How the very civil marriage between Cameron and Clegg brought out Gyles Brandreth's inner luvvie

Our diarist reports some deeply felt remarks by the former Tory MP

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The Independent Online

The former Tory MP, Gyles Brandreth, who now writes books and appears regularly on Just a Minute, has been struggling to keep apace of the modern metrosexual Cameroon Conservative Party, to judge from his comments at a lunch given yesterday by The Oldie magazine.

“I was an MP until the people spoke – the bastards!” he said. “I was a loyal MP. When John Major became leader of my party, that’s when I began to go grey, overnight. When William Hague became leader of my party, I began to go bald. I was only grateful that Ann Widdecombe didn’t become leader.

“Two years ago, with advent of the coalition, you know, these two attractive posh boys, Nick and Dave, both in their forties but looking younger, over six foot tall, lovely glossy hair, when they had what looked to all the world, and to me, like a civil partnership ceremony conducted in the Rose Garden of No 10, I just thought this is the time for me to come out as a little bit gay. The two of them, Nick and Dave, they came sashaying down the steps, not actually holding hands but definitely touching – I watched it on live television with the sound turned down and my Judy Garland CDs on.”

Assange our Saviour

An interesting statement was posted yesterday on the Media Lens website, which aims to counter the distortions of the established media by presenting the truth: “WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange is to professional journalism what Jesus was to orthodox religion.” It is an argument that could go on for two thousand years. Or not.

'Low point' indeed

There have been some fireworks on Barnard Council Town Council, in County Durham, where old resentments were reignited when someone decided to hold a Guy Fawkes night celebration close to some stables. The stable owner complained to the local councillor, John Watson, who circulated an email accusing another councillor, Thom Robinson, of being on an “ego trip” whereupon Coun Robinson retaliated by accusing Coun Watson of presenting “fiction and unchecked rumour as fact.”

When the council met, what was originally an argument about frightening the horse became a “kangaroo court”, according to Coun Watson, who accused yet another councillor, Newton Wood, of being “out to get me” for which “slander” he was given a rocket by the Mayor, Frank Harrison, who ordered him to apologise, instead of which Coun Watson walked out. It was a “low point” in a long unhappy story, the Teesdale Mercury reported.

Eclipse of the Sun

As the editors of national newspaper assembled yesterday to meet the Prime Minister, all entered on foot except the Editor of The Sun, Dominic Mohan, who drove to the gates of Downing Street and was miffed when the police refused to let his car through. It would not have happened in the old days. 

A very modern euphemism

Hansard records that the Culture Secretary Maria Miller used the phrase “the status quo is not an option” five times during the half hour that she was speaking and answering questions on the Leveson report in the Commons, though it seemed like more at the time. As a matter of fact, this is untrue. As that learned backbench Conservative MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg reminded Ms Miller “self-evidently the status quo is always an option.” Peter Lilley, an old Thatcherite ex-Cabinet minister, pulled her up even more sharply, telling her that the phrase is “the mantra of those in the commentariat who have no idea what should be done.” So, next time you hear the phrase “the status quo is not an option” be assured that you are listening to someone who has not got a clue what to do next.