On Piers Morgan’s wedding, education, Moat, Iraq, celebocracy and Dacre being a wimp
Posted on 11 July 2010 | 3:07am
Apart from lots of journos who send their kids to private schools doing their best to suggest Michael Gove’s cocks-up are not too serious, and David Cameron being ‘terrified’ of London state comprehensives (all part of paving the way for his ‘free schools’ nonsense),the continuing wall-to-wall coverage of Moat-hunt, and the odd (I mean odd) picture of Peter Mandelson in a cravatte, there is very little in the papers to interest or amuse, except for a few good World Cup final pieces. Hup Holland Hup.
If that was the longest blog intro I have ever written, it may be because my favourite part of this particular entry is at the end, a clue to which is in the headline. But bear with me, don’t just rush there.
On the education front, as I said to Andy Coulson at Piers Morgan’s wedding bash last night (it was that kind of do) I think education could be the issue where the Clegg-Cameron glue holiding the coalition together begins to come apart. Once the cuts bite, and the madness of the free schools policy fully dawns upon Lib Dems who claim to care about education for the many not the few, they will be retreating to that place Lib Dems know best — avoiding difficult decisions when the going gets tough.
But first, thanks to the commenters who felt that my portrayal of 24 hour news in ‘Maya’, (novel complete with Piers endorsement on the front cover for its portrayal of modern celebrity) was if anything less satirical than the actual portrayal of the denouement of the hunt for Mr Moat. Tweet of the week has to be the one pointing out that he had his own TV show – ‘the news.’. And thanks to The Observer for the analysis of the chief constable’s eye shadow. A real advance for women’s equality that one.
… So back to the wedding bash. Fewer photographers waiting behind the barriers than we expected. Perhaps they knew there was to be no Simon Cowell, no Osbournes, no Posh or Becks, obviously no Cheryl. Get well soon pet.
Our daughter not being with us, I couldn’t tell you the order of merit in the celebocracy, so this is just a random recollection, with apologies to the ones I didn’t recognise or have never heard of – Alan Sugar, Christine Bleakley, Amanda Holden (I think – I tend to confuse her with Anthea Turner), someone called Bruno who someone called Eve (Pollard) told me was a judge in a TV dance show, Eve’s daughter Claudia Winkelman, Kirsty Young, Andrew Neil, Sophie Raworth, Andrea Catherwood, Emily Maitlis (he obviously likes newsreaders). On the sports front Freddie Flintoff (good laugh as ever) and Kevin Pietersen (brighter and more charming than I expected.) Nice too to see Sarah Brown.
If you are surprised that I had a perfectly civil chat with Coulson, David Cameron’s comms director, I also had one with Adam Boulton, there as Mr Anji Hunter, lifelong friend and near neighbour of Mr Morgan, whose Sussex family home was much grander than I had expected. I thought on arrival it was one of those National Trust-type pads you can hire for weddings and parties and porn shoots.
It was also less of a celeb fest than we had feared, with Piers’ and bride Celia Walden’s families easily outnumbering the A, B, C and D-listers.
I particularly enjoyed meeting Piers’ sons and brothers, who had a very good take on older bro. I was able to satisfy my long-held suspicions that whenever Piers and I had argued about Iraq and Afghanistan, and he had always used in support of his stance the experience and views of his army officer brother who had served in both wars, brother’s views were in fact closer to mine than his.
But as it was the man’s wedding bash, as a non-party animal I must admit that as parties go, it was a good one.
However please allow me to close with a descent into pettiness, by revealing that my personal highlight of the evening came as Fiona and I were standing chatting to Kevin Pietersen at the end of the queue for food, when Mail Obergruppenfuhrer Paul Dacre emerged to join the line but then, on spotting me, suddenly decided that he had an urgent appointment back whence he had come. Wimp.
Piers has long held the view Dacre’s loathing of me stems from a deep-seated love that dare not speak its name.
He could have confessed. I was ready for it. Fiona and KP would have understood. The salads were stunning.
*** Buy Prelude to Power here at Amazon.