The edge - Amanda Platell sizes up Victoria Beckham's jeans

Blunkett's office kept shtum on his latest lover, and claims he'd tried to impress her by boasting t

There comes a point in every vainglorious man's downfall where our emotions turn from incredulity to pity. That moment came for David Blunkett when it was revealed that his hitherto platonic girlfriend was not only intimate, but concurrently intimate with the minister and a businessman and, most devastatingly of all, that she had thrown herself into the arms of Max Clifford.

Yes, it was a David Beckham moment for the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when Sally Anderson came out of hiding with claims that he had proposed to her within weeks of meeting at a nightclub. He also wanted a baby with the 29-year-old talented singer who has been so far unable to give up her day job as an estate agent.

In time-honoured footballing tradition, Blunkett's office was keeping shtum, especially over claims that he tried to impress his young lover by boasting he was the Prime Minister's mentor.

Alas, Anderson appears to have the phone and text messages to back up her story. It cannot be long before she turns up on a reality TV show following in the footsteps of Rebecca Loos. But whereas the Max Clifford kiss-and-sell currency for a football floozie is "we did it five times a night, 'e made me tingle all ova", for a politician's totty the line is, "it was love, he proposed marriage, he wanted my babies". After one phone call Blunkett took from Blair, Anderson is said to have remarked: "Can't that guy do anything on his own?"

Talking of the Beckhams, the footballer's better half, Victoria, has launched her 346th career: fashion this time, with an exclusive range of designer jeans. At £269 a pair, it was hardly surprising the stack of her unwanted garments was as high as that of her husband's most recent, and rather better-selling, autobiography, in a fashionable north London jeanery. When I asked the owner how they fit, she said: "I wouldn't know, no one's tried them on." One aspect of the jeans does not disappoint - the claim they do for the bottom what the Wonderbra did for the bosom. By which one can only assume they make a woman look rather vulgar.

With all these claims and counter-claims of unsolicited texting and e-mails, a girl can't be too careful. Just appearing unsolicited on your e-mail system is enough to scorch a reputation. So I was very surprised when I saw an e-mail from Tony Blair pop up on my screen this week. "Thank you for all your questions . . ." (I didn't send you any, Prime Minister). He spoke of his "deep concern about the future of our world" (what's all this "our world", Tony?). He went on, "I also want to ask you to consider getting more involved . . ." Try explaining that to the News of the World.

First we had the Greg Dyke No-Tie Initiative, the BBC's attempt to make politics interesting to a younger audience. It failed, but no one told the Tory modernisers. Now we have stage two, Andrew Marr's interactive show How Euro Are You?, broadcast on BBC2 on 3 October. It was an ambitious concept, with 12 enthusiasts on the subject on stage, myself included, proving how much we really knew about Europe, a live studio audience and viewers playing at home.

It was that rare thing on television - interactive, informative, interesting and fresh.

Which, returning to the Tory modernisers, was more than they achieved at Blackpool. Listening to Radio 5 Live when I got home, the presenter said: "We've just spotted the Tory chairman, Francis Maude, signing autographs in the conference hotel foyer." Which prompted the phone-in competition, Most Pointless Autograph Of All Time. I think Maude won.

Millionaire footballer Wayne Rooney's 19-year-old girlfriend, Coleen McLoughlin, has just been named Celebrity Shopper of the Year, so she was surprised when Chanel refused her credit card on the purchase of a £1,343 belt. A fuss ensued, but at least Rooney didn't hit anyone, despite being furious about the kerfuffle. The couple thought the problem was that the shop assistants did not know who she was. Au contraire my dears, the problem was that they did.

This article first appeared in the 10 October 2005 issue of the New Statesman, A very corporate loss of nerve