Diary of UK News

Image: Chatham House

Image: Chatham House

Former Home Secretaries Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind have disgraced themselves by being caught on camera appearing to offer influence and access to undercover journalists posing as reps for a Chinese company. Rifkind, nicknamed “Rockets” by some of the media for his fondness for supporting British explosions in other countries, has resigned as chairman of the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee and will not stand at the next election. Straw has voluntarily suspended himself from the Labour Party until an investigation has been completed. Rifkind has described the allegations against him as “contemptible”, but resigned after the lack of official support for him became achingly clear.

Labour have possibly realised that purchasing a large pink bus and telling everyone that it was being used to have a “conversation” with female voters was not the brightest idea. Desperate attempts at maintaining that the van was either “cerise” or “magenta” ensued. MP Gloria del Piero was also forced to pretend that she didn’t know what the colour pink was when questioned while standing next to the offending bus. It appears that everyone in Labour is hoping that we’ll all just forget (fat chance, now that John Oliver has started making fun of it). An acidic Guardian column notes that the whole debacle follows the completion of the Labour election manifesto, written predominantly by men. Patronising? Never.

The Tories are still terrible at shedding their image as party of the rich and powerful, as David Cameron’s appearance at the hilariously expensive Black and White ball showed.

In case you had decided to support the Greens in disgust at everyone else, party head Nathalie Bennet provided a spectacularly excruciating interview recently. She blamed a “brain fade” for underestimating a new-homes proposal by some 27 billion pounds, having to constantly advise reference to the manifesto when questioned. It was arguably the most painful LBC interview since Nigel Farage staggered on.

And once you’re old and have had time to let your grumpiness fester, the government can take away your right to drive! Around 14,000 pensioners were banned last year, an increase of a third since 2011.

Finally Ed Balls forgot the name of the only businessman helping him to draft his small business policy. “Bob someone”, will you please stand up?

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