Bill Morris is planning his exit strategy from the Transport Workers, according to well-placed sources in his union. But Tony Blair is baulking at the price.
Elegantly dressed Bill is said to have his heart fixed on a peerage. And a governor-generalship, perhaps in Canada. Oh, and what about a Privy Council seat? The PM is keen to do his best, though Downing Street thinks Jamaica, where Morris might do something about drug-trafficking to Britain, would be a better choice. Expect an announcement in December of a timetable for the TGWU leadership election.
Police were called to Sedgefield village green at 4am on the morning of the great leader's Nuke Baghdad speech, when frightened residents spotted a young woman gesticulating wildly and talking to herself. It was Suzie Norton, political presenter for GMTV, rehearsing her piece, the TV van having not arrived yet. Still, it beats her being called a "c**t" on the Commons terrace by a suitably refreshed Charles "Two Pizzas" Clarke.
Spotted dealing with touts outside Arsenal's Highbury stadium: Matthew Taylor, teenage head of the IPPR think-tank. But was he buying or selling?
How could it happen? The saintly Virginia Bottomley discovered that some pervert had been downloading pornographic images on to her Commons computer during the recess. If the culprit is identified, I expect her husband Peter, also an MP, to give the fellow a sound thrashing. Or at least a good talking-to. He's good at that.
Martin Sixsmith, who signed a confidentiality agreement to get his £100,000 pay-off from his post as spin-doctor to Steve Byers, has found an ingenious way round new Labour's gag. For a Channel 4 programme, he's asking those involved in the saga - particularly former BBC colleagues - to "please tell my story in your own words". Neat.
My summer competition seeking new pastures for Peter Mandelson brought forth a good crop. Not all are printable, and shame on you, Sid Goldstein of south London, for ideas that would unquestionably run foul of Oofy Wegg-Prosser's tribunal of political correctness. But I like your idea that Mandy become mascot to Hartlepool FC, now that H'Angus the Monkey is mayor. Martin Green of Earls Court thinks the leader's little helper should replace the Downing Street cat. R J Briand of Leek, Staffs, suggests that "Mr Mandelson" (I assume we are talking about the same person) should become a professional house-sitter: "If you don't want to be burgled, the former Northern Ireland secretary with all his gun-toting bodyguards would be the perfect solution."
D Miles of Salford says, since Mandy is a fighter not a quitter: "How about he represents GB in the ring at the next Olympics in the appropriate weight class?" David Smith of north Kensington offers "head of the secret service, or gossip columnist". But the £20 book token must go to Sylvia Armour, of Belsize Park, London, who writes: "For me, the burden of proof as to how we will get along without joining the euro rests with the antis. When I was at school, we were often made in debate to argue the case for that with which we disagreed. Thus, Peter Mandelson should be given the job of proving the economic case against joining the euro."
Paul Routledge is chief political commentator for the Mirror