Diary: As Churchill might say, they have nothing to offer...

At times of national crisis, it is obligatory to turn to Churchill for inspiration. So to Chris Huhne and Baroness Warsi, I say this: if Winston and Lord Halifax could resolve the small matter of which of them would succeed Chamberlain in 1940 over a civil cup of cha, why can't you two behave yourselves over AV?

Chris accuses her ladyship of running "a Goebbels-like campaign" against AV by claiming it would be a boon for the BNP. If it's a subtle and gloriously original debating tactic to invoke the Nazis, Lady W makes a fantastically clever argument herself, with Nick Griffin virulently opposing AV.

In a bid to build bridges I remind the pair that, as far as campaigning and debating techniques go, more unites than divides them. During the last Lib Dem leadership election, Nick Clegg complained that Chris was "indulging in the politics of innuendo" by issuing a briefing dossier headlined "Calamity Clegg" – of which Chris claimed to know nothing despite its author being the lover for whom he would later leave his wife.

As a parliamentary candidate in 2005, meanwhile, the Baroness put her name to leaflets claiming that Labour's lowering of the age of consent was causing homosexuality to be peddled as a lifestyle choice to seven-year-old schoolchildren. Peas in a pod, these two geniuses, when it comes to the imbecile campaign smear. But then, as Milibandroid scholars will confirm, the similarities are so much more divisive than the differences.

* If the reshuffle goes badly for Lady Warsi and she decides to try her luck across the Atlantic, fingers crossed that Herman Cain doesn't win the White House. Wannabe Republican nominee Mr Cain, a pizza chain owner and radio talk show host, threw down the gauntlet to rival wingnuts last week by declaring that he would not, as president, allow any Muslim to serve in his cabinet. We look forward to Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and the others picking it up forthwith.

* Now I don't much care for Chris Huhne, but I'm not wild about Lady Warsi either. But who is worse? Ordinarily there'd be only one way to find out, but since Harry Hill isn't around to stage the fight, we turn to Norman Tebbit instead. As a participant in the last great inter-cabinet scrap between a noble and a commoner, when on 1997's "Wobbly Thursday" Lord Young grabbed him by the lapels and screamed, "We are about to lose this fucking election", it falls to Norman to adjudicate between them on his genuinely brilliant political blog. We know he prefers Clegg to Cameron, but his silence on Huhne vs Warsi threatens to shatter the eardrum. Where have you gone, stormin' Normio? A lonely nation turns its eyes to you.



* Meanwhile, Douglas Hurd lobs in his AV twopennorth by warning of the system's incomprehensible complexity. Small wonder he's in a shocking state. Counting up to five isn't easy, even for a chap who won a scholarship to Eton – something he liked to remind us about when challenging for the leadership in 1990, after Mrs Thatcher was removed by a system of such glorious simplicity that she won with a clear majority and had to go. Douglas understood that perfectly well at the time. What on earth's happened to him?

* I am saddened to read that new Channel 4 boss Jay Hunt is jettisoning those captivating list shows that have electrified Saturday and Sunday nights. What weekends will be like without Kate Thornton misunderstanding lyrics from songs released long before she was born doesn't bear contemplating. The final edition – working title: Top 100 Flogged Dead Horse TV Formats Featuring Loads Of People You Kinda Half Recognise But Don't Wish To Hear From On This Or Anything Else – is scheduled for the autumn.





* Regarding Moussa Koussa, I mostly blame the parents. The terror chief turned asylum-seeker can't be wholly exonerated, since he could have ditched the silly name. Would Duncan Jones be a feted film-maker had he meekly stuck with Zowie Bowie? But the parents take the lion's share of responsibility. "If your surname's Dumpty," as Ricky Gervais put it in his Politics show, "don't call your first born Humpty".

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

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...

Business Analyst - Banking - London - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Banking - People Change - Lond...

HR Manager - Milton Keynes - £50,000 + package

£48000 - £50000 per annum + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Shared...

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape