1. Grant Shapps, the Conservative Party chairman, interviewed yesterday from his home in Hatfield, with a stopped clock that isn't even right twice a day.
2. We had a ComRes opinion poll in The Independent on Sunday yesterday that contained a lot of information about the state of the UKIP insurgency. Now 16 per cent of Labour voters say they would "seriously consider" voting UKIP, up from 11 per cent two years ago. As many as 28 per cent of Conservative voters say the same, but they are balanced by the 21 per cent of Labour voters who would "seriously consider" voting Green. Neither main party can afford to be complacent about protest voting.
3. In my article about the Rochester by-election yesterday, I note that anti-EU sentiment is not as strong as it might me. The only poll in the constituency, by Survation, put Mark Reckless, the defector to UKIP, nine points ahead. But it found that voters there want to leave the EU by a margin of only 41 to 37 per cent.
I think Reckless will win, but I also argue that David Cameron is right to try to deal with voters' worries about immigration. I did not have time to expand on my argument, and hope to do so soon, but I do think it is no use liberals who favour free movement simply saying that politicians have to "make the case for immigration". There is a difference between leadership and insulting the voters. On the freedom of movement of EU workers, Jonathan Portes has a good summary of the liberal case here, but I don't think it helps with the politics of keeping Britain in the EU. David Goodhart's plan to restrict benefits to people from other EU countries is a good start.
4. I was on the Vanessa Feltz show talking about my book, Listellany, on Friday, if you are interested (at 02.29.50).
5. My latest list is Top 10 Old Words That Sound New. See if you can guess when these words were first recorded, and then check your answers: zany, synthesis, unfriend, hipster, interactive, trash, fanboy, advertorial, freak and baseball.
6. Finally, thanks to Tom Freeman for this:
"You Committed Several Murders, Received A Death Sentence, And Have Just Been Strapped Into A Chair. What Happens Next Will Shock You."Reuse content