Omnisplendid Shappsy’s false start

What an electrifying start Grant Shapps makes in his role as Tory chairman.


There hasn’t been a lightning break from the blocks on this scale since Usain Bolt jumped the gun at the 2011 world athletics championships.

Whether Shappsy also deserves instant disqualification with which to smash David Laws’ record for briefest Cabinet tenure, the avalanche of newly exposed naughtiness is enough to bury a less resilient chap.

Google banning his family’s internet firms for alleged copyright breaches, using a sobriquet (see below) for some “motivational” drivel he wrote about how to beat the recession, inflating his count of Twitter followers...  As for changing his Wikipedia entry to remove a reference to his modest haul of  O-levels, please God, this nice Jewish boy picked up an ology. Yet intellect and a knack for passing exams are hardly mutually exclusive, and in a quest to locate signs of cerebral activity we turn to yesterday’s Sun on Sunday article.

“Most importantly,” writes Shappsy after rattling through the omnisplendid Government efforts to revive the economy, “we’re making sure that work always pays.” This paramount aim he underlines with his closing sentence, which begins: “If you want to help ensure that work always pays...” Meanwhile, as his Wiki entry confirms (at the time of writing, anyway; he’s probably changed it by now): “On 4 September 2012, he was appointed ... Minister without Portfolio in the Cabinet Office, an unpaid post.” Slash those odds on a Tory majority. The man’s a rampant genius.

Green power

And so to the nom de plume under which Grant Shapps wrote his recession-busting advice. Whatever possessed him to pick Michael Green? Political scholars will ponder this for decades, but let’s open the debate with a theory. Michael Green was David Cameron’s famously domineering boss at Carlton TV. By picking the name, Shappsy was laying the ground to implant in Cameron’s head the subliminal message that the PM is merely the public relations underling, and he the true “guv’nor”, as he apparently now wishes to be known As I said, a genius.

Currie’s sauce

Jungian synchronicity wove its mystical spell on Saturday, with the Daily Mail allocating two pages to Edwina Currie’s new diaries and The Times another two to a John Major interview. The pair haven’t been this connected for too long. Sir John is more gentlemanly about the affair than Edwina is ladylike. He won’t discuss it at all. She will, elegantly describing herself as “sticky” the morning after a coupling. Edwina’s bitching about former colleagues, even those with whom she failed to nestle, will enrapture those who find her as beguiling as she finds herself. The book’s subtitle, by the way, is: “What was he thinking?”

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