What halcyon days, on and off the pitch, for Sunderland FC. Mackem fans will be so thrilled by the team's revival that they will forgive David Miliband for dividing his time even further. Reportedly paid £50,000 to be the club's vice-president, he already moonlights as an MP, of course. He is also reported to trouser £92k as a consultant to a Californian energy firm, and more from speechifying in the Middle East.
But it's a struggle these days coping on almost half a million a year, even if you do stick all your non-MP earnings into the Office Of David Miliband Limited, and pay corporation tax at about half the top rate of income tax.
This may constitute the greatest save a Sunderland employee has made since Jim Montgomery's legendary reflex stop from Peter Lorimer in the 1973 FA Cup Final.
David is also bolstering his income by roughly twice the average wage as an adviser to Indus Basin Holdings, a venture capital firm profiting from agriculture in Pakistan. IBH will no doubt ensure that its farm labourers are lavishly remunerated. Well done, David! He's in the premier league of social democracy, and no mistake.
Two Jags are better than one
Some encouragement for John Prescott as he ponders a bid to become elected police commissioner of his native Humberside. Not only must he run, but once elected the Aphasic Mouth of the Humber should lead all murder inquiries himself, because I calculate that he'd be twice as good at detection as Inspector Morse. Morse had only the one Jag.
Clegg's triumph of clarity
Also enlivening the Sabbath TV schedule was Nick Clegg, who popped up with superinjuctor Marr to reiterate his mantra that Chris Huhne "has been crystal clear that he denies wrongdoing" over the speeding-fine mystery. He might equally have applied those precise words to Stephen Lawrence's murderers a few weeks ago. But I adore the formulation all the same.
The loyalty of Davros
The only thing sustaining morale at News International, I gather, is incredulous hilarity at Neville Thurlbeck's self-reinvention as Professor Ethics. Several who saw the erstwhile News of the World chief reporter's turn on Channel 4 News last week, when he almost welled up over dodgy practices, needed oxygen. Wapping inmates in need of more laughs are directed to Neville's blog. There he recalls how a scoop was spiked because its victim had once helped Rupert out of a cash-flow squeeze. "Unconditional loyalty to friends ... is a priceless human virtue," writes Nev, and how old colleagues on the title Davros exterminated to save himself will roar agreement at that. "It shows the common humanity of the man." Comedy gold.
Butlins for Brooks?
If Rebekah does a little porridge, as the recent arrest of her personal assistant suggests cannot be ruled out, what access to her baby (to be born of a surrogate shortly) would she have? We know from Rebekah's editing days that British nicks are holiday camps. But along with all the Hawaiian bars, amusement arcades and retro pop weekends, do many have a crèche?
Why did Dorries switch to withdrawal method?
Concerns about Nadine Dorries, following the late withdrawal of her Sex Education (Hellfire Lectures To Scare The Randy Little Minxes Into Crossing Their Legs) Bill, abate. Asked by a paper to account for her championing of the withdrawal method (legislatus interruptus) Nadine declined to comment as she was "busy". Having been unable to spare two minutes on the phone, however, she found several hours yesterday to attend a narcotic BBC 1 debate show. What a trouper Nadine is. She's our favourite Liver Bird since Polly James.