Gordon's dashed daydreams

Big Gordie's dream of reviving dowdy new Labour with a touch of telly glamour has been dashed. The queen of daytime TV, Lorraine Kelly, rebuffed the incoming premier's advances, I hear, and prefers her nicely upholstered sofa to the uncomfortable green benches of the Commons. But another telly big name has expressed an interest in becoming a Labour MP - a history buff, apparently - as the People's Party struggles to compete with the Tories in the trendy stakes.

To Bournemouth and the annual Local Government Association talkathon. Town-hall bods excitedly applauded Hoodie Dave when he stood up, yet did so less enthusiastically when he sat down, a sure sign he'd bombed. The Tory leader's low-watt speech was about energy, moving some to wonder if a confused Hoodie thought he was addressing the Association of Electricity Board Middle Managers rather than municipal bigwigs. Star turn of the week was the BBC presenter Andrew Neil, who offered an "I'll see you outside" to an upstart Derby councillor.

Fear and loathing at the weekly Parliamentary Labour Party where Miss Whiplash, Jacqui Smith, persuaded turkeys to vote for Christmas by securing approval for plans, disclosed here last week, to discipline troublemakers. An uppity Scot, Ian Davidson, inquired if it was a return to the days when MPs must register affairs in a black book. Sitting at the top table, face like a gambler who'd just lost a million, was John "Wyatt Twerp" Prescott. If looks could kill, Deputy Dawg would be helping police with their inquiries and there'd be a by-election in Glasgow South West.

Back in the tearoom, fingers are pointed at that couple of Likely Lads, Stephen Byers and Alan Milburn, as the source of outlandish claims that the outgoing premier is to make the city farming minister, David "Wellies" Miliband, the new Deputy Dawg, should the outlaws get Wyatt Twerp. A more interesting theory doing the rounds is that a mischievous Brownite set Wellies up for a fall with a reverse ferret, building up Miliband so he'd be knocked down.

The rebel pensioner Walter Wolfgang will need to dig deep, should dirty tricks prevent him winning election to Labour's NEC. After last year's arrest under anti-terror legislation for shouting "rubbish", the party is taking no chances in Manchester. The cost of a day visitor's pass for oldies is up from £29 to £82.25, a 184 per cent hike to deter dangerous types like Wolfgang.

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