The insider - Kevin Maguire reveals Labour's plans for illegal raves

Old Labour fails to die, new Labour causes rail chaos, and how to find the PM

With impeccable timing, the Palace of Westminster authorities have smacked their size 12s into the pre-election health row between Labour and Conservative quacks. With the state of the NHS becoming an election issue, there could be better times to invite private health companies to sign up patients. But to old Labourite snarls, representatives of Bupa and Westfield have been permitted to set up shop in the Portcullis House atrium. Talk in St Stephen's Tavern of an anti-war-style, mass die-in protest proved just that: talk.

Charles Kennedy faces a Fleet Street revolt over attempts by his self-styled "real opposition" to charge top dollar to follow him on the election stump. The Lib Dems are demanding £8,500 plus VAT to sit up front with Chas, or £7,000 for a place in a second coach. At that price, Kennedy should be left with more than enough spare seats to strap the carrycot.

Chaotic scenes in a first-class rail carriage from London to north-west England. At one end, the pugnacious John Reid and his health hit squad shout down mobile phones en route to Warrington and the war over Margaret Dixon's shoulder. At the other end, the combative John Prescott and Ian McCartney, the Labour Party chairman, head oop north to tackle the Tories. Trapped in the middle is a small huddle of innocent civilians - commuters who paid a small fortune to avoid hoi polloi of the cheap seats. But Virgin Trains reports no ticket refund requests.

Labour is to run its campaign as if hosting a series of illegal raves.

Broadcasters will be directed to a city, then told to ring a number to discover where the PM will be strutting his stuff. The TV starlets Andrew Marr, Adam Boulton and Nick Robinson are none too enamoured of the idea of circling central Birmingham in convoy as they dial to find the venue. The final laps promise to rival Wacky Races as each of the three tries to get there first.

Spied clearing his locker just off the Members' Lobby was the ardent Blairite Jim Knight, MP for South Dorset. A spot of spring-cleaning? Or recognition that his majority of 153 - Labour's smallest - is vulnerable to a ripple, let alone a backlash?

As chronicled in this column, the No 10 aide Liz Lloyd and the ex-MEP Mo O'Toole battled for the safe Labour seat of Bishop Auckland. In the end, neither won, and Helen Goodman came through the middle. She sits on the National Toy Council, an industry body advising that it's OK to buy Ninja Turtles for your sprogs. Goodman is also a former Treasury mandarin who was a prime suspect when a Tory privatisation memo was leaked ahead of the 1997 election. She insists an internal inquiry vindicated her. Right-wing hacks intend to put that to the test.

Kevin Maguire is associate editor (politics) of the Daily Mirror