Andy McSmith's Diary: Ed Balls's joy, Campbell's debut at the Bridge, and
a game of two halves

If the Prime Minister knows rudeness is bad for his image,

why does he insist on being rude?

David Cameron is worried that his displays of bad temper in the Commons are damaging his reputation. He knew he had made a mistake yesterday even before the Speaker, John Bercow, ticked him off for calling Ed Balls a "muttering idiot". That explains the unexpected and graceful apology he offered to Dennis Skinner not long afterwards, for having suggested during their previous exchange that it was time for Skinner, who is 80, to collect his pension.

If he knows that rudeness is bad for the image, why does he keep on being rude? His words did not cause Ed Balls any pain; on the contrary, Balls was visibly glowing with satisfaction at having got another reaction from the Prime Minister, while Cameron could be seen to whisper something to George Osborne, sitting to his left. According to lip readers in the press gallery, it was a rueful: "I can't help it!"

Campbell's debut at the Bridge

From a muttering idiot to Nicky's Whisper, named in honour of Nicky West, a campaigner for gene therapy who died of cystic fibrosis in 2004. Stars and MPs will turn out at the Chelsea ground today for a football match, the Cystic Fibrosis Trust XI versus the cross-party Parliamentary Football Club, to decide who holds the Nicky's Whisper trophy. Alastair Campbell will join the celebrity team before starting out as a lobbyist. The Labour MP Clive Betts will captain the other side.

Journalism: a game of two halves

Gary Lineker, one of the stars who turned out for the Journalism Foundation's "Priceless Evening" on Tuesday, is not allowing revelations from the Leveson Inquiry to colour his view of what most journalists are like.

There are "good" journalists and "evil" journalists, he tells me. He believes that most of our trade are law-abiding citizens who do our job and go home to our families when the day is done. If that makes us sound a tad dull, the lives of most professional footballers are the much the same, according Mr Lineker.

"Most people will have a go at footballers, but whatever you think about John Terry, the majority work hard and will go home to the families and live perfectly ordinary lives, like journalists," he told me.

The evening in the London auction house, Phillips de Pury raised more than £150,000 for the Journalism Foundation, which is sponsored by the Lebedev family, owners of The Independent. The money will go towards the foundation's projects, which include weekend courses in Lincoln in community radio journalism, a new journalism college in Tunisia, and training for young journalists in South Sudan.

Linehan take aim at music's Goliaths

"Online piracy" is not a phrase used by Graham Linehan, the Irish writer and comedian who was behind Father Ted and other series, despite the howls of grief emanating from the entertainment industry about how piracy is "destroying music". Speaking at a debate hosted by Google yesterday, he was caustic about mega-rich rockers who cannot bear the thought of fans listening to their output without paying; he gave special mention to Paul McGuinness, manager of U2, who made a speech in January berating Google for not preventing illegal downloads.

"In the past we have had years of huge bands making lots of money, then lots of small bands no one has ever heard of," he said. "I always hated the huge bands and like the little ones. I wanted them to get a bit more and, if it means the big ones have to lose something, then fine. Paul McGuinness once said that if we go on like this, there will be no more U2s, not realising most people thought 'wow'."

He added: "I really don't agree with the whole term 'piracy'... These people are not pirates, they're fans. I love them for it."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HR Consultancy - £65,000 OTE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all