Some years ago Tony Blair was overheard referring to the Scottish Press as "unreconstructed wankers". On Friday they had a chance to get their own back as Blair faced the Tartan Press hordes at an Edinburgh Hotel. Well, sort of. Blair's spin doctors have told the hacks that they couldn’t record their interviews and they were only allowed to take notes. What can the spinmeisters have been afraid of?



The Home Affairs Select Committee has decided to get down ‘wiv da kids’ and launched an initiative called Citizen Calling, which it says is “an experiment to see whether mobile phones are a good way for people and Parliament to interact.” It asks young hoodies to email, text or video message their views on crime to the Committee via their mobile phones. They don’t specify whether the mobile phones should be stolen ones, though. It would, after all, add a certain authenticity to the proceedings.



Westminster Communications used to be the name of a powerful lobbying company but its moniker has now been suborned by a speech training agency who want to train aspirant politicos, business leaders and pressure group executives in the arts of the modern media. Interestingly it is marketing itself almost exclusively by advertising on various media and political blogs. Let’s hope its fortunes are better than the organisation it replaced in its Victoria Street offices – the David Davis Tory leadership campaign.



Diehard West Ham fan Denis Campbell leads a double life as Sports Editor of the Observer. Last week’s rollicking headline about Hammers captain Nigel Reo-Coker heading for Arsenal or Man U proved to be a little wide of the mark. Let’s hope he does a little better this week. Still, with the transfer window now firmly closed it makes you wonder what all these football hacks have to write about now.



The Labour Party certainly knows how to alienate the press. Any media wanting to attend their Party conference in Manchester is being charged £360 for the privilege. The LibDems in Brighton are charging £62, while the Conservatives charge nothing. Perhaps their coffers are not quite as empty as Labour’s after all. An enquiry to UKIP about attending their conference in the ultra-glamorous location of Telford solicited the invitation to “just turn up – we’re sure they’ll let you in.” We will be sure to do so.



The Edinburgh TV Festival debate on whether British TV was becoming too right wing no doubt provoked a hollow laugh from many Conservatives, chief among them right wing commentator Peter Oborne, who was one of the panellists. Oborne said that the agenda on mainstream television represented the "views of the mainstream, metropolitan, liberal people who are quite well off and live in London, specifically Islington and Hampstead". Like himself, perhaps.