That's rich! Tories turn on Cable over 'tosser' attack

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The Independent Online

* When John Prescott rubbed his hands and declared Labour was "always better against a bit of class" after David Cameron's coronation as Tory leader, it was widely dismissed as the rant of an Old Labour dinosaur.

Splendid, then, that the Liberal Democrat treasury spokesman, Vince Cable, has now decided to join in the toff-bashing by waging a class war of his own against the Tory leader, above left. Yesterday, Cable, above right, launched a personal attack on David Cameron's front bench after the Conservatives announced their latest campaign to attract younger voters.

One of their initiatives, which aims to tackle personal debt, encourages impulsive young people to "tackle the tosser within".

"This is the kind of insensitive, crass nonsense one might expect from a party led by rich young men, who have never had to balance a budget in their lives," says Cable. "To describe people in debt as 'tossers' shows just how out of touch the Tory party still is.

"This new Conservatives website is an insult to hard-working people who, through rising house prices, and pressure on family budgets, have no alternative but to borrow."

These slightly chippy remarks from Cable could be seen as surprising from a former grammar school boy who became President of the Cambridge Union.

"It is very sad that the Lib Dems have deliberately misinterpreted a serious campaign in order to score cheap political points," says a Tory spokesman."Vince clearly hasn't seen the film."

* Former Nationwide presenter Sue Cook turned her back on television presenting for good after she decided to embark on a writing career.

Cook has recently released her first novel called On Dangerous Ground, and has taken the time to deliver a delightfully catty frontal assault on the current crop of hot young autocuties.

"It's more that it got all showbizzy," she says.

"I admire Davina McCall - but I am not that extrovert. What I do best is imparting information in an accessible way. But there isn't a lot of that at the moment."

Cook's comments appear rather timely. According to recent rumours doing the rounds in medialand, the BBC are considering bringing back Nationwide to primetime television, which will be fronted by their twinkle-toed Hello! magazine favourite Natasha Kaplinsky.

* More panic at Rupert Murdoch's HarperCollins, where executives were recently ordered to shelve the release of OJ Simpson's controversial book If I Did It.

Yesterday, a copy of the book somehow slipped through the publisher's net and managed to find its way on to the internet auction website eBay.

The item attracted 50 bids from online punters, which took its price up to £900 in just two hours.

"We have contacted eBay about removing the book," says a spokesman for Harper Collins. "We are doing everything in our power to make sure all copies are destroyed."

After the publishers intervened the book was pulled from the site within three hours.

* Just what were George W Bush's thirsty young twin daughters doing out in Buenos Aires?

The troublesome pair caused further humiliation for their father this week when one of them had her bag snatched from right under the nose of one of their security detail.

A local tells me that Yale graduate Barbara was in town to conduct a study into the Piqueteros, Argentina's unemployed workers movement, which emerged back in 2001, when the country descended into one its regular economic meltdowns.

The girls' bag-snatcher, I'm told, has now become an unlikely (albeit anonymous) national hero.

* Good to see former Telegraph editor Martin Newland demonstrating the art of quality journalism in yesterday's Daily Mail. The penetrative article, somewhat surprisingly buried on page 53, hailed "the return of the beefcake" in the wake of Daniel Craig's muscle-bound portrayal of James Bond, right. Newland, keen on a bit of body sculpting himself, was often referred to by giddy female staff at Telegraph towers as "muscles".

I have been asked to point out that Bruce Anderson's vicious article on Polly Toynbee in this newspaper yesterday was not in any way as a result of an incident several years ago when the new Tory pin-up deposited a glass of red wine over the Brute. Cheers!

pandora@independent.co.uk

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