Close friends of the Prime Minister say that he knows that the cash for peerages crisis goes very deep, and may even finish him off. But they insist that he is ‘determined to fight on, if at all possible’. In the face of formidable evidence to the contrary, the Prime Minister still believes that he is the indispensable man.
He was at it again on Tuesday, making a major speech, the first of a series of three, setting out his vision of foreign affairs.
Almost the first thing you see, on entering Peter Mandelson’s office at the European Commission, is a bound set of photographs of Siberia resting on the coffee table. Are they a signal, a discreet protest from this most British of politicians at being sent into exile?
Mr Mandelson would insist not. He had, by most accounts, an unhappy start in Brussels in November 2004, unable to hide his impatience with the collegiate, rather plodding ways of the 25-strong Commission.
Last week my four-year-old son gained a new classmate. She arrived in the middle of term as her mother has just walked out of Zimbabwe, leaving everything behind to start again from scratch here. I don’t just mean financial scratch — ‘we couldn’t bring a single penny’, she told me as she dashed off to an employment agency — but personal scratch too. When we exchanged mobile telephone numbers I asked her if she texted.
Matthew d’Ancona recalls a very odd meeting with the two men who have dared to take Dan Brown to court — and their spooky theory about the European Community Much the strangest journalistic encounter I have ever had took place more than a decade ago at the Westminster restaurant known in those days as L’Amico. It was the sort of bistro that old-fashioned Tory MPs found congenial, serving traditional Italian fare, with nooks and crannies in which to plot.