Diary: Why Plod will monitor the pews at tabloid star's funeral


It will be interesting to study the crowd when Sue Carroll, the chain-smoking, hard-living tabloid journalist who died from cancer on Christmas Day, is buried today in Richmond. A shop assistant's daughter from Newcastle Upon Tyne, she worked at the Sun, the News of the World, and latterly at the Daily Mirror, so her funeral will inevitably draw a galaxy of famous names from the tabloid press, past and present.

Which will make the seating arrangements a total nightmare, because no fewer than 10 of the expected mourners, including Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson, and Neil Wallis, have been arrested at different times by police investigating the phone-hacking saga. Under their strict bail conditions all 10 will have to sit at a distance from one another or risk the wrath of Plod.

The ugly Labourite with great charm

John Humphrys quoted the late Robin Cook yesterday who said that he could not run for the leadership of the Labour Party because he was "too ugly". Cook may have said that, but he was too sharp to have believed it. Though he had one of the best brains in modern politics, and was right about the Iraq War, Cook was too much of a loner to be a credible leadership candidate.

He never topped Labour's annual shadow Cabinet elections, and failed even to get elected to that body one year, because he could not be bothered to build a political base among his fellow MPs.

And if he ever had become leader, a ruthless searchlight would have been shone on his private life, in which notoriously there lurked a lot of extra-marital affairs.

A story that's ripe for exploiting

"I've Been Edam Fool" was the Sun front page headline yesterday, over the story about celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson being caught nicking cheese and other goods from Tesco. Alongside it lay an advertisement – "£5 off Tesco shopping including legally obtained cheese." An advertising sales rep with a cheesy sense of humour?

Tebbit not amused by 'The Iron Lady'

Invited guests turned up for a special showing of The Iron Lady, organised by the ConservativeHome website on Monday night. The Thatcher devotees in the room did not like it. The consensus was that the film should not have been made while the Lady is alive.

Norman Tebbit, who was Tory chairman during the 1987 general election, was the most vociferous. He said that he had been to have his car battery replaced that same day, and thought it was more fun than the film. No one made a film like this about Harold Wilson when his memory had gone, he added, a sign that standards have fallen.

He also claimed that Mrs T was never as hectoring in real life as Meryl Streep portrays her, but on that point Virginia Bottomley, who was a middle-ranking minister in the 1980s, disagreed.

Meanwhile, the Tory MP Michael Fabricant has written on Facebook: "I recognised a few colleagues from work who were extras in the movie. They didn't want me. The director said I don't look like an MP!"

It should do wonders for the morale of all the other male MPs that film directors do not think they look like Michael Fabricant.

Miliband brings on the clichés

One thing our political leaders seem to be able to agree on is the use of clichés. Cliché watchers will have spotted two prime examples in Ed Miliband's speech yesterday. Fairness, he said, "should be hard-wired into the economy". That sounded remarkably similar to a phrase from Nick Clegg's Scarman Lecture, delivered in Brixton in November, when he said: "We urgently need to lift a lid on the injustices hard-wired into our economy."

Then there was "bring it on", which seems to be the Miliband cliché of the moment. As well as being the title of a series of comedy films about high- school cheerleaders, that expression was imported into British political dialogue by David Cameron in November 2009, when he was trying to goad Gordon Brown into agreeing to take part in a live TV debate.

"Come on Gordon, get off the fence, agree to the debate, bring it on," said Cameron.

Yesterday, Ed Miliband declared: "I say to the Prime Minister, who are you trying to kid? No one is ever going to believe you're the man to take on crony capitalism... But now that you have accepted that this is the battleground of politics, I say: Bring it on."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
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

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
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
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
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m