Monday, May 31, 2010

Oxford Poetry Professorship race - blazing row at health club!

Michael Horovitz - 'Very, very angry'

The race for the chair of Professor of Poetry at Oxford University (and its stipend of £6,901 pa) has provoked a blazing row between author Duncan Fallowell and a contender for the prestigious post, poet Michael Horovitz, I learn. The ding-dong, prompted it seems by the caustic humour of one of Horovitz's rivals for the Oxford job, the mischievous Roger Lewis, took place very recently in a Notting Hill health club.

Duncan Fallowell - after his swim?

Duncan tells me: 'Horovitz verbally assaulted me in my health club for encouraging Roger - Roger wrote something mildly mocking about Horovitz in The Times apparently and Horovitz said, "I'm very very angry and it's all your fault!" And I knew nothing whatsoever about it. Mike overstepped the mark - I go to my health club to escape all that shit and relax in the beautiful swimming pool.'

So what did Lewis write in The Times? It must have been his piece of May 15 in which he set out his stall for the poetry professorship, titled 'Say No to Pompous Professors - Vote for Lewis', that caused offence. In it Lewis describes Horovitz, 75, and another heavyweight candidate, the poet Geoffrey Hill, 77, as 'nice old codgers', and their work as 'serious-minded to the point of pain and obscure of purpose.'

He added: 'Asked by a journalist what my campaign strategy might be, I said I’ll jump out from behind a bush in Hill’s garden and the bathroom door in Horovitz’s hut and shout “Boo”.'

Roger Lewis - gunning for Horovitz

Aside from his health club rant at Fallowell, Horovitz hit back at Lewis in a Guardian piece on May 28. He suggested Lewis 'waxed extremely unlyrical in trumpeting [his] pitch for the job' in the Times and nominated him for a 'Services to Dumbing Down award.' Boys, boys!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Zac Goldsmith: Saving the world on one cigar at a time?

Observers of the new Tory MP for Richmond Park, mega-wealthy Eton reject, former non-dom and recent divorcé, Zac Goldsmith, have long been amused by his championing of green causes while he puffs on scraggy roll-ups.

Still, at least he's not some ghastly holier-than-thou prig. When you're said to be worth an estimated £300m, and are young, tall and handsome, and the brother to Jemima Khan, it's as well to flaunt your human weaknesses, if only to neutralise the bitter envy of paupies.

Perhaps partly to this end, I understand Zac used regularly to drive from his home in Richmond to Jermyn Street to buy a single cigar at Davidoff of London. His preference was to shop when the 'glittery' store had the Closed sign up, in the manner of Michael Jackson and Princess Diana at Harrods.

My well-connected informant reports that when it was suggested to Zac that he might want to buy a box of cigars in order to save on the petrol he appeared underwhelmed. This I think not unreasonable on health if not environmental grounds. It is entirely possible that he could not trust himself with a whole box in a 24-hour period. Was it not Mark Twain who once said, 'I have made it a rule never to smoke more than one cigar at a time.'?

How much Zac's enforced rationing reduced his carbon footprint I cannot imagine, but the more mathematical among you with time on your hands may fancy the challenge.

Of course my spy may have just dreamt all of this up on the grounds of envy. In these times of neo-Old Etonian English governance, class warriors are enjoying an alarming resurgence.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Quentin Letts: 'We can always post him a free sandwich next time'

Quentin Letts

During the recent general election campaign, the Daily Mail's Quentin Letts - a cock-cunting noroviral words-spewer - attended a Lib Dem rally in Streatham, South London. It was an 'oatmealy', middleclass, multi-cultural affair with a gospel choir and 'soapy men... boogieing to the Afro beat' - in other words, perfect fodder for Letts' brand of Full English Breakfast fat-spit.

I'm certain that if you pulled his leg, Land of Hope and Glory would sing out from his arse.

At some point, the chortle factory met a 'dark-haired woman called Jemima' who smelt 'faintly of cigarettes.' He wrote: '[She] imperiously asked me if I worked for Lib Dem HQ. When I said no, she attacked me for writing for a "racist" newspaper. I assured her that the Daily Mail was nothing of the sort. She proceeded to give me a lecture in favour of mass immigration....'

As it happens, Jemima has got in touch with Madame Arcati. She doesn't dispute the little that he wrote about their encounter, but has some interesting, humane observations to make about Letts - none of which would see the light of day in the Mail, of course. Since he introduced her to the public, and tried to skew our perception of her opinion, it's only right she is given space to respond.

'The situation was macabre and funny,' she tells me. 'Letts' fear of immigrant populations and cultures was beautifully set off by the Streatham community hall and gospel music. I did suggest the Mail was a racist paper, and though I intended to provoke what I thought would be a well-worn defence, he was in fact wildly surprised to find that anyone might think so.

'He said he believes that immigration currently threatens British culture. I said I thought perhaps his idea of "British culture" was that of only a small minority of the country, and asked him for an example of some aspect of this that he felt was under threat. He cited the Book of Common Prayer, which he said he had "fought for" extensively.

'In what way, I wondered, was immigration threatening that? Were Catholic Polish migrants bringing with them some kind of High Church assault of bells and smells on the Anglican prayer book? Was gospel singing an inherent attack on the heart of the Anglican faith, or does it just make Quentin Letts a little twitchy?

'His description of the whole event in the article reflects a similarly personal take. So personal in fact, as to sound like the voice of a man that never speaks to a soul outside the four walls he has carefully built around himself, equipped with new fortifications to protect his personal world view against the various assaults of the modern age (including, but not exclusively, liberalism, open mindedness, coalition, multiculturalism, science, the GMC, and Catholicism).

'The rally seemed strangely chaotic to Letts (enthusiastic young party, the LDs) who was surprised to see uneaten sandwiches (free food being the main attraction to hacks like Letts at such events); and the gospel choir was in his view so alien as to be necessarily ridiculous before they had even opened their mouths to sing.

'The guy is petrified of what he can't understand; quite human really, but he becomes offensive when his extremely narrow view is projected onto the wider British public, as in his column at the Mail. He should just stay at home next time, we can always post him a free sandwich. After all, Britain will evolve with or without him.'

To read Letts' piece click here.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Suzanne Moore expelled from Labour Party

Shocking innit. All because she stood as an independent in the general election. How trifling. You'd think her working for the Mail on Sunday might have been a better reason. Was there a trial, some kind of tribunal? A chance to put her case? No. Just a letter in the post. Given she's probably closer politically to Labour than she is to the Tories, this seems a jobsworthy sort of decision. Labour needs all the friends (or sympathisers) it can get.

Oh, Suzanne tells me she left the party before she stood for election. So there.

Ofcom fines DMGT over Teletext closure: Yet wasn't Ofcom partly to blame?

I see that Ofcom has fined the Daily Mail General Trust £225,000 for its premature closure of the Teletext TV public service last December. By its licence it should have soldiered on till 2014.

Yet Ofcom was partly to blame for the closure. In early 2009, it publicly questioned the point of Teletext editorial beyond 2014 -"The increasing availability of text based services, both broadcast and online, may mean that post 2014 there is no longer clear justification for continued intervention to maintain a public service teletext licence," the regulator said.

How wonderful that Ofcom was happy to hoover up Teletext cash while trashing the source - and is then free to fine DMGT for not ignoring the regulator's damaging pessimism. Teletext was (and still is) a commercial enterprise: it was unlikely to build new business once the Ofcom suited scrotes pretended to be seers and expressed doubts about the company's public service future.

I'm surprised the DMGT sleepyheads didn't make this point in defence. And, incidentally, the Mail's Jan Moir homophobic fans may want to sign up to Teletext's Gay Rabbit dating service - a nice revenue stream for DMGT coffers.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Duchess of York: Less is Hartmoor

The Duchess of York's most recent humiliation is not something I wish to dwell on. But I notice that the Big Speak - "Home of the World's Best Motivational Speakers, Keynote Speakers, Consultants & Trainers!", to quote - still advertises Sarah as one of their top stars, available to inspire you for a fee starting at $41,000. Her promised words on "overcoming adversity" (eg "the unrelentingly vicious British press") and "the road to an authentic life" will now possess an especial resonance, I'm sure. Her bio on the site however may need fixing.

It claims: "The Duchess of York also published her first historical romance novel called Hartmoor, which is set in 1812 and draws vividly on her own noble ancestry in Ireland."  Alas, not. For it was Madame Arcati who first reported last year that the unpublished novel, retitled Wingfield, appeared to be in trouble: I noted that Sarah's co-author, the splendidly named Dallas storyteller, Laura Van Wormer, no longer wrote of the book on her rarely updated website.

In response to my story, Laura announced in the autumn of 2009: "The Duchess and I are reconsidering our original publishing plan and are weighing a number of factors and options for the short term and also for the long run. As soon as we come to a decision about which path we are to take, you shall know straight away!" Plainly no decision has been reached for Laura has not mentioned the book since.

She'd written earlier last year: "At any rate, just to reiterate, yes, the Duchess of York and I did write a huge historical adventure novel, and yes, it has taken a long time to write, and yes, I should have definitive news for you by this summer." Perhaps she meant summer 2010?

Poor Laura. I shouldn't doubt she did most of the spade work and to date has nothing to show for it. In the meantime, the Big Speak may wish to update their public record on the duchess.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Carl Teper: Did the Blitz Kid switch barrister's wig for mascara?

Is Carl Teper in this photo? I don't think so

I was disapppointed to see the philanthropist, barrister and sometime deputy district judge, Carl Teper, not depicted in the recent Boy George TV biopic Worried About the Boy. Or, if he was depicted, I couldn't pick him out in the Blitz nightclub shadows.

It only occurred to me after I'd reviewed it that Carl, whom I very unhappily encountered as a law student at the Middle Temple around 1980/1, was one of the so-called Blitz Kids - a curious and rather wealthy addition to the clubber clique that included Steve Strange (Gemini), Boy George (Gemini), Marilyn, Martin Degville, and others bound for i-D Magazine-plus celebrity.

Quite what drew him to this milieu I do not understand: for the most part, the Blitz Kids were working class, self-created androgynes seeking escape from stifling suburbia to pop/fashion infamy. Rich boy Carl in his sober suits, or the Carl presented to me at the time, was intent on a career at the Bar: politics interested him, too - certainly I recall him telling me that he'd joined both Tory and Labour constituency parties in two different parts of London, which I thought glamorously nonpartisan at the time. These days I'd call him a tart.

Looking back now, I assume he threw his barrister's wig off at night for the piratical shirt and dayglo cake eye liner and shimmer powder; ooh yeah, baby. Well, one is forced to speculate, playfully....

Nothing Carl ever said to me made much sense - he was inclined to the self-empoweringly cryptic when not doing the football pools or eating his din-dins at the MT - but I'm sure our judiciary (or at least the English Bar) is better for this intrepid social voyager who has many friends in showbiz (eg Boy George, Barbara Windsor), journalism (eg Matthew Parris, Adam Mars-Jones), and in several other areas of life. I wonder if he's still a Freemason.

Aged nearly 55 now - yes, another fucking Gemini - he may not want too much attention focusssed on his New Romantic period. But surely a fly-on-the-wall doc of his life - with the gaudy 80s flashbacks interspersing glimpses of his doubtless intriguing work as a parking adjudicator - would make fascinating TV.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tut! David Cameron fails to buy up his internet domain names!

Sparklingly on-trend our new Prime Minister may like us to think he is - so it is distressing to discover that David Cameron has failed to buy up his .com domain name. The result of this oversight is that - which at first glance looks like a Cameron blog - is now in the hands of a non-fan of the PM, one Reza Sorbati (of north London).

The opening two lines of the site's most recent post are representative of the hostile tone: "Ashcroft and Clegg help Cameron hobble to power. The electorate get a LibCon Coalition which is jeered into Downing Street on a sad day for democracy."

Nor can I be certain that is owned by the PM. The site claims to be a "gateway to sites on the Internet for [sic] david cameron!" But it appears to be a gateway to unrelated sites, such as those for cheap international calls or a new political party called... New Party., too, is just another gateway.

It's astonishing that our Old Etonian leader ignored the internet while flourishing his fountain pen over self-tributes to his savviness and YouTube-ness. You'd think an online reputational presence de rigueur these days. I'd have expected at least his Tory spin doctor Andy Coulson to have mopped up the domain names for his boss, y'know, just in case. But perhaps this confirmed workplace bully and somewhat absent former editor of the News of the World was distracted by all those Guardian pieces calling for his resignation.

Still, Nick Clegg is not much better. is owned by ...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Farah Damji and Darcus Howe in explosive conversation

Farah Damji - who I hear emerged triumphant from a courthouse yesterday after a most peculiar allegation made against her was dismissed in a trice -  is one of the star turns at the Stoke Newington Literary Fest on June 5. Click here for details. She's appearing with ex-Black Panther, broadcaster and radical black rights campaigner Darcus Howe to discuss her autobiography Try Me, reviewed by Madame Arcati last July - click here. "Join them for a controversial conversation as they talk about the book and explain why they believe multiculturalism to be a myth," reads the invite. Those seeking the soporific balm of a Stephen Fry anecdote may want to give this one a miss.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Boy George and Worried About the Boy - brief review

Worried About the Boy cast- click here to watch show

Well, I enjoyed the arse-fucking in the red phone box - last seen on the set of Dixon of Dock Green (the red phone box, that is). Not that we saw a cock, or an arse, or anything really. But the glass was all steamed up, and one of the males was Boy George dressed as a nun in high heels who had his back to his saviour (it's a long story ...), some hideous 'tached cock-cunter dallying with same-sex action because it was circa 1980 and David Bowie had made bisexual posing cool. Try to keep up.

BBC2's Worried About the Boy - a "compassionate" dramatisation of Boy George's early life before TOTP and stardom - caught me unawares so it had the advantage: it was just a relief not to be subjected to yet another Freemans catalogue romance or Agatha Christie murder mystery. Boy George was far too quiet and thin - the original is a massive, messy, soulful noise; Marilyn certainly not pretty enough; Steve Strange (him again!) too old and raddled; and Mat Horne as Jon Moss tried his best but was way too weathered with the dyed black hair - c'mon, Moss was a beauty back then. Still, Mat can act. So I forgive him Lesbian Vampire Killers.

Maquillage - perfection all round, as was Bowie, though all we saw was his regal hand slumming it at the Blitz. Strange made mention of the Thin White Duke's crooked teeth, as authenticating trademark.

And I loved it when a brick smashed through one of Malcolm McLaren's windows, eliciting the quip to bewildered George that his new house was being delivered bit by bit. Wonderful panto.

Personally, I'd have added graphic sex, more of the music; lengthened the film to about three hours to take in more of the Blitz club where George and Strange and Spandau et al nurtured their pop dreams. Culture Club just evolved out of nothing in particular, according to this gospel: and I could have lived with two scenes fewer of George's tiresome father. Leave soap to the bloody soaps.

"Keep your chins up," bitchy Marilyn told George. But the slimline actor only had the one.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Michael Jackson: For heaven's sake, of course he was gay

As I stated in black and white at the time of his untimely death (Disneyfied into cockless-cuntlessness), Michael Jackson was a gay man. Friendship alone with Elizabeth Taylor was the equivalent of coming out: she's the biggest, darlingest fag hag Hollywood ever created. She's currently embroiled in a Twitter row with dermatologist, Dr Arnie Klein, who recently outed his dead cash machine.

Taylor has tweeted furiously in response: "Dr Arnie Klein declared on May 2 that he did not betray Michael Jackson by saying publicly that he had a homosexual relationship with someone in Arnie's office. It seems he supplies not only women (Debbie Rowe), but men too ... how convenient. Just what we want in our doctors. And then to say he did not betray Michael's confidence. No wonder he has death threats. I thought doctors, like priests took an oath of confidentiality. May God have mercy on his soul."

Klein's tweeted back: "Dearest Elizabeth Michael CHOSE whom he loved; I only SUPPLIED medical care. May God bless you and Michael. Your friend Arnie."

Taylor is not denying Jackson was gay in her tweets but is critical of Klein's alleged breach of trust. She's right of course on that point. However, she would do better to his memory to speak of him as the gay man she knew him to be: to continue the misrepresentation is an insult.

Only last year Taylor and Klein were all lovey-dovey - "With your violet eyes how much I love you, your smile lights up the room and you shimmer like the most brilliant diamond," he tweeted her on June 25, 2009. Two days earlier: "My Darling Dame Elizabeth, you are the most beautiful voice of our generation no one is more deserving of a Matisse. You are my only hero!"

How slight is the friendship of slebs.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Byron and Shelley exposed as two-timing love rats!

Serial cheat Lord Byron (sketch c 1815 by GH Harlow)

An early form of kiss 'n' tell is to be found in a fascinating new book from Bloomsbury titled Young Romantics by Daisy Hay.

It contains a newly discovered brief memoir by Claire Clairmont (1798-1879), Mary Shelley's step-sister, who had a brief fling in 1816 with Byron and was left preggers by him in her teens. By her seventies she'd long abandoned her hedonistic ways and embraced Catholicism which may explain why she writes: "Under the influence of the doctrine and belief of free love, I saw the two first poets of England… become monsters."

She adds: "The worshippers of free love not only preyed upon one another" but also on themselves, "turning their existence into a perfect hell". Byron was "a human tyger [sic] slaking his thirst for inflicting pain upon defenceless women." Shelley was no better, she chronicles.

It's a marvellous example of the kiss 'n' tell form. A woman throws herself at a star she knows to be married, basks in the intense heat of a cock-cunting infatuation before getting dumped with more than she bargained for. She then absolves herself of any personal responsibility in a tell-all, heaping all blame on her failed investment. It's a wonder Claire doesn't complain of being roasted by the two poets at some 5 star inn.

Her ghost may be consoled that the baby-women she exemplifies can now make a fortune from parading their sob stories in the tabloids.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Sun makes up a story to suit a headline (so what's new?)

"10.7m Brits Don't Work (Including the ex-Prime Minister who helped to put them there)," screeches a Sun headline on page 2. Really? Brown is still MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath on a basic annual salary of £64,857.85. As confirmed by the Sun on page 9. Goodness knows what Rupert makes of it all.

Oh, and Rupert's authorisation that Brown fucks off to run the IMF may be ignored.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tories return for the Steve Strange birthday party!

How fitting that on the day of Dave Cameron's ascension, the New Romantics king Steve Strange should invite me to his birthday party at London's Green Carnation on May 21.

It's the early '80s again! Maggie's in No 10, and there's me empurpling my eye sockets (photos safely tucked away). There's something about Tories-in-power and makeup: they're soooo such a match.

Steve's timed his do to perfection, he's so with the zeitgeist, even unintentionally. And it's most considerate of Dave to furnish us with yet another blue political backdrop for transgender frolics (part deux: nostalgia rerun): how mysteriously do the cycles return us to square one.

Perhaps someone will launch a style mag and call it The Facelift.

Adam Boulton is a devil who wears Prada shoes. Say no more.

Last time I looked, at a New Statesman party, the pugnacious Sky News Tory champion Adam Boulton was prowling about the perimeter of Cava-fuelled fun in a £400 pair of black leather Prada shoes. They had the distinctive red stripe cut through the back heel, and the moulded rubber soles; a sort of fusion trainer smart shoe. "Far too chic and futuristic to be British," as Melanie Rickey wrote of the designer footwear in the Independent. All very late '90s so let's be polite and call Adam a retro lover.

I wouldn't want to judge a man by his shoes, still less by his altercation with Alastair Campbell (as witnessed by TV and YouTube auds yesterday). So let's judge the shoes by the man. Why would this particular Prada hoof, with its semi-sporty allusions, with its crying out for a sleek Hugo Boss black suit, be associated with a man gravely in need of exercise? We may admire the clean lines of the shoe, so why upset symmetry with all the bumps and lumps above in the organic wearer? Is there not a basic inconsistency here? A dislocation between aspiration and actuality? Between the appearance of objectivity and the fact of partiality? [Is that last question necessary? - ed]. These shoes have an identity problem.

Adam's Pradas do not speak power; they are for posing in. He would do well to remember this, unless of course his brief is to draw more eyes to Sky News, by, er, posing. He would do better to get into the gym.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Independent makes mad, passionate love to Madame Arcati

My favourite newspaper (du jour!), the Independent - whose owner is the handsomest of the newspaper proprietor breed (competition includes the lissom Barclays and sultry Rupert Murdoch) - kindly draws its intelligent readership's attention to a Madame Arcati story.

After praising the author of MA in terms I cannot repeat, but with which I concur, it recounts the conversation that took place between Paul Dacre and Allison Pearson prior to her scarpering off from the Mail to the Telegraph. However the Indy states that the reported exchange was imagined by me. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The words spoken were repeated to me from someone who has permanent hearing damage from Mr Dacre's dynamic office interventions.

When they do the autopsy on my source, imprints of "cunt" will be found on his or her ear wax.

I have already remarked on the allure of the Indy's deputy editor Adam Leigh (is that his name?); so my curiosity is whetted as to the proportions and pulchritude of the media sage who authored the eulogy to Madame Arcati. Cannot it be long before yet another fiance(e) is added to the list?

Sunday, May 09, 2010

10 Downing St News: 'Tuesday night's the earliest, folks!'

Sunday Times astrologer Shelley von Strunckel tweets: "Oh, before I go, according to the stars, Downing St-wise, nothing will be settled until after 10:30 Tuesday evening. Just so you know."

Francisco J Ayala: Don't confuse Dawkins with God Almighty

Francisco J Ayala

Among the very few spokespersons for global sanity is Francisco J Ayala, recent winner of the Templeton Prize and its £1m (donated to charity).

An evolutionary geneticist and molecular biologist, a former scientific adviser to Bill Clinton in the '90s - who has battled with deluded Christian creationists and intelligent designers for years - Ayala argues that spiritual faith and science ought to co-exist. As he says, "[They] are two windows through which we look at the world."

He has no time for Richard Dawkins who has misled a generation into thinking that the issue of God and science is an either/or. By way of example, Ayala refers to Picasso’s Guernica: "While science can assess the painting’s massive dimensions and pigments, only a spiritual view imparts the horror of the subject matter. Together... these two separate analyses reveal the totality of the masterpiece." (To quote the Templeton website)

In an interview Ayala further explains: "Science has to do with the expansion of galaxies and movement of the continents and the origin of organisms and adaptations. Religion has to do with our relationship to our creator and to each other, with the purpose and meaning of life, with moral values that govern our lives. So, they deal with different subjects... there's no need to contradict each other."

Ayala's is a large mind and a refreshing change from the juvenile, materialistic inanities of Dawkins and the Sun's favourite professor, Dr Brian Cox - the smiling rock star host of the Wonders of the Solar System.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Andrew Neil parties with the stars on election night!

Most ghastly fun on election night was Andrew Neil's celebrity Thames barge party. Whenever Jeremy Paxman drawled himself into bored paralysis in the BBC studio - where a hereditary Dimbleby anchor modelled Dame Barbara Cartland's mortuary makeup - we cut pierside and to Andrew's game attempt to cross Nicky Haslam with Capt Bligh.

Beyond Andrew's well-chronicled adoration of stars it was hard to see what his Debrett's People of Today-approved liggers added to the occasion, but at least the likes of Bill Wyman kept him happy. We wouldn't want the chairman of the rightwing Spectator publishing company not to feel indulged.

There was Bruce Forsyth. Bereft of a gameshow crowd of dentured chucklers, he twirled to face the party-gatherers behind him and cried, "Nice to see you ..." etc, to indifferent response. The former Sunday Times editor didn't know where to look. Standing by Bruce's side was Sir Ben Kingsley (or "Sirben" as he's better known to luvvies) who irrelevantly paid tribute to democracy in a poorer part of the world. Neil looked unengaged (Gemini!), backed away a bit... [cut to studio!].

Private Eye fans will have welcomed the sight of Ian Hislop positioned within slapping distance of our host. For years the magazine has repeatedly published a photo of a vested Andrew partying with some gorgeous gal (not Pamella Bordes!), wilfully misspelt his name (Neill) and teased his thatch ("Brillo"). But for the TV cameras they were buddies - isn't that always the case with slebs? Ian seemed put out by the Lib Dem collapse which gave Andrew an opportunity to josh him as a commie bastard, or something.

Oh, revenge handbags at the next starry do!

Earlier, Andrew had talked with Ian's other mortal foe, Piers Morgan. It was a shocking exchange. Piers sounded intelligent and faintly socialist! He looked slimmer than I recall! Next to him was Mariella Whatsup who bemoaned the influence of markets on democracy; and did I see Jane Moore of The Sun there?, sounding a lot less enamoured of the Tories than in her column. I guess she has to keep Rebekah happy.

Later Andrew invited Martin Amis to bring some "literary sense" to the election. Mart tried but it's hard to think amid canapés. And then I noticed on Twitter that Guardian writer Jemima Kiss thought Andrew "needs a better colourist. Sheesh."

Yes, to start with.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Great Britain 2010: Ex-Bullingdon Club cunt takes over (or does he?)

BBC Two Newsnight's commissioned painting of a now banned photo showing David Cameron (left) while a member of the Bullingdon Club, an elite Oxford dining group. We all know who to blame for the coming disaster - Rupert Murdoch and his slobs.

And my congratulations to Richard Wallace, editor of the Daily Mirror, for publishing the photo on the front page today.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

BP oil rig disaster 'close to 19 munitions and explosive dumps'

There are numerous munitions and explosive dumps close to the April 20 BP-contracted oil rig disaster that is gushing crude into the Gulf of Mexico, according to an exclusive report on the US website Planet Waves.

This raises the question: Was the initial explosion on the rig Deepwater Horizon (owned by Transocean) linked in any way to these dump areas?

Planet Waves is edited by astrologer/investigative reporter Eric Francis (featured last month). Editors of the website discovered the listing of 19 explosive dump areas in a government database, and have linked to the document.

Sample: 737 (c) Unexploded Ordnance. "The US Air Force has released an indeterminable amount of unexploded ordnance throughout Eglin Water Test Areas. The exact location of the unexploded ordnance is unknown, and lessees are advised that all lease blocks included in this sale within these water test areas should be considered potentially hazardous to drilling and platform and pipeline placement."

For the full story click here.

The Indy and 40 thousand smackers

Over lunch a Derry Street habitué mentions that the Independent has been paying Freud Communications £40,000 a month as its PR guru; or nearly half a mill for a year's work. Yum yum. Money well spent I'd say.

However, the paper's deputy editor, sexy Adam Leigh, tweets me: "Now that truly is 24-carat cobblers".

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Allison Pearson: The conversation before the defection

I understand the conversation that prompted Allison Pearson's defection from the Mail to the Telegraph (because of  "depression") went like this.

She is ushered into Paul Dacre's office...

Pearson: “The Telegraph want me and they are offering more money ” –
Dacre: “OK, then, you must go”...
Pearson “?!”