Diary: Football's future not so orange

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The Independent Online

Nobody comes off too well from the tale of Robbie Earle's ticket allocation. At the last World Cup in Germany, Bavaria beer (the company responsible for this week's "ambush marketing" stunt) tried a similar trick, giving out free, Bavaria-branded orange lederhosen to fans. But in 2006, Fifa allowed the aforementioned fans to watch the match after discarding the outfits; they just had to do so in their underpants. Unfortunately for everyone involved, including the television audience, the offending models at Holland's encounter with Denmark on Monday were ejected from the stadium entirely, clothes and all. However, what no one seems to have asked is how the Germans felt about it: a Dutch beer, named after a German region, using lederhosen – a cheap national sterotype – to promote their product. "I think most Germans would laugh," Jeanette from the German tourism board tells me. "But then you never know: Bavarians do take their beer very seriously."

* The New Politics has had scant effect on Whitehall's smart-phone policy, reports The Register. As under Labour, ministers are permitted to use only Blackberrys: an effective iPhone ban. GCHQ's encryption experts haven't approved the iPhone. Yet Ed Vaizey, the minister with the communications brief, is still using Twitter's iPhone application. "I use both," he admits: the Blackberry for government business, the iPhone to keep his Twitter followers abreast of such events as the recent "Didcot's Got Talent" fashion competition. Mr Vaizey won't be drawn on which is his preferred interface. "It's very hard to make that call," he says. "It's like asking, 'do you prefer chicken or beef?'"

* Sebastian Horsley prides himself on originality. "I don't read newspapers," the artist told our reporter at the opening of Dandy in the Underworld, a play based on his memoir. "Every day you have to read something no one else reads, think something no one else thinks and watch something no one else watches. Then you will become original." Horsley is famous for having himself crucified. Pretty original, unless you count that other well-known voluntary crucifixion of 2,000 years previously. But he isn't above plundering his own catalogue of quotes when conversing with diarists. "God made the country and Satan made Soho," he declared, plagiarising an interview he gave in 2007. "I didn't know whether to fuck him or kill him," he said of Milo Twomey, the actor portraying him, echoing his own 2008 blog entry ("What we gentlemen would like to do when we see a... woman is fuck her or kill her"). At least he copies himself. Attempts to match Horsley's remarks to those of other noted dandys such as Oscar Wilde or Captain Jack Sparrow ended in failure.

The play's writer-director Tim Fountain is less exacting. Fountain's script has Horsley describe the writer Will Self's face as "like a bag full of genitals". According to our researchers, this description is originally attributable to Self himself, a no-show at the show despite being on the guest list. Maybe Self didn't relish being reminded of the drug-fuelled encounters he once supposedly enjoyed with Horsley, which feature in the play. Or maybe he just hates theatre audiences. "The theatre audience is the main problem with theatre," he opines in a recent New Statesman column.

* Gordon Brown made his first public appearance since leaving Number 10 yesterday, discussing first division Scottish football with schoolchildren in Cowdenbeath. But he remained tight-lipped on the topic of the Lib Dem/Tory coalition. That's probably a good idea. MSP Tricia Marwick recently proposed Brown be granted the Freedom of Fife, an honour that must be approved by two-thirds of Fife's council. The council is led by an SNP/Lib Dem coalition, whom Brown would be unwise to criticise, even indirectly, if he wishes to win a title once bestowed on celebrated accordionist Sir Jimmy Shand. The proposal isn't on the agenda for the next council meeting, so Brown wont learn his fate until September, when the summer recess ends. He's accustomed to long waits.

highstreetken@independent.co.uk

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