Charles Nevin: Why not Dame Vera Lynn for Defence?

Start the Week: A driving instructor has crashed into a house in Manchester...
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Happy Monday. And some good news: scientists now believe there are only 981 asteroids the size of small mountains orbiting the earth, not 1,000. Happy Birthday to David Cameron, 45 next Sunday: did you know he shared his birthday with both the late Jacques Tati and the present Brian Blessed? Remarkable. Alfred, Lord Tennyson died 119 years ago on Thursday. His lordship was not great at small talk. An admirer who spent the afternoon with him in his garden reported only three remarks: "Coals are very dear"; "I get all my meat from London"; and "It's those cursed rabbits!"

Goodness me: these Conservatives are certainly pushing out views, clarifications and initiatives, aren't they? Dustbins, speed limits, scrap the Human Rights Act, Europe, Dave tougher with poor and foreigners, nicer to women. Here's some more coming up this week: 1. Dame Vera Lynn to replace Liam Fox as defence secretary. 2. Channel Tunnel to be made one way. 3. Personal number plates for all. 4. Panel of taxi drivers to advise Home Office. 5. Rihanna to be allowed on green belt. 6. No benefits unless you sing "Jerusalem". 7. Carlos Tevez to be shot. 8. Plan to build more saloon bars. 8. Apostrophe Tsar. 9. Denis Thatcher Day. 10. Targeted bombing of Greek spenders.

Today, 31 years ago, Bruce Springsteen forgot some of the words of "Born To Run" at a concert in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Happens to the best. And John Redwood: you must remember the former Welsh Secretary's mimed version of his then country's national anthem. AE Matthews, the noted actor, answered the phone on stage, and couldn't remember his line; unfazed, he turned to his companion and said, "It's for you." My favourite, though, is Jack Benny's vain thespian giving his Hamlet in Ernst Lubitsch's fine film, To Be Or Not To Be: having delivered the title line, he pauses splendidly, only to be loudly prompted.

Just in: a driving instructor has crashed into a house in Manchester, two beach-safety vehicles have got stuck in mud in Cleethorpes, and a French shooting instructor has shot himself in the leg. As Damon Runyon, the originator of Guys and Dolls, born 181 years tomorrow, put it: "I long ago came to the conclusion that all life is 6-5 against." Happy Monday.