Matthew Norman on Monday: Is the Tories’ top leadership plotter preparing to jump ship?

Adam Afriyie has treated readers of the Mail to his own Ukip-flavoured manifesto

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Fears that Adam Afriyie’s mission to save this country were stalling thankfully recede. For a while, it seemed the self-styled Tory messiah had been silenced by the ridicule that greeted his hyper-sophisticated plot to unseat David Cameron. But not a bit of it. Adam treats Mail on Sunday readers to “an incendiary manifesto” closely modelled on a Ukip leaflet (mass deportation of illegal immigrants, etc).

“I have been a grassroots Conservative for 25 years,” writes Adam, whose populist credentials rest on his revelation that whenever the family moves from the Westminster home to the one in Windsor, “our whole entourage of nannies and helpers transfer.” Alas, these residences are causing him grief. The Sun reports that his lawyers went to the PCC in a futile bid to stop it disclosing that he has remortgaged the £7.25m Westminster house, and taken a second mortgage on the £4.25m Windsor mansion. Whatever the reason for someone worth £50m doing this, I suspect The Sun’s hint that he is raising cash to fund a putsch is a red herring. While speculation about a high-profile defection concerns Whipless Nadine Dorries, could Adam’s “incendiary manifesto” presage that the Tory Obama is poised to become Ukip’s first MP?

And for Niall’s next trick... 

I am distressed to find the historian Niall Ferguson in economics strife again. Humiliated last year by Nobel laureate Paul Krugman for various schoolboy howlers, Niall has posited that John Maynard Keynes was gung-ho for borrowing and spending during recession because, as a gay man without direct descendants, he didn’t care about saddling future generations with debt. Since Niall has apologised, we’ll hear no more about him being a meretricious poseur. Not until July 4th, anyway, when he is scheduled to claim that Thomas Jefferson led the Founding Fathers on a secret mission to Neptune in search of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Thank God for Mel and her mugs

With Melanie Phillips, one scarcely knows where to begin. As if her new book were not enough, her entire literary oeuvre can now be downloaded. There’s no shortage of merchandise, too. Now, you can purchase Mad Mel mugs, umbrellas and T-shirts adorned with her logo...  a big M beside an equals sign in a yellow circle.  Do go to www.embooks.com/merchandise, where the blurb reminds us that “Melanie Phillips is widely regarded as an indispensable force for good in the battle to restore western civilization.” Is she ever?

Truth, lies and a measles epidemic

As for Melanie’s new magnum opus, in Guardian Angel: My Story, My Britain she relates she became the target of the left’s “deepest hatred” by resisting its conspiracy to destroy the family with lies and distortions. Introducing it in the Daily Mail, she writes: “I always believed a good journalist should uphold truth over lies.” How true. Surely then she will finally apologise for upholding the truth about the MMR jab all the way to the measles epidemic.

Snookered by the loss of lupins

When Monty Donattacks the BBC for letting snooker keep his Gardener’s World show from the airwaves, he reveals his ignorance of its psychological grandeur. “Professional snooker in my opinion is the moral equivalent of war,” observed Terry Griffiths about the shell-shock he endured after a rookie defeat in 1979, the year he became world champion. “The stress, wear and tear, and assault on a person’s spirit and basic self-esteem are incredible. Unless you have experienced this type of emotional shock, it’s hard to comprehend the impact.” I trust Monty Don feels suitably chastened. Whoever remained traumatised 34 years after a poor crop of lupins?

Offence from the pulpit

As for Terry’s protege, world championship finalist Barry Hawkins wants to watch his mouth. On Saturday after his semi final win, he used the term “Jesus Christ” to show his incredulity. “Apologies to anyone offended,” interjected the BBC’s Rob Walker, “by the industrial language”. I certainly was. The times I’ve walked out of church on hearing that from the pulpit.

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