Nevin's Notes

An alternative take on the election
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The Independent Online

On a sticky wicket

Nasty! This must be the ultimate smear: Marmite! A sticky row has broken out between the dark spread and that other dark spread, the British National Party, involving allegations of unauthorised and covert product placement. Marmite has been running a spoof campaign for the Love and Hate parties (you either love or hate the spread) featuring footage of the BNP. Now a jar of Marmite has appeared in the corner of a BNP election broadcast, just to the left of Nick Griffin's head. Who is responsible is about as clear as everyone's spending plans.

Double entendres

Nasty! Even cuddly Ken Clarke is beginning to stoop, unconsciously at least. During a radio talk about loan guarantee schemes yesterday with Lord Mandelson and the Lib Dem business spokesman John Thurso, Clarke suddenly announced: "Peter's got one little one, but it takes ages to take off". Oo-er, Matron!

Don't mock the Mogg

Nasty! Someone seems to be impersonating Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Conservative candidate for Somerset North East. At jacobreesmogg.org.uk you will find a fascinating blog(g) which begins: "I have been unable to get back into writing the blogg until now because at last, over the past few days, I was permitted to venture out of the house into the constituency." There follows more detail about how he missed the leaders' debate because he was playing Monopoly with the family.

Down at the coalface

Nasty! Actually, I'm beginning to feel sorry for Jacob. His Labour opponent, Dan Norris, denies waging a class war against him, but I offer you this, from John Reid, former home secretary: "It's really good to see the Norris family and the Rees-Mogg family are renewing their decades-old partnership... Dan's grandfather used to work long hours in the North-East Somerset mines digging out coal in dreadful conditions. The Rees-Moggs then sold it at great profit for themselves." I say!

Prezza keeps his cool

Nasty! Of course, John Prescott is much more restrained these days. Yesterday, two men heckled and barged through a crowd surrounding the visiting Labour heavyweight in Poplar, East London. In the mêlée two women were knocked over. The former deputy prime minister remained magnificently aloof. Curiously, the men were wearing Prescott masks. A tribute act? The BNP? Well, no, one of them was a local Tory council candidate, who was arrested. Goodness me, what happened to blazers and cavalry twills? It's all very confusing.

c.nevin@independent.co.uk

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