Politics 21 September 2007 Take that Marks and Spencers... A one-man consumer boycott, Tony Benn, Zac Goldsmith, the BBC cat and other issues... Sign up for our weekly email * Print HTML We've got rather a lovely little spat underway here at newstatesman.com. It all stems from Sian Berry's reaction to the Conservative Party's Quality of Life review put together by Tory A-lister Zac Goldsmith and ex-cabinet minister John Gummer. A few days after we posted Sian's blog Zac responded accusing her of not even reading the report. Well NS blogger and Green Party London mayoral candidate wasn't taking that lying down and was soon tapping away at her keyboard. Why not have a read of her retort? Obviously I've offered ZG a right of reply so watch this space in case there are more developments.... Next I'd like to highlight the very welcome return of Simon Munnery. He's back and on first rate form pondering the role of the telly chef in modern Britain. "Chefs always use 'the finest ingredients'. Isn’t that cheating? Shouldn’t a great chef be able to create a decent meal out of mediocre ingredients? Where do chefs get off anyway taking the credit for food; they didn’t make it after all - they only heated it up, chopped it and slapped it on a plate," he writes. This week we've also had fantastic contribution to our Faith Column from Onkar Ghate. He writes on Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism. Now, in the closing weeks of September parts of Britain erupt into something of a frenzy as the politicians return from their (very) long summer breaks and, presumably to recoup from time with their families, head to the seaside. Actually the whole thing begins with the TUC sometime in September and finally ends in the first week of October with the Tories. Well throughout all of this we've been running the New Statesman Conference Blog. Next week Labour descends on Bournemouth so look out for a mixture of MPs, union members and activists in the coming days. Tony Benn kicks off our coverage on Sunday... Finally, I had some extremely upsetting news this week. You may (or may not) have read my article in the mag on Pavarotti and how no-one slept in 1990. Well towards the end I cite Take That as one of the reasons the nineties didn't live up to their early promise. Now I've just discovered that Marks and Spencer are to use the far from fabulous four in an advertising campaign so I'm afraid I shan't be able to shop there anymore. Mind you I don't anticipate a huge downturn in M&S profits. I've been boycotting Crunchie bars for about 16 years - ever since the commercial featuring a peculiarly annoying chap wearing a ginger wig - and so far as I know the Cadbury company still flourishes. Finally, viewers wanted to call the new Blue Peter cat 'Cookies'. The BBC fixed it so the animal was named Socks. Now heads have rolled and the corporation is making amends by getting a kitten that will be called Cookies. Oh the seamless art of PR. › Stop blogging, start talking... Ben Davies trained as a journalist after taking most of the 1990s off. Prior to joining the New Statesman he spent five years working as a politics reporter for the BBC News website. He lives in North London. Subscribe from just £1 per issue More Related articles General election 2017: Why don't voters get more angry about public spending cuts? What Corbynism and Milibandism do, and don't, have in common Jeremy Corbyn's policies aren't that different from Ed Miliband's or even New Labour. So why is he being attacked?