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

The "Green Blob" must be quaking in their boots

Share

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?

React Now

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

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...

Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Technical Support Engineer

£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

Recruitment Genius: Developer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
An investor looks at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Shanghai  

China has exposed the fatal flaws in our liberal economic order

Ann Pettifor
Jeremy Corbyn addresses over a thousand supporters at Middlesbrough Town Hall on August 18, 2015  

Thank God we have the right-wing press to tell us what a disaster Jeremy Corbyn as PM would be

Mark Steel
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future