When anyone in politics talks of the enormous respect they have for someone else it usually means they don't actually like them. Thus even those who respected Peter Mandelson's obvious abilities didn't seem to like him that much.
Friday evening: another embarrassing incident in a high-class restaurant.
The idea is being seriously canvassed at Westminster of an early referendum on the euro. A number of Labour backbenchers and peers - not solely on the left, but scattered across the spectrum - support the idea.
Two apparently unrelated observations from the past week. The first is the widely commented upon fact that Jonathan Aitken, though owing millions of pounds in legal fees and filing for bankruptcy, still seems to be in possession of the things that very rich people possess.
"Pass this rose among you, girls." Twenty pairs of hands dutifully passed the red rose around the classroom. "Now look," our teacher smiled sadly as she held up the flower once it had been returned to her, "how shabby and faded it looks.
Plastic madonnas, glow-in-the-dark crucifixes, technicolour posters of the Pope - they're all part of the Lourdes experience, a kitschy, Catholic consumerism that draws millions of pilgrims to the shrine in the Pyrenees. Religion reduced to a collection of crass trinkets.
I have been very unsociable of late. A decline caused by age? Possibly. Anyway I grasped the opportunity to attend a friend's wedding last Saturday. I had almost forgotten how to dance, but the party went swimmingly well.
Its magazines report the lifestyle of the dementedly rich but now, it thinks, new Labour is moving t
We were sipping the dregs of the sauvignon and talking about parents and the terrible effect they can have on their children, when my elder sister, Madeleine, nodded in my direction and said that at least we'd been lucky in that respect.
After the undemocratic farce that passed for a European Parliament election, MPs think it is downhill all the way to the general election in the early summer of 2001.
I was away for a few days and I had only two things to read. The first was The Count of Monte Cristo. The other was a collection of "bar-room jokes" given away free with an issue of FHM magazine.
Nothing can be allowed to embarrass Tony Blair. That's the most common explanation at Westminster of new Labour's decision to run the party's national executive elections three months early.
You know the section of A Question of Sport, What Happened Next? Well, what happened next?
Dole Chadee, Joey Ramiah and Ramkalawan Singh will hang on Friday 4 June.
The groans and moans are raising the Pugin roof at Westminster. You can hear sighs and whispers and even the odd cry. But this isn't another case of canoodling MP and researcher overheard consummating their passion; it isn't two Members going at it hammer and tongs in between sittings.
Recently I have been shocked and appalled by the behaviour of certain sections of the press. The sanctimonious posturing of the broadsheets over the antics of the tabloids really gets on my wick.
James and Fiona are going to have a simply splendid wedding. They've found this beautiful little chapel in mid-Wales that is really Presbyterian but is quite happy to go non-denominational for the day in return for a hefty contribution to the parish fund.
As Nato announces another "heaviest night yet" of bombing, with paralysed hospital patients among the latest victims, the truth of how and why the war began remains elusive. Nato disinformation has been largely successful. The complete list of targets hit has yet to be published in Britain.
"I'm sorry to ring so late," said a woman's voice at the other end of the phone, "but I've applied for this job with a think-tank, and they've asked for a top academic reference, and you're the only person I could think of who knew my work well, and so I wondered if you could write and say that
The previous editor of the New Statesman, Ian Hargreaves, for a brief period called me "Mr Montserrat".
I've made a cheering discovery at a moment in my life when I could do with one.
He may not have a people's poet but he has a people's general. Staff and officers at the Ministry of Defence are fuming that General Sir Charles Guthrie, chief of the defence staff, has fallen under the spell of Commander-in-Chief Tony Blair.
In the Macedonian refugee camps, the Kosovars are still reeling. They had never seen anything like it - a VIP dressed in an open-neck shirt.
The prophet of stakeholding now wants the BBC, but he is surely a thinker, not a doer
I went to see England against Sri Lanka, the first match in the cricket World Cup. This isn't going to be an authoritative account of the match because I make a strict rule of not going to a cricket match more than once in a decade.
It is more than a decade since I was last in Dover. The miners and P&O ferry workers had been on strike in quick succession. Dover had a radical edge, enriched by a wave of migrants over time.
Once the preserve of the toff, Fayed's emporium is now a Mecca for vulgarians
So there I was at Cannes and there he was and I could tell just by looking at him that he had done something very bad indeed. Yes, I was in the same room as Tom Parker Bowles the night before the tabloids revealed the shocking truth.
It's four weeks since I stopped checking my e-mails and I'm feeling better already. I'm even thinking of taking out a small advertisement in the Independent so my real friends will know that there is now no point sending me electronic mail because I won't be reading it.