On the face of it and with delightful incongruity, the early lives of the late Jeremy Thorpe and the even later Peter Cook are remarkably similar.
Cook was born in Devon and as a son of a colonial diplomat “enjoyed” a public school education at Radley College and then Pembroke, Cambridge. Apart from joining the footlights revue, he also joined the Cambridge University Liberal Club. Thorpe was born 18 years earlier and as a son of a Tory MP, “enjoyed” a public school education at Eton and then Trinity, Oxford where he read law and later still became the Liberal MP for North Devon. Here the similarities begin to diverge. Cook opened the Establishment Club in Soho and Thorpe embraced the other establishment as the leader of the Liberal Party. With one of them making a living out of political satire and the other making a living out of political expedience, both men were probably fully aware of what Cyril Smith was up to. (more…)
Somewhere in the nebulous goldilocks zone between mathematics and fairy tales, there exists a species dedicated to analysing statistics for political purposes. For all its richness, the English language has yet to develop a collective noun for statisticians busily blowing the smoke and polishing the mirrors that their political masters will use to prove that “up” is the new “down” and “new” is the old “old”. (more…)
David Mellor image via bbc.co.uk
You get what you pay for and an essential taxi ride from Buckingham Palace to a humble pied-a-terre in St Katharine`s Dock might be expensive but is considerably less life threatening than attempting the same journey using a bicycle.
David Mellor is clearly a victim of misrepresentation and the target of a vicious social media plot hatched by a tiny number of left-wing bullies. He deserves our sympathy because, as a failed cabinet minister voted out of Putney in 1997, he has endured years of not being allowed a ministerial car, the absence of expenses claims and the unfortunate medical condition that seems to be inexorably turning his appearance into that of Ken Dodd. (more…)
If the old adage that any publicity is good publicity is true; then that there Home Secretary is putting herself about a bit. Even the BBC has temporarily scaled back its Farage 24 service in order to make room in the schedule for the daily Theresa May Show. In addition to her spectacular appearances on hourly news bulletins and interviews with senior and completely impartial political correspondents, Mrs May was honoured to share with the public her human side during an episode of Desert Island Discs. Ubiquity is seldom accidental.
Forget about bacon sandwiches and a couple of Labour MPs grumbling in a House of Commons bar prompting media types to bellow “leadership crisis”, ignore the continuing obsession with a single tweet featuring an image of a house and, for the sake of humanity, disregard pouting minor celebrities screeching outrage at the prospect of a mansion tax. If you require evidence of a “leadership crisis”, look instead toward defections, by election defeats, a feral 1922 committee, the omnipotence of the Home Secretary and a popular Twitter hash tag demanding that “Cameron Must Go”. (more…)
If the excitable and somewhat tarnished British media is to be believed, Emily Thornberry has posted the most disgusting, offensive, vile, inhumane and satanic tweet in the short but colourful history of social media. Publishing an image of a house festooned with no less than three, yes three, flags of St George and with a white van parked outside and with the evil, provocative and seditious caption “Rochester”, this Thornberry woman has dragged politics into the gutter by displaying contempt and derision targeted at hard-working, overweight used car dealers. (more…)