Diary: Paul Hewson for PM

While Blair was long convinced that Brown would be a poor prime minister, he seems to have no such compunction about recommending Bono for a similar role. The U2 frontman, Blair writes (on page 555), "could have been a president or prime minister standing on his head. He had an absolutely natural gift for politicking, was great with people, very smart and an inspirational speaker... motivated by an abundant desire to keep on improving, never really content or relaxed. I knew he would work with George [W Bush] well, and with none of the prissy disdain of most of his ilk". Bono's nationality (not to say his tax arrangements) would preclude him from leading a British political party. One assumes he would also have to revert to his real name, Paul Hewson, to be taken seriously in high office. But familiarity with the world of finance would surely qualify him for leadership in Ireland: his investment fund, Elevation Partners, has been described as "arguably the worst run institutional fund of any size in the United States".

* A Prime Minister's musical taste can be a controversial business. Remember the uproar when David Cameron professed his love for the songwriting of such leftish heroes as Paul Weller and Billy Bragg? And what about this, from page 91 of Tony Blair's memoir: "Back in the late 1980s," the great man writes, "there was a group of musicians called Red Wedge, fronted by people like Paul Weller and Billy Bragg [them again], who came out and campaigned for us. It was great. But I remember saying after one of their gigs... 'We need to reach the people listening to Duran Duran and Madonna.'" The comment, he admits, "went down like a cup of sick." Still, it certainly explains a lot.

* Blair might have made himself eternally popular in the North-east, had one particular coup come off. At an IOC drinks party during the Olympic bid in Singapore in 2005, the then-PM met Real Madrid's all-time top goalscorer, Raul, and "tried, unsuccessfully, to persuade him of the merits of moving to Newcastle over Real" (page 550.) A somewhat bigger name than Ricky Van Wolfswinkel – and easier to pronounce.

* To David Miliband, the man Blair not-so-secretly supports for the Labour leadership. Yesterday, Miliband (D) received the backing of the Mirror and, crucially, of Sir Patrick Stewart OBE. The actor says he was first taken with the former Foreign Sec when he saw him give a speech not about policy, but about poetry: working-class wordsmith John Clare, to be precise. It was a short speech, which Stewart appreciated. "I'm never sure of the effect the celebrity thing has," Blair writes (page 333). "They add some glamour and excitement to what can often be a dreary business. What they can't do, of course, is substitute for the politics." Too true.

* On the subject of unpopular ex-bosses making comebacks, the Edinburgh architectural firm that gave Sir Fred "the Shred" Goodwin a top job with a six-figure salary last year has, reports The Scotsman , "been hit by a series of high-profile departures among its senior staff". RMJM, the world's fifth-largest architectural business, has lost four key employees since Goodwin's appointment by his old chum Sir Fraser Morrison, the company's former chairman. RMJM, however, insists the exodus has nothing to do with Goodwin, who was presumably hired for his Bono-like financial expertise: the firm has debts of more than £50m.

* From Crispin Mount, my erstwhile Cotswold correspondent, recycling cynic and amateur Tory-baiter: "We've all been receiving missives from Cotswold District Council about our great recycling rate (60 per cent) and how it's all down to us sifting everything into a Kafka-inspired fortnightly bin game," Crispin informs me. "The truth is rather less impressive... The high recycling rate is down to the [Conservative] CDC council leader, who owns Vale Press Ltd, which just happens to be responsible for producing more than 1,250,000 election leaflets for the Tory party in recent months – most of which [allegedly, Crispin, allegedly!] ended up in the recycling bin!"

highstreetken@independent.co.uk

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Compensation and Benefits Manager - Brentwood - Circa £60,000

£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £35000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker