Andy McSmith's Diary: More than a little teed off with the Chancellor’s speech
Monday 06 January 2014
George Osborne is said to have paid £100 an hour to be trained by a Harley Street vocal specialist during his days as shadow Chancellor, to help him sound weighty and authoritative. But did he get his money’s worth? After listening to the Chancellor’s speech on Monday, the Labour MP Jamie Reed seemed to think not. He tweeted: “Can someone please reintroduce Osborne to ‘t’ as a consonant? Cos I godda dell ya, that speech made me wanna scream.”
Who will win the war?
The latest exchanges of hostilities between Michael Gove and Sir Tony Robinson, aka Baldrick, and between Boris Johnson and Labour’s Tristram Hunt, may be only the beginning of a year of politicians mining the Great War for reasons that you should vote for them and not for the other lot.
They are arguing over two separate questions: whether the war against Germany was just, and whether the British Army was well led – though the two seem to have come together as one in Mr Gove’s thinking. The Tory Deputy Chief Whip, Greg Hands, weighed in on the “just war” side of the argument, tweeting: “Labour’s new anti-Allied view of [The] Great War may go down badly with voters of Polish origin. Poland was re-born in 1918 thx to Allied victory.”
Does Mr Hands know that Jozef Pilsudski, the father of an independent Poland, raised an army of Polish volunteers in 1914 who fought for three years alongside the Germans against Russia? The Kaiser was even prevailed upon to give formal recognition to an independent Poland in 1916. The rebirth of Poland was a complex story. To suggest that independence was given to the Poles, gift-wrapped by the Entente, is a myopic rewriting of history.
James Wharton, Britain’s youngest Tory MP, is exploring new ways to hold on to his Stockton South seat, which he won by just 332 votes. He has taken up the cause of villagers in Yarm, a couple of miles south of Stockton-on-Tees, who are so incensed by a planning decision to permit 350 new homes in the town that they want to escape the clutches of Stockton Council.
Mr Wharton has surveyed the villagers, and found that 95 per cent of respondents want a boundary change that would transfer the village to North Yorkshire. Bob Cook, the leader of Stockton Council, is unimpressed. “James Wharton has got the wrong target,” he told the Stockton Gazette. “If James wants to track down those responsible for tying councils’ hands, then he should look no further than his own government. We have said time and again that flawed national planning policy is the chief culprit.”
The mother of all problems
Another Tory MP, the incomparable Jacob Rees-Mogg, also has a tricky planning issue in his constituency. Residents in Hinton Blewett, a hamlet mentioned in the Domesday Book, are fiercely contesting a proposal to build 19 new homes only yards outside the boundary of a conservation area, a development which they say would increase the size of the village by more than a fifth. Their MP is not in a good position to get involved. The contested site belongs to his mother, Lady Gillian, the widow of Baron Rees-Mogg of Hinton Blewett.
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 The Visit: Trailer for M Night Shyamalan's latest horror film is terrifying
- 5 9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
General Election 2015: Tories sack candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
Manny Pacquiao begs Indonesia president to spare life of drug smuggler Mary Jane Veloso about to be executed
Yazidi sex slaves undergoing surgery to 'restore virginity' after being raped by Isis militants
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
HSBC review into moving headquarters from UK 'underway'
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...