Andy McSmith's Diary: Boles gets a little distracted by a Westminster 'Game of Thrones'
As MPs reassembled after the weekend break, ministers from the Communities and Local Government Department assembled to focus their minds on the oral questions they were going to have to answer in the House. That, anyway, is what they should have been doing, but Nick Boles, a very clever junior minister, was focused on his handset, tweeting: “Distracted from Orals prep by this topical question: which of my colleagues would best fill the role of Khaleesi?”
Khaleesi is, of course, a Dothraki title taken by the wife a khal in the fantasy Game of Thrones. Emilia Clarke played one: her character is a dab hand at dealing with dragons.
Liz Truss, the schools minister, and Esther McVey, the work and pensions minister, were the first names to come to Nick Boles’s mind. “Let's face it either of them would be magnificent with three dragons at their command,” he reckoned. Same goes for the Labour MP Stella Creasy, or the maverick Tory Nadine Dorries, he added.
It possibly may be relevant to add that Nick Boles is gay.
PM decides to shop around
David Cameron’s disappointment at the coverage he got for his recent visit to Waitrose, in Cheadle, is understandable. There he was, in the north west, not far from the Labour voting big cities, talking to shop staff about how chatty and engaged their customers are, and all he gets for it is a roasting because Waitrose is branded as the supermarket for the posh.
You can almost hear him ordering his staff to find a supermarket that is absolutely not posh and fix up a visit, and quickly. Hence his early morning call on the Clapham Junction branch of Asda, to tell them how delighted he is that the supermarket chain is about to create 12,000 new jobs. If he has never shopped in Asda, that is understandable: the nearest branch to Chipping Norton is more than 20 miles away, in Oxford.
Caution: chain reaction
Staff coming in to work in Parliament on Sunday discovered the normal entrance was shut and the yard beneath Big Ben was full of suffragettes, watched by a police officer dressed in uniform a century out of date. It was a temporary film set. If this keeps happening, some enraged employee is liable to chain himself to the railings.
Not enough of a Tory boy?
Andrew Rosindell, Tory MP for Romford, is so solidly right wing that you would think that you would think he would be the poster boy for the old Tory dinosaurs. He is Parliament’s foremost champion of the Union Jack. He campaigns for St George’s Day to be a national holiday. On his website, beneath a picture of himself standing alongside Margaret Thatcher, he modestly describes himself as “one of Westminster’s more patriotic MPs.” True, in 2001, he resigned from the Monday Club, which was calling for immigrants to be sent back whence they came, but that was because the then Tory leader, Iain Duncan Smith, ordered him to.
And yet it seems, Rosindell is just too modern and middle of the road for some of his fellow Essex Tories, such as Eric Munday, Mayor of Havering, who was quoted by the Romford Recorder as saying: “After 36 years continuous service…I have been condemned as a dinosaur and de-selected by the Romford Conservative Association following it being taken over by Andrew Rosindell.”
Complaining that the government is not hard enough on immigration, Councillor Munday has gone over to Ukip, with two others, thereby depriving the Tories of overall control of Havering Council. Mr Rosindell is understandably annoyed. “They have benefitted from the party’s support and now it is sad they chose to do the dirty on the party. It is so selfish,” he said.
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