Diary: Cameron's captain upsets the burghers of Bournemouth


Tobias Ellwood, the Tory MP for Bournemouth East, is a 6ft 2in former Army captain. He is such a fan of David Cameron that, during the 2006 leadership contest, he was pushing notes under the doors of other MPs pleading for their support. When a fellow Tory, Mark Pritchard, annoyed the Government with his persistent campaigning against cruelty to circus animals, Mr Ellwood, pictured right, jocularly suggested that he should be taken behind the bike shed and given "a good hiding". Last month, he lost his position as a parliamentary aide when the Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, resigned – but the whips quickly found him another berth.

However, he is nowhere near as popular with Bournemouth's leading burghers as he is with Camp Cameron. The trouble started when Mr Tobias launched an initiative called Conurbation 2050 to discuss the seaside resort's future, evidently without clearing his lines with the Conservative group leader and the deputy leader of Bournemouth Council. According to the Bournemouth Echo yesterday, the council leader, Peter Charron, sent the MP a series of emails complaining of his bad manners in not inviting councillors to the event, and basically telling him to keep off their grass. "We don't tell you how to vote in the House, do we?" he wrote.

The deputy leader, John Beesley, told the paper: "The best place to start would have been for Tobias Ellwood to give me a call to get the facts straight."

Mr Ellwood countered: "I will not be bullied by the leader or deputy. The notion that MPs cannot comment on local matters is not only parochial but Victorian."


Goldsmith forgets his history lessons

Zac Goldsmith backed down quickly at the Leveson Inquiry yesterday after likening Britain's tabloid press to Auschwitz. Odd that he, of all people, should resort to tasteless comparisons with the Holocaust, because his father, like Ed Miliband's, was lucky to escape when the Nazi blitzkrieg swept through Belgium and France. Zac's grandfather, the former Tory MP Frank Goldsmith, known as "Monsieur le Majeur", owned 48 of the finest hotels across France and Monaco. He had left England after the First World War because he was harassed here for being German. To the Nazis, he was a Jew, which meant he had to scramble aboard a refugee ship at Bayonne with his family, including the infant James, Zac's father.


Misery over Merkel

After listening to Angela Merkel laying down the law the other day, a French radio commentator was heard to moan: "This is reminiscent of Madame Thatcher, except this time we'll have to do as she says."


The cookbook from Poo Corner

Each spring, the Bookseller magazine issues the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title. Last year's victor was the gripping-sounding 8th International Friction Stir Welding Symposium Proceedings, which you can purchase via Amazon for £222, if you haven't already. Or, if you prefer to own the fifth or seventh volumes in the series, they are available for only £150 each. I read that an entry for this year's competition is a cook book by a Thai chef, Saiyund Diwong, called Cooking With Poo — "poo" being Thai for "crab". I would want to see the cover before I was sure someone is not having us on.


Keeping it in the family

Soon after the Second World War, a question arose as to whether the historian Jacob Bronowski, who later found fame presenting the BBC series The Ascent Of Man, might be recruited to the Atomic Energy Agency because of his knowledge of air defence against the effects of an atom bomb. The intelligence services were consulted, and hastily advised against.

"He came to our notice in the early part of 1940, when he was a lecturer in mathematics at Hull University," an agent reported. "[The] police report that although no evidence was forthcoming, he was a member of the Communist Party, he was an extreme left-wing intellectual..."

There followed a list of organisations, such as the Left Book Club, in which Bronowski was implicated, followed by speculation that "his failure to have anything to do with the local Communist party was due to the fact that its members were far below his intellectual standard".

The 135-page dossier on Bronowski's allegedly subversive activities is held by the National Archives at Kew, Surrey. Yesterday, it said it had appointed of a new non-executive director, the historian Lisa Jardine, who happens to be Bronowski's daughter. Diary is sure she will make sure Daddy's file is looked after.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Guru Careers: Graduate Resourcer / Recruitment Account Executive

£18k + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright, enthusiastic and internet...

Reach Volunteering: Chair and trustees sought for YMCA Bolton

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Bolton YMCA is now a...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine