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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

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: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk / Trainee Application Support Analyst - Hampshire

£25000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor