The Diary: When conviction politicians are really not welcome
The proposal that Lord Taylor and Lord Hanningfield be suspended from the House of Lords for 12 months and nine months respectively will inevitably raise questions about why they are getting off so lightly.
The four MPs who drew prison sentences in the wake of the expenses scandal have lost their seats, been denied the generous "resettlement grants" normally received upon leaving the Commons, and will not be seen in Parliament. But Lords Taylor and Hanningfield could be back wearing ermine, speaking in debates and pocketing their attendance allowances by next summer.
In fairness to the Lords Privileges and Conduct committee, suspension was the harshest penalty in their armoury. The constitutional position is that a life peer is a peer for life, no matter what he does. Jeffrey Archer, who was sentenced to four years in prison for perjury 10 years ago, is still Baron Archer of Weston-super-Mare, and could retake his seat any time he wanted. He has chosen to stay away. There will doubtless be disapproving looks if Lord Taylor or Lord Hanningfield has the gall to show his face in the building again, but they cannot be removed unless or until the Government carries through the reform of the Lords that it has been promising.
DSK is a bleu movie star
This had to happen. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the coitally overactive ex-head of the IMF, has achieved the recognition he deserves. Top French porn producers, Colmax, are working on a film entitled "DXK".
Tribune rises from the ashes
It was a pleasure to turn the pages of yesterday's edition of Tribune, because it was something we never thought we would do again. The death of this little left-wing publication, whose past employees or contributors include George Orwell, Michael Foot, Chris Mullin and many others, was announced just over a week ago in The Independent and elsewhere. This was true on the day, but an agreement with the National Union of Journalists has allowed the paper to return from near death as a cooperative.
How to remember Maxwell?
Twenty years ago today Robert Maxwell, owner of the Daily Mirror, fell off his yacht and drowned. Few deaths have prompted such extravagant praise as his did, on day one. The Mirror's front page was dedicated to "A Great Big Extraordinary Man." Rupert Murdoch sent a message of commiseration to the family of this "remarkable man". The Prime Minister, John Major, called him "a great character who will be missed" while Alastair Campbell, political editor of the Mirror, punched The Guardian's Michael White for thinking that Maxwell's death was a suitable subject for black humour. Though Campbell was ticked off by the Commons authorities, the leading tabloid commentator of that era, John Junor, praised his loyalty. There was a crunching gear change in the commentariat a month later, when it emerged that Maxwell had pillaged £500m from pension funds he controlled.
- 1 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 3 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
- 4 Jaden Smith wears gender fluid dress to high school prom with Hunger Games actress
- 5 How much sex should I be having?
Ed Miliband returns to the backbenches but it's all a bit awkward as he tries to avoid eye-contact with fellow Labour MPs
Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
Charles Kennedy 1959-2015: A gifted, compassionate politician whose career was cut short by the 'demon drink' - latest news
Ayyan Ali: Pakistan's top model now appears in the courtroom rather than on the catwalk
Isis tortures 14-year-old Syrian boy and films it in graphic video for 'propaganda purposes'
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history
£24000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: These refrigeration specialists...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an operational role and...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working within the workshop of ...
£20000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This specialist high tech compa...