Diary: A Tory who really should know the price of milk

 

In April, the Conservative MP Nadine Dorries described the Prime Minister and Chancellor as "two posh boys who don't know the price of milk". But should politicians really be expected to know the price of a pint? If they're the minister responsible for the dairy industry, then yes, probably.

On yesterday's edition of Radio 4's Farming Today, the Agriculture Minister, Jim Paice, was forced to admit that he had no idea, because his "wife buys most of it".

The price of milk is a time-worn interviewer's weapon, designed expressly to demonstrate how out of touch a politician is with the people he or she represents.

But Mr Paice really ought to have seen it coming, given that he was there precisely to talk about cuts to the price paid for milk by major processors, which threaten to cost the average dairy farm around £50,000 per year and put many small producers out of business.

The minister was hoping to avert protests planned for today in London. For the record, milk costs between 30p and 65p approximately, depending on its quality, quantity and source. You'd think Mrs Paice might have briefed him.

New TUC chief gets family's blessing

The TUC has appointed its first female leader, 52-year-old Frances O'Grady. Not unexpected, given she was the only candidate for the post of general secretary. There's no suggestion, however, that this was some Pyongyang-style elevation to the top spot.

O'Grady won nominations from 32 of the TUC's 58 member unions, but her own – the ahem National Union of Journalists – was one of the few in the Congress that failed to support her.

That said, it would have been equally embarrassing, if not more so, had Bectu not backed her: O'Grady's daughter Hannah, another committed trade unionist, is a member of the broadcasting union's National Executive Committee.

Towering figure in French politics

Mr Cameron had already made some unfortunate jokes at the expense of the French before Mr Hollande's first official visit: one about French UK taxpayers funding the NHS, and another corker about a "cheese tax".

Dave also has an extensive repertoire of jokes about people's height (and their weight, and their speech impediments), and one wonders whether he rolled any of them out for Hollande's benefit yesterday.

The new French President, you see, is a mere 5ft 7in, two inches taller than his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy, but nonetheless diminutive for a Gallic leader. The average height of French presidents, traditionally men of stature, is 5ft 9in. Charles de Gaulle was 6ft 5in, Giscard d'Estaing was 6ft 2in, Jacques Chirac was – and still is – 6ft 3in.

Hollande and Sarkozy have a historical predecessor, of course: Napoleon's height is disputed, but he's generally believed to have been 5ft 6in, an inch shorter than Hollande, an inch taller than Sarkozy.

City defies fate and gets it wrong

Despite a stream of banking scandals, the City is never ashamed to throw a party. Hence the VIP invitations that just arrived in the Diary's inbox for Square Mile magazine's forthcoming summer bash on, er, Friday the 13th. This week the magazine launched its so-called "Summer Festival" by populating Exchange Square with bikini-clad models.

Square Mile proudly describes itself as "a luxury lifestyle magazine for finance professionals". One of its 2010 cover stars was "Ace of Diamonds" Bob Diamond.

"Derided by critics for being an overpaid risk-taker, has the public got Bob Diamond, the next CEO of Barclays, all wrong?" asked the headline. I think we know the answer to that one now.

Suggested Topics
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

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

HR Manager (standalone) - London

Up to £40,000: Ashdown Group: Standalone HR Manager role for an SME business b...

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

HR Manager - HR Generalist / Sole in HR

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - HR Generalis...

Day In a Page

Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis