Flat Earth

Oriental solution

With Flat Earth's mind turning towards Hong Kong, where the column will be next week, it has been hard not to view contemporaneous events from a Chinese perspective. Such as the Tory leadership election, which Peking would have organised much better.

The Chinese like to point out that nobody elected Chris Patten, while his successor in charge of Hong Kong, Tung Chee-hwa, was chosen from a slate of three candidates by a selection committee of 400. That is obviously more than twice as democratic as the paltry collection of 164 MPs who came up with William Hague. (Tory leaders simply used to emerge, of course, just like Chinese leaders, but times have moved on.)

To the Chinese mind, you wouldn't have had all this messy manoeuvring which has left the Tory party in such disarray, but what can you expect when you leave things to the voters? Much simpler to select all the members of the selection committee yourself, then make sure they are in no doubt which way to vote.

Ken Clarke would have realised that a generation change was wanted when more than half the committee nominated his rival as a candidate for the leadership. As it was he wasted everyone's time by going into the final round, and had to be punished for the party's loss of face by not being given a Shadow Cabinet job, as all the other puppet candidates were. It's much easier to understand these things when you have a grasp of Marxist- Leninist-Mao Tse-tung Thought.

Denver delights

Things to do in Denver: judging by the welcome packs sent to participants in this weekend's Summit of the Eight, you wouldn't miss much by being dead.

Top of the "travel and entertainment" section is Cherry Creek shopping centre, described as Colorado's "top tourist spot". Er, isn't the Grand Canyon also in Colorado? Anyway, if Cherry Creek doesn't appeal, you could always try the VIP behind-the-scenes tour of Denver airport, brought to you by United Airlines, or a bus tour of the "fragile tundra environment" of Mount Evans.

One unenthusiastic summit-goer who clearly had her eye on other amusements in the "Mile-High City" wanted to know: "If you misbehave in Denver, does that make you a member of the Mile-High Club?" I don't think so, but here is a thought for all you summiteers as you doze off in Denver - next year you'll be in Birmingham!

It's criminal

If you want to insult a flic in Paris (not a course I would advise), don't comment on the smallness of his brain or private parts, but of his salary. We owe this insight to the French football star, Patrice Loko, who lived up to his name outside a Paris nightclub, kicking cars, spitting at police and exposing himself to a policewoman.

One officer told the court that Loko abused them, boasted that high-placed friends would soon spring him, and compared his huge income to their pittances. "In 18 years as a policeman," he complained, "I had never been so insulted. I could not sleep for two days."

Le pauvre! Since reading this, I myself have been unable to sleep for thinking of the hurt to his feelings.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Keith Fraser says we should give Isis sympathises free flights to join Isis (AFP)
news
Life and Style
A picture taken on February 11, 2014 at people walking at sunrise on the Trocadero Esplanade, also known as the Parvis des droits de l'homme (Parvis of Human Rights), in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
News
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
music
Sport
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
  • Get to the point
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

Recruitment Genius: Senior Web Designer / Front End Developer

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast expanding web managem...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor