I've been following with interest the Mark Thomas (comic genius or annoying lefty?) debate, started by Mick Hume in the New Statesman Diary.
Lady Godiva, history relates, was the beauteous young wife of the Earl of Mercia.
We have just passed the second anniversary of the Macpherson report into police handling of the Stephen Lawrence murder. Much of the debate has been about its use of the term "institutional racism". I find that unfortunate.
One group attracted by the political possibilities of the foot-and-mouth crisis is the Labour whips' office. The whips have imposed fierce control orders on the movements of back-bench cattle in the run-up to the election.
Last week, the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom held a conference in central London about a threat to broadcasting that few people know about. Most of the participants were academics. Dorothy Byrne, the current affairs editor of Channel 4, came.
A walk down Kilburn High Road this week reminded me of the real world out there, where not everyone pretends to watch Question Time as opposed to The Weakest Link, and where people spend more on their heating bills than on wine.
Not in my wildest and wackiest imaginings could I have conceived that, at the beginning of the 21st century, a boatload of wage slaves, packed shoulder to shoulder, covered in vomit and ankle-deep in shit, with women giving birth on board, would be discovered in the heart of Europe.
The French prime minister, once dismissed as an old left dinosaur, waits to avenge himself on the Th
It looks like a plot, and it talks like a plot, so it must be a plot. "Friends" of Peter Mandelson have told their friends in the media that the redisgraced former Ulster secretary will "get" his tormentors.
What is it with all these awards ceremonies? Funniest Politician this, Worst-Dressed Pop Star that: there are now so many fatuous types of award, celebrating so many ridiculous "achievements", that even I have received one.
There was a little boy and a little boy was he.
He ran away to Scotland the people there to see.
He is a businessman with the common touch, a bully, a friend of Alastair Campbell and . . . the next
All that truckling to Buckingham Palace by new Labour, all that pretence of caring about Princess Diana, now proves to have been futile. The royals prefer the real thing.
Having turned down David Frost's offer to be featured on Through the Keyhole because an ad break lasts longer than it takes to look round my current flat, I am moving again. This has proved a difficult task, made more unpleasant by estate agents. Take one local agency.
Sun, sea and sex is not a bad formula to base your holiday on. Or a business empire. The late Gilbert Trigano made his fortune from the three S's with his Club Med holiday resorts.
The speculation among the heavy political pundits is that, by the time this issue of the NS reaches you, Keith Vaz will have disappeared into the cold, dark night.
Make of this what you will. A veteran Labour backbencher sallied forth to No 10 (don't lie, Downing Street children, I have the invitation card) for a glass or two - and was discreetly offered a peerage in return for his safe seat in the north of England.
In the smoke-filled working men's clubs, they are using tabloid photos of Mandy in target practice for their dart-throwing. The regulars trade jokes about Reinaldo, shirt-lifters and men in tights.
Davos is cold. Unrelentingly so. This tiny and mildly opulent ski resort, tucked in the waistband of the Alps and close to the Austrian border, has a population numbering about 6,000. In the winter, visitors far outnumber the locals.
And what, Labour backbenchers are asking with a quiet terror, if the re-disgraced Peter Mandelson makes a resignation speech, on the lines of Geoffrey Howe's coup de grace to Margaret Thatcher a decade ago?
What do the glamorous, celebrity-loving Peter Mandelson and that butch bully Alastair Campbell have in common, apart from closeness to Tony Blair? Well, both enjoy playing their public personas to the hilt.
From Soho to Bow and beyond, there are angry men in bars and pubs bemoaning the death of the woman who "knows how to take a joke". This fantasy female can be fondled for the price of a drink, never takes offence and still leaves a bloke with change from a fiver.
Profile - Stephen Smith wonders why an old lefty is now singing for the Republicans
Back from a fortnight in Washington DC, and I am eager for respite from the fanaticism that runs deep in the American soul.
I continue to be the bete noire of the Trinidadians in the Caribbean and here in the UK. My younger brother visited me for Christmas and regaled the family with stories about the responses to my recent Channel 4 documentary Trouble in Paradise.
Small wonder that Peter Mandelson looked, according to one account, "distracted" when he gave Labour's National Executive Committee an upbeat assessment of the general election campaign last Tuesday.
In these parts, there are plenty of opportunities to annoy the Homeless Tsar by giving small change to the poor and/or feckless.
We all know that history repeats itself the second time as farce - but what does it do the fifth time? The new England manager, who is the first foreigner to coach the national team, has arrived at last, and the ingredients of a familiar drama are already falling nicely into place.