Andy McSmith's Diary: Try as you might, you can’t keep Goodman down

 

Helen Goodman, Labour’s shadow media minister, is in trouble again. Last time, it was for not knowing where she was; this time, it was for putting out a sweeping insult of all the women Tory MPs promoted by David Cameron in his latest reshuffle.

Many MPs objected when the Daily Mail reported on the reshuffle as if it were a fashion parade, naming the employment minister, Esther McVey, “Queen of the Catwalk”. The Green MP Caroline Lucas, for instance, tabled a Commons motion deploring “the objectification and sexualisation of women”.

But Ms Goodman thought this was foolishly giving David Cameron the coverage he wanted, and tweeted what was meant to be a counter-blast. The Mail’s treatment of the women was “fair”, she wrote, because “all are puppets who’ll change nothing and their appearance really is the most interesting thing about them”.

The Conservatives had been relatively quiet about the original Daily Mail article, not wanting to alienate a powerful Tory newspaper, but Ms Goodman had now presented herself as a soft target for pent-up outrage. The Education Secretary Nicky Morgan called her tweet “disgraceful”. Anna Soubry, the defence minister, demanded an apology. Sarah Newton, the Conservative deputy chairman, wrote to the deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman demanding Ms Goodman be disciplined.

Ms Goodman deleted the offending tweet, replacing it with an apology for what “I intended... as a light-hearted remark” – but that did not stop the onslaught.

Last month, she landed herself in it after she asked someone doing work experience in her office to research a village she was due to visit in her Durham constituency, called Ingleton. She used the information in the research note in her speech to the bemused villagers, unaware she was talking about Ingleton in North Yorkshire.

On the side of the angels

“He spent four years travelling the world. He has rubbed shoulders with Angela Merkel; hobnobbed with Angelina; and now he is stuck with Commons Angela,” – with these words, William Hague, was welcomed to his new job, the Leader of the Commons, by his Labour shadow, Angela Eagle.

Figuring it out

At the end of the trial of Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce, certain journalists took a wild guess at the prosecution costs and plucked £150,000 from the air. The correct figure has now been published. It was £150,710.88. Not a bad guess then.

Commons sense

The Speaker, John Bercow, rebuked a Tory MP, Robert Halfon, for telling a Labour MP who was barracking him to “keep his trap shut”. That was “tasteless”, said  the same Speaker who, according to Wednesday’s Hansard, told the Clerk of the Commons Sir Robert Rogers, in front of witnesses, to “f-*-*-* off”.

Rage against the machine

In a market town called Frodsham, near Chester, there lives a man called Frank Pennington, who has been a councillor for 39 years. He does not like the way the council is run. In one outburst, he described it as “worse than the Second World War and Hitler”.

A member of the public complained. Councillor Pennington was told to apologise. He wrote to the clerk saying sorry. His fellow councillors decided that he must say it in person. He refused. He was banned from all committees and working groups.

He has told the Chester Chronicle that he is consulting a lawyer to see if he can take the town council to court. This hot weather must have melted their brains.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
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

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - Nationwide - OTE £65,000

£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum