Nevin's Notes (16/04/10)

An alternative take on the election
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The Independent Online

* Bitter News. And here's the latest from The Marquis of Granby, Westminster, a Nicholson's house where punters choose their pint of London Pride from pumps dedicated to the different parties: Lib Dem: 38 per cent; Conservatives: 34%; Labour: 28 per cent. Well, well. Let's see if it makes any difference when I reveal that Vince Cable is, wait for it, a lager drinker.

* Doings of the Jeunesse Doree. Zac Goldsmith, son of Sir James and Tory candidate for Richmond Park, continues to show his late dad's disdain for the proper form, vowing to resign as MP if his promise, inter alia, to preserve the ancient right of motorists to park for free in Richmond Park is broken. My correspondent headlines this "Barmy Rich Boy Threatens To Quit Before He's Elected". Tomorrow: Professor The Honourable Tristram Hunt, earthy Labour candidate for Stoke Central.

* Thought for the Day With William Eric Jones. William is the 10-year-old whose christening present from a family friend was a £10 bet at 25,000-1 with William Hill that he will become Prime Minister. So far, William, from Plymouth, is veering towards Cameron. He's definitely heard of Nick Clegg, "but I don't think the Liberal Democrats will do it". He's heard of Vince Cable, too, but, like many others, is unsure of his exact position. What would he do as Prime Minister? "I'd like to lower tax, but that's probably not possible, because the money has got to come from somewhere." Labour? "They've had a lot of years – since I was born, actually – but I just think they haven't really done much good, and they took us into the war." Hill's: I'd lay this one off now.

Tomorrow: William's verdict on the TV debate and just what he will do with all that money.

* Thought For The Day With Lord Mandelson: "It was a sort of Mandy dance – it defies categorisation, like the man himself." Thus his Lordship after that impromptu spin round the Blackpool Tower ballroom with a 67-year-old lady who turned out to be a faith healer from Huddersfield. Did you know that Sigmund Freud visited Blackpool as a young man, twice? He was so impressed with the Tower that he sent a postcard of it. His Lordship, for his part, presented passers-by with his own special little Labour stick of Blackpool Rock.

* Straw's Poll. Jack and his soap box are still moving at pace, punctuated by lengthy halts while he talks on it. Yesterday it was Leicester, where Jack confided to his audience, re the Leader: "I know him [which is good]... We have often said Gordon Brown needs to chill out a bit, but I'm an extrovert and I feel at ease going into a room and talking to people." Right. I read, too, that Jack is never without his own powder puff for instant application should a film crew bustle into view. A fascinating character, who will be made yet more so by the encounter with an ice-cream van which I have promised to tell you about before you decide on your vote.

* These electoral notes provide an oasis of reflection, a chaise longue of relaxed rumination. That's why I'm forsaking the high excitement of last night's televised debate to concentrate on vital events elsewhere. Tomorrow will be when you get my exclusive verdict on the leaders' suiting from Savile Row, and, for balance, TK Maxx (if I can clinch the deal). Next!