Diary: Is Sarkozy fit for renewal of historic hostilities?


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The Independent Online

The regrettable spat that has erupted between our Prime Minister and the French President prompts some in the Tory ranks to excitably predict that their man would come out on top in the event of historic hostilities ever having to get physical again.

After all, while Nicolas Sarkozy may well resemble a poor man's Sylvester Stallone – not to mention managing to successfully reproduce with one Carla Bruni, no less – Tory HQ point out that recent history suggests our Dave's still in superior physical nick. It wasn't long ago, they helpfully remind me, that the vain little French cockerel made a right old fool of himself courtesy of an embarrassing "dizzy spell" during an ill-fated attempt to comply to his glamorous wife's newly enforced fitness regime. (We can only guess how he's held up behind closed doors.) While the President has been obliged to take things "easier" since his much-publicised humiliation, Dave has continued to be regularly pictured triumphantly pounding the streets of a morning with personal trainer Matt Roberts. So although "Sarko" – (as his chum Tony Blair used to call him) – might be punching above his weight on the supermodel front, the utterly impartial consensus on this side of the Channel is that he should think twice in future before having the temerity to tell our leader to "shut up" in front of his giggling pals on the Continent.

Face it, Monsieur President, if you ever met Dave down a dark alley, he'd box your ruddy ears!


* As his concerned friends at the Daily Mail helpfully pointed out at the time, the Cuban-heeled Señor Bercow appeared to cut a gloomy figure when briefly caught on camera during flighty wife Sally's last much-publicised stint on reality television. On the plus side, Saucy Sal's appearance on Celebrity Big Brother coincided with Parliament's summer recess, enabling the Speaker to take flight and lie low in India, while Mrs B failed to bond with the discerning viewers of Channel 5 (she was the first to be booted off the show).

Now it's been confirmed that Sally is returning to the said channel to star alongside former bare-knuckle fighter Paddy Doherty in the forthcoming When Paddy Met Sally, which will see the pair sharing a caravan in North Wales. Unfortunately for her officially "long-suffering" other half, this time there will be nowhere to hide, as the show is due to be broadcast just after MPs return from their Christmas holidays.


* Amid the smoke of rebellion in the House of Commons yesterday, excitable Tory backbencher Nadine Dorries was busy squawking conspiracy theories in the direction of anyone who dared listen.

The Mid Bedfordshire MP, who was among those preparing to defy her party leadership by voting for a referendum on Britain's EU membership, reckoned those dastardly party whips were already plotting to bury her outspoken political career as a result. "As one of the MPs whose seat has disappeared in a boundary review, I am going to find it impossible to find a new seat," she alarmingly announced on her website, before claiming that the powers-that-be intended to "have words" with Tory associations up and down the land in order to make an "example" of her and troublesome colleagues.

Brave to the last, the little Scouse firecracker emotionally declared: "It has made me think, will this be worth the trouble? I can only come to one conclusion. If I don't vote yes, I will never be happy in my job again and so it won't be worth having anyway. If I am going to die, I may as well do it with my boots on."

Alice rocks the House

While the mood was admittedly a trifle tense in the good village of Westminster yesterday, there was at least some welcome light relief. Veteran "shock rocker" Alice Cooper turned plenty of heads when he strolled into the Commons as a guest of the Tory MP and gushing fan Mike Weatherley.

Mr Cooper, we're told, was gracing the corridors of power in order to publicise his support for the "Rock The House" campaign, which promotes live music. I trust it won't result in him being seduced by the questionable lure of politics in old age – the singer once declared that it was no less than "treason" for rock stars to foolishly involve themselves in current affairs.