Andy McSmith's Diary: Ramsay or Nando's? The PM can't have both


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Indy Politics

Gordon Ramsay has had a bad week. In addition to losing a court battle over a rent agreement, which will set him back more than £2m, he has suffered the insult of having David Cameron say he would rather eat at Nando’s than in an establishment run by the celebrity chef.

Asked to choose between Harvester, a Gordon Ramsay pub or Nando’s, Cameron said: “I’ve been to a Gordon Ramsay restaurant, I’ve been to Nando’s and I’ve been to a Harvester. I think Nando’s is the best value for money.”

The Prime Minister was a guest on Capital Xtra, an “urban dance music” station, where he was questioned to see how “cool” he is. A sad fact of contemporary politics is that being “cool” is thought to be a necessary qualification for high office.

To his credit, Cameron was impressively ignorant of the sort of stuff that is aimed at people less than half his age. He said he preferred Bryan Ferry to hip-hop, admitted that “I haven’t quite got into why everyone is interested in the Kardashians” and revealed that though he has watched Big Brother, he is “not a fan”.

Our costliest councillor

Robert Bleakley, Britain’s most expensive councillor, is in trouble again. He had complained to police that he was being harassed by television crews who followed him into last week’s meeting of Wigan Council. Far from acting on his complaint, the police have complained about him, demanding the council apply “the strongest of sanctions”.

What the councillor said to merit this we do not yet know. He has told the local Wigan paper that he said nothing offensive at all and has witnesses to back him. The police claim that “his comments were frankly vile [and] reveal him to be a thoroughly unpleasant and nasty character”.

It is thought he may have made some remark about the two policewomen who were murdered in 2012 by a thug named Dale Cregan.

Bleakley was described by the leader of Wigan council, Lord Smith of Leigh, as Britain’s most-expensive councillor because he was able to claim an £11,000 allowance when he turned up to a meeting for the first time in five months.

His long absence may be connected to the fact that he has been banned from speaking to female employees of Wigan Council because of his behaviour towards them. He is repaying the £2,400 bill he ran up ringing sex chat lines using his council-funded mobile phone.

Welcome to Bongoville

“What is the capital of Bongo-Bongo land?” Andrew Neil asked, when the former Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom appeared on BBC2’s Daily Politics show today, it being a land that Bloom once claimed was a recipient of UK overseas aid. “Well, Bongoville, one presumes,” Bloom replied.

Helmet hair: might catch on

I do not think there is much to like about Ukip’s only Scottish MEP, David Coburn, but I confess I enjoyed reading his monstering of Alex Salmond and the economic case for independence that was based on a barrel of oil being worth $110, rather than the $50 it now fetches. “If we had all voted Yes, Scotland would have its begging bowl out to England,” he has told the Daily Record.

“The last thing I want to see is my country with a begging bowl out to anybody because of a bunch of economic numpties who don’t know anything about finance. And if it had happened – if Scotland had voted Yes – they’d be hanging Salmond and Helmet Hairdo and all her silly friends. They’d be stringing them up from lampposts by now.”

Helmet Hairdo appears to be his name for the SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon.