This diary is what happens if the editor fails to get a lobotomy. I had rung him to ask whether he’d like to grace Newsnight and the nation with his views on the affair between the former home secretary and the publisher of this journal. His response, verbatim, was: ‘Er, cripes. I think I’d need a prefrontal lobotomy before I did that,’ followed by, ‘You wouldn’t do a diary for us, would you, old boy?’ For those of us who do not have access to The Spectator’s water-cooler and whatever it contains, this is akin to being invited to appear on Trisha.
But, as it happens, I had a bit of time on my hands over the holidays, since being dropped from the New Year edition of Woman’s Hour. One of their producers emailed a few weeks ago; the suggestion was to have something called Man’s Hour.