Conference Diary: Do as I say...
Thursday 08 October 2009
"If I'm appointed Justice Secretary in the next Conservative administration I will end Jack Straw's serial selective and cynical trailing of government policy in the media," the shadow Justice Secretary Dominic Grieve pledged yesterday... in a speech selectively trailed by his personal spin doctor the night before it was delivered.
George Osborne spent yesterday dodging a fake waiter offering him a glass of liquor. It was a stunt by the Daily Mirror, who hoped to snatch a photo of the shadow Chancellor, glass in hand. (David Cameron was so-pictured on the paper's front page with the headline "Fizzy Rascal".) There was dispute over what drink had been offered to George, it being alleged that Mirror finances are so dire they could not afford champagne. Sources say it was an entirely new beverage called "lager toff", consisting of cheap beer with a dash of bubbly.
Osborne's interview by Evan Davis on Radio 4 at breakfast time yesterday prompted rakish Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw to spit out his Coco Pops and resume pitched hostilities with his former employer, the BBC. Bradshaw denounced "another wholly feeble and biased Today programme rounded off with a fawning interview with a Tory pundit!" (It was actually analysis from The Independent's political commentator Michael Brown.) Calm down!
What goes around...
Political blowhard Michael White (he of a rival left-wing organ) has railed against the gossipy excesses of right-wing bloggers, memorably roasting troublemaker Paul Staines, of the "Guido Fawkes" site, on Newsnight. But those online protagonists have been waiting, watching – and are now circulating photos of our moustachioed hero "Sir" Michael slumped in a chair at the Manchester conference centre. The old bird appears either to be resting his eyes, or focusing very intently at the papers piled on his lap. So unkind.
Fall from grace
David Trimble has been hopping about on crutches à la Mr Spiggott from the Peter Cook-Dudley Moore sketch "One Leg Too Few". ("Mr Spiggott, you, a one-legged man, are applying for the role of Tarzan — a role for which, traditionally... two legs would seem to be the minimum requirement.") The former first minister would only explain, cryptically: "I had a fall a little while ago and hurt my knee. I'm afraid to say that my mistake was jumping when I should have stayed still. It was nothing to do with cows... The crutches have been a source of amusement for people at conference. I've laughed along – what else can you do?"
Eddie the Eagle
The current leader of the Wii charity ski jumping competition is Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond, 47, who leapt an impressive 191 virtual metres, ahead of Sir George Young, 68, at 171 metres. The wooden spoon winner looks set to be weak-thighed shadow culture minister Ed Vaizey, 41, who leapt a sad 53 metres.
- 1 Reader dilemma: 'Our son is 34 with an IQ of 85, and spends all his time in his room. What will happen to him when we're no longer here?'
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 Russian officials ban yoga because it's too much like a religious cult
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Ginger Pride festival to take place next summer, organisers say 'time of bullying gingers is over'
Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
People are American flagging their Facebook profile pictures in response to those rainbow flagging them
Ginger Pride festival to take place next summer, organisers say 'time of bullying gingers is over'
Historic meeting between Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox head 'getting closer'
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
Tunisia beach attack: How can British Muslims respond to the latest outrages?
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