Village people: 28/11/2009
Saturday 28 November 2009
No thanks, Ann
*Ann Widdecombe's chances of a new career as Britain's envoy to the Vatican are on the wane.
After she was tipped for the post in August, it was thought that her conversion to the Roman Catholic Church, which she joined because she opposes the ordination of women, would not count against her. Every envoy to the Holy See has been Protestant except the incumbent, Francis Campbell, who is Roman Catholic. He was preceded by the first woman, Kathryn Colvin. But, much as Ann Widdecombe would love to be the next, she is not the preferred candidate. With the Pope due to visit the UK in September, the Government is looking for someone with more experience of diplomacy.
The gay side of Ukip
*Talking of feisty women, the West Midlands MEP Nikki Sinclaire failed in her attempt yesterday to be elected leader of the UK Independence Party. A shame. Ms Sinclaire, who is 6ft 4in tall, has been mistaken for a transvestite male. She outed herself as a lesbian in 2004, after the Ukip candidate in the London mayoral election had made a disparaging comment about gays, but declined to take on leadership of a "homosexual wing" of Ukip. During the 2005 general election, the police had to arrest her after she had invaded a "Queer Question Time" organised by Birmingham Pride. She objected to there being no Ukip representative on the platform. The woman may be eccentric but she is not dull.
Driven to distraction
*Since Andrew Adonis was appointed Transport Secretary, he has earned a reputation as the first occupant of that post who really cares about trains, even riding on them whenever he can. But on Thursday night he was embarrassingly late for the annual dinner of the Greenwich and Woolwich Labour Party, where he was guest speaker, because he had varied his habits and accepted a lift in a car with two MPs. As the parliamentarians left Westminster, a lorry caught fire on the main road ahead, bringing traffic to a standstill. Their 10-mile journey, which would have taken a matter of minutes by train, lasted more than two hours. That'll teach 'em.
Art of a good story
*Tremendous publicity was given in yesterday's newspapers to evidence to the inquiry into the Iraq war from the former UK ambassador to Washington, Sir Christopher Meyer. He claims to know that Tony Blair decided in 2002 to go to war in Iraq, regardless of the legalities. After Sir Christopher retired he wrote memoirs which were so contemptuous of Labour that civil servants feared he had damaged their reputation for impartiality. He did not clear the book with the Foreign Office, claiming that politicians such as Robin Cook had written books without doing so – which was simply untrue. He also revealed that "my children said to me 'Write down the story' because every time I told the story it's different". One wonders how seriously the Chilcot inquiry will take his evidence.
A Tory diary clash
*David Cameron and George Osborne are comrades, are they not? They are not rivals, trying to undermine one another. Or are they? An invitation has gone out to political journalists and others for pre-Christmas drinks with Osborne at a hotel near Parliament on Tuesday week. On that same evening, the same guests are invited to another reception held at the same time, in one of Parliament's buildings, hosted by David Cameron. Poor George is in danger of having a lot of wine to drink and no one to talk to.
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
Ellen DeGeneres leads Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow and Paul Bettany in revealing game of Never Have I Ever
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...