Village people: Spin doctor caught in his own web of debt words

At the party conferences

It must have been a bad moment for David Cameron's chief spin master, Craig Oliver, known affectionately to the hacks as "Crazy Olive", when he saw the headlines in yesterday's papers demanding "Pay off your credit cards for the sake of the economy".

It was based on what journalists had been briefed that the Prime Minister was going to say in his speech – a pearl of prime ministerial wisdom that coincided with new official figures showing household consumption down by 0.8 per cent in the second quarter of this year, and Tesco reporting weak sales. Retailers must have thought that David Cameron wanted to see them go bankrupt.

But no, it was all a "misinterpretation" of what his spinners had spun, claimed the spinners as they spun around the conference centre trying to undo the damage. When he delivered the speech, Mr Cameron actually said something quite different, stating a fact – "Households are paying down the credit card and the store card bills" – rather than an exhortation.

But the fact remains that on Tuesday, the spinners handed out extracts from the Prime Minister's forthcoming speech on which were the words: "The only way out of a debt crisis is to deal with your debts. That means households – all of us – paying off the credit card and store card bills."

Somehow, a team of highly paid advisers headed by Mr Oliver entered these words into a computer, printed them out and handed them round without spotting the obvious interpretation that would be put on them. It's enough to make you cry "Bring Back Andy Coulson".

The cat came back

It was expected that David Cameron would weave a joke about cats into yesterday's big speech. When it came, it was about as weak as a joke could be – "After yesterday, we should have a group reading of Mog the Cat" – but it was not as painful as the series of puns Baroness Warsi inflicted on her audience, in what may be her last conference speech in her capacity as party chairman. They included "paws for thought", "money in the kitty", "by a whisker" and "feline very good." Kindly leave the stage.



Eye of the Tiger

Highlights at the final night of karaoke at Manchester's Tiger included MP Grant Shapps singing "Summertime" by Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince – "all that hardcore dance that has gotten to be a little bit out of control" – and "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" by Meatloaf. The assembly of special advisers and young Tories were also remarkably up to speed with the lyrics to "Common People", by Pulp, below, and "I Predict a Riot" by Kaiser Chiefs.



Cheap sleep

While other Tories groan about the expense of a week in hotels in central Manchester, the Cabinet Office minister Oliver Letwin has saved a small fortune by staying at the Sports City Travelodge for £40 a night.



Train all a-twitter

Here is hoping that the Immigration Minister Damian Green – who played no small part in the flap over the Bolivian immigrant's cat – had a comfortable train journey home. On the way north earlier in the week, he had coffee spilt in his lap. Minutes later, he received a text from his daughter asking if he was all right, after someone in the carriage had tweeted about the mishap. Such is the speed of modern communications.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
voices
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
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

KS1 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Supply Teacher re...

KS2 Teaching Supply Wakefield

£140 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS2 Supply Teacher r...

Year 1/2 Teacher

£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Teacher required,...

Primary Teachers Needed for Supply in Wakefield

£140 - £160 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1&2 Supply Te...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
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