Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Champagne or Sham Pain

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Champagne or Sham Pain

Article excerpt

Citizen Dave's bubbly ban is being defied by the chain-smoking Simon Burns, the unhealthiest of health ministers. The portly Tory is so fond of a glass of fizz that he's prepared to lay down both his diet and Cameroonian solidarity with austerity for the sake of a bottle of Pol Roger. The gasping Burns was overheard in Westminster by a radar-lugged snout yearning for the stuff to be served at a farewell for one of his department's senior officials. "I hope they have champagne," swooned Burns. "It may not be good for my diet but I do love champagne." I'm old enough to recall when Conservatives claimed to love not champagne but the NHS. You may remember, too: it was before last year's election in May.

Ed Miliband was, I hear, chuffed to learn that he beat Michael Gove on "fanciability" in the Sky News Politicos Top Trumps. But Gove can look down on the foetus-like William Hague, who may mock Danny Alexander, Harriet Harman's ginger rodent. In the land of the geek, the panda-eyed one is king.

To the North Durham fiefdom of Kevan Jones, Fox-hunting member of the shadow defence pack. Nothing is regarded as too good for the workers in a seat held by Labour since 1906, so the constituency party's annual dinner was in the four-star Beamish Hall hotel. The raffle, however, remained a distinctly Old Labour affair.

The chief fundraiser. Jack Doyle, gnarled veteran of the GMB machine, must be one of the last dictators since Muammar al-Gaddafi's death. Doyle's Law deprived the Labour educashon spokesman, Stephen Twigg, of [pound sterling]100 in M&S vouchers. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.