Village People: 27/03/2010


Tory message fails to reach their man in EU


One of David Cameron's bolder recent pronouncements was his promise that a Tory government would unilaterally levy a charge on the banks – a levy known as a "Tobin tax". Another promise was that his government will not touch the overseas aid budget when it starts slashing public expenditure.

These two clear messages – "Tobin tax, good; overseas aid, also good" – do not seem to have reached the European Parliament, where Nirj Diva is Tory spokesman on development. Last week, he denounced a widely supported plan for a Europe-wide Tobin tax, to be spent on aid projects. It was "silly", "irrelevant" and would "hammer already weakened financial institutions in the West and give the money to a bunch of people who will probably steal it".

Odd man out in the three-way debate

When the three main party leaders appear together in televised debates, one sure winner is assumed to be Nick Clegg, who will gain from being seen up there with the big boys. But anyone who saw John Thurso, Liberal Democrat business spokesman, below, on Newsnight this week with Peter Mandelson and Ken Clarke, above, must wonder whether the third party will get anything from these debates at all. The discussion lasted nearly 10 minutes. The first seven were taken up with a ding-dong between Mandelson and Clarke. Then Jeremy Paxman remarked: "Lord Thurso's been sitting here very quietly throughout all this ..." Mr Thurso (who is in fact an MP, although his father was a viscount) was heard in polite silence for precisely one minute on industrial policy, before Mandelson and Clarke returned to tearing lumps off each other.

Prostrated by prostate test

If you do not understand this story, I am afraid it is not within the remit of a family newspaper to explain...

One of the perks of being an MP is their periodic visits from a district nurse to check their health. During the latest session, a male MP was administered the standard test for prostate cancer. "Have you ever had this done before?" the nurse asked. "Never by a woman," he replied.

Stick to the point, Gorbals Mick

Michael Martin, the first Commons Speaker to be sacked in 300 years, has made his first speech in the House of Lords in his new role as Lord Martin of Springburn. A truly astonishing, rambling stream of bile it was, too.

The Government has taken heed of complaints from newspapers, book publishers, academics and scientists about the high cost of libel in Britain – 140 times the European average – and wants to reduce the fees charged by lawyers who take on libel cases on a "no win, no fee" basis. Lord Martin, right, as we must now call him, led the opposition. He wants lawyers to be allowed to charge five times what the Government proposes. In his speech, he complained that journalists had given him the nickname "Gorbals Mick", although that is not his native part of Glasgow; he complained about journalists ringing his doorbell at home; and he praised the "no win, no fee" lawyers who have defended poor Glaswegians suffering from industrial illnesses.

But, Your Lordship, calling someone "Gorbals Mick" is not defamatory, knocking on a door is not defamatory, and employment lawyers are not libel lawyers. So, next time, do try to keep to the point.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
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: Helpdesk Analyst

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - Nationwide - OTE £65,000

£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum