Posted by: Closed Circuit01/10/2010
Michael Portillo was in fine form speaking at last week’s National Housing Federation in Birmingham.
The former Conservative defence secretary and Thatcherite chose to enlighten his audience about meerkats, explaining that one dominant female rules the group and kills any other breeding females.
Apparently as the testosterone levels of the dominant female rises, the testosterone of the males declines. He said this went a long way to explaining the behaviour of the Thatcher government.
It made Closed Circuit wonder what animals the current coalition government could be likened to, settling on the rhinocerous and the yellow-billed oxpecker.
The latter sits atop its larger friend and helps it out by removing ticks - a match made in heaven, one would think. Yet sometimes the oxpecker picks at healing scabs and re-opens old wounds. A warning for the future, perhaps?
Last week saw Sir Bob Kerslake making the most of the perks of being Homes and Communities Agency chief exec before he takes the top job at the Communities and Local Government department in a month’s time.
Taking to the stage at the HCA Awards at north London’s famous Roundhouse, Sir Bob pointed out that he was standing on a spot usually reserved for the likes of rocker Pete Doherty and rapper Dizzee Rascal. Sir Bob hastily added the evening would proceed with ‘none of the antics associated with Mr Doherty’.
As Closed Circuit sloped off, award winners were preparing to hit the bar. While there may not have been any rock star behaviour on Mr Doherty’s level, we’re sure some guests felt more than a little worse for wear in the morning.
The scramble for jobs in Ed Miliband’s shadow cabinet is on following his election as Labour Party leader.
Closed Circuit is reliably informed that former housing minister John Healey is hoping for a spot, now that housing no longer has a seat at the cabinet table.
Apparently Mr Healey is keen on the Department for Work and Pensions, Communities and Local Government department and the Treasury. All of the above would get him back on the shadow front benches - and a bigger staffing budget thrown into the bargain.
From Closed circuit
Gossip, rumour, and stuff that amused us.