Posting here on Sunday nights, bits and pieces, tweets and links that didn’t make a full post during the week.
* IN case you didn’t see, Rising Damp star Don Warrington was doorstepped at his Manchester flat by the Conservative conference cops. Sounds like it was a bit of a shock. New Journal diarist John Gulliver reports.
* THE standard of jokes in the Tory exhibition, by the way, amounted to a Red Ed Lion bar, with this absolutely hilarious super-funny, hilarious menu. ‘Pickled union’ crisps, eh?
* CONSERVATIVE councillor Chris ‘Knighty’ Knight’ has one or two beefs with the borough’s parking wardens and he was a keen viewer of the BBC’s recent Inside Out documentary on tickets and alleged targets. I wonder if he has seen his colleague’s Andrew Marshall’s most recent email newsletter, which tells residents and supporters what the Tories have been up to recently in Swiss Cottage. The Marshall mail dutifully repeats the council guidance that the documentary does not give Camden a fair crack of the whip in responding to the allegations, a bullet point list also posted on Labour’s Councillor Commander Olad’s blog last month for extra prefect points.
* ‘KNIGHTY’ Knight was actually challenged at a recent council meeting as to why he had not done more to resolve the never-ending row over the Grafton Road ‘parking’ trap during his time as Town Hall environment supremo by his big Hampstead Town rival, Linda Chung from the Liberal Democrats. His reply was something along the lines of “we were working on it when the coalition broke up because of the collapse of the Lib Dem vote in Camden in 2010”.
* IT’S been suggested that pre-Ralphgate, politicians were frightened to say anything critical of the Daily Mail and are now somehow being led out of the trenches by Ed Miliband. Claire Perry, Conservative MP, kinda did it last week. At a fringe meeting organised by the Conservative Women’s Group and the End Violence Against Women campaign, she said: “There’s a newspaper which takes a quite schizophrenic approach, it’s been good on internet porn but then has it’s sidebar of shame on the website.” In the same meeting, Ms Perry admitted to reading 50 Shades Of Grey, but it not doing anything for her. “I read it on a plane, and left it on a plane when I got off,” she reported.
* ONE of the fun things about back-stabbing Labour press aide Damian McBride’s controversial memoir Power Trip is how he date-stamps many of the events he is writing about by telling you who his beloved Arsenal were playing on that day. This comes to ahead when the Gunners drew away at Manchester United in 2003 but the Brown treasury clan – Gordon, himself, Ed Balls, Ed Miliband etc – was in Dubai ahead of a G7 meeting and watched the game in the ‘recreation room’ of the British embassy. McBride says he sat down with 15 cans of beer in front of a big screen. “When United were awarded a last minute penalty and a chance to win the game, I sat in silence, necking the last of my cans as Gus shouted happily: ‘That’s justice! That’s justice! I pictured in my mind that as soon as Ruud Van Nistelrooy scored the penalty, I would walk out calmly, go some distance, find a palm tree and beat the shit out of it. Except he missed. To which my reaction was to jump up and yell at the screen: ‘Have that you fucking arsehole! You cheating wanker!”. Then, turning to the bar: “There’s your fucking justice, Gus, there’s your fucking justice!” It was only at that point I realised quote how many children were in the room, as well as the ambassador and his family. Gordon and Gus looked horrified; Ed Balls rather amused.”
Officially, my new favourite political book anecdote of the year! In the embassy in Dubai, McBride acted just as Martin Keown did on the pitch and every other Arsenal fan did in a pub across north London. Awful, but funny. You can order a copy from the publishers, Biteback, here.
* On Arsenal: if you want £43 million signing Mesut Ozil to be the star guest at your school Christmas fair this coming yuletide, you can save yourself a few bob and hire this guy: CLICK.