Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. UK Politics
25 July 2014

Commons Condidential: Nige shows his true stripes

Farage looked a bit of a prat in an old boy’s black-and-blue-striped blazer and tie on a return to his alma mater, Dulwich College. 

By Kevin Maguire

I’m told self-styled man of the people Nigel Farage looked a bit of a prat in an old boy’s black-and-blue-striped blazer and tie on a return to his alma mater. The smouldering snout watched as the Ukip leader visited Dulwich College, the private school in south London that charges day pupils £17,400 a year. The young Nige was accused by teachers of being a “fascist” and shouting “Hitler Youth songs”. The older Farage denied the allegations, suggesting that lefty teachers were causing trouble.

Farage’s two daughters were in tow and sniggered disloyally when cartoonist Martin Rowson cheekily suggested Farage strip off to be sketched nude. Nigel mercifully declined. I wonder if he’ll wear his Alan Partridge-style old boy’s blazer-and-tie combo when Ukip stages its autumn conference in Doncaster to appeal to working-class northerners.

 

Newly promoted Michael Fallon must feel lucky when he’s chauffeured around town in the Defence Secretary’s tank-sized armoured BMW instead of sharing a Prius in the Business Department. On the eve of the reshuffle, at a defence manufacturers’ shindig, contemplating the pale, male, stale colleagues who were to be mown down as if on the first day of the Somme, Fallon was overheard musing: “They’re all being culled for the girlies.” He’s all heart, Fallon.

 

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

Old Etonians look after their own. A very grand source whispered that David Cameron has promised his school chum Ed Llewellyn a cushy diplomatic post to reward his chief of staff after next year’s election. The word is that Little Ed is heading for Rome. Her Britannic Majesty’s embassy in the Eternal City, a modern palace designed by Basil Spence, should satisfy even an Old Etonian. The electrical plug sockets are the standard British three-pin, so Llewellyn wouldn’t need to buy adapters.

 

Paranoia cloaked Ed Miliband’s US jaunt in secrecy. Fearful of an Obama brush-off or a trial by hot dog, the party refused to release advance details. Then one of the few hacks invited – BBC politics editor Nick Robinson – pulled out. Heigh-ho.

 

The phantom bike snatcher struck again in the precincts of Westminster, with the theft of Julian Huppert’s transport. The formerly freewheelin’ Lib Dem is co-chair of the all-party parliamentary cycling group and was miffed to turn up with his helmet to find the machine had vanished. Dennis Skinner’s was nicked a few weeks ago, and Miss Marple would notice that both disappeared over weekends. This isn’t the first time Huppert has lost his bike. It was confiscated in 2012 when he didn’t read signs warning that racks were being replaced at Cambridge Station.

 

I saw a tear drip down the cheek of Stephen Hammond when the Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, praised his axed roads minister. Hammond is seen as one of the most decent Tories. Maybe that’s why Lizard of Oz Lynton Crosby, who is the real PM, decided he had to go. 

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