Posted by: Closed Circuit06/01/2012
Goodbyes at the end of drinks parties can be pretty awkward affairs. Politicians are forever prising themselves away from conversations - especially with journalists - so they can flee.
The only thing more awkward is ending up standing next to them on the platform, waiting for the same train afterwards.
Former Labour housing minister and MP for Greenwich and Woolwich Nick Raynsford found himself in such a pickle recently. Positioned to the right of Closed Circuit and next to Newham Council executive director for regeneration Clive Dutton who was staring firmly at the ground, there appeared to be a shared understanding that there would be no conversation. The arrival of Places for People’s sustainability guru Nicholas Doyle, however, meant Closed Circuit felt compelled to break the silence.
He may have the appearance of a regional director of CAMRA but Julian Ashby, the new chair of the Tenant Services Authority, is in fact a ruthless war veteran who has dispatched numerous terrorists.
Closed Circuit has it on good authority that when Mr Ashby is not dealing with housing issues, he is ensuring the western world remains free.
His battlezone is the internet and his weapon of choice is a computer console controller. The regulation expert has a penchant for first person shoot ‘em ups.
Quite how he copes with going toe-to-toe with housing minister Grant Shapps, communities secretary Eric Pickles et al remains to be seen, but surely he has good experience after battling grumpy teens online for hours.
News reached Closed Circuit this week of an MP giving his acting skills to the test by taking part in a social landlord’s pantomime.
Arm’s-length management organisation Gloucester City Homes wanted to engage young people and give them confidence to perform in front of an audience so it put on a production of Snow White and the Seven Anti-social Behaviour Dwarves.
Local MP Richard Graham was roped in to take on the role of Prince Charming but no mention was made of who played the other roles.
Could some of Mr Graham’s Conservative Party colleagues have filled the roles? Suggestions on a postcard.
From Closed circuit
Gossip, rumour, and stuff that amused us.