Andy McSmith's Diary: Aidan Burley may not be missed as much as he apparently believes he will

 

Aidan Burley, 35, the soon to be ex-Tory MP for Cannock Chase, has denied a Mail on Sunday story that he was leant on by Downing Street to quit Parliament. He has told his local paper, the Express and Star, that David Cameron “asked me to stay on”. I am trying to imagine the conversation.

“Hi Aidan – Dave here. Thank you so very much for keeping the Conservative Party brand in the news the way you did, with that outstanding photograph of your friend dressed up in the Nazi uniform you found for him. And I also remember your stirring tweet about the opening ceremony of the London Olympics – ‘multicultural crap’ – very Bullingdon. Five more years, please.”

“Sorry, Dave, I haven’t the time. Bye.”

Oh, Danny ploy

Frances Rains, of Whitley County, Kentucky, is feeling foolish after sending money to a conman who rang to tell her that she had won a lottery prize of $2.5m and a Mercedes-Benz, with the catch that there were taxes to be paid before the prize could be delivered.

The caller, who claimed his name was Tony and who may have been ringing from Jamaica, sent her what he said was his photograph.

The photograph was of our very own Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

Putin Vlad in his place

That grand dame of rock, Debbie Harry, and her band Blondie, have declined an invitation to perform at the Winter Olympics this week in protest at Russia’s treatment of gays. Do you suppose that if they had turned up, President Putin would have had the wit to say: “I’m always touched by your presence, dear”?

Middle-income family

Middlesbrough FC aren’t what they used to be, but surely times are not so hard that they could not find £5 for photocopying. When the team were in Doncaster at the weekend, two staff called in at a local library to print out game plans. They did not have the cash to pay and the library did not accept card payments. The librarian asked them to fetch the money and be back before the library closed at noon, but they did not reappear. That is why the head coach Aitor Karanka’s pre-match meeting was interrupted by a 67-year-old volunteer librarian turning up with an unpaid bill. He was sent away with £5 in his hand.

Where did the far-right go?

There is another sign that the far-right in the UK is shrinking to almost nothing, despite being on the rise in Hungary, Greece and France. Several explanations have been suggested for this gratifying phenomenon. Ukip, which tries to keep its own ranks free of racist nutters, may have performed a small service by soaking up demand for the kind of protest politics that was the preserve of the hard-right.

Five years ago, the British National Party (BNP) had 55 councillors around the country and was about to gain two MEPs, Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons. Now three councillors and one MEP remain. Brons is one of many who have left or been expelled from the party. Griffin is bankrupt and the BNP’s chances of holding a seat in Brussels this May are nil.

The English Defence League is in no better shape since its leader, Tommy Robinson, quit in a blaze of publicity and was jailed last month for mortgage fraud.

Finally, there is the National Front, a force in the 1970s, and in 2012 it looked as if it might revive as the BNP disintegrated.

Now it too has split, with the factions threatening to go to court over which of them is the rightful party.

Official NF chairman Ian Edward ruefully posted a message on the party’s website saying there will be “zero” NF candidates in this year’s local elections.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee