Lord Prezza and me against the Blairite tsars
There is clearly little personal love lost between the London mayoral rivals Oona King and Ken Livingstone, who came into the LBC studios recently. Barely had they sat down at opposite mikes than they were jabbing fingers at each other. Neither seemed to understand that it's not policy that will beat the incumbent - it's coming up with strategy to neutralise the phenomenon that is Boris. Tellingly, perhaps, Oona arrived with an entourage of five hangers-on, while Ken loped in on his own. Oona had a sheaf of notes in front of her, while Ken had a coffee. Interpret that to suit your bias.
The rumour is that, whichever Milibrother wins the Labour leadership, Ed Balls will be offered the position of shadow home secretary. The post needs an attack dog, and whatever else you can say about Mini-Brown's leadership campaign, Balls has certainly been the only contender to sink his teeth into the Tories and to inflict any pain whatsoever. But I hear whispers that he may have plans to take some time away from the front line to think and write. Well, he always did take his lead from Gordon.
It's very rare that I find common cause with Lord Prescott of Kingston-upon-Hull, but the appointment of Alan Milburn as a Tory social mobility tsar got us both spluttering. Following John Hutton, Will Hutton and Frank Field, it makes you wonder whether the Tories are so devoid of talent that they have to rely on former Blairites and has-been Blairite ministers. Or is the Cameron inner circle still, even now, bedazzled by anyone who continues to worship at the Blair temple?
Speaking of Blair, even the most flint-hearted lefty would have to acknowledge that his decision to donate the "profits" from his book to the Royal British Legion is a grand gesture. But what does the word "profits" mean? In the publishing world, it could be many different things. Wouldn't it have been simpler to make clear that all proceeds from the book - including royalties, rights sales and serial deals - are included? Otherwise, suspicious bloggers like me will continue to wonder if this really is a "Ronseal" deal. Does it do what it says in the press release? Besides, if the proceeds are going to charity, why not reverse the decision not to have a newspaper serialisation? If Mandy trousered £400K from the Times, surely Blair's book is worth at least double. But spare us another spooky video . . .
The left-wing blogosphere has struggled in its search for a left-of-centre equivalent to Guido Fawkes. (Remember Derek Draper's crash-and-burn efforts?) Perhaps the search can now come to an end. The Political Scrapbook blog is fast becoming a must-read site for left and right alike. It's pithy, rakes some muck, needles and irritates. The authors even seem to have a sense of humour - something not that prevalent among left-wing bloggers, it has to be said. But the left-wing world online is in very rude health, as will soon become clear when the Total Politics blog poll results are released.
Iain Dale is a political blogger