Matthew Norman on Monday: Wimbledon, Westminster and a lesson in brotherly love
What with hearing so very little about male British tennis players these days, a warming example of fraternal concord may have escaped the Milibandroids.
Despite the sporadic tensions that inevitably afflict brothers when an elder is supplanted by a far more talented younger, Jamie Murray will partner Andy in the Olympic doubles. "It hasn't been easy for me," is what Jamie would almost certainly say if asked.
"But you have to set a bruised ego aside in the national interest, and I hope my example encourages David Miliband to end the Ted Heath sulk and join the Labour front bench." Inspiring, if invented, advice from Jamie there. But will David listen?
Well, the rapprochement omens look better than at any time since the leadership election. Interviewed in the Mail on Sunday, Ed reveals that the rift between their wives is repaired, and that David has hired him for the New Statesmen issue he is guest-editing.
Alongside a stellar array of mirth providers (David Walliams, Russell Brand, Mr Tony Blair), Ed will challenge his image as an outsize Adrian Mole by writing a diary.
There is no word whether David's pledge to "tell readers what really matters" includes a guide to halving one's income tax liability by incorporating, as he has done; or whether Ed will admit in his diary that this explains his mystifying response to the Jimmy Carr row, when he posited that it isn't a politician's business to moralise about tax avoidance.
In the cause of brotherly love one hopes not, and that soon the lads are fist-pumping during PMQs like Jonny Marray and Freddie Nielsen on Saturday night, and, God willing, the Murrays in August.
Mensch mind games
Great to see Louise Mensch back in the race to become the Most Gravitas-Laden Tory Backbencher. With Nadine Dorries, Peter Bone and Pinochet-loving Andrew Rosindell all on rampant form, Louise has had a tough time. So it was bracing to see her on Question Time, striving to answer the obvious psychological questions by reference to her appetite of old for the Class As.
Louise's slavish loyalty to George Osborne and gift for parroting the line to take may not win her a ministerial post. Frankly, the PM would have to be in the grip of a hallucinogen to do that. But it threatens to set the gravitas bar to a height that even Nadine may struggle to clear.
The enigmatic Riddell
A Leveson witness statement unearths cause for celebration. The sage who once enlivened The Times with his political insights now styles himself the Right Honourable Peter Riddell. Peter won the title – not his first; in 2001 he was the University of Nebraska's Thin, Unpompous Political Columnist of the Year – after joining the Privy Council when appointed to an inquiry. It's PC gone mad! All the same, well done Riddley!
Dacre's disappearing act
One curio from a memorable Wimbledon was a Royal Box omission. Why, oh why, were Paul and Mrs Dacre absentees? The mannerly Daily Mail editor has been in the past, but it seems the All England Club became fatigued by his habit of sending the missus and a plus-one in his stead. Surely these blazers understand that the sovereign of our industry may send his consort to represent him?
Relief for new BBC Director-General George Entwistle. When Elisabeth Murdoch gives the MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival next month, she will come out in support of the BBC. Brother James took a different line when he gave the keynote address in 2009, but the mood has changed, and Liz wishes to present herself as The Good Murdoch under the guidance of her enchanting husband, Matthew Freud, who may have News Corp inheritance ambitions on her behalf for whenever the Good Lord takes Rupert to his right hand. Incidentally, it seems odd that Leveson hasn't summoned Matthew, who must know more about the workings of the Murdoch political interface than anyone. Perhaps there's still time.
A lack of bravery?
With deepest regret, we note the abandonment of a seasonal highlight. No mention of the 2012 Sun Police Bravery Awards, traditionally held in early July, can be located. Whether this is a cost-cutting exercise, or whether the police have somehow become less brave, is unclear.
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