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A Blogger’s Notebook

Having sat patiently on a barrel of digital dynamite for months — the emails from Gordon Brown’s chief spin doctor Damian McBride to Mandelson’s protégé Derek Draper, suggesting Tory smear stories — I light the fuse on Andrew Neil’s BBC Daily Politics show. In an unedifying squabble, I succeed in stitching up the once again infamous

Eat, drink and be communist

In 1890 Friedrich Engels, co-author of The Communist Manifesto, celebrated his 70th birthday. ‘We kept it up till half past three in the morning,’ he boasted to Laura Lafargue, daughter of his old friend Karl Marx, ‘and drank, besides claret, sixteen bottles of champagne — that morning we had had 12 dozen oysters.’ This was