Is there something wrong with David Cameron’s face that makes him unable to grow a moustache? It is a question that sprouts on the lips of journalists each November, because this is the month when men make themselves look hideous in a good cause: raising awareness of testicular cancer.
At Prime Minister’s Questions, Cameron praised the facial hair of his Tory colleagues Jason McCartney and Jake Berry, but added: “I am only sorry that I do not seem able to join them”. Last year, he similarly pleaded that he is not “fully capable” of cultivating a moustache.
After PMQs, a Daily Express hack asked Downing Street’s spin doctors whether it is fact that the Prime Minister’s upper lip cannot nurture hair. They said they did not know, and did not seem very keen to find out.
Cameron also left most of his listeners utterly bemused when he described Berry as looking as if “he is about to star in a Cheech and Chong movie”.
Cheech and Chong were an American and Canadian comedy duo from the hippie era, with long hair, beards and moustaches. Cameron was 12 years old when their first movie came out. The reason he remembers them so well, perhaps, is that their best known line was: “It’s me, Dave.”
The dialogue went: “Who is it?”
“It’s me, Dave. Open up, man. I got the stuff”
“Dave, man… Will you open up!”
“Dave’s not here…”
Shakespeare a constituent?
Nadhim Zahawi, Tory MP for Stratford on Avon, caused some surprise at PMQ’s when he referred to “my constituent William Shakespeare”.
If you are allowed to claim someone as a constituent who was born in your constituency centuries ago, can Ali Salam, the Moslem Mayor of Nazareth, say “my constituent Jesus Christ”?
Or perhaps Zahawi was confusing the Bard with his old business partner, Stephan Shakespeare, with whom he co-founded the polling company YouGov.
Millionaires put in their place
Owen Smith, Labour’s shadow Welsh Secretary, has found the obvious solution to a problem that foxed Ed Miliband.
When the Labour leader was assailed in a television studio by the model Myleene Klass over the mansion tax, he did not know how to reply.
Smith, by contrast, easily saw off Sol Campbell when the ex-footballer complained on BBC Two’s Daily Politics today that the proposed levy was unfair and he could not afford to pay it. Smith noted Campbell had recently put his Chelsea home up for sale at “£25m”, as well as owning a “big country pile”.
“People in this country who are, frankly, struggling will have zero sympathy for millionaires like you pleading poverty,” he said.
Comic-strip Tory turncoats
The Tories do not like seeing the turncoats Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless back in the Commons, as you can see from this tweet from the former Tory vice-chairman Michael Fabricant: “Talk in the tearoom: Carswell and Reckless now known as Popeye and Olive Oil. How mean!”
Ignorance a virtue for Ukip
Ukip fielded a team for the first time in the annual press gallery quiz. The competition was won by the Lib Dems, with the Tories coming an ignominious last.
The Ukip team was doing OK until it came to the section in which contestants were tested on their knowledge of the current Coalition. In that, they scored nil points – the first time in the history of the quiz that a team has done so badly.
They boasted afterwards that it proved that they come from outside the Westminster bubble.