Diary: Some fitting words from the unwitting Fox


Have a tissue handy: there's a melancholy footnote to the Liam Fox affair. The last interview that the now ex-Defence Secretary gave before WerrittyGate was to Total Politics magazine. And, flavoured with a squirt of bitter irony, it's only just about to arrive on the newsstands. Fox first blames the "rabid imagination" of the media for confecting his rivalry with David Cameron, with whom he used to play a friendly game of tennis every week. (Dave tended to win, but only because "he's taller and he's left-handed".) Of his time at Defence, Fox says: "Leadership is about making the right decision and following it through. I wouldn't have been a good doctor if I said, 'I know what the correct treatment is, but I'm not going to recommend it because it's unpleasant.' That would be unethical. So why don't the same judgements apply to politics?" (Why not, indeed?) And finally, Fox's favourite quote – from Tennyson's "In Memoriam": "So many worlds, so much to do, so little done, such things to be." Something to go on the gravestone.

* Not since my peerless stablemate Matthew Norman was (almost) sued for a bad review of Shepherd's have London's fine diners seen such an overheated feud as the one boiling between esteemed Sunday Times critic AA Gill and esteemed chef Jason Atherton. In May, Gill gave Atherton's Pollen Street Social a damning write-up: "derivative", "vain", "rude", "honestly, seriously, utterly uneatable with human teeth" (the onglet steak, that is) and so on. He savaged the food, the decor and, indeed, the "concept". Atherton, a Gordon Ramsay protégé, is understandably peeved, rounding on the reviewer in the latest edition of drinks industry magazine Harpers Wine & Spirit. Gill, says Atherton, "called me egotistical. I'll take my name off the menus providing he takes his name off his articles and takes his picture out of the paper, stops talking about himself and focuses on what he is supposed to be doing, which is giving readers information about the restaurant. But he won't do that because he's got more ego than me... How can a recovering alcoholic do restaurant reviews? It's like sending a recovering drug addict to review a hospital. I've got no respect for him." Gill will be devastated, I'm sure.

* With Christmas approaching, bookshops are replete with comic memoirs. Last week's non-fiction hardback chart had Lee Evans at number two, Alan Partridge at seven, James Corden at eight and Peter Kay at 16. Next week, no doubt, Rob Brydon will join them. So spare a thought (or, indeed, £18.99) for comedian and ex-presenter of The One Show Jason Manford, whose own autobiography, Brung Up Proper, came out on 29 September, publishing's "Super Thursday". At the time of writing, it languishes at number 1,431 in the Amazon charts. A flop comedy memoir is a rarity, and presumably the book was commissioned before Manford's exit from The One Show, under a cloud, last November. On a more positive note, he still has loyal fans. His trio of Amazon reviewers gave the book glowing, five-star thumbs-up. "Unputdownable," writes one. "Very very funny," opines another. "Once it's in your hands you won't want to put it down," claims the last. "Brung Up Proper is the must-read of the year!"

* Surprising news for those who feared/hoped they'd seen the last of Lembit Opik: he's been sighted at the SNP conference. After his failure to secure the Lib Dem mayoral nomination, Lem told me, "It has been suggested that I should seek the SNP nomination for London mayor... Let's face it, there's probably more Scots in London than Lib Dem voters these days." Opik, an optimist by nature, was born in Northern Ireland to Estonian parents, and represented a Welsh constituency as an MP. Anything's possible, I suppose.

* Another report from the double-Ferrari world of Tamara Ecclestone: after Bernie threatened to sue if she called her haircare range Formula 1, she chose the name "Uno" instead. Are the makers of the popular card game Uno aware of this?


Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HR Consultancy - £65,000 OTE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas