Conference Diary: Danny and Oli
Thursday 23 September 2010
The spiritual conflagration raging between Dave and Nick has been well-documented. Less so the concord between two of their key sidekicks who were pivotal in the coalition talks – Oliver Letwin and Danny Alexander.
Five years ago, Alexander's responsibilities amounted to carrying a balloon on a stick and resembling the Muppets character Beaker, but the 38-year-old experienced a rather startling ascent this summer, becoming the nation's foremost axe-wielder (Chief Secretary to the Treasury) after David Laws was torn from his closet and subsequently walked off into the waves.
Danny and Oli spend hours each week on the phone to one another. Every Sunday, Danny calls the older man for a long chat. Presumably it's preferable to watching the Antiques Roadshow. They discuss the diary for the week ahead and try to troubleshoot potential problems for the coalition. Their rapport has not yet extended to that Westminster cliché of playing tennis against one another, which is a shame, since Letwin has a court, and claimed parliamentary expenses for repairs to a pipe beneath it.
Stormy weather warning
Despite the pelting rain on the final day of conference, Lib Dem leaders and delegates left Liverpool in a cautiously upbeat frame of mind. It is certain to be very different when they gather in 12 months. A Lib Dem minister predicts that by then they could have been "annihilated" in the local government elections and have lost the referendum on introducing the alternative vote for Westminster elections. The public will also have felt the edge of the coalition's blade by then. Expect gloom, introspection and recrimination next year in Birmingham.
Huhne's pannier test
Chris Huhne told delegates that the biggest surprise of being in government was the amount of work it entailed. "I prioritise what I take home by what I can get into my bike pannier," he explained. Asked what his greatest surprise was, Danny Alexander replied: "Eric Pickles."
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 1 Bad cattitude: Family call police after crazed and 'hostile cat with a history of violence' attacks baby before attempting to 'flee custody'
- 2 Family forced to flee home after discovering 'terrifying' nest of spiders in bananas
- 3 First Kiss: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 4 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 5 Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: One of the largest mobile advert...
£20000 - £23000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Our client specialises in creati...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Private Cli...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residential...