in the 25th anniversary episode of The Simpsons, set to air on 4 May
tv
Arts & Entertainment
James Franco and Chris O'Dowd in Of Mice and Men on Broadway
theatreReview: Of Mice and Men, Longacre Theatre
Life & Style
Infant child breast-feeding with eyes closed
healthTo stop mummy having any more babies, according to scientists
News
news
Life & Style
Going down: Google's ambition to build an elevator into space isn't likely to be fulfilled any time soon
techTechnology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Arts & Entertainment
film
Sport
Vito Mannone fails to keep out Samir Nasri's late strike
sportMan City 2 Sunderland 2: Goalkeeping howler allows Man City to scrap a draw – but Premier League title is Liverpool's to lose
News
David Cameron sings a hymn during the enthronement service of The Most Rev Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury, at Canterbury Cathedral last year
news
Life & Style
From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey gets the North Korean leader's look
fashionThe Independent heads to an Ealing hairdressers to try out the North Korean dictator's trademark do
Extras
indybest10 best smartphones
Arts & Entertainment
tvCreator Vince Gilligan sheds light on alternate endings
Life & Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 63rd anniversary of the Peak District National Park
tech
News
Paul Weller, aka the Modfather, performing at last year’s Isle of Wight Festival in Newport
people
Life & Style
Michael Acton Smith founded Firebox straight out of university before creating Moshi Monsters
techHe started out selling silliness with online retailer Firebox, before launching virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Online Advertising Account Executive , St Pauls , London

£26K-30k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...

Advertising Account Executive - Online, Central London

£25K-28k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...

NGO and Community Development in Cambodia

Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: There are many small development projects in ...

Business, Marketing and Tourism Volunteer Projects

Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: As part of an ongoing effort to support local...

Day In a Page

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal