As fully formed as Athena sprung from the head of Zeus, a new deity descends on Westminster. All but the political hypernerd may be excused unfamiliarity with the name of Adam Afriyie, pictured, until now, but suddenly the “British Obama” (Ghanaian dad, white English mum; raised in Del Boy’s manor of Peckham) with the £50-£100m fortune emerges as the Conservative leader-in-waiting.
Whether the impatient MP for Windsor has been planning to challenge David Cameron before the election, or preparing to run only if the PM fails to win a majority in 2015, slightly depends on whether you read The Sunday Times or Mail on Sunday yesterday. He claims it is currently neither. Either way, one reels admiringly at the chutzpah. For a chap who has never held any ministerial post to reportedly have an eight-strong leadership team in place ... (Mind you, his role model had only been a Senator for two years in 2008.)
The father of four is so unflashy about his wealth that you begin to wonder whether oversensitivity towards the privations of others may be his Achilles heel. “You should see our main home set on the river in Windsor,” he told the Evening Standard in 2010 (in an interview at his London residence during which he memorably referred to “my chief of staff”). “We live here during the week and head there Fridays to Sundays when our whole entourage of nannies and helpers transfer.”
We wish Adam every good fortune with his future, though on this form luck will not be required. If ever a phrase was carefully minted to assuage concerns that this may be not be the moment in economic history for one of such riches, “our whole entourage of nannies and helpers” is undeniably it.
It’s official: Irvine Welsh is the new Tim Henman
Woe, woe and thrice woe in Melbourne, so thank the Lord for the light relief provided by the Andy Murray-related tweets of Irvine Welsh. Common decency precludes any sampling of the novelist’s outpouring of scatalogical and semen-related apercus, but readers are urged to glance at them at their leisure. If the BBC doesn’t replace Tim Henman with Irvine and history’s most overworked bleep machine at Wimbledon, it will be a national disgrace.
How Rafa Nadal swapped tennis ace for poker face
Consolation, meanwhile, for Rafael Nadal, an Australian Open absentee due to his dodgy knees. Online poker site PokerStarts reports that Rafa has won his very first tournament, beating 47 rivals for a first prize of €152.40 (about £130). Novak Djokovic trousered about £1.5m for his victory. “Nonetheless,” as head of blogging Brad Willis points out, “this is a start.”
Show some dignity Dominic – it’s time to move on
In offering The Sun advice about its relationship with Prince Harry, cruel to be kind seems the only way. Under cerebral editor Dominic Mohan, who famously rejected an All Souls fellowship to take the job, it has become the I-love-you-I’m-going-to-kill-you crazed stalker who cannot be shaken off. The more adoring the paper that published the Vegas nudie pix, with all the “our candid pal of a pin-up playboy prince” wooings (yesterday’s billet doux came from the honeyed pen of Louise Mensch), the more he hates it back. There can be no Stockholm Syndrome here, Dom, mate, and it’s time to face the reality. You heard the interview, he thinks you lot killed his mum, now for dignity’s sake let it go and move on.
So farewell, then: Fox says goodbye to Tea Party goddess
While Donald Trump apparently ponders a takeover bid for the New York Times – and wouldn’t that journal rejoice to become a conduit for his Birther and other ravings? – a more established media mogul bids farewell to Sarah Palin. Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News has parted company with Alaska’s Cretina d’Evil, who has rejected a deliberately insulting contract. With the old monster championing gun control and ridding himself of the Tea Party goddess, could it be that he’s read the recent electoral runes, and is edging languidly towards the mainstream?
Boris shows touching loyalty to a troubled old friend
If any domestic figure might be relied on to discern the inner workings of the Murdoch mind in its dotage, it’s Boris Johnson. The London Mayor reportedly dined with the troubled Rupert in Mayfair last week, for the second time in six months. Before Adam Afriyie gets in such a pickle that he needs solace from the whole entourage, he is reminded that Boris has no ambition to be his rival for the leadership. All this shining paradigm of altruism was doing, as if you need it spelt out, was showing loyalty to an old friend down on his luck.