Andy McSmith's Diary: Kevin Pietersen, halfwit or genius? Well Piers Morgan is the man who should know


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Indy Politics

Here is something to cheer up Kevin Pietersen as he contemplates the end of his career as an England cricketer: David Cameron thinks he is good at “tonking”. Speaking on BBC Lancashire, the Prime Minister declared himself to be “an enormous fan”, adding: “Some of my most enjoyable times have been watching him tonking the ball all over the park.

“I remember a really great moment for me was when he scored a century for England against India and I was allowed to go into the dressing room with the players. They’re allowed to have a beer when they scored a century so I gave him and Ian Bell their celebratory beers... He’s an amazing man.”

The other notable to leap to the defence of KP was Piers Morgan, who observed on the Today programme: “The line between being a genius and a halfwit can be pretty thin.” And who better to know the exact breadth of that line than Piers Morgan, who has crossed it so often?

Lyrically speaking

Meanwhile, David Cameron has told BBC Manchester that when he and his wife Samantha were falling in love, 18 years ago, the track “Perfect Circle”, off the debut album by R.E.M., had a special significance. It was, he said, “our song”. In the lyrics, there is mention of a “shallow figure” who seems to have been “standing too soon, shoulders high in the room”. What that means, I have no idea.

Jane where?

“Now in Howarth for a cup of tea,” the Chancellor, George Osborne, Tweeted. Assuming he was in a West Yorkshire town famous for its association with the Brontë sister, the correct spelling would be Haworth.

Trying their worst

“I’m sure,” said Tory peer Lord Skelmersdale,, as peers debated the Somerset floods, “that the Government is doing all it can to exacerbate the problem.” Replying for the Government, Lord de Mauley said he was sure Lord Skelmersdale did not mean exactly what everyone there heard him say.

A super-rat tale

“Are mutant super-rats taking over the Commons?” ran a headline in the Daily Mail last year. The Labour MP Diana Johnson wondered if this was the case, and if so, why the House authorities were not importing cats instead of spending thousands on pest control.

The Lib Dem John Thurso, whose job is to answer questions relating to the building and its facilities, replied that the pest controllers are there to deal with mice; they cannot use cats because some people are allergic to them, and “after extensive research, it is believed that there is no rat problem inside the House of Commons.”

Still, it made a good headline.

Less than noble

A proposal to make Cathy Ashton, the EU’s Foreign Minister, a joint winner of the Nobel Peace Prize has hit a snag. Ms Ashton, a former Labour peer, was nominated by Czech socialist, Hannes Swoboda, along with the Serb Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and Hashim Thaci, Prime Minister of Kosovo, for their parts in normalising relations between Serbia and Kosovo.

Thaci is a highly controversial figure, a former guerrilla fighter from the time when Kosovo’s Albanian population was seeking an escape from Serbian rule, who has been accused of links with organised crime. Richard Falbr, a Czech MEP and party colleague of Swoboda, has pleaded with him to withdraw his nomination.

“Thaci is a war criminal who has come under the suspicion of trading in human organs of Serbian PoWs and that he is a drug drug boss,” he says. Thaci’s denials notwithstanding, the chances of a Nobel laureate for Cathy Ashton is not looking good just now.