Pandora: Ukip pick a meaty fight with Sir Paul
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Thursday 19 November 2009
Not for the first time, Ukip are to risk unpopularity by aiming their fire at a much-loved British institution.
This time, the eurosceptic party – memorably described by David Cameron as "fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists, mostly" – have chosen to pick a fight with Sir Paul McCartney, over the former Beatle's campaign to encourage meat eaters to go without flesh one day a week in a bid to cut the greenhouse gases emitted by cattle.
The Liverpudlian MEP Paul Nuttall has fired the starting gun, accusing McCartney of using the idea to turn people vegetarian. "He is just propagandising," Nuttal argues in a heated release issued by his office.
"Maybe it is healthier but that should be their choice and not because a pop star thinks farting cows and pigs herald the end of mankind."
McCartney's office appears unfazed by the attack from the party, declining to offer a response. Ukip, meanwhile, insist that they aren't concerned as to the potential for backlash that comes with picking a fight with a national treasure.
"Well, they're both from Liverpool so perhaps he [Nuttall] will lose one or two supporters over this. But if you think something's wrong you have to say," argues a spokesman.
"At the end of the day McCartney's just trying to hitch his vegetarianism to the green bandwagon."
Archie is uncommonly uncommon touch
ITV have named ex-Conservative MP Archie Norman as their new chairman. He will succeed Michael Grade at the start of the new year. But how will Norman, once chief executive of Asda, get along with his new underlings?
Past omens are not good. The former Tory party chairman Lord Parkinson has claimed to have been underwhelmed by Norman's performance as Shadow Environment Secretary. "Just because Asda checkout girls smile at him, Archie thinks he's got the common touch," he has observed in the past. Ker-ching!
Uh-oh! Bad sex for Roth and Co
It's that time of year again: the time when novelists cower under the bedclothes for fear of public disgrace. Yes, readers, that's right: it is time for the Bad Sex Awards. This year's nominees, announced yesterday, include that perennial dirty old man Philip Roth, alongside John Banville and Nick Cave.
Whether or not the lucky scribes will be making an appearance at the ceremony remains to be seen. Alastair Campbell was conspicuously absent from last year's proceedings despite being a nominee. Happily, the gong went to Rachel "Sister of Boris" Johnson. "I am the only one ballsy enough to be here!" she exclaimed at the time. "I'm giving a spanking to what's left of New Labour." Cheeky!
Brian launches a 3D rocket at C4
Brian May, Queen's astrophysically minded (not to say haired) guitarist, has recently reinvented himself as a leading proponent of 3D photography, publishing a book, A Village Lost and Found, of stereoscopic 3D images. Still, he is less than impressed by Channel 4's attempt to join the fun with their 3D week.
"Sadly, as we expected, it sucked!" he complains. "Do not judge [it] by this experience. Go home with your copy of A Village Lost and Found and we promise a wonderful experience." Nothing like a quick plug, is there?
Being skinny beats tasty food for Moss
Kate Moss has done that rare thing: given an interview. The frequently mute supermodel has spoken to Women's Wear Daily, offering her insights into life's more profound lessons. "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels, that's one of them," the waif opines. Quite what those anti-size-zero campaigners will make of this remains to be seen – though it would appear to be confirmation, at least, that Moss's heavily rumoured cookbook is unlikely to appear anytime soon. Nigella can breathe a sigh of relief.
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