This month, two extraordinary men came to London and spoke about a silent holocaust, and not a word of what they said was reported.
As I'm passing his desk on the sixth floor of Broadcasting House, Mike Garland turns and wiggles a finger at me. Only when I'm crouched by his side does he whisper his bit of news: "Roger's gone into hospital."
Of course, it isn't true that Downing Street is a nest of control freaks. They don't tell ministers to whom they can speak and what they can say. So they keep telling us.
When non-fiction books die - that is, when they are proved wrong, superseded, rendered irrelevant - the overwhelming majority just disappear into the oblivion of second-hand books and one copy in the British Library. But a few get a strange new life.
I'm increasingly concerned about my callous attitude towards other people's avowed depression.
Normally, I would hesitate to make assumptions about an election that takes place the day after the NS goes to press. But I think I can safely predict that, after the votes are counted, Frank Dobson will be in need of a job.
The other day, I was at a party after the screening of a film when I was introduced to one of the people involved in it. The conversation went something like this: "This is X, he was the penis?" "What?" "You know. The penis. On the slab." Then I remembered.
The news that Maeve Binchy, Britain's most popular female novelist, is to hang up her pen, has plunged me into despair. Binchy was no Tolstoy, but she served a key social role. She fought the conspiracy to make us, the female readers, feel hopelessly inadequate.
The French and the Portuguese got out; but the British stay, trying to forget the murderous acts of
I am off to the Caribbean, there to make the sequel to the White Tribe, my three-part documentary series on the English, which was broadcast on Channel 4 earlier this year. At the end of it, I declared myself an Englander of Caribbean origin.
Authoritative and avuncular, he was a symbol of a society at ease with itself - and the public can't
"We've recently tried a spot of S&M," said Mark with a sweep of the hand, which suggested that he'd been testing a new carpet cleaner rather than pushing back the barriers of erotic love. "Did it work?" wondered Claire. "It certainly freshened things up," Mark told us.
The Foreign Office continues to send out its standard dissembling letter on Iraq. Dozens of copies have been forwarded to me by members of the public bemused or angered by the contempt in which they are clearly held by the civil servants responsible.
Did you see the recent advertising campaign for IKEA which was based on the slogan, "Don't be so English"? What must have been especially galling for many people was that this slightly dismissive exhortation was coming not from Americans or Italians but from a Swedish company.
"How little things can make a big difference." This is the subtitle to the clever new bestseller across the Atlantic, The Tipping Point.
I attended the funeral of a very dear friend a few days ago. He had just turned 62, and had spent all his working life at British Rail and the Ford Motor Company.
In one of those seemingly off-the-cuff remarks he's so brilliant at, Tony Blair told someone on the tube that he was hoping for a baby girl - because he found girls easier.
Two huge moments in the history of the game of cricket. The first was charged with wonderful moments and democratic elegance: the choice, by a multinational panel, of five of the greatest cricketers to grace the game over the millennium. Perhaps there was surreptitious betting. Who cares?
A confidential document, inviting bids from public relations agencies to put the Tory case in the run-up to the general election, offers some fascinating sidelights. To begin with, it tells us who runs the show: the seven samurai.
An enormously enthusiastic man called Norman rings up out of the blue on Thursday morning to say that he'd rather like to be my agent. He tells me briefly that he is a new person "on the block" and has decided to specialise in "talent potential". Do I have an agent at the moment?
The other day, a hunt rode past our garden. Such a sight - the flash of a scarlet coat, the thumping of hooves, the barking of the pack, the blast of the hunting horn, the cries of "View Haloo" - is supposed to provoke one of two responses.
Bernard Montgomery Grant shall not pass this way again. I am not in the business of obituaries, simply a summary of his rather short life. I knew Bernie only in passing, but I was aware of the tremendous impact he had on the black and Asian movement for change.
Once tipped as a future Chief Whip, he has become new Labour's "critical friend". But does he have a
Filming of Alastair: the movie has begun, and the impact on Westminster journalists is wonderful to behold. The cameras went into No 10 for the daily lobby briefing, which therefore lasted much longer than usual.
Mike Nesbitt rings to ask if I'd like to join a new committee that will shortly begin a two-year investigation into the impact of online learning on higher education. My duties wouldn't take up more than two days a month, and there'd be a token honorarium of £60 for each meeting.
I have to confess that I'm not someone who spends much time reading the personal finance pages of newspapers.
Alongside my fear of suddenly finding myself on stage in the middle of a play and not knowing my lines, I have another fear: of being rung up by somebody compiling one of those questionnaires about "my cultural life" or "what I wish I'd known when I was 17" which appear in newspapers and magazin
Birmingham seems to be hotting up, bubbling and backfiring. First, there was the vicious attack in that city on Chris Cotter, the white boyfriend of the black athlete Ashia Hansen. His enemies attempted to scalp him, Geronimo-style.
Those who know more about these things than I do, a bafflingly large majority, say there is a deep-laid plot to ensure that Gordon Brown never becomes leader of the Labour Party and prime minister of his country.
Ironically, it was someone on this very magazine who told me once that I must never use the word "ironically" in my copy. It was bad style, mostly meaningless, unnecessary, cliched and one of the words that he thought should be banned.