Diary: Kanye feels your pain, Dubya

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The Independent Online

Two important statements from the diamond-encrusted gob of Kanye West yesterday: one about George W Bush, and one about his penis (Kanye's, not Dubya's). In his memoir Decision Points, which covers the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina and the global economic meltdown, Bush writes that the very lowest moment of his presidency came when West claimed, on live TV, "George Bush doesn't care about black people." This outburst occurred in the days following Katrina, when thousands of Louisiana's citizens were left dead or homeless by the disaster. Still, West claims, he understands the former president's pain – as it's very much like the backlash he himself suffered after interrupting Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at an awards ceremony. "The poetic justice that I feel, to have went through the same thing... now I really more connect with him on just a humanitarian level," West explained. Meanwhile, his penis has gone viral. No, not like that. West has confessed that an image doing the rounds online is, indeed, a real photo of him with his bits out. A self-portrait, he sent it to a young lady whom he hoped to woo via MySpace. Naturally.

* When they were but stripling MPs, Dave Cameron, George (né Gideon) Osborne and Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson were enlisted to help the then Tory leader, Iain Duncan Smith, prepare for PMQs. Only, Duncan Smith tells Iain Dale for Total Politics magazine, Boris wasn't much bloomin' use. "Boris would come in and read the paper," IDS recalls, "and say a couple of things and then he would leave! Boris was always late. He'd say 'It's all going wonderfully!' and then up and leave. I love Boris to bits but he'd be the first to admit that he didn't really produce that many one-liners. George and David were very good on the one-liners. Sorry, Boris will kill me for that now..." Funny, that, as I'd always thought Boris rather gifted with a memorable one-liner: "I'm backing David Cameron's campaign out of pure, cynical self-interest," for instance. Or "The Lib Dems are not just empty. They are a void within a vacuum surrounded by a vast inanition." Or this one, which surely IDS will remember, what with being the cabinet minister responsible for benefits: "We will not accept any sort of Kosovo-style social cleansing of London."

* A day of nostalgia for another member of the Notting Hill set, Michael Gove, who may shed a tear for his former self as he observes today's BBC strikes. The Education Sec was once a reporter for Radio 4's On the Record, and a former colleague of his reminisces fondly about joining "Red Mike" on the picket line to protest job cuts at the corporation. Gove, he/she insists, was "the most polite and courteous picket you could hope to stand alongside, and a very conscientious trade unionist."

* Greg Dyke knows what it's like to lose a job at the Beeb. But, he explained at a Penfolds Vintage Years speaker event this week, he never really fitted in at the top. "I didn't get on well with the governors of the BBC," he told the audience at London's Hospital Club. "The chairman said to me once: 'Could you stop making jokes at governors' meetings?' They took it more seriously than I did." The killjoys.

* A gem dredged from the bottom of the Spending Review and reproduced in this column last week: "There will be a reduction of 25 per cent," it said, "in the costs of providing support to the Prime Minister, including reducing travel costs... energy efficiency and wider efficiencies." If No 10 is to be believed, these "wider efficiencies" happen to include the hiring of Dave's personal photographer and film-maker. One anonymous "senior Tory cabinet minister" told Sky's excitable chief political correspondent that "David Cameron making his personal photographer a civil servant is about as sensible as William Hague sharing a hotel room with a male aide during the election campaign." A senior Tory downing a brace of cabinet colleagues with a right and a left. Who could this anonymous briefer be?

* Elsewhere on the parliamentary battlefield, Liam "13th Century" Fox was forced to apologise to the Speaker yesterday afternoon, after arriving late – out of breath, in fact – for a Commons defence debate. Where had he been held up, I wonder. Lunch? The loo? The lobby?

highstreetken@independent.co.uk

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