Has David Davis ever seen Brokeback Mountain?

The truth about the Tory maverick and the Hollywood hit.

Oona King is operating an innovative online campaign in her bid to beat Ken Livingstone to Labour's London mayoral nomination. She is inviting bloggers to her Docklands campaign centre to find out more about her policies, including, strangely, several right-wing Tory bloggers. I guess she reckons if a big tent worked for Bill Clinton, it can work for her. I'm still awaiting my invite from Ken . . .

Hugh Orde has had to learn a lesson that ministers in the coalition should take note of: never threaten to resign unless you mean it. In November, he said he would resign as chair of the Association of Chief Police Officers if the coalition carried out its manifesto commitment to electing police chiefs locally. On 1 August, Emily Maitlis had him wriggling on The Andrew Marr Show. He sounded less like a policeman and more like the worst type of prevaricating politician.

Jonathan Oliver is the third Sunday Times political editor in a row, after David Cracknell and Michael Prescott, to depart for the comfier world of corporate PR. I hear several applications have already landed on the desk of the editor, John Witherow, but the word is that the woman to beat is Oliver's fragrant deputy, Isabel Oakeshott.

Like most people, I think the most impressive thing about Andy Burnham is his array of eyelashes. He also talks a good game, even if he is prone to the odd exaggeration. His latest attempt at being a man of the people has involved him slamming politicians (commonly known by the name of Miliband) for having had no life outside politics. Burnham's working life outside politics consists of a single year with the Football Task Force and a stint at a local newspaper.

There's nothing as "ex" as an ex-MP, as the former home secretary Charles Clarke is finding out. He was spotted lunching recently at the Haymarket Hotel with the former Blairite gatekeeper Anji Hunter, who now handles PR for Anglo American, the mining company. My lobbyist snout couldn't help but overhear the phrases "I'm skint" and "No one's interested". I can already hear the laughter emanating from Kirkcaldy. But it wasn't just Charlie C who was speaking too loudly. If my snout heard correctly, it seems that Hunter has not found it very easy to get close to David Cameron. Apparently, this Prime Minister is a little less accessible than the last.

Now the truth can be revealed. When David Davis used the phrase "Brokeback Coalition", he did so without ever having seen Brokeback Mountain the film. "I'm going to have to get the DVD," he told another Tory MP recently. I'd like to be a fly on the wall watching him watch it. Or perhaps not.

One question that is vexing Tory whips is the identity of the MP who, in the early days of Gordon Brown's premiership, was on the verge of defecting. Cosy tête-à-têtes were held at No 10, but in the end the MP in question uncharacteristically wimped out. A clue: it wasn't John Bercow.

Iain Dale is a political blogger
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This article first appeared in the 09 August 2010 issue of the New Statesman, The first 100 days