Andy McSmith's Diary: Louise Mensch's Twitter addiction – now up to 280 tweets a day

It's a surprise the former Tory MP has had time to write novels at all

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Indy Politics

Career Game, this year’s novel by the former Tory MP Louise Mensch, is to be her last, according to an interview she has given to the Northamptonshire Telegraph. The surprise is that she managed to write it at all, in between her obsessive activity on Twitter.

Mensch has committed 137,000 tweets since she joined Twitter in January 2009. That is an average of 58 tweets a day – or one every 25 minutes – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for six and a half years. But that includes the couple of years when she was an MP: her output has increased since she bunked off to New York. According to the Guido Fawkes website, her current average is 280 tweets a day, one every five minutes. Can people get treatment for Twitter addiction?

Prime Minister’s Conservative extremism

After David Cameron had delivered his speech yesterday, which included the announcement that foreign channels will be barred from broadcasting “extremist content”, one of his remarks was removed from the transcript of the speech published on the Downing Street website.

A note in brackets saying “(political content)” marked where the civil servants had wielded the blue pencil. The remark he made that was deemed too partisan to appear in a government publication described the Cabinet as “a Conservative-only Cabinet – I’m pleased to say”. That is a bit extreme.

‘Transparent’ Government clear on restrictions

You’ve got to love the opening sentence of the written statement in which the Cabinet Office Minister, Matthew Hancock, announced that the Government is going to rewrite the Freedom of Information Act to make sure there is less information on what the Government is up to.

He wrote: “We are committed to being the most transparent government in the world.”

Recently widowed Clarke in search of ‘normality’

Ken Clarke, a widower now, was back in the Commons yesterday. He said he was seeking “normality”. His wife, Gillian, to whom he was married for 51 years, died from cancer just over a week ago.

The sun still shines on Jacques Delors, aged 90

The 90th birthday yesterday of the former European Commission President, Jacques Delors, cannot be allowed to pass without a mention of the famous headline in The Sun in which he featured. Delors inadvertently contributed to the fall of Margaret Thatcher by pushing for more integration in the EU. Her vehement opposition was what finally drove Sir Geoffrey Howe to resign from the Cabinet in November 1990, which set the scene for a leadership challenge. The Sun, of course, was on Thatcher’s side. Hence the headline emblazoned across its front page on 1 November 1990: “Up Yours, Delors.”

They don’t write ‘em like that any more.

Essex kippers come in two flavours

Basildon district, in Essex, has acquired the great distinction of being home to not one Ukip faction, but two – one in Basildon itself, the other in the nearby town of Wickford. Basildon Ukip is led by Councillor Linda Allport-Hodge, whose most memorable contribution to political discourse so far was to describe a Conservative councillor, Andrew Schrader, as a “twat”.

On another occasion, she led colleagues in a histrionic walkout during a procedural argument.

David Harrison, a Ukip councillor from Wickford, did not join the walkout, and did not like her language, and now there has been a formal split – one party for polite kippers from Wickford, another for rude Basildon kippers.