There was much murmuring in Westminster's undergrowth yesterday at the government's decision to send in the Economic Secretary of the Treasury, Chloe Smith, to sum up at the end of the debate on fuel prices.
Some MPs are now saying that pump prices are the biggest single source of complaints they are hearing from their constituents. The motion to hold down fuel prices was signed by 83 Tory MPs and five Liberal Democrats. They believed that they should be hearing from George Osborne rather than the most junior of the five ministers on the Commons treasury team.
This is not good for 'cold Chloe', as she is known to her growing number of enemies on the Tory side. Having secured a government post at the age of 29, after just two years in the Commons, she has drawn the resentful envy of older, longer serving colleagues. She also arrived ten minutes late for yesterday's debate. By the end of the day she was a living example of that line from an 18th century poem written by Thomas Gray – "A favourite has no friend!"
Lemmy sees a blight on Old Blighty
Lemmy, the front man for Motorhead, was never the sort of role model any parent would want for their child. "I was a hellraiser, but... I'm sixty fucking six at Christmas. How much more hellraising have I got left to do? I did most of it already – twice," he has told the December edition of Classic Rock magazine.
Now, in his mellow years, he has cast a disapproving glance over today's youth. "I won't be coming back to England," he said. "I'm proud to be English, but the England I'm proud of has gone. The riots were a symptom of that. Kids just need an excuse and they're gonna be out on the street, waving things about." Our loss entirely.
A let-off for Letwin
After being photographed strolling through St James's Park at the crack of dawn, reading confidential papers and disposing of them in public litter bins, the Cabinet Minister Oliver Letwin has signed a promise that he will not do it again, the Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, announced yesterday.
"It is fortunate that most of the information he discarded was not of a particularly sensitive nature and was therefore unlikely to cause substantial distress to his constituents," Mr Graham said. He could have added in Mr Letwin's defence that at least he read the documents before he threw them away. There are ministers who would not have bothered.
Bush and Blair – the unlikely trial
Those who have been calling for years for George W. Bush and Tony Blair to be put on trial for war crimes will be heartened by the news from Malaysia where the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes tribunal will begin a four day hearing on Saturday which could – indeed probably will – result in their names being entered in a symbolic 'Register of War Criminals'.
The tribunal is the initiative of Mahathir Mohamad, the 86-year-old retired politician who ruled Malaysia with an iron hand for 22 years, had his deputy and heir apparent jailed for sodomy, and in 2003 denounced Anglo-Saxon Europeans as "proponents of war, sodomy and genocide."
The prosecution team will include Francis Boyle, Professor of Law at Illinois University, who has described Israel as a "Bantustan for Jews" destined to "collapse of its own racist and genocidal weight". On the judges' panel there will be another American, Albert L. Webre. He is billed as a "peace activist", but he is so much more.
He is one of the world's leading authorities on the Andromeda Council, a benevolent coalition of advanced beings from outer space who are watching over Earth. Last year, he uncovered a fact that has gone widely unreported – that Barack Obama went to Mars as a young man.
The organisers have informed Bush and Blair about the upcoming tribunal. Inexplicably, neither man has replied.