Diary: Kings face pigeon revolt

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The Independent Online

Alarming news that stadium rockers Kings of Leon were forced to abandon a recent gig following a surprise airborne pigeon attack undoubtedly represents what music observers would politely describe as their "Spinal Tap moment".

The American stars are now experiencing something of a backlash from disgruntled fans who fear the group have lost face courtesy of their hasty retreat from the St Louis stage after bassist Jared Followill found himself being pelted by droppings.

"The Sex Pistols would have played extra long in these conditions just because!" insists one irate correspondent. Another nostalgically adds: "Give me the old Kings of Leon any day, I'm sure they remember the good old days back in Tennessee when they got more than pigeon shit chucked at them."

Over to the band's drummer Nathan Followill, who offers the following impassioned defence in the wake of the criticism. "Don't take it out on Jared. You may enjoy being shit on but we don't," he profoundly declares.

* What with the plunging poll ratings and Lembit Opik's new stand-up comedy career, these have been testing times indeed for the Lib Dem faithful.

While their once popular leader Nick Clegg struggles to defend the coalition's cuts, I hear matters at the party's Cowley Street HQ have been aggravated further by a recent staff "cull" that has prompted an unwelcome merger between its Policy Development and Outreach departments (before you ask, no, I didn't bother to check what that second one does).

This has led to the newly united "PDO" wing of Lib Dem operations – regrettably now childishly pronounced "paedo" by their party colleagues. "The PDO acronym hasn't gone down at all well with the staff affected by this," I'm assured.

"They may have been the lucky ones who survived, but now they're paying the price by having to put up with this kind of stupid name-calling every day. The joke is already wearing pretty thin."

The days when they were happily basking in the reflected glory of Cleggmania must now feel like a very long time ago.

* With everyone from Mrs Duffy to his so-called "union mates" at Unite cruelly turning their backs on him in recent days, embattled Labour leadership contender Ed Balls could be forgiven for feeling a tad sorry for himself.

Well, not a bit of it thank you very much! Indeed, clearly in contemplative mood, Balls now sees fit to movingly quote one George Eliot – albeit inaccurately – to sum up the task before him.

"Only cowards fight fights that they know they are going to win," the misty-eyed politician proclaims. "But it takes courage to fight a fight you might lose."

A courageous man indeed.

* I feel duty-bound to report a reward is on offer for the return of a guitar belonging to classical musician Craig Ogden. His spokesman writes that "disaster struck" on Monday when Ogden left the instrument in the back of a black cab. The guitar, we're told, is worth £15,000. The statement concludes they are prepared to pay "£5,000" if returned. Perhaps the author of the published press release might have been wiser to leave out the fact it's actually worth three times as much?

* Gillian Anderson insists that life as a cult television pin-up is a more complicated business than we might imagine. In her latest message to devoted stalkers – OK, "fans" if you're going to be pedantic – the occasionally batty X Files star insists finding the right words doesn't always come easily.

"Every time I decide to share about anything in my life it seems too vague that there's no point really or if I get specific I feel like a twat because I feel like I have so much and how dare I share about my fortunate existence," she writes. "I don't have anything profound to say or any words of wisdom. I could recommend books that I'm half way through or music I have downloaded but not really listened to, but it all feels hypocritical. I have nothing to say about anything."

I was going to ask Gillian for a signed photo, but after all this, frankly my illusions are shattered.