Don't look at me

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The Independent Online

Good of Michael Portillo to take time out from an empty schedule to appear on BBC 1's Breakfast With Frost. He had come to sit on the coveted sofa with a simple message: he did not want the Conservative Party to waste any more time on the squabblous "old guard" of Norman Tebbit, Edwina Currie and ... er ... Michael Portillo. "Forget that lot, forget me even. Let the party move on," he said.

This may seem like taking the reaction against spin too far, but it is presumably part of a media strategy. Mr Portillo will be holding a press conference later to urge people not to pay any attention to him. Aeroplanes have been hired to trail banners saying: "Why are you reading this? Haven't you got a life?" And the man himself will be conducting a number of walkabouts at his meet-no-people events, where he tries to avoid speaking to anyone.

Go on, make a mess of his day. Shake his hand. Say the country needs him.