Tuesday, 16 October 2007


Have finally, finally got round to sorting out my broadband connection in the London flat and restoring my iTunes library - both victims of the two burglaries in April and May when my laptop and its still-in-the-box replacement were stolen. iTunes have unexpectedly let me re-access all my previously purchased files (OK, I know I paid for them, but you don't expect that kind of customer service) and 300-plus songs are now being downloaded as we speak - except it's been stuck on A Certain Ratio for the last 30 minutes and I think something is going horribly wrong...

Tomorrow is DfID questions at 11.30, which will no doubt be drowned out by the hordes assembling for PMQs at 12. Questions on Africa, the CSR, forestry, Zimbabwe (which is virtually the only African country the Tories ever seem to ask about). I might be in a minority of one - except I'm not because my mother, who was in the public gallery, agrees - who actually thinks last week's PMQs wasn't anywhere near as bad for Gordon as the media made out. Cameron was ruthlessly effective, accepted, but I thought Gordon mounted a pretty robust defence. And Cameron still has to prove he can do proper politics, as opposed to petty point-scoring. He's very weak when it comes to facts and figures, which is of course Gordon's strength. I suspect the Lib Dem sideshow might prove the most entertaining spectacle tomorrow, as Vince Cable tries to convince us he's leadership material and not just a gloomier version of Ming. Labour backbenchers tend to shout 'We are all doomed' whenever he gets to his feet. Which might just be true in the Lib Dems case.

On the subject of the media, how many times did Andrew Neil gratutiously try to insert the phrase 'the puppet chancellor' into the conversation during This Week last Thursday? He's obviously hoping it will stick. (And the Tories accuse the BBC of pro-Labour bias!) But all it means is that the most successful Chancellor in recent times is still calling the shots at the Treasury... and if that is true, I can't see many people having a problem with it.

iTunes is still on ACR - this is not going according to plan...

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