Boy George and the wily Fox

George Osborne and Liam Fox are once more a happy couple of neocons after a Tory kiss-and-make-up to rival that of John and Toni Terry. The Tory equivalent of frolicking for the cameras took place at Major Fox's New Year's party. Guest of honour was "the Lady", as Tories persist in calling Maggie Thatcher, but the star turn was Cabin Boy George, who buried the hatchet with his friend-turned-foe-turned-friend again. I hear the two are now speaking regularly for the first time since 2005, when Fox ran for the leadership but Osborne backed the winner. As Tory nerves fray ahead of the election, my snout whispers that Fox and Osborne recognise a common enemy: David Cameron.

No 10 staff aren't alone in carrying scars from toiling near Gordon Brown. Cleaners spent the recess removing ink from the green bench at the despatch box, left there by his leaky marker pen. Sky's Adam Boulton still uses one of Broon's pens, a memento of the interview during which the PM threw it down in a huff.

Deserting Labour MPs are finding employment courtesy of the ex-Tory health secretary Virginia Bottomley. The headhunting Baroness Bott asked the Treasury minister Ian Pearson for his CV and was heard bragging that she'd "fixed up" Kitty Ussher, retiring over decorating expenses. Maybe Ussher will be an Artex poster girl.

The word in Tory circles is that Boy George's little helper, Rupert Harrison, had a secret hand in the unlikely epistle to the Osborne-friendly Sunday Times praising Tory economic policies. The wheeze provoked two critical letters, with three times as many signatures, to the FT. No success, no Tory comment.

To Worthing West, where I learned that Labour's Ian Ross - challenger to Lady Bott's insignificant other, Peter - is an Old Etonian, of sorts: he was once a tour guide on buses passing the school. Ross would print, at his own expense, words to the "Boating Song" to encourage sightseers to sing along on the top deck. Ross should use any spares to lure out Cameron's closet OEs.

Cameron's bald spot is back, bigger and barer than ever. An eagle-eyed informant with a cameraphone snapped the sizeable skin patch at a Tory event. Is Cam pulling his hair out over the polls?

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

Kevin Maguire is Associate Editor (Politics) on the Daily Mirror and author of our Commons Confidential column on the high politics and low life in Westminster. An award-winning journalist, he is in frequent demand on television and radio and co-authored a book on great parliamentary scandals. He was formerly Chief Reporter on the Guardian and Labour Correspondent on the Daily Telegraph.

This article first appeared in the 01 March 2010 issue of the New Statesman, The Dave Ultimatum