Village life - Kevin Maguire keeps an eye on the revolting rebels
An armed truce, revolting rebels and the small fry stumble from Blunkett wreckage
Fur flies as more than a dozen Labour MPs assail burly whip Tommy "Two Dinners" Watson over his UN blue helmet role in the terror revolt bout between Jim Dowd and Bob Marshall-Andrews, Westminster's answer to Rebekah Wade and Ross Kemp. Two Dinners is told in no uncertain terms his job was to hold Dowd's coat, not hold him back. The Lewisham Slugger and Medway Mauler, by the way, are advised by the powers that be to put away their handbags and let the matter rest. Bets are placed on how long the armed truce will hold. Mid-February and the big education row is flashpoint favourite.
Barely suppressed fury in the David Davis camp over whispers the lad from the local comp was dismissed as an "oik" by the young sir from Eton. Cameroonians deny their man used the term, though they giggle he probably thinks it. As Tory D-Day on 6 December approaches, likely victory for David "Call Me Dave" Cameron is hailed as a triumph of style over substances. Word is both William Hague and Ken Clarke will decline to serve in a Cameron shadow cabinet. Banking too much cash, apparently.
Top of a 2005/2006 premiership rebel table compiled by stato Philip Cowley following the Great Revolt is Jeremy Corbyn on 21 points, with John McDonnell and the Medway Mauler close behind on 20 each. Whips fear bad boys and girls are actively competing for the title of most revolting rebel, a mark of respect as the Blairite empire crumbles.
Another injured victim crawls from the still-smouldering wreckage of David Blunkett's career. It is Matthew "Gissa Job" Doyle, long-term Labour mouthpiece and short-lived special adviser to the Sheffield steeler. Blunkers remains ensconced in a grace-and-disfavour home with a second £18k pay-off and an agency touting him as a £25k per night after-dinner speaker. Alas, Matty fell a few days short of the six months' service required to qualify for the standard three-month pay-off. Perhaps Blunkers could slip him a few DNA Bioscience shares.
Head girl Ruth Kelly's school troubles may prove little more than a brief diversion from a more pressing seasonal problem for her special adviser, Richard Darlington. Darlo's father posts a round-robin Christmas missive on the net; Whitehall awaits familial insights into Darlo and partner Emily Thomas, moneybags science minister Lord Sainsbury's Miss Moneypenny.
Last word on the Great Revolt after Strangers' Bar chat turns to how Geoffrey Robinson - who, incidentally, signs the cheques on this august organ - marched into the lobby to vote against 90 days' detention. Unable to stomach siding with jeering Tories, Robbo turned on his heels and instead abstained. Not so much premiership rebel as Midlands combination.
Kevin Maguire is associate editor (politics) of the Daily Mirror