Magazine article The Spectator

Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody

Magazine article The Spectator

Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody

Article excerpt

MONDAY

Sawubona! And what terrific feedback from our South African adventure. Although it was touch and go at first. The poor guy was obviously extremely nervous about meeting such an iconic figure. But Dave put Mandela immediately at his ease by asking him whether Robben Island had a House system. Soon they were chatting away like old chums, swapping stories about the deprivation and hardship of their youth. (Reading between the lines of the summary notes, I think it was obvious that Eton in the Seventies was a bit tougher than de Klerk's penal system but I don't think Dave laboured the point. ) Anyway, the upshot is we're all friends now.

Jed says the tipping point was Mr M's appearance on the garden makeover show Ground Force. 'Any friend of Alan Titchmarsh is a friend of the Conservative party.' Nigel says it all goes to show that one man's freedom fighter is another man's rebranding opportunity. So poignant. Next stop, Washington!

TUESDAY

Mr Redwood being perfectly horrid about Gideon's super-dooper pledge to scrap stamp duty on shares. Going round telling backbenchers it's a 'mincing metrosexual's tax cut, a tax cut that dare not speak its name'. Poor G v upset. I mean, is 'JR' from another planet or something? !

Jed searching for a mission statement to go with our new logo, whenever he manages to choose it. (Current favourite - two hands clasping a bunch of organic rhubarb. ) Something based on fraternity and community, identity and 'the sphere of belonging'. Nigel suggests: 'By the strength of our common endeavour we achieve quite a bit more than we do alone. …

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