Nick Clegg jumps on the royal bandwagon
23:01 GMT, 9 December 2012
Clegg went out of his way to issue a gushing statement congratulating Will and Kate on their good news
Thanks to his never-ending quest to find a point to his political existence, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will rush through Parliament a law change to ensure that if William and Kate have a daughter, she will be the automatic heir to the throne.
Calamity Clegg — like David Cameron and Red Ed Miliband — went out of his way to issue a gushing statement congratulating the couple on their good news.
But as recently as 2009, Clegg struck a less reverential tone when his office was approached by Republic, the fervently anti-monarchy group.
Republic wrote to the three party leaders urging them to include the monarchy in the debate on constitutional reform. Clegg, of course, agreed with their demand.
A spokesman for Clegg wrote: ‘There would be a referendum in the first year of a Liberal Democrat government asking people whether they agree with the principle of a written constitution and the proposed process for producing this. This would, of course, be able to include consideration of the role of the Head of State.
‘We have also called for a shift of sovereignty from the Crown in Parliament to the People in Parliament, as well as subjecting Royal Prerogative powers to the control of Parliament.’
New referendum Calamity Clegg continues to cause furrowed brows at Buckingham Palace
Well, that’s already started of course. It was the Lib Dems’ wretched insistence on a five-year fixed-term Parliament which robbed the Queen of her historic right to dissolve Parliament.
Calamity Clegg continues to cause furrowed brows at Buckingham Palace.
In the summer, he withdrew from a private audience with the Queen before a meeting of the Privy Council, citing pressure of Parliamentary work. But then he’s such a busy little bee, isn’t he.
If the royal baby is a girl, she will become Queen and head of the Church of England but, thanks to the infinite wisdom of the General Synod, she cannot become a Bishop — at least until they change that rule, too.
Farmer Zac sells up
Zac Goldsmith is selling his Devon estate as part of his divorce settlement
The dashing Tory MP Zac Goldsmith is selling his Devon estate, Walreddon Manor near Tavistock, as part of his divorce settlement with his ex-wife Sheherazade.
The 543-acre estate farm has been sold at an unspecified price, having gone on the market for 7 million. In the MPs’ register of interests, Goldsmith declares: ‘Self-employed farming activity in Devon. This is not paid, as the activity is loss-making.’
Hope he made that clear to the purchaser!
The newly-knighted Tory MP Sir Edward Garnier was frank about his reasons for his elevation in an interview with his local newspaper the Leicester Mercury. Garnier, sacked as Solicitor General in the reshuffle, said the PM offered the gong ‘as he was dispensing with my services. It sweetens the bitter pill. It’s nice, but it doesn’t turn my head. It would be a pity if others looked at me in a different light.’ There’s not much danger of that.
The trades union movement has welcomed its first million-pound-salary official. The annual package of Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, last year reached a vertigo-inducing 1,150,195. This included a basic salary of 984,615, plus extras such as 27,955 for a car and 6,012 for private medical cover. Despite having only 4,202 members — paying 303,400 in union dues — the association gets 2.3million in television fees, a significant contribution to Taylor’s income.
A full 24 hours after the UK Statistics Authority warned Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to stop claiming that NHS spending is up, when it’s down, the Tory website boasted: ‘We have increased the NHS budget in real terms since 2010-11 and will continue doing so.’
Joke of the week, overheard in a House of Commons bar: ‘Gay people should be allowed to marry. Then they they can be as miserable as heterosexual married couples.’
The day tessa took a dive
Yet more evidence of the way Gordon Brown deployed the art of spin to blacken his opponents. Tessa Jowell, the then Culture Secretary, went to see him privately in Downing Street to warn him they were doomed if he led Labour into the General Election.
‘I felt a bit like Tom Daley must do on the diving board,’ she tells Total Politics magazine. ‘I said it as kindly as I could. I was absolutely clear it was a confidential conversation. The next day, it was briefed all over the place that I was going to resign from the Cabinet — which was not true. It was just nasty destabilisation.’