Diary: David's the one with X Factor

Clearly getting fusty in my old age, yesterday I felt unable to hide concerns when Ed Miliband flirted with embracing hip-hop as a cornerstone of the next Labour manifesto. While Ed eventually stepped away from the precipice during an interview with youth channel SBTV – (in fairness, he's known to be more of a Bananarama man) – big brother David is busy making his own overtures to the music industry. Miliband (D) is now lobbying for votes on behalf of X Factor contestants Rhythmix, whose members Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards hail from his South Shields constituency. "The girls have done fantastic to get to this stage," says David – (in fairness, known to be more of an Elton John man). "They are carrying the hopes and dreams of everyone." We can only hope this might soothe memories of a certain other ill-fated vote he endured last year.

* Amid what has been a sorry old week for our Prime Minister, concern in some quarters has again turned to the state of his exhaustively manicured barnet. In the aftermath of this week's rebellion by Tory MPs, both the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror were keen to draw attention to the patches of grey appearing towards the back of his bonce. We were encouraged to accept that the PM's stresses with parliamentary colleagues had provided crafty Old Father Time with the opening he'd been looking for – rather than the more far-fetched explanation that he's a 45-year-old bloke who's actually been going a bit grey for a while. Still, no one can say Dave hasn't been warned. If I rightly interpret the Mail's coverage over the past year, we can also safely conclude he's a bloated, balding man in dangerous self-denial, with major health problems on the horizon. I trust he can treasure these next few months before the rot truly sets in.

* Meanwhile, after being accused of using un-parliamentary language courtesy of calling the Labour leader a "mug" in the Commons yesterday, our Prime Minister was at least able to rein in his demons when up against another tricky customer. Observers noted that Dave's earnest brow made a point of going into professional overdrive when that little Scouse firecracker Nadine Dorries (she really loves being called that) started quizzing him about an incinerator in her constituency. The PM, you see, was all-too-aware that his trademark charms are wasted on this troublesome northern lass. Just last month she showed nothing but ingratitude when Dave – to the delight of many on his side of the House – publicly advised Nadine to stop worrying her silly little head about Nick Clegg and the Coalition. Sensibly, he's since concluded she's sadly incapable of sharing his award-winning sense of humour.

* Curiosity got the better of me when one message flashed in the diary inbox yesterday. "Want to have dinner with MP Jacob Rees-Mogg on Friday 28 October? Ring 01749 673146," it tantalisingly stated. Concerned to see a celebrated figure of our times reduced to reaching out in such a seemingly desperate fashion, I called to fulfil the thankless role of being this lonely man's dining companion. Only then was I informed this was in fact officially a "Tory fundraiser" in Wells, and that there was a "fair to middling" chance more than a couple of people might turn up. I fear I'm not the only one who has been misled.

Sorry to report that a small number of readers took exception to President Sarkozy being described as a "little French cockerel" during this column's insightful piece on the diplomatic troubles this week. Revealingly, there has been not a hint of disquiet regarding Ann Widdicombe being subsequently compared to an "annoying old bat".


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

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

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
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home