Andy McSmith's Diary: All becomes clear in the library of Osama bin Laden

One of bin Laden's books in particular offers an interesting insight into what Jihadis think of Britain's political landscape

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After they had killed Osama bin Laden the Americans confiscated his private library, in which there were many strange and interesting tomes.

One in particular, Terror Franchise, written by Saleh al-Somali, al-Qaeda’s now dead external operations chief, had an interesting take on why Tony Blair stepped down as Prime Minister in 2007.

It was the “voters” who did it. Voters have done bad things, according to Somali. “They are the ones who vote in favour of human alien satanic practices such as homosexual marriages and infant butchery in the wombs of their selfish heartless prostitute mothers,” he notes.

But on the plus side: “The voters are the ones who demanded America’s pullout from Vietnam, and they are the ones who pulled out their Spanish troops from Afghanistan and they are the ones who turned the evil Tony Blair into a lame duck and ended his 10-year carrier of arrogance and American subordination with disgrace!!”

There also appears to be a suggestion that the MPs’ expenses scandal of 2008 was a consequence of the suicide bombings which killed 52 people in London in July 2005, because “deadly martyrdom operations against the London subways were executed, which trashed the haughty Tony Blair and started (By the grace of the Almighty) a chain of tribulations and disgraceful revelations in the British governing parties”.

There is a causal link that completely passed me by.

De-jumblification sale

Boris Johnson used a word that I, for one, had never heard before.

Asked for his view on his party’s policy of allowing housing association tenants to buy their homes, he said he was for it, “if it delivers more homes, more low-cost homes… and if – and only if – the policy does not lead to what you might call the de-jumblification of London”. I haven’t found “jumblification” in any dictionary, though it sometimes appears on the web.

What the Mayor’s words imply is that he likes the rich social mix that makes up London’s population and doesn’t want uniformity imposed on this jumble.

Baby steps of a high-flyer

“So here I am, ‘fresh’ back from maternity leave but feeling about 102, gripped by a vertiginous fear that the third child was a step too far. I am standing on a cliff edge marked ‘woman who failed’. My baby is blessedly robust and easy, yet I can’t remember the names of colleagues, have lost my security pass and need a thesaurus to write. My brain is on the blink.”

Such was the cry of one professional woman written a little over five years ago. Since finding her “brain on the blink” Camilla Cavendish has been a highly regarded columnist for The Sunday Times, chaired the review into healthcare assistants in the NHS after the Mid Staffs hospital scandal and is now taking over as head of the Policy Unit in Downing Street. That third child was not a total career stopper then.

Scottish Tories scent prey

Amazing the things that cause offence. It was a bit rough-edged of Tom Gray, an SNP councillor in Perthshire, to dismiss fears about the impact that the T in the Park music festival has on the osprey population with the caustic comment: “I don’t know a single osprey to have topped itself because it had to move its nest.”

He has apologised and expressed “deep regrets” but sorry is not enough. There is a complaint outstanding with Scotland’s Commissioner for Ethical Standards, a petition calling for him to be driven out of public life, and the Tories in Perthshire hope to force his resignation.

Osprey suicide is evidently a very sensitive topic in Perthshire.

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