Steerpike

Steerpike

27 July 2013

9:00 AM

27 July 2013

9:00 AM

Is there treachery at the top of Ukip? Westminster has been buzzing with the rumour that party treasurer Stuart Wheeler has laid money on the Conservatives to win an overall majority in 2015. Can it possibly be true? Mr Steerpike called Mr Wheeler who was happy to spill the beans. Yes, he said, he has placed a bet — ‘bigger than a fiver but not huge’ — but not because he thinks or hopes the Tories will win. ‘I expect to lose the money,’ he says cheerfully, ‘but the odds of 4/1 looked a bit long.’ He’s also laid cash on Nigel Farage to become an MP and on Ukip to grab at least two seats at the election.

 

It’s another boost for Britain’s hi-tech industry. Parental porn filters are being fast-tracked by finger-wagging puritans in the coalition. The lucky geek who designs a workable system and flogs it to Whitehall is bound to make a fortune. But the serious money lies in creating the bypass software which lusty teens will want to download. ‘The government will catch up in the end,’ says an expert at Silicon Roundabout, ‘but we should be all right for the next two or three parliaments.’

 


Australia got a shock last year when no fewer than five surfers were devoured by peckish sharks. Marine biologists have created a ‘Diverter’ wetsuit with vertical black stripes which confuses fish and makes the wearer look like a floating zebra. ‘Great way to protect surfers from sharks,’ says my man on Bondi beach. ‘Get crocs to eat them first.’

 

Glasgow wag Frankie Boyle is refusing food ‘for a week’ to highlight the predicament of Shaker Aamer, the last British detainee in Guantanamo Bay. Boyle’s hunger strike has caused some bafflement on the Hill. ‘We have to release a suspected terrorist,’ says a presidential aide, ‘or this guy may faint while walking upstairs?’ Next month Frankie wants Florida returned to the Cherokees. Or he won’t eat any Jammie Dodgers.

 

Cornwall is hoping to profit from the Cameron Factor when Dave and his family pitch up there for their hols. ‘Last time he visited Scotland the SNP got a massive boost,’ says a Cornish independence supporter. ‘We want him to do the same for us. And then get lost.’

 

While Dave is away, Nick no-shoes Clegg will be warming his toes on a Spanish beach. And Whitehall is bracing itself for an ugly turf war between the remaining ministers. ‘Nature abhors a vacuum,’ says a friend in Downing Street, ‘but not as much as Theresa May abhors Michael Gove.’ At the first hint of a crisis, he predicts, there’ll be a mad dash to reach the improvised podium outside No. 10 and ‘calm the nation’ with a few Churchillian phrases. Last year, when William Hague was absent at the same time as Clegg and Cameron, Gove assumed the leader’s role by default. ‘I’m sure Gove can’t be in charge yet,’ quipped a Whitehall wag at the time. ‘We haven’t bombed Iran.’

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10


Show comments
Close