Diary: Rigging the figures? Now its the Sun wot's in a fix over the banking scandal
"Labour in a fix" was the front page headline in yesterday's Sun, ushering three pages of coverage of the Barclays debacle. The Sun does not rely on guesswork to keep in tune with what its readers are thinking. It commissions a rolling opinion survey from the polling company YouGov.
On Tuesday, YouGov tested opinion to see whether the public agrees with Ed Miliband's view that there should be a judge-led inquiry in the banks, or David Cameron's decision to have an inquiry led by MPs. The result, published on the YouGov website, showed 55 per cent supporting the Labour position, 30 per cent behind the Government, with the rest either saying there should not be any inquiry or having no view.
A Labour spokesman said mournfully: "We looked through the pages of coverage in the Sun, feeling sure the results of the YouGov poll must be there somewhere." They weren't.
In the Speaker we Truss (or perhaps not)
The trouble with Tory women is that it is so difficult to tell them apart. After David Cameron and Ed Miliband had finished slogging it out in Prime Minister's Questions yesterday, it was the turn of a Tory MP to put a question. That was why John Bercow looked to the Tory benches and called out loudly: "Liz Truss!" But, oh dear, the person he was looking at was Esther McVey. There was a moment's confusion, until he corrected himself. For future reference, Liz Truss, below right, is a Liverpudlian former GMTV presenter who represents Wirral West. Esther McVey is a former management accountant and think-tank wonk, and is MP for South West Norfolk. No, sorry, wrong, wrong – other way round. Hope that helps.
How Blair has been given a boost by Boris
Good travel news for Tony Blair. The former Prime Minister will be 60 in May, and as a result of a decision by London's Mayor, Boris Johnson, he will be entitled to free travel on all London's public transport. In this age of austerity, the qualifying age for a Freedom Pass was being progressively increased, which meant that 59-years-olds like Mr Blair were going to wait until they were 61. But the Mayor declared yesterday that Londoners of a certain age "were quite rightly incensed [that] their right to free travel was rapidly disappearing over the horizon" and reinstated that "right". It was suggested in last Saturday's Financial Times that Mr Blair may have earned £20m last year – but you do not need to be poor to qualify for a Freedom Pass, just the right age.
New boss spells trouble for BBC staff
A suggestion for George Entwistle, the BBC's new head honcho. On the TV news at 1pm yesterday there was a caption that referred to "George Entwhistle, new BBC Director General." How about a memo to staff updating them on how to spell your name?
Council is killed off by bureaucracy
The town of Dedham, in Essex, has lost its parish council, because all nine councillors forgot to sign the forms saying that they accepted office. The long-serving parish clerk, Jean Flewin, blames herself for not handing out the forms at the council's first meeting on 9 May, then going on holiday directly afterwards. Now, all the councillors are deemed not to have accepted office and the parish council is defunct. Mrs Flewin is mortified.
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