Tag Archives: gossip

Alistair Carmichael MP writes…The truth about those “secret Tory talks”

A couple of weeks ago I was due to meet with one of my counterparts in the Conservative whips office. These meetings are routine and are not normally the subject of comment.  This particular meeting was intended to deal with allocation of offices between the parties for MPs to use. In fact the meeting did not go ahead although I DID meet the Government Chief Whip’s Private Secretary (known inside the bubble as the usual channels).

The meeting that did not happen (mundane though it was) somehow found its way into the Daily Mail who proceeded to speculate wildly about whether the meeting was indeed a sign that the Lib Dems were now cosying up to the Tories to stitch up a secret coalition deal.

Of course at that time the Conservatives were trying to negotiate a deal with the DUP, negotiations were going badly (due mostly to their own mismanagement).  Briefing the press in this way was a mark of the desperation with which they were seized.

So when I read in the Times yesterday that Tim Farron’s chief of staff Ben Williams had met with his No 10 counterpart Gavin Barwell last Thursday I took it with a pinch of salt. Not least because I knew that Ben was in Leeds on Thursday.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 27 Comments

Book review: Made in Spain, by Miriam Gonzalez Durantez

Miriam Gonzalez Durantez Made in SpainI was delighted to get Miriam’s part memoir part cookbook for my birthday last week.

I love cookbooks and have a stack of them not in the kitchen but by my bed. My favourite sort have a lot of commentary and background as well as just recipes. That’s part of the reason I’m such a huge Nigella fan. She puts a lot of herself into her recipes and writing.   The two women have cooked together before and Nigella’s “Gorgeous recipes” endorsement on Miriam’s front cover is a very useful thing.

The book is worth it for a mini rant on stock alone, but it has so much to offer. The food is appetising – although I might use a bit more garlic than she does – with gutsy flavours. I can see myself making a fair few of these recipes, although I’d have to figure out how to use less oil. From a vibrant gazpacho simple pasta with bacon and peas taught to her sons when she broke her elbow during the 2010 election to a delicious lamb stew to the most wonderful sounding dish with potatoes, garlic and saffron, to lemon curd muffins, to olive oil chocolate mousse, there are dishes that could make me very happy. You never know, I might just cook some and compare her photos with mine.

Her recipes are interspersed with personal anecdotes:

I was first introduced to guacamole when I helped to negotiate the EU-Mexican trade agreement.

is quite a claim to fame!

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 10 Comments
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