Village People: 19/06/2010


Trouble with the Foxes


The recent scare about a fox attacking two baby girls in Hackney, east London, has brought back memories for a certain former Labour councillor who had to deal with a similar problem.

A lady arrived at his surgery complaining about a fox family that was creating an upsetting amount of noise and mess. The councillor asked the lady what she wanted to be done about them. She said she wanted them removed from the neighbourhood, but he pointed out that this would only lead to them creating a nuisance somewhere else, a point she accepted.

He then suggested gassing them instead. She thought this was going a bit far, but agreed that it would certainly solve the problem. It was only later that the unfortunate councillor learnt that they had, in fact, been discussing a human family called Fox.

Sour grapes

When the government's new Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) produced its first economic forecast last Monday, the very first Labour MP to comment was David Blunkett, who denounced it as a "self-fulfilling prophecy". He was dominating the airwaves for most of the day, rubbishing the OBR's work.

If this seemed odd, it was because Mr Blunkett was never an economic spokesman, which left people wondering what the OBR had to do with him.

Here is a possible answer. When he was Home Secretary, Mr Blunkett was accused of using his position to speed up an application for a visa for his child's nanny. The allegation was investigated by Sir Alan Budd. Mr Blunkett was personally cleared but he felt compelled to resign. The head of the Office of Budget Responsibility is that self-same Sir Alan Budd. Revenge, as they say, is sweet.

Rees-Moggery

Congratulations are due to Jacob Rees-Mogg, the recently elected Tory MP for North East Somerset, who became a father this month for the third time. The youngster is named Thomas Wentworth Somerset Dunstan Rees-Mogg. He is not called Somerset in honour of his father's seat, but after his maternal grandfather, Somerset Struben de Chair, who was elected a Conservative MP in 1935.

Another ancestor whose name the little mite perpetuates is Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Stafford, a favourite of Charles I, who was sentenced to death by Parliament in 1641. His mother is Helena Anne Beatrix Wentworth Fitzwilliam Rees-Mogg, the granddaughter of Earl Fitzwilliam. Why do people say modern Tories are posh?

Leading by example

When George Osborne sets out his austerity budget on Tuesday, he will be copying an example set by the Canadian government, which cut its deficit by asking: "What needs to be done by government and what we can afford to?"

Later in the week, politicians will head to Canada for the annual summit of the world's richest nations. While he is there, Mr Osborne might like to take off his shoes and socks and paddle in a 10cm-deep pool constructed for the summit as an adornment to the £1.3m G8/G20 "Experience Canada" pavilion. The Canadian government has admitted that the pool alone cost more to construct than 40 per cent of Canadian families have to live off for a year. "Canadians wanted leadership, and all they got was a fake lake," said Michael Ignatieff, leader of the Liberal Party.

Suggested Topics
Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
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

SECONDARY SUPPLY TEACHERS NEEDED IN AND AROUND FOLKESTONE

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Description Randstad Education i...

KS1 and KS2 Primary NQT Job in Lancaster Area

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education is urgently...

SECONDARY SUPPLY TEACHERS NEEDED IN AND AROUND DOVER

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Description Randstad Education i...

English Teacher - From October Half Term

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Secondary English Teacher requir...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week