Selling Gibraltar, a New Club for Top People, and Computer-Nerds-Are-Cheerful Shock. (the Insider)

By Routledge, Paul | New Statesman (1996), May 20, 2002 | Go to article overview
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Selling Gibraltar, a New Club for Top People, and Computer-Nerds-Are-Cheerful Shock. (the Insider)


Routledge, Paul, New Statesman (1996)


MPs have given much painful thought to the attention-seeking behaviour of Alastair Campbell over recent weeks. He solicited an interview on Radio 5 Live, appealing for Burnley voters to oppose the BNP. He also offered an extraordinary audience to the Times, in which he said that new Labour's addiction to spin was self-defeating. And he authorised the whitewash of "Dirty" Desmond, the soft-porn merchant so generous to new Labour. Conclusion? Forget being MP for Burnley. Ali wants to be editor of the Daily Express.

Gerald Kaufman has launched a venomous attack on the Foreign Office minister Peter Hain, accusing him of taking a Spanish bribe to buy out Gibraltar's sovereignty. In Parliamentary Brief, the MP for Waspishness (South) asks: "Would he really have agreed to take money for black South Africans, from the Organisation of African Unity, say, in exchange for accepting apartheid? Yet he believes that money is enough to get Gibraltarians to sell out their way of life." Ouch!

This jolly mock-up, of Gerry Adams in the new uniform of the Northern Ireland Police Service (right), is circulating among MPs. But the Shinners' leader is not seen very often at his new office in the Commons. Confirmed sightings since he moved in: two. So where, MPs want to know, does his [pounds sterling]100,000 office-costs allowance go?

The Commons authorities have banned English flags from the Strangers' Bar during the World Cup, after complaints from McSourgrapes MPs.

A prospectus for Stones Club drops through the letter box, offering founder membership for a mere [pounds sterling]5,000.

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