Village life - Kevin Maguire admires unity in Westminster

Paxman licks his wounds, Hoey is pursed, but the workers, united, will never be defeated

The workers united will never be defeated, part one: strife in the members’ dining room over the culinary rights of Labour’s new intake. The 050505 club, cunningly named after this year’s 5 May election, is in dispute with House authorities over how many MPs are permitted to attend its Monday-evening knife-and-forkers. Waiters were content to push together tables for up to 20 per sitting until "a minister" objected. Staff announced that an order had come from on high that no more than eight MPs were to be permitted per table and that no tables should be joined. So that’s a dinner reservation, please, for those thinking Blair should quit in 90 days, another for those who think 60, and a third, larger booking for the 28-dayers.

Charles "Chief Super" Clarke’s stock shows signs of recovery since he humiliated the outgoing premier by publicly volunteering to cop the blame for the terror fiasco. Tiring once again of playing Home Secretary, the Chief Super, I’m told, regards himself as a potential leadership contender or, at the very least, Chancellor of the Exchequer under Big Gordie. Brownites remark how that huge head of his would make a suitable mould for a kid’s money box, his sticky-out ears perfect as handles for little hands.

Jeremy Paxman licks his wounds after being made to look like a pussycat in various shades of pink by David “Call Me Dave” Cameron. Defensive BBC suits blame Paxo’s faulty earpiece, Dave disarming the would-be interrogator with small talk during a delay in Yawnight’s recording. Long-term Westminster inmates forward-plan a request for Dave’s Treasury security file under the 30-year rule in 2022, when he will be 56 and a household name or footnote in history. Either there’s a few lines on a normal university experience or a row over what he didn’t confess.

Hounding of the inner-city MP Kate "Tally" Hoey over her chairmanship of the Countryside Alliance takes a fresh turn. Regular readers may recall that a Chippenham comrade failed to persuade Labour HQ that jodhpurs are a no-no in the People’s Party. Undeterred, Tally Hoey’s pursuer is seeking the support of Angela Eagle, perched on Labour’s parliamentary committee. I’m not holding my breath.

The workers united will never be defeated, part two: victory in the battle of the terrace door goes to thirsty MPs. The Serjeant at Arms and Speaker reopened a Thameside exit from Strangers’ Bar, removing the alarmed lock. Mass direct action is responsible: a bevy of parliamentarians simply ignored the ban and triggered regular pursuits by fed-up boys in blue. Incidentally, a new £422,000 covered walkway in Star Chamber Court is too low, knocking off coppers’ helmets and threatening the 6ft 8in Shrewsbury Tory Daniel Kawczynski with decapitation.

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

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