Congratulations to Andrew Feldman on his appointment as Prime Ministerial Tennis Partner

Plus: If Ed Miliband is serious about making it to Downing Steet, he must appoint his own Tennis Partner without delay. I suggest Buster Mottram

Share

Even those who castigate David Cameron for his lack of conviction over the trivia, such as social policy and Europe, must acknowledge his refusal to compromise in the one paramount sphere. His commitment to proving himself the “heir to Blair” remains unshakable, as the row over what Andrew Feldman may have said about Tory activists confirms. Any doubt over why the Prime Minister made Lord Feldman, below, his party chairman is removed. Having studied the precedent of what Lord Levy did for Mr Tony’s reputation, the PM had the common sense to place an ennobled tennis partner of his own in a position from which he could inflict maximum damage. It must be stated that Lord F rigorously denies calling Tory activists “mad, swivel-eyed loons”, just as Levy convincingly denied (though interviewed under police caution over cash for honours, he was never prosecuted) promising titles to the generous donors with whom he and Mr T often played Sunday doubles on his Totteridge court. I pity the fool, to borrow from an earlier Mr T, who does not accept Lord Feldman’s version of events, and will outline below why it was a plain and simple mishearing. For now, we demand that the role of Prime Ministerial Tennis Partner, with responsibility for endangering the PM’s career, becomes an official government post with full cabinet rank.

New doubles partners: Miliband and Mottram

If Ed Miliband is serious about making it to Downing Steet (an open question once again, it seems, with renewed rumblings about his performance), he must appoint his own Tennis Partner without delay. The stand-out candidate is Buster Mottram, who in the 1970s juggled his duties as Britain’s top tennis player with voluble support for the National Front. The good news is that Mr Mottram is available, having been expelled from Ukip in 2008 for trying to broker an electoral pact between Nigel Farage’s “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists” (© David Cameron) and the enchanting Nick Griffin’s BNP. What cuter way to counter Ukip’s appeal to traditional Labour voters could there be than handing the shadow Tennis Partner portfolio to Mr Mottram?

Mad mix-up of words about Uncle Marty

Returning to Andrew Feldman and what he insists he never said, off the record, at a reception last week, I am pleased to settle this vexing matter to the satisfaction of all concerned. His lordship was in fact reminiscing about his great uncle Marty Feldman, the madcap comedian who often swivelled his dramatically bulging eyes (the result of the auto-immune disorder, Graves’ disease) for laughs. Over all the clinking of glasses, someone misinterpreted Andrew’s fond reference to his relative, who starred in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein. Mishearings of the kind are not unknown in British politics (John Major’s disastrous “back to basics” was in fact a reference to a private visit to the gnome warehouse where he operated a forklift truck as a young man; “back to bay six” is what he actually said), and this was an easy mistake anyone might have made. Now let that be an end to it before a civil war breaks out.

No tax avoidance at News Corporation

A joy to find Margaret Hodge using Sky News’s Sunrise show as the bully pulpit from which to rail against the evil tax avoidance of Google. “We all have responsibilities to the community” she pointed out, and who will argue with that? Certainly not News Corporation, the largest shareholder in Sky News. If any multinational has gone the extra mile to avoid avoiding its tax liabilities, it is News Corp under Rupert Murdoch. At the last count, in 2011, it operated as few as 136 subsidiaries in nations identified by the US government as tax havens.

Members’ discount for Mad Mel’s merchandise

There is no word yet about the very early performance of Melanie Phillips’ new online merchandising company. One assumes that the mugs, iPhone cases and other items – all adorned with the official Mad Mel logo, loosely styled after an ecstasy tablet – are flying off the  e-shelves. But if business is slow, the advice to the one-woman Amazon manquée is to deploy husband Joshua Rozenberg as an agent in the field. Joshua is believed to spend a great deal of his time at the Garrick Club these days, and if this summer is half as wet as last year, he could make her a fortune by setting up a stall in the members’ bar.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Cancer Research UK: Corporate Partnerships Volunteer Events Coordinator – London

Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...

Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - SQL Server, T-SQL

£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: Outgunned by a lack of military knowledge

Guy Keleny
Ukip leader Nigel Farage in Tiny Tim’s tea shop while canvassing in Rochester this week  

General Election 2015: What on earth happened to Ukip?

Matthew Norman
Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

How Etsy became a crafty little earner

The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

Don't fear the artichoke

Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
11 best men's socks

11 best men's socks

Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

Paul Scholes column

Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

Frank Warren's Ringside

Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

Khorasan is back in Syria

America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

On the campaign trail with Ukip

Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

Expect a rush on men's tights

Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions
Peter Kay's Car Share: BBC show is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade

In the driving seat: Peter Kay

Car Share is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade. The programme's co-creator Paul Coleman reveals the challenges of getting the show on the road