Jeremy Corbyn

Hopefully my current streak remains in tact.

Because of the wrong type of snow, I’ve had a week of cancellations. Ruth Deech, the bioethicist and cross-bench peer, invited Mary and me to a concert at the Drapers’ Hall last Wednesday (cancelled). David Morgan, former chairman of the MCC, invited me to a St David’s Day dinner at Lord’s last Thursday (cancelled – he couldn’t get a train out of Cardiff). I was due to speak at Hinchingbrooke School in Huntingdon last Friday (cancelled). Admiral Nelson walked to school (seven miles) through the snow, which is perhaps why no European ever beat him. What would he have made of Brexit?

However, Norman Fowler’s 80th birthday party, held at the Garrick on 2 March, did go ahead. But he admitted his birthday was in February and he’d put the party off in the hope of better weather.

Peer pressure

I overheard at Norman Fowler’s party that a new list of peers will be announced next week. Will they include Malcolm Rifkind, Jack Straw and Peter Lilley, who could pass on their vast political experience in debates and committees in the Upper House? Should they fail to make the list, perhaps we should compare them with those who do, in this censorious age.

Good manners

Scotland’s well-deserved victory over England in the rugby at Edinburgh was marred by an ill-mannered crowd who booed whenever England took a penalty. We can all learn from the Irish on how to behave when a visiting team plays against them. The crowd remain silent during a penalty and don’t require flashing neon messages telling them to respect the kicker, as can be seen at Twickenham. Ireland are not only the best team in the Six Nations championship, but they are also the best mannered.

Doughty defender

Went back home to Weston-super-Mare last Saturday to open the new Jill Dando News Centre for aspiring journalists. I was greeted by an enthusiastic group of girls and boys who want to follow in Jill’s footsteps. Such is the centre’s success that they are already considering opening another branch in the county. I also spoke that evening at the town’s first literary festival, in the newly renovated museum. On the train back to London, I couldn’t help wondering what Jill would have made of the BBC’s current pay row, because for sure she wouldn’t have hesitated to voice her opinion – as she did in defence of …read more

Source:: New Statesman


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