An email arrives. Even after her death, it seems the Iron Lady still has an acute political aim:
APPG MEETING 17 APRIL CANCELLED
Rebalancing: A discussion with Michael Heseltine
THE DISCUSSION WITH MICHAEL HESELTINE ON WEDNESDAY 17 APRIL HAS UNFORTUNATELY BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO BARONESS THATCHER’S FUNERAL. PORTCULLIS HOUSE WILL BE DIFFICULT TO ACCESS ON THE DAY BECAUSE THE FUNERAL PROCESSION IS SET TO START FROM WESTMINSTER AND THERE WILL BE SUBSTANTIAL SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS. WE WILL ANNOUNCE THE RESCHEDULED DATE IN DUE COURSE.
All Party Parliamentary Group on Rebalancing the British Economy
Yes, Prime Minister – one leg of the holy tripod of British political comedy, the others being The New Statesman and The Thick Of It – is back. And I am pleased to present a CrashBangWallace exclusive preview of the new series:
The new series starts tomorrow at 9pm on Gold. Will it live up to its legendary status? We’ll have to wait and see…
The National Portrait Gallery have just unveiled the first official Royal portrait of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge. As a portrayal of famously beautiful woman, it’s received what could politely be called a mixed reaction:
Personally, I think the most amazing thing is that way that only one of her eyes follows you round the room. How on earth have the NPG managed to commission a painting so iffy that it has already been nicknamed #CrosseyedKate?
As a public service, courtesy of @MrAndyBoy, CrashBangWallace.com can present an exclusive reworking of the portrait, putting it right with a tender combination of sensitivity and expertise.
At last we have the image in the full glory that it deserves:
Giving evidence to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee on 24th January, Jeremy Hunt said that:
There is a huge amount of work going on, right down to training Tube drivers to make sure that we make Tube passengers feel particularly welcome in this special period for London
I was intrigued at what kind of training was being given to Transport for London staff – possibly “striking is a pain in the backside” would be a good start? So I made a Freedom of Information request to find out the details of the course.
Almost a week later than the legal deadline, and accompanied by a threatening note claiming that I’m not allowed to publish the information they’ve sent me (which I’m ignoring for obvious reasons centred around the words “freedom” and “information”), they’ve responded.
Given that the 9,600 people they are training all work on the London Underground, I was slightly surprised to say the least that part of the course is a Powerpoint presentation (screenshot below) teaching staff where in London the Olympic venues actually are.
Shouldn’t the staff for London’s transport system already know where, err, Stratford and Wembley are located?
Understandably, there’s a lot of speculation over the future of certain Cabinet Ministers at the moment. The strongest argument against predictions of Andrew Lansley’s impending departure is the claim that David Cameron wants to avoid a reshuffle in the foreseeable future.
However, it seems that it’s not only those on the outside of Government who think one might be coming.
Two of this blog’s readers were out for a curry last week and found themselves next to a very loud table who, it soon became clear, were staffers from the Private Offices of Ken Clarke and his fellow Justice Minister, Crispin Blunt.
The civil servants in question were nattering away about the internal politics of the Coalition, so my correspondents decided to talk loudly about politics, SpAds and other Westminstery topics in order to give them a subtle message that people could hear them.
They carried on regardless, and it’s interesting to learn that the prime topic of conversation from Ken Clarke’s aides was who is going to replace him as Secretary of State for Justice.
I’m told by my man with the tikka masala that the civil servants’ top tips for the MoJ job were Francis Maude and Chris Grayling. Ones to watch…particularly if you’re Ken Clarke.