The IoS Diary: Like Joe the Plumber, only more honest

Share
Related Topics

Those, like my colleague Janet Street-Porter, who find Harold Pinter's 'No Man's Land' hard going are in good company. Christopher Martin, an 'IoS' reader from Wiltshire, reports that he saw the original production, featuring those immortal theatrical knights John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson. Martin bumped into Gielgud, who happened to live down the road from him, the day after seeing the play. "Thanks for last night," he said. "I enjoyed it, but what's it about?" Gielgud looked warily up and down the street before whispering: "Neither Ralph nor I know."

John Prescott (pictured) has been explaining his tendency to lapse into malapropisms. In 'Prescott: The Class System and Me', to be broadcast tomorrow week on BBC2, journalist Simon Hoggart is brave enough to suggest to the old bruiser that maybe he can be a bit hasty. Prescott agrees: "I've got my brain racing ahead of my mouth," he says. "And then on occasions I've forgot what I'm talking about. And that comes from my strike days because you didn't dare slow down in case some bugger jumped in when you were talking. So in a way that's an influence from a kind of working-class background." Hoggart won't have it, though, and tells him not to fall back on protestations about class and snobbery. "You've never said, 'I've made it to deputy prime minister of the United Kingdom!' ... all the time you're looking over your shoulder saying, 'ooh I haven't done well enough. I'm not clever enough. They're still looking down on me." And do you know what? Prezza agrees with him.

Who says the Tories are a changed party? One of their acolytes has been entertaining friends with the following tale. A man rings the Samaritans. He gets through to a call centre in Pakistan, and explains that he is feeling suicidal. The Pakistani voice replies: "Feeling suicidal, eh? Can you drive a lorry?"

Contrary to ill-informed speculation, Stephen Carter IS a member of the Labour Party. His heart has long been with the party, but he had to resign his membership when he became boss of Ofcom. Earlier this year he rejoined when he took a job in Downing Street, only to leave it (as predicted, in defiance of strong official denials, in the 'IoS') this month. Now that he is minister for communications, that should be that, but he is thought to be disenchanted and I hear rumours that he might be the subject of an approach from the Tories. Asked recently if he would ever work for the Tories, he failed to say no. Let us hope it was all an awful misunderstanding, shall we?

Meanwhile, the jostling to succeed Carter as head of communications at No 10 continues. Colin Byrne of Weber Shandwick has been tipped, but to my mind it is DJ Collins, a former union official and now head of comms for Google Europe, who is the object of the PM's admiration.

Another round in the long-running Church vs Mammon bout. Millionaire George Hammer has upset Lady Sainsbury, the wife of former Tory minister and millionaire Sir Tim Sainsbury. She is furious at the Icelander's plan to turn St Mark's Church in North Audley Street, London, into another of his "wellness centres" (he was responsible for the Sanctuary in Covent Garden, central London). Lady S, who attends the women's monthly Bible study group at the crumbling Greek Revival building (Grade 1 listed and 20 years on English Heritage's Buildings at Risk register), says the "wicked destruction" is "tantamount to sacrilege". She's not overjoyed at the

C of E's willingness to allow the plan and, with just weeks to go before the crunch planning meeting, has overcome her squeamishness about criticising the church. She has also written to Westminster council, disputing claims that the church is barely used.

"Putting a commercial temple into a church is ... a terrible thing to do when there is a strong congregation and it does so much for the community. It really upsets me. The whole episode really doesn't show the church in a good light." If given the go-ahead, Hammer's plans would see the altar make way for a juice bar and the church become an expensive spa. Handy _for Hammer, who lives in the vicarage next door.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Administrator is requ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - Commercial Vehicles - OTE £40,000

£12000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion and growth of ...

Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - Sheffield - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer position with a...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Leader - Plasma Processing

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Operations Leader is required to join a lea...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: Most powerful woman in British politics

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
All the major parties are under pressure from sceptical voters to spell out their tax and spending plans  

Yet again, the economy is the battleground on which the election will be fought

Patrick Diamond
Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders