Nevin's Notes:(12/04/2010)

An alternative take on the election
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The Independent Online

* On the Doorstep (1). Hot news from Luton South, where the fearlessly independent Esther Rantzen has already encountered two naked men while canvassing. Difficult to say who got the greatest shock, although Esther does reveal that the second one "was pierced so unexpectedly" that she was "rendered completely speechless". This must not only be a first, but also, sadly, prevented her from asking him if he had any oddly shaped root vegetables.

*Law and Order. Your sympathy, please, for Shaun Woodward, Northern Ireland Secretary: thieves have stolen 14 copper drain pipes from his home in East Hampton, New York. Is it, I hear you ask, in the distinctive style pioneered by That's Life, the programme he used to make with Esther (see above), his second home? No, I understand it is, in fact, his seventh home, worth £7m, which must be a useful aide-memoire. Why have copper drain pipes ? They're a status symbol in the Hamptons. Are they a funny shape? Stop it. Was he there? No, he seldom visits, apparently, although this might be about to change.

* On the Doorstep (2). How pleasing to be able to write: "In this Election, two of our children are contesting Somerset seats". Thus Lord Rees-Mogg, the quondam Times editor. Jacob R-M is standing in Somerset North East, Annunziata for neighbouring and similarly marginal Somerton and Frome. Both have so far resisted their leader's advice to follow his example and shorten their names, even though, to my ear, Nancy and Jake Mogg have a fine demotic ring. How's it going? Well, last week The Sunday Times failed to find either of them out on the stump; and this is His Lordship, in the Mail on Sunday: "As an observer, I have been out with Tory canvassers. Somerset is not immune to the national disillusionment with politicians". Not that well, then.

*Celebrity! Unaccountably, the Lib Dems failed to tell me that another of their celebrity backers is Colin Fry, a renowned psychic sometimes known as "the Happy Medium". Colin: you know what I'm thinking: Victor Chandler is offering 150-1 on the Lib Dems. So get in touch; I won't mention that alleged incident when the lights were suddenly switched on in 1992.

*Curses! I think things are beginning to turn round for the Prime Minister. Despite my fears about his famed reverse mid-asian effect (otherwise known as The Touch of Doom), Gordon's close interest in Stevenage Borough FC failed to produce a defeat for the Conference Premier league leaders at home by Forest Green Rovers on Saturday. But wait, what is this? "The Labour leader's flight back from Scotland to Stansted was delayed for half an hour on the tarmac at Edinburgh after the plane's computer system needed to be re-booted". No, very sensibly, he didn't bet on the National.

*Pucker! My search for a kissed baby continues, relentlessly. An item in the Daily Star was promising – "And the baby kissing gets under way" – but close perusal of Mr Cameron's favourite newspaper (as noted to John Humphrys) revealed that the Tory leader had only puckered at Kingston Hospital. There were reports, too, that Gordon Brown had kissed one outside a pasty shop in Kirkcaldy on Saturday, but we have high standards of proof in this space. Eyewitness reports and snaps, please!