Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Ming's Mini and Tommy's Run

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Ming's Mini and Tommy's Run

Article excerpt

MPs in the compensation queue snaking its way from Wapping to Westminster have been instructed not to sign secret deals with Rupert Murdoch. John Lyon, parliamentary commissioner for standards, has warned eavesdropped politicians against dropping legal action and taking a vow of silence in return for an undisclosed * windfall. The expenses tsar wrote to MPs, my snout whispered, to inform them that payouts must be declared in the register of members' interests. One ex-minister, who was apparently close to reaching a six-figure settlement, the snout giggled, is hacked-off a second time.

The funereal figure of Vince "We're All Doomed" Cable was overheard darkly muttering, during the Lib Dem moan-fest in Birmingham, that Nick Clegg was foolish to claim that the Daily Mail prints "drivel" about the leader and his family. The Hate Mail is relentlessly negative about the yellow peril, so what could possibly have motivated the undertaker to defend Lord Rothermere's right-whinge rag? Surely not the cheques for [pounds sterling]1,200 he received penning a column for the Mail on Sunday?

To a trade union gathering about Bombardier, the train-maker in Derby that was derailed when the Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, decided to buy a ticket to ride on German carriages. The shaven-headed leader of the RMT, Bob Crow, raised a few eyebrows by saying: "I have more in common with a Chinese labourer than a City of London stockbroker." The prolier-than-thou statement may surprise Comrade Crowbar's brother. He isn't a peasant tending the rice paddies of Yunnan Province but a stockbroker living in Berkshire. …

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