Stranded on the M25

  • 7 Mar 2006

I'm in Norwich at the moment, having just attended a funeral. Three and a half hours it took to get here... I was stuck on the M25 in the slow lane when I noticed a woman in the fast lane who had steam coming out of the back of her MG. She got out to look at it, leaving her el...

My Top Ten Political Novels

  • 2 Mar 2006

My Top Ten Political Novels Paul Linford has posted his Top Ten Political Books. So always being one to jump on a bandwagon (!) I thought I'd follow his lead, but give you my Top Ten Political Novels instead. My definition of a political novel might be different to some peo...

An England Team of West Ham Players

  • 11 Feb 2006

Footballers are not renowned for their great intellects, but West Ham's 21 year old captain Nigel Reo Coker (pic left) is different. Read THIS interview in The Independent and make up your own mind. He's probably been the Hammers' best player this season, certainly the most co...

EDP Diary: Tony Blair's Leadership Travails

  • 9 Feb 2006

So Ian Huntley tried to kill himself again this week. I cannot imagine many people would have shed a tear if he had succeeded, and I count myself among them. Of course the very people who will write letters to this newspaper castigating me for such a callous, “unchristian” vie...

Older & Wiser: Ridding the Tory Candidates List of Ageism

  • 3 Feb 2006

Having reached the ripe old age of 43 I find that the leader of my Party is four years younger than me. What hope is there?! Will the Conservative Party come to mirror society’s obsession with youth and decide to pick its Parliamentary candidates who are broadly speaking on th...

The Delusions of a West Ham Fan

  • 29 Jan 2006

Having witnessed West Ham's 4-2 drubbing of Blackburn yesterday (what a shame Jack Straw was in Davos...) I dreamt last night that the Hammers reached the FA Cup final and became the first team to play at the New Wembley. It would be fitting for them to do so as they were also...

EXCLUSIVE: Did His Credit Card Statement 'Do' for Simon Hughes?

  • 27 Jan 2006

Something has been bugging me about the Simon Hughes issue. In a post below, I stated that The Sun had got hold of his phone records. However, I now understand that it may have actually been his credit card records which The Sun obtained. I think therefore that Simon Hughes mi...

Seven Things Meme

  • 27 Jan 2006

Oh well, here goes... 7 THINGS TO DO BEFORE I DIE 1. Get elected 2. Write a proper book 3. Persuade my partner to take more holidays 4. Have enough money so I don't continually worry about it 5. Learn to play the Piano 6. Finish the Robert Caro books on LBJ 7. Lear...

Simon Hughes Deserves Both our Condemnation and Understanding

  • 26 Jan 2006

And then there were two. Only Chris Huhne and Ming Campbell remain as serious contenders in the LibDem leadership race following Simon Hughes's outing in today's Sun. It's not the fact that he's gay that's the problem. It's the fact that like Mark Oaten and Charles Kennedy he ...

Top Ten Things Which Would Be Different if my Jack Russell, Gio, Was Prime Minister

  • 26 Jan 2006

1. LibDem HQ in Cowley Street replaced by giant fire hydrant 2. Abolition of Pets Means Prizes 3. Capital Punishment restored for Dale Winton 4. Doggy door at the front of Number Ten 5. Dog biscuits on the NHS 6. Compulsory sterilisation for cats 7. Life sentences for ta...

Call from North Norfolk Tory to Norman Lamb to Defect

  • 25 Jan 2006

When you're a Parliamentary Candidate you expend quite a lot of effort urging your supporters to write letters to the local newspaper either supporting your candidacy or to criticse the incumbent. One of the more regular correspondents of the Eastern Daily Press is a Conservat...

Dream, Dream, Dream, When I Was Young

  • 12 Jan 2006

I don't know abou you, but I very rarely remember details dreams. Last night, however, I had a very vivid dream which I can remember virtually every detail of. Before your imagination runs away with you, let me explain. Fifteen years ago a very dear friend of the family died ...

Charles Kennedy Quits

  • 6 Jan 2006

Daisy McAndrew (nee Sampson) joined ITN a few months ago from the BBC, where she had been hosting the Daily Politics Show with Andrew Neil. Before that she spent a couple of years as Charles Kennedy's Press Secretary. Today, Daisy McAndrew wielded the knife. She handed his pri...

My Predictions for 2006

  • 31 Dec 2005

JANUARY Conservative leader David Cameron asks Paul Gascoigne to be a consultant to a new Tory Commission on Alcohol policy. Gascoigne agrees that "we're all in this togethah, wy, aye man". FEBRUARY LibDem leader Charles Kennedy announces his resignation on the grassy...

My 2005 Political Awards

  • 30 Dec 2005

Well for lack of anything better to do this evening (I should be at Upton Park watching the Hammers v Wigan but the roads are very icy here...) I thought I'd do my annual political awards... POLITICIAN OF THE YEAR David Cameron - need I say more?! And this is not just a ...

A Runout on Newsnight

  • 29 Dec 2005

I have just got back from appearing on Newsnight to talk about the David Blunkett situation. I was on with Labour MP Clive Betts, with whom I had done a News 24 interview earlier this evening. Clive is a nice guy but does rant a bit. So in contrast I seemed to be the voice of ...

John Redwood's Christmas Puddings

  • 26 Dec 2005

It's nearly midnight and I am typing this in my sitting room in Swanton Abbott in front of the first log fire of the year. Sometimes life is just perfect. Today hasn't been bad either. Up at 7 to collect John Redwood to visit Holt WI Market. Anglia TV and the EDP were there. W...

Hard Drives & Celluloid

  • 11 Dec 2005

The fire's alight. The Christmas tree is up. God is in his heaven. And friends are about to come round for dinner. Life's good sometimes, isn't it?  Today I have been in Holt and Sheringham. Sheringham this afternoon was especially rewarding. We got more Conservative pledge...

Independent Diary: Does Michael Howard Know How to Vote?

  • 10 Dec 2005

Having fought eleven general elections you might be forgiven for thinking that Michael Howard would be familiar with putting a cross in a box on a ballot paper. But my spies in the 1922 Committee tell me that he almost managed to spoil his ballot paper in the Tory leadership e...

Saturday Night in North Walsham

  • 5 Dec 2005

On Saturday I spent the evening on patrol with North Walsham Police. There are clearly some very serious anti-social behaviour problems in North Walsham. While a zero tolerance approach appears to have reaped huge rewards in Sheringham, we now need to see those same measures i...