Diary: No wonder Pritchard never inherited a ministerial job
David Cameron is the son of a successful stockbroker and is married to the daughter of Sir Reginald Sheffield, who inherited the 300-acre Normanby Hall, in Lincolnshire. George Osborne is the son of the millionaire founder of the Osborne and Little wallpaper firm.
"Some in politics who inherit substantial wealth often feel a sense of guilt because of that wealth," the outspoken Tory MP Mark Pritchard wrote on the PoliticsHome website yesterday. "This is misplaced guilt. In return they can sometimes advance policies designed to redistribute wealth from the wealthy to the lower paid, but in return, end up penalising millions of middle earners. More politicians need an understanding of what 'earned wealth' is, and what sacrifices may have been made to obtain it."
What is it about Mark Pritchard that has stopped him from getting a job in government?
Energy Secretary beaten to it by 007
Ed Davey took over Chris Huhne's old office in Whitehall Place, where the Department for Energy and Climate Change is based, only to learn that Daniel Craig had got there ahead of him. A scene from the next Bond film, Skyfall, has been shot there, taking advantage of the stunning views of the Thames and London's skyline. The building is the original site of Scotland Yard.
Hugh Grant: I'm a rent-a-rant
There is a species of public figure known to journalists as a "rentaquote", or some variation of the same, who are famed for their willingness to provide a quote on every suitable occasion. Hugh Grant, the celebrity who has been more vociferous than any other in pursuing the misdemeanours of the tabloid press, is an unusual example in that he shows some self-awareness.
"I'm a rent-a-rant," he has told the current issue of Spectrum magazine. "But I've been ranting about that for years and no one really believed me when I said, 'It's a stitch-up with the press and the Government and the police'. People would think, 'Hugh's gone mad.' Now that it's been revealed, I'm not mad." While feeling vindicated, he also feels somewhat exposed, unless the Leveson Inquiry produces the "right recommendations" and they are taken up by the Government. "Otherwise," he said, "I'm a dead man. It's a terrifying enemy."
Making a spectacle of Justin Bieber
On the whole, press releases sent by PR firms telling you the results of questionable opinion polls should not be reported as news, so teenage celebrity Justin Bieber need not be too distressed that a survey of 1,027 people carried out by a market research company has voted him "worst celebrity spectacle wearer". But he might think about changing his spectacles anyway.
Tasteless way to mark a tragedy
With less than four weeks to the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic, the city of Liverpool is unsparing in its efforts to commemorate this tragedy in the tackiest way imaginable.
The Titanic was originally registered in Liverpool, by the Liverpool firm the White Star Line. Many of the crew were from the city. So were the musicians who famously carried on playing as the liner went down.
Titanic Promotions, based in Liverpool, is marking this searing story with a week of events at the Adelphi Hotel, where the food will consist of a special "R.M.S. Titanic Menu", the first item of which is "Icelandic prawns on a bed of laitue iceberg" (laitue is French for lettuce).
In the lounge of the Adelphi, guests will be able to have themselves photographed on a mock-up of the set of the 1997 film with life-size cut-outs of Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in that absurd pose with arms outstretched on the ship's prow.
The climax will come on the Saturday, 14 April, when Billy Butler, a veteran Radio Merseyside presenter, will dress up as Captain Smith of the White Star Line for a "Murder on the Titanic" mystery evening.
These people really know how to show respect for the 1,500 who drowned in the freezing sea.
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