Andy McSmith's Diary: Harman’s next problem is a son who’s paid to make mischief online

 

As if Harriet Harman and her husband, Jack Dromey, have not been through enough lately, trouble may creep up on their family from another direction.

Several senior Labour figures have contributed to the widespread condemnation of the bookies, Paddy Power, over a publicity stunt, offering to take bets on the outcome of the Oscar Pistorius trial. An advert for the firm read: “It’s Oscar Time. Money Back If He Walks. We will refund all losing bets on the Oscar Pistorius trial if he is found not guilty.”

The shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, tweeted: “Reeva Steenkamp was killed. A woman’s death is not sport, @paddypower. Sick & shameful to run bets on trial. Urge you to remove & apologise.” Thousands have signed an online petition making the same demand.

This is awkward because Harry Dromey, son of Harriet and Jack, is employed by Paddy Power to dream up naughty stunts. The publicity for a conference at which he is due to speak, in April, bills him as Paddy Power’s “Mischief Champion”, adding: “Harry is part of Paddy Power’s Department of Mischief. He creates mischievous, eye-catching stunts and campaigns to communicate what the brand is all about.”

Another comic turn for Ukip

Nigel Farage has brushed off suggestions that the jokes that comic Paul Eastwood told at the Ukip conference dinner were racist, though they were directed at Poles, Somalis, and Muslim immigrants. The good news for those who fell about laughing at Eastwood’s performance is they now have someone else to amuse them.

Geoff Rowe, a Cornish stand-up comic who uses the stage name Jethro, has announced that he is joining Ukip, having given up hope that the Tories will ever pull us out of the EU.

I do not know if Jethro does jokes about racial stereotypes, but I know that he has a line in comic misogyny. His best-known television appearance was on Jim Davidson’s television show, when they both corpsed as they tried to tell a joke about sticking a finger in a dyke (gerrit?).

Another Jethro joke: “Alcohol killed my first wife. I got home drunk one night and shot her.”

There are others that are worse. I am sure he will be at home in Ukip.

The Mogg peers into future

“Who, having entered the Elysian fields, wants to come back down to Earth?” the Tory MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg, demanded as he opposed a plan to allow peers to retire. “It seems extraordinary in the first place that anyone would want to leave those glorious red benches and the gilt around the throne, the magnificence that the House of Lords shows to the world, and trot out into the humdrum life.”

“Is this a job application?” a Labour MP shouted.

“I am by no means grand enough to enter their lordships’ house,” replied the Mogg. “I like representing the British people – vox populi, vox Dei – through this illustrious chamber.”

It is, of course, rubbish to suggest that the Mogg is “not grand enough” to be a lord. The question is whether the House of Lords is grand enough to accommodate the Mogg.

Not-so-Popular suggestion

Politicians give the unemployed all sorts of advice about how to better their circumstances. But Andrés Martínez López, a councillor from the ruling Partido Popular in Villarrobledo, in Albacete province, in Spain, appears to have gone too far when he suggested that a 21-year-old, jobless mother should either put her child out for adoption, or take up prostitution. The rival Partido Socialista is calling for his resignation.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
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: Business Development Coordinator

£18000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Reside...

Recruitment Genius: Plumber

£30000 - £31000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An independent boys' school sit...

Recruitment Genius: Professional Sales Trainee - B2B

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: First things first - for the av...

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue