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Sunday 29 May 2011
Thursday 26 May 2011
Alleged hip-hop fan and Downing Street spin chief Craig Oliver doubtless enjoyed a few fist bumps with colleagues yesterday, following the televisual feast that was the No 10 barbecue. Oliver – a former BBC employee – is renowned primarily as a "pictures man", and a shirt-sleeved Dave and Barry serving burgers to servicemen was perhaps the most striking image he has generated since joining the PM's staff (or at least since his first day, when he graced the press corps with this classic, right). Yet the course of media handling never did run smooth and Oliver made at least one influential hack unhappy yesterday. Sky News political correspondent Glen Oglaza was giddy with excitement after being assigned the opening question of the post-BBQ press conference, only to have it snatched from him cruelly at the last moment by Oliver's shiny-domed BBC chum Nick Robinson.
Wednesday 25 May 2011
Monday 23 May 2011
If his coyly beatific grin belonged to a figure gazing upon Jesus in a Renaissance painting, let no one blame Andrew Marr for that. Getting quality time alone with Barack Obama, as Andy did for the interview broadcast yesterday, isn't easy. Nick Clegg would tell you that. The snub for Nick, whose pleas for an audience during the state visit were rebuffed, must be excruciating. It is almost as if the White House concluded, in the worst foreign policy miscalculation since 'Nam, that our deputy PM isn't fantastically important. Andy, on the other hand, is. He recovered from recent embarrassments to score an interview that West Wing insiders are styling "The 'Ears? You call those weeny things ears?' Summit".
Tuesday 17 May 2011
George Osborne couldn't resist the opportunity to get a cheap laugh out of the audience at the Google Zeitgeist conference yesterday, where he was the first speaker of the day. The reason the Chancellor was given the early slot was to allow him to get away in plenty of time for the European finance ministers' meeting in Brussels, an event that in the end was rather overshadowed by the arrest of the International Monetary Fund boss. "Not everyone is going to be there," Osborne observed tartly.
Sunday 01 May 2011
Tuesday 26 April 2011
The Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman is fighting back following an exchange between Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly, the right-wing shock jocks of American television. Describing Krugman as one of the "far left", O'Reilly said that he and the likes of "Soros and his merry men" were intent on destroying the American economy so that they would be free to "build up a socialist system". O'Reilly is on to something, confesses Krugman on his blog, adding "Luckily, he hasn't learned about our plan to steal his precious bodily fluids." It's hardly a fair fight, intellectually, this one.
Saturday 23 April 2011
Britons may be heading for the coast in their thousands this weekend but many cannot spell the names of some of our most famous seaside resorts.
Thursday 07 April 2011
Thursday 07 April 2011
A leading budget hotel chain has launched a management apprenticeship programme for school-leavers with a pledge to create 500 places. Travelodge said the scheme will offer a fast-track route into hotel management, with the chance of youngsters becoming a manager by the age of 21.
Tuesday 29 March 2011
Lloyds Action Now, the pressure group that wants compensation for shareholders who have lost out due to the bank's takeover of HBOS, got a few headlines yesterday with its announcement of test cases against the Bank of England and the Treasury. But the Diary thought Adrian Lithgow, the group's spokesman, looked familiar. We were right: he is the same Adrian Lithgow who was forced to resign as head of communications for the UK Independence Party four years ago after pleading guilty to racially aggravated harassment and threatening behaviour. Lithgow got into a row with railway staff at Victoria Station in London, with a Yugoslavian member of staff suffering some particularly unpleasant abuse.
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