David Cameron exudes a worrying confidence these days. He strolls through the corridors of the Palace of Westminster with the air of a man already thinking of victory at the next election. His head is tilted slightly skywards, as if already enjoying the sunlit uplands of victory in 2015. But this confidence is misguided, even dangerous, as some of those closest to him are well aware. They, by contrast, do not look relaxed at all.
A couple of years ago I was walking across a ploughed field when I was struck by such a searing pain in my left foot that I fell to the ground, moaning in harmony with the rooks above me. After half an hour of massaging my toes I was able to hobble the half-mile home.As this seemed to be no ordinary pain, I went to the doctor, who had no exact explanation, but referred me to the hospital. ‘A damaged nerve,’ they said.
It emerged today that Helen Wood is going to set to appear on the next series of Big Brother, which begins this evening. Here’s her Spectator Diary from 2011, in which she explains how the daughter of a university lecturer ended up as a call girl.
A few years ago I was offered £450,000 to tell the world that Wayne Rooney had paid to sleep with me, but I didn’t take it. Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t.
At last we crusaders for truth can reveal exactly what happened when a famous footballer who is married met the former Big Brother contestant, Imogen Thomas. I suppose you could guess what happened, but it’s better to know for sure, isn’t it? Don’t worry, we’ll use phrases like ‘asked her to perform a sex act’ rather than crudely spelling it out, so there’ll be nothing to disquiet the kiddies. It will probably involve us — the crusaders for truth — shelling out a few quid to do so, to pay off one or another source of information about how and where the ‘sex act’ was performed and whether it was any good or not, how long it lasted etc, whether or not the footballer shouted out ‘get in you beauty’ as he approached climax — but we can probably find the dosh.
When Barack Obama and David Cameron met in London this week, one problem would have been foremost in their minds. It’s more than six weeks since they penned their joint article with Nicolas Sarkozy demanding that ‘Gaddafi must go’. It’s more than two months since they started airstrikes in Libya. Yet Gaddafi is stubbornly refusing to be toppled. He is not alone. In Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh has reneged on two deals to step down and, at the last minute, refused to sign a third — despite an American promise of immunity.
Carmen Callil isn’t‘Prizes are for little boys,’ said Charles Ives, the American composer, ‘and I’m a grown-up’. That, most sensible people will agree, is a proper response to the world’s follies. But when a gong is struck for outstanding work over a lifetime then there can be merit in it, which is why we should give three resounding cheers to the judges who last week awarded the Man International Booker Prize to Philip Roth.
I am a long-serving officer in the Metropolitan Police and my passion for the job is matched only by my frustration and anger at what I see going on around me. The Met is capable of, and frequently achieves, great things. But this happens in spite of the way it is run, not because of it. For years, I have watched as the service has been disfigured by the need to satisfy targets dictated from above, fundamentally changing the way police do their job.