Diary: Mensch the pantomime villain and Aidan Burley at a Nazi-themed stag party

Our diarist looks at the MP's error in judgement, Cameron's new tweeting venture and ex MP Louise Mensch.

Share
Related Topics

Aidan Burley, the Tory MP who got himself photographed at a Nazi-themed stag party, must have had his self-destruct mechanism turned up high when he made a pointless quip about genocide at a fringe meeting at the Conservative conference.

On hearing that his colleague Robert Halfon was due to speak at a meeting about genocide in Kurdistan, he asked whether Halfon was “for or against” genocide. The UK representative of the Kurdish regional government has called for an apology.

It would be easy to get aerated about this remark, but Burley is not a Nazi, just a very silly boy with a limited future in politics. The cause he has been promoting in Birmingham is not fascism, but the ancient Tory practice of bashing unions.

He chairs the Trade Union Reform Campaign (TURC), which has a list of things they want to stop unions from being able to do. TURC invited Halfon, a serious and thoughtful character, to speak at one of their meetings, and were a little taken aback when he told them that their campaign was “ethically and politically wrong”. They should recognise unions as valuable community institutions and encourage Conservatives to get involved, he suggested.

Mitchell and Mensch are the pantomime villains

A film shown as the warm-up to the first of the two Boris Johnson speeches to Tory conference offered an insight into what really makes Tories angry. It was a film about overseas aid, featuring the talking heads of various Conservative politicians, some of whom have undergone a change of fortune since the film was made. The audience was plainly uneasy when Andrew Mitchell came on screen, on account of that incident at the gates of Downing Street, but the booing began only when they caught sight of the ex-MP Louise Mensch. To insult a police officer is one thing, but to land the party with a by-election that it was almost sure to lose is something they cannot forgive.

Forget Boris, and look at Twitter

It was a good day and a bad day for David Cameron. The bad bit was having to force himself to look happy while Boris Johnson poked fun at him. A good bit was that he made Ladbrokes look like fools. They had offered 25-1 that having opened a Twitter account on Sunday, the Prime Minister would not reach 100,000 followers before the conference was over, which has cost them a packet. The other good bit was a Balti curry with Samantha to celebrate his 46th birthday.

Beware, walls have ears, spin doctors told

Adjoining the big room where the journalists are based at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham there is a smaller, private room for the Conservative Party press officers and spin doctors. Along its thin wall several notices have been pinned, each one of which bears the same message – “Quiet! Press outside.” They don’t trust us.

 

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Games Developer - HTML5

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With extensive experience and a...

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£26000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Product Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Due to on-going expansion, this leading provid...

Recruitment Genius: Shift Leaders - Front of House Staff - Full Time and Part Time

£6 - £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a family ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Racism in Britain: Labour's leadership candidates explain how they’d tackle racial inequality

Independent Voices
 

We are facing the greatest refugee crisis since WWII

Mary Creagh
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'