Owen Paterson and Liam Fox to star in... Backbenchers Behaving Badly

The "Green Blob" must be quaking in their boots

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The Independent Online

If accepting bad news without rancour is the mark of the political giant, hats off to our most gracious right-wing reshuffle losers. In the Sunday Telegraph, Owen Paterson responds to the end of his tenure as the Climate Change Secretary who dismissed climate change as leftie hogwash. He writes that the gloating likes of Friends of the Earth and the Greens “are little more than anti-capitalist agitprop groups, most of whose leaders could not tell a snakeshead fritillary from a silver-washed fritillary”.

Have you ever read a more lethally wounding put-down? Caroline Lucas and her mates will feel like they have been savaged by a dead fritillary, though without having a clue, of course, which specific type did the savaging.

Liam Fox was equally outraged on being offered the number three Foreign Office slot, despite the duties concerned including forming policy on the Maldives, Nepal and the entire Pacific Ocean. “You must be bloody joking,” Liam reportedly told the Prime Minister. “I assume the ambassadorship to the moon is taken?”

One giant step backwards for Owen and Liam, then, neither of whom will be especially pacific towards Mr Cameron from the backbenches. If they are looking for work, I suggest they seek a theatrical producer interested in reviving The Sunshine Boys – Neil Simon’s wittily poignant tale of two embittered and truculent has-beens – on the West End stage.

What better place for Mulcaire to rest his head?

Judging by The Independent on Sunday’s riveting first extract from The News Machine, James Hanning’s account of Glenn Mulcaire’s part in the hacking of phones, the extracts in today’s paper are not to be missed. The private investigator, who pleaded guilty in the recently concluded trial and was spared a return to the jug, comes across as an oddly naive chap, and barely less a victim of the News of the World shenangigans than his own targets. Mulcaire is known to be close to bankruptcy and desperate for paid work. Perhaps the producers of Celebrity Big Brother will consider him for the next series. There would be a pleasing hunter-turned-hunted symmetry in that.

Parliamentary standards safe under that thatch

The race for Most Hypercerebral Tory MP becomes ever more frantic. Philip Davies, the back-bench thinker who moonlights as Esther McVey’s London flatmate, strengthens his claims by accusing the BBC of “racism” for wanting to hire more people from ethnic minorities. Yet even that genius may struggle to fend off Michael Fabricant, who reminds us in an article that beneath the triumph of follicular engineering lurks a magnificent mind.

He demands John Bercow’s removal as Speaker for allegedly telling the Clerk  of the House, Sir Robert Rogers, to “fuck off” when interrupted while busy.

From anyone else, one might interpret this as preposterous faux effeteness born of a personal animus.

But Mickey Fab’s reputation for exquisite manners and irreproachable gallantry protects him from such criticism. It is several weeks now since he tweeted that he could not appear on a TV show with Yasmin Alibhai-Brown for fear of yielding to the temptation to punch her in the throat.

I know this lovely little place in Copenhagen...

Anyone yet to book a summer holiday is directed to the Mail Online for a fantastically helpful guide to the planet’s most obscure treasures. See The World’s Top 150 Secret Locations (restaurants, bars and attractions), entices the headline, and with compelling reason.

Among the devilishly well-hidden gems outed below is Noma of Copenhagen,  which has remained entirely unknown by winning the title of Best Restaurant in the World in only four of the past five years. How on earth do they find these things out?