My general election playlist

By DAVID WOODING

POLITICIANS of all shades are busy drawing up their playlists of music to stir them up for the final hours of election day campaigning.

Often they make the mistake of picking popular tunes with a title or lyric that matches their beliefs – such as Revolution by The Beatles or David Bowie’s Changes.

So I’ve drawn up a playlist of REAL music that will definitely “pump you up”, as David Cameron might say. Or “hell, yes,” if your name is Ed. And each piece I have chosen has a political twist.

First up is Glinka’s popular overture Russlan and Ludmilla – the lively opening of which was used by the Liberal Democrats in a party election broadcast during Paddy Ashdown’s leadership.

Next comes the stirring slow theme from the last movement of Brahms’s first symphony. This was borrowed by Labour to fire up Neil Kinnock’s campaign in the 1980s. Sadly for him, it didn’t strike a chord with the voters. And worse, he had it playing on his in-car hi-fi when he was involved in a crash.

We follow that with a double delight from two of England’s greatest composers. Benjamin Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the orchestra, which uses a theme by Henry Purcell. Michael Howard adopted this as his election tune when he took on the might of Tony Blair, but it didn’t do the trick for him. Bit of a theme developing here, I fear. But all still good stirring music, so don’t give up.

Never have politicians interfered in the genius of composers more than in Soviet Russia. It is a miracle that Shostakovich managed to produce such brilliant works while being persecuted by Stalin. The Gadfly is marvellous collection of shorter pieces written as film music and will really get you in the mood – whether you’re a hard-line Red or, like the maestro, an opponent.

Perhaps the most powerful political work of all is Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio. It is about freedom. The opera tells how Leonora, disguised as a prison guard named “Fidelio“, rescues her husband Florestan from death in a political prison. Beethoven wrote four overtures to this masterpiece. My favourite is Leonora No 3.

North of the border, Scottish voters may enjoy a little bit of nationalist music before they decide…and there’s none better than the overture Land of Mountain and Flood by Hamish MacCunn.

Over to Wales, I’ve opted for the land of song’s well-known composer Ivor Novello, who’s real name was David Davies! He ventured from popular music to write a lovely serious piece called…Rose of England.

Finally, there was no greater socialist on the British music scene than Ralph Vaughan Williams, who showed today’s politicians of the same colour a thing or two by turning down a knighthood. Thank you for your wonderful music plain old Mr Vaughan Williams. Here’s part of his quintessentially English sixth symphony.

Have a good campaign, whoever you support. Use these wonderful sounds to stir your passions but please keep politics out of our music!

Ed will be held hostage with a £18.4bn SNP ransom, warns Osborne

DAVID WOODING joins Chancellor GEORGE OSBORNE on the campaign trail.
NICOLA Sturgeon would hit working families with a £1,063 tax bill as the price for propping up a Labour government, George Osborne warned yesterday.
He claimed the SNP leader would force Ed Miliband to raid the nation’s pay packets to meet nine hidden spending pledges in her party’s manifesto.
The Chancellor says the new £18.4billion “ransom note” would hurt real people – and trigger a mass exodus of job creators.
Mr Osborne declared: “This is a really stark situation and we are only five days away from it.
“Ed Miliband is not strong enough to win the election outright so we face a toxic combination of a weak Labour PM being held hostage by Scottish Nationalists, night after night, budget clause after budget clause.
“The SNP have only two objectives – one is to get maximum resources for Scotland and the other is to make the government look shambolic to further their cause of independence.
“They have already said they would borrow £148billion to meet their promises and now we’ve found nine more unfunded commitments they would write into Ed Miliband’s Budget.
“We’re talking serious money here. It would add £1,063 a year to the average working family’s tax bill.
“If interest rates go up by one per cent because of all this political chaos, that would add £1,000 to the average mortgage repayment.”
In an exclusive interview, Mr Osborne also warned that businesses and investors who base themselves in Britain could flee abroad – putting thousands of Brits out of work.
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He said: “All this would be put at risk by Ed Miliband’s high tax, anti-business, anti-growth policies that will destroy investment, cost jobs and drive these companies away.
“If we see the economic chaos of a weak Ed Miliband held hostage by the Scottish Nationalists, then jobs and investment will leave Britain.
“We’re in a fight now for our country’s future now. In just a few days time, we could be plunged into political instability and economic chaos with a weak Ed Miliband, who is clearly not up to the job, propped up by the life support machine of the Scottish Nationalists.
“It would be a disaster for our country.”
Mr Osborne added: “We’ve just done some new work on the SNP’s manifesto, which they have made very clear they will demand as their ransom note.
“It would cost an extra £1,063 a year in taxes for the average working family in this country.”
The SNP has already said it would borrow £148billion – and no more – to meet its election promises. But the nine hidden commitments to boost welfare spending at a cost of £18.4billion would have to be paid for with tax rises.
Nicola Sturgeon yesterday scoffed at Ed Miliband’s refusal to do any deals and vowed to derail his government if he didn’t jump to her tune.
She said: “If he’s not prepared to talk and to compromise then he will not get things through.”
Mr Osborne spoke during a campaign visit to Blackpool North and Cleveleys, a key marginal seat where Tory Paul Maynard is defending a 2,150 majority.
He branded Mr Miliband a “spendaholic” who would crash the economy again and “screw it up” for hard-working Brits.
The Chancellor brandished a copy of the note left in the Treasury in 2010 by departing Labour minister Liam Byrne admitting there was no cash left.
“We know he will end up causing everyone a lot of grief because we’ve been through it all before,” he declared.
“Let’s not end up in the situation where we have to wait for another Labour Treasury minister to write another letting telling us they’ve spend all our money.”
Asked what note HE would be leaving on his desk, he replied: “I’m not thinking about writing letters. I want to be back at work on Friday morning bringing jobs and prosperity to towns like this.
“I don’t want to hand over what we’ve achieved over the last five years though the hard work and sacrifice of the British people and businesses to Ed Balls and Ed Miliband for them to smash it against the wall.
“I am fighting with every last breath we’ve got in the next five days to make sure that doesn’t happen. I want to make sure we build on what we’ve achieved and don’t allow these Labour politicians who screwed it up in the past to screw it up in the future.”
Mr Osborne admitted her burst into laughter at Ed Miliband’s stumbling performance in the BBC election debate last week.
But it wasn’t the sight of him tripping up that amused him, but the labour leader’s insistence the last Labour government didn’t overspend.
The Chancellor said: “I think the entire nation laughed out loud. I thought that was a really telling moment, probably the defining moment of the campaign for me.
“He looked like a rabbit in the headlights, unable to convince the audience that Labour didn’t mess up the public finances.
“”The terrifying thing is not his view about history, but that he’d do it all again.
“It wasn’t just that Ed Miliband physically stumbled off the stage. He metaphorically stumbled. He was unable to answer the basic question of whether we can trust him with our money. That’s the most fundamental question for a Prime Minister.
During the campaign, Mr Osborne has become convinced that voters will put the economy at the forefront of their minds when they vote on Thursday.
He said: “These are not abstract ideas for people who read The Sun on Sunday. It means you don’t get that job, or the job you have is lost and the mortgage bill goes up. Your income is cut, you family’s economic opportunities snatched away.
“We have it within our power to have David Cameron back at work on Friday morning, the economy continuing to grow, jobs being created, free childcare and the tax-free minimum wage implemented into law.
“Is a community like this going to get a look in if the Scottish Nationalists have got the whip hand over Ed Miliband? Of course not. So I am seriously worried about the future if we head down that road as a country.”
Mr Cameron hit back at his Lib Dem deputy Danny Alexander who has accused him of claiming all the credit for tax cuts and economic growth.
He declared: “We did some good work together but ultimately they were my budgets and I had to make the big calls about what was in them.
“The Liberal Democrats are probably desperate in this election and they are shouting and screaming to try and get noticed.
“But, to be honest, people know the contest is between David Cameron and the stability of a majority Conservative government or the chaos of Miliband and the Scottish Nationalists. A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for that chaos.
“If people want David Cameron in Downing Street they have got to vote for David Cameron.”
HE was famously booed at the London’s 2012 Games.
But there’s one fan who’s always pleased to see George Osborne – his new pet pooch Lola.
The cute and fluffy Bison Frise always gives the Chancellor a warm welcome when he arrives at 11 Downing Street, where she has been top dog since December.
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Mr Osborne said: “She’s great and is always pleased to see me, which doesn’t always happen to a politican.
“There’s an unquestioning love there which is reciprocated. I didn’t grow up with a dog. We had cats. So it was quite a big step for us but it’s been brilliant.
“It has really advanced all of our lives. Lola leaps on you and starts tying to lick you. She’s fantastic.”
Lola has even brought new meaning to his job of clearing up the mess “Labour left behind”.
He added: “Even when at 6.30 in the morning I’m downstairs in the Downing Street garden with my little black poop bags chasing around after Lola, I’m still thinking she brings joy to our lives.”
Dad-of-two Mr Osborne admits that when it comes to running the household economy, his author wife Frances has an equal say.
“That is a shared endeavour,” he insists. “Frances and I do it together. She’s a brilliant lady in her own right. She writes great books and she has been brilliant.”
To relax they watch boxed sets and recently he’s spent his spare hour off glued to TV hit Poldark and admits to having a soft spot for heroine Demelza.
The Chancellor  admits 11 Downing Street is an “odd place to grow up” for their kids Luke, 13, and Liberty, 11.
He said: “They are pretty level headed and we try to keep it as real as possible for them. They get pocket money  like other children.”
Luke is into vinyl records and uses “every spare penny” to buy old LPs from the 70s and 80s from groups such as Duran Duran.
Liberty loves cooking and has been watching the Masterchef finals and the Great British Bake Off.
Mr Osborne said: “She’s into cooking and I’m her sous chef, the under chef for her and do what she says. I say ‘Yes, chef!’
“I used to do a slow-cook leg of lamb with macaroni. You put the lamb in the oven with some tomatoes and onioins for about four or five hours and they you add the macoroni for the last 20 minutes. It’s really good.
“But look, there is a big difference between turning up on th weekend, spending an hour in the supermarket geting all your individual ingredients and producing suppoer on a Saturday night and what I call reall cooking, which is producing a meal every night for the kids.”
Which kitchen does he prefer to cook in?
“I just have the one,” he said.
CHILLED George Osborne served ice cream at a seaside shop and admitted: “I’m a bit of a vanilla man”.
He was invited to a few scoops from an array of flavours at the New Yorker sundae parlour in Cleveleys, Lancs, but plumped for the plain and traditional.
The Chancellor said: “You may think it’s boring but there’s a lot to be said for a good, old-fashioned, dependable vanilla. I quite like the look of the cherry and the pistachio but you can’t beat a good vanilla.”
Mr Osborne served The Sun on Sunday an extra large cone and declared: “You get better helpings with the  Cone-servatives.”
But being a vanilla-lover is not as boring as it sounds. An ice cream personality test website describes them as colourful, impulsive risk-takers who set high goals and have high expectations of themselves.
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GEORGE Osborne has made so many factory visits he’s now got his own high-vis jacket and hard hat.
He’s had to wear flourscent safety gear at least 40 times during the election campaign after stepping out of his Treasury “bunker”.
He admits he dug himself in during a “difficult period” but added: “Then, I realised you can’t behave like that when you’re democratically and accountable politician and you’re taking decisions that affect people’s lives.
“You have got to go out there explain yourself. I found that if you’re stuck in the Treasury, you don’t hear anything new and you don’t engage with people.
“So I got myself out and about and I’ve really enjoyed it. A lot of things we’ve done, a lot of initiatives we’ve pursued like the concept of the Northern Powerhouse, came from these conversations and not thinking all the answers like within the square mile of Whitehall.
“Somebody did give me my very own high-vis jacket and hardhat because I was getting out to so many different workplaces.”
The hi-vis Chancellor has also posed for a string of selfies – including one with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.
Blues fan Mr Osborne for once the person doing the asking when they met for the first time at an event for football-loving MPs.
He’d like to be at Stamford Bridge tomorrow where Chelsea hope to secure their fifth league title.
But he says: “I don’t know whether people would ask what I’m doing but on the other hand we haven’t won the league for five years – and last time we were in the middle of an election, too.
“I was thrilled to meet Jose. We needed the special one back, didn’t we? Let’s hope we can have a double this week with a win for both blue teams.”ENDS

Bojo reveals his “Mafia” code for victory

DAVID WOODING interviews London Mayor Boris Johnson

ED Miliband was branded a back-stabber yesterday by Boris Johnson who vowed never to knife his own MP brother.

The London Mayor launched a blistering attack on the Labour leader over the ruthless way he snatched his party’s crown from his big bruv David’s head.

And he declared: “It’s just not something that we do in our family.”

Tory Boris said he and his rising star brother Jo will stick to a Mafiastyle code of “never, ever” turning on each other.

Mimicking the gruff tones of Vito Corleone in The Godfather, he declared: “It’s the family. We don’t do it like that … never, ever.”

In an exclusive interview, BoJo was scathing over Red Ed’s brutal knifing of his own brother in the 2010 Labour leadership battle.

He said: “He clearly stabbed his own brother in the back. There’s all this pseudo indignation of the Left whenever anyone utters those words.

“But it’s a well-known political metaphor we have been using all our professional lives.

“Nobody is suggesting David Miliband presented himself at A&E with a knife between his ribs. But however you look at it, I don’t think he was too chuffed about what happened.

“I don’t think back-stabber is a metaphor from which David Miliband would wholly dissent. In fact, he might endorse it.”

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Orpington MP Jo Johnson, 43, head of the 10 Downing Street policy unit, is tipped as a future Tory leader, like his better-known older brother.

But Boris, 50, insists there is an unwritten family rule which forbids them fighting over the top job.

He said: “Jo is doing brilliantly. The manifesto is fantastic and makes an offer to voters that they can’t refuse.”

Then he quoted Michael Corleone’s words to his own brother in The Godfather.

“What is it he says to Fredo? ‘Fredo, you’re my older brother, and I love you, but don’t ever take sides with anyone against the family again, ever.”

Bojo dismissed Mr Miliband’s “useless” record in government and claimed the Labour chief would be a “lapdog” of the Scottish National Party if he ever became PM. He added: “I don’t think he has the slightest interest in or understanding of the wealth-creating side of our economy.

“You need a strong and healthy public sector with great healthcare, schools and infrastructure but you also need the wealth-creating sector to be vibrantand dynamic and competitive.

“He is an emanation of the public sector. I don’t believe he has ever earned a penny from a free-market enterprise of any kind, from the private sector, from a business. As far as I know, all his income is wholly and exclusively from the state.”

Boris warned Mr Miliband would have to plead “on bended knee” before the SNP to get things done.

He said: “He would be the lapdog of Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond and they would be diverting big sums of investment away from the South East, away from London, away from England.

“By-passes wouldn’t get built, the A358 from Ilminster to Taunton wouldn’t get done. What would happen to Cross Rail Two? What about the hundreds of thousands of homes we need to build?”

Boris recalled how Red Ed missed a chance to create thousands of jobs when in Gordon Brown’s Cabinet.

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He said: “I had some dealings with him when he was luxuriating in the post of Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, and we had a great plan to save money and create thousands of jobs.

“This is when the crisis had just hit, thousands of businesses were going to the wall and 190,000 people lost their jobs in a few months.

went to Miliband and said, we’ve got a great plan. You can retrofit your home so you can put in lagging and it will create jobs, save money and cut CO2and you finance it out of the future savings on energy bills.

“He wasn’t interested. He didn’t understand it. He didn’t care and I came out of that meeting thinking we’re going to have to do this on our own or with somebody else.

“Luckily, the coalition came in, produced the Green Deal, we’ve done 113,000 homes in London now, retrofitted them and CO2 has come down. So my objection to him is that he is a socialist theoretician who thinks the only problem with socialism is it has never been properly tried.”

David Cameron sees Boris, who is standing in Uxbridge and South Ruislip, as his “secret weapon” in the closest run election in decades.

He joked: “I have been weaponised by the PM. I have never really decommissioned my weapons. The warheads are pretty much on full-time ocean-going alert and are primed and ready to fire at all stages.”

As ew quipped afterwards: “Ed-o, you’re my brother and I love you, but don’t ever take sides with anyone against the family again”.

ON THE NHS

LABOUR has done more to privatise the NHS than any other party yet it shamelessly peddles scare stories about Tories, Boris claims. He said: “Labour engaged in the biggest transfer of health service money into the private sector. Now we’ve been saddled with huge debts.”

The mayor thinks there is nothing wrong with private firms being used efficiently in hospitals.

He said: “Sometimes it works badly and sometimes it works well. Health care is a huge winner for Britain and we have people who come from around the world to pay through the nose.”

ON IMMIGRATION

THE Tories will soon have more black and ethnic minority MPs than Labour, he claims.

“Yes, we are still overwhelmingly white and middle class but we are changing fast.

“We are the party that speaks for the whole of this country.”

He blames the last Labour Government for creating an immigration crisis.

“Labour betrayed people by allowing huge numbers of immigrants, legal and in many cases illegal, to come to Britain without any controls. “It was a deliberate act.”

ON KITCHENS

BORIS may be posh but has only one kitchen and is happy to make that clear.

His also owns a single TV set and a battered old car to use when not on his bicycle. He spoke out on the Ed Miliband kitchens row. Boris said: “I don’t give a monkeys about how he eats bacon sarnies. I don’t even care how many kitchens he has.

“I do object to him standing for a party that will stop ordinary people from acquiring their own kitchen and moving forward with their own lives. We’re the party of kitchen construction. He’s the party of kitchen concealment.”

ON SCHOOLDAYS

THE London Mayor loves being a dad and jokes his main role is to embarrass his kids.

He often sang the Jimmy Cliff hit “I can see clearly now” at the top of his voice while taking his youngsters to school.

Bojo said: “Why do my children think about having me as a father? I’ve never ever asked that appalling question. On the whole, I think inevitably they find me extremely embarrassing, but that’s the case with all fathers at some stage or another. One of our roles in life is to embarrass our children.”

Mr Johnson adds: “I used to walk them to school singing ‘I can see clearly now’ very loudly until they begged me to shut up.”

The Old Etonian dad-of-four fondly remembers his days at Primrose Hill state primary school in North London – one also attended by another political figure.

He grins: “Don’t forget, I was educated at the same school, I’m proud to say, as the party leader…Ed Miliband.

“It is a great school and I absolutely loved it. You should ask Ed Miliband whether he can remember Mr Nyman and Miss Climbie. I be he can. Mr Nyman was the music teacher.

“Mr Fox was a great teacher, too. I don’t care whether they’re free schools, academies or schools totally under the control of the council, provided they are of high standard and have happy , well-motivated pupils.”

BORIS THE ARTIST

BORIS left his Tory leadership rival Theresa May in the shade when both were asked to draw a self portrait for a collage in a Westminster hotel. Boris produced a huge, signed picture of himself, left, right beside her tiny effort on the same canvas. He says it would be “a wonderful thing” to lead the Tories but warns that first he “has t

He said: “I think, inevitably, they find me extremely embarrassing but that’s the case with all fathers at some stage or another.

“I used to walk them to school singing, ‘I can see clearly now’ very loudly until they begged me to shut up.”

The dad of four fondly recalls his days at Primrose Hill state primary in North London. He grins: “I was educated at the same school, I’m proud to say, as Ed Miliband.

“I don’t care if schools are free, academies or under council control provided they are of high standard and have happy, wellmotivated pupils.”

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‘ZOID IS WORZEL’

BORIS loves ITV’s portrayal of him in the new satirical show Newzoids.

In one episode of the computer-generated show, mop-headed Boris storms into 10 Downing Street on a zipwire. He says: “It does look like me, actually. If anything, it’s a bit flattering. It reminds me faintly of Worzel Gummidge but there is something chillingly lifelike about it.”

Mr Johnson insists his “dishevelled” barnet, he says trimmed regularly by a very nice barber at a reasonable price, is not a carefully-coiffured image. He said: “It is what it is.”

My kids take the Mickey out of me…but want the blue team to win

DAVID WOODING interviews the Prime Minister

DAVID Cameron has been taking the rough and tumble of the election campaign in his stride because his biggest critics are at home.

The PM reveals his three kids are always poking fun at him over everything from his casual dress sense to his taste in music and films.

He admits nothing helps him keep his feet on the ground more than when they tell him: “Dad, you’re so embarrassing.”

In a frank interview with The Sun on Sunday, Mr Cameron gives a rare glimpse of life in 10 Downing Street with the children he calls “the light of my life”.

He describes how he has gently explained how they might have to move out of the family home in 17 days’ time if “the blue team” fails to win the General Election. Mr Cameron also reveals how he:

CLASHED with wife Samantha over whether their kids should be allowed to have tattoos.

BLOCKED eldest daughter Nancy’s demands to have her ears pierced.

STAVES off hunger during the gruelling campaign with bags of popcorn and peanuts.

TAKES tips from former PM Sir John Major, who won the 1992 election against the odds.

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The PM gently spelled out how May 7 could turn the family’s world upside down in a heart-toheart with Nancy, 11, Elwen, seven, and four-year-old Florence.

He said: “I sat them down a few weeks ago and told them what would be happening and the possible outcomes.

“They like Number 10 and would miss it, and Larry the Downing Street cat who’s become almost like part of the family.

“They know what Daddy is doing. Daddy is fighting an election, running the blue team. “They want the blue team to win. They know what happens if the blue team doesn’t win and they are very supportive. They are wonderful children. They are the light of my life.”

But he added: “They still take the mickey out of me daily, which they enjoy. To them I’m just a normal dad, who they think is a bit square and sometimes embarrassing. It’s very sobering to come home to after a day in the office.

“They rib me about, you know, anything from my CD collection to what I watch on TV.”

Mr Cameron says he is teaching his adored son to play tennis and cricket, in which he’s a good bat.

He admits Nancy, who starts secondary school in September, is already starting to act like a teenager, and wants her ears pierced.

He declared: “I’m in that fight with Nancy at the moment. We’ll probably reach an agreement over what age she can have them done. We’re in negotiations!”

And tattoos? Sam has a leaping dolphin on her right ankle and would be “fine” if her kids have body art, but her husband says they’d have to clear it with him.

He said: “I’m not a big fan. I love Samantha’s tattoo, it’s very small, very discreet. But I’d be a square dad and tell the children to think very carefully about it.” Nancy, he says, is also developing a wicked sense of humour and has made up her own jokes about Ed Miliband’s two kitchens.

He said: “She was punching the air over the kitchen jokes. She thought that was all very funny. She also loved that video of Nick Clegg set to the song I’m Sorry.”

The PM opened his heart on the Conservative battle bus on which, in between speeches, he ploughs through his ministerial red box and takes phone calls.

He revealed he’s in touch with former PM Mr Major who bounced back to win the 1992 election after being written off by pollsters.

“He is very wise and has given me some very good advice,” said the PM. “He has been incredibly supportive and I think he’s someone who it’s good to listen to.”

Mr Cameron admits to having a sneaky chuckle when he read The Sun on Sunday’s scoop about Ed Miliband leaving his notes behind — calling himself the “happy warrior” — after the TV debates.

He said: “I had notes with a few facts and figures I wanted to remember, but no happy warrior.”

Mr Cameron insists the hard, 17-day slog ahead is all about the hopes and dreams of the nation.

He says: “It’s frustrating people keep saying they don’t hear any vision from us. But there’s no bigger vision than saying to people, let’s build a country where, if you work hard, there’s a job for you, there’s an apprenticeship, a university place, a home that we can build that you can buy and own.

“There’s a family you can raise who can have a good place, there’s a good school for your child and there’s a retirement you can enjoy.

“To me that is the vision. That’s the dream most people in our country have of what they’d like to achieve. A country which, if you do the right thing, rewards you.”

MOVIES AND ROCK TASTE MOCKED

DAVID Cameron reveals son Elwen laughs at his love of old westerns starring legends like John Wayne, left.

He says: “He can’t see the point. He thinks if you can watch action films like Fast & Furious why would you watch The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, or Shane? “I hope to persuade him to try to watch spaghetti westerns one day, but he’s proving harder to convert than any die-hard voter at the moment.”

He says his kids also laugh at his music tastes, which include Radiohead, The Smiths and Pink Floyd, who wrote Dark Side of the Moon, right.

He added: “It’s a generational gap, I suppose. I get jibes such as, ‘Why do you like that rubbish music?'”

CAM ON HOUSING

THE PM admits his blood boils when fat cat “experts” attack his bid to widen home ownership.

He blasted Lib Dems who have blocked his right-to-buy scheme and added: “We’re mad to have council houses worth a million pounds.

“If you sell one of those off when it becomes empty you could build another ten homes.”

He said: “These so-called experts who are criticising us are all people who have bought houses themselves, often very nice houses, on large salaries.

“It does make my blood boil because I think, hold on, why is it all right for you but it’s not all right for a person living in a housing association home who doesn’t have that right?”

CAM ON BORIS

Johnson, below, is a vital part of the election team — and is on the phone to the PM daily.

Mr Cameron said: “He’s fighting very hard. He’s out and about campaigning and I’m doing something with him next week. He’s a vital part of the teamand I’m very excited about him coming back into Parliament. He has a big role to play.”

Aston Villa fan Mr Cameron, who hopes to find time to watch at least part of their FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool today, likened BoJo to their top striker.

He said: “I have made the football analogy before but it’s like having another Benteke on the pitch.”

CAM ON DEFENCE

DEFENCE spending is locked in for ten years, with £160billion of aircraft carriers, frigates, subs and jets and other kit “guaranteed”.

Mr Cameron scoffed at Ukip leader Nigel Farage’s claim to lead the only party committed to our Armed Forces. He said: “Everybody knows that if you vote Ukip you get Ed Miliband and you get a weak defence.”

He said Britain would spend two per cent of national wealth on defence this year and next, despite his refusal to set the figure in stone.

He said: “We can’t make that pledge until the autumn when we look at spending on all departments.

“But £160billion over ten years has been guaranteed for defence and increased each year for inflation.”

Nancy’s been making jokes about Ed Miliband’s kitchens They’d miss No 10.. and Larry the Downing St cat

Minister throws £1m lifeline for struggling pubs – over a pint

By DAVID WOODING

HUNDREDS of pubs facing closure will be thrown a cash lifeline under Tory plans to support struggling communities.

A special £1 million fund will be set up to help local people launch takeover bids to keep their boozers open.

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss told me of the plan over a glass at one of Westminster’s favourite watering holes.

The move is part of a package of measures to boost rural areas to be unveiled in the Conservatives’ election manifesto.

It would help protect up to 600 pubs which act as community hubs from being knocked down for developers or turned into housing or takeaways.

Tories will set up a “Last Pub in the Village” fund to help locals step in to save their favourite watering hole.

They will be able to apply for loans to pay for legal fees needed to stage a takeover or win a protection order.

Ms Truss said pubs in rural areas also act as job centres, information hubs and the backbone of sports teams.

She said: “Pubs can be a cornerstone of a community, especially in rural areas where they become an important focal point.

“People form lifelong friendships in village pubs, which bring people from all social backgrounds together.

“It’s important for country pubs to stay and that’s why we’re putting up the money to protect the last pub in the village.”

Ms Truss said a future Tory government would also impose a five-year freeze on licence fees for small community pubs – helping to cut their overheads.

She has by a community rescue of the King’s Arms, at Shouldham, Norfolk,  where villagers bought shares in the pub and volunteers carried out a refurb.

It is now a thriving community hub which provides school meals for local kids and serves pub grub in the evening.

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Sipping a glass of cider in the famous Red Lion on Whitehall, she added: “We’ve already done a lot for the great British pub by cutting beer duty three years in a row.

“This has protected an estimated 16,000 jobs and we want to build on that in the next parliament.

“Pubs are great places to drink responsibly in a social setting. They’re also good for tourism and can provide other services for the areas they serve.”

Last night the plans were welcomed by the pub and beer industry.

Keith Bott, managing director of Titanic Brewery, in Stoke-on-Trent, said: “This would be a massive boost for the pubs which are part and parcel of the British way of life.

“Hundreds of them are struggling so it is vital to do what we can to protect those which are an asset to their local community.

“Freezing licence fees would be a big help, too, as there are fears that some councils are using them as a cash cow at the expense of hard-hit pubs.”

When political prejudice is all in the mind.

By DAVID WOODING

SOMEBODY tweeted me the other day asking why I only posted poll results which showed the Tories in front. 

I then dug out a tweet of mine from a few weeks earlier which began: “Labour surge into a six-point lead…”  Another time I wrote how  Ed Miliband has trounced David Cameron at PMQs. Within seconds, I received a reply from a top Tory asking if I was watching the same debate. On a single day I received tweets from a Leftie calling me a “Tory c*** sucker” and a Ukip supporter branding me a “first class Left-wing p****” who should be working for the Guardian or the Mirror. You see, it is all in the mind, depending on whether you wear blue, red or yellow tinted spectacles. In fact it is YOU the complainant who is biased because you only see it your way and don’t like your side being criticised.

Lots of fellow journalists get the same unwarranted criticism. I stumbled across this short piece by Michael Deacon of the Daily Telegraph which sums up why most of us are NOT biased while many of those who read us and get irate are.

By the way, there’s nothing wrong with a journalist being biased if he or she wants to. My good pal Kevin Maguire of the Daily Mirror is shamelessly Labour and does a great job of it. Call me simple, but I just like to get political stories, whoever it hurts or boosts – which is why I object to being called biased. Here’s Michael’s piece which you should read before you call foul at us again.

Every football journalist in this country is routinely accused of two things. 1) Being biased towards Manchester United. 2) Being biased against Manchester United.

It’s like that with politics. A lot of people on the Right think the BBC is biased to the Left. And a lot of people on the Left think the BBC is biased to the Right. I’ve been told that I’m biased for and against the Tories, Labour, Lib Dems and Ukip (Ukip opponent: “You treat Farage with kid gloves.” Ukip voter: “You’re racist against Ukip!)

This is why I’ve got no time for the claims by some viewers that Jeremy Paxman and Kay Burley were biased in their treatment of David Cameron and Ed Miliband. Some thought the presenters were nakedly Cameron. And others took them for blatant Lefties.

The truth about claims of media bias is that the claims themselves tend to be biased. People only ever detect bias against their own side.

To go back to football: fans always accuse the referee of being biased, but only in their opponents’ favour. You can start to take claims of bias seriously the day you hear them shout, “Oi, ref! That’s never a penalty! Our striker blatantly dived! Are you taking backhanders from our chairman or what!”

Well said, Michael.So next time you rush to Twitter to hurl abuse, just take a long look in the mirror (the one on your wall not the one that lands on your doormat) and ask who is really the biased one here. And don’t forget to re-tweet me when I land a blow on the other side.

New Sneers Honours

By DAVID WOODING
IT’S been a year when the people of Britain have stuck a collective two fingers up to MPs.
Voters have used the ballot box to take their revenge on politicians of all varieties, whom many see as out of touch.
But some MPs and peers  haven’t learned a thing as they hurl insults, throw tantrums and sneer at ordinary people.
So in an irreverent, but light-hearted, look back at the past year in Parliament, here are my New Sneer’s Honours.
Sneer of the Realm: Labour’s Emily Thornberry who scoffed at a house with three England flags and a white van outside. She resigned as shadow attorney general hours after tweeting a picture of them hours before the Rochester by-election result.
Life sneerage: Fouled-mouthed Tory Andrew Mitchell fought a £3 million, two-year legal after denying he called cops “plebs” when they refused to let him ride his bike through the Downing Street main gates. A High Court judge sided with the cops and told the snobbish ex-Chief Whip: “On yer bike.”
Cabbie-net Minister of the Year: David Mellor berated a taxi driver who suggested a quicker route, calling him a “a smart-arsed little b*****d” and telling him: “Shut up you sweaty little git.” The Tory ex-minister added: “I’ve been in the Cabinet, I’m an award-winning broadcaster, I’m a Queen’s counsel.” He was forced to apologise after cabbies threatened to ban him. I’d like to see how long he waits next time he wants to hail a taxi.
Sneer of the Year: Tory MP Mark Garnier for telling his party not to bother with “dog-end voters” who live in “outlying regions”. Suspect he’ll soon be at the dog-end of his political career.
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Emily Thornberry and the twitpic that cost her her job.

Yes, Yes, Yes Minister: Deputy PM’s wife Miriam Clegg wins the honesty award for saying “women have been faking it for years”. But has she told husband Nick?
Snooze-Night TV Award: David Cameron, who admitted he often dozes off on the sofa when he has a night in front of the telly with wife Sam. The PM said: “Half an hour of Silent witness and we’re both asleep.” At least Sam doesn’t have to fake it.
The “Three minutes is a long time in politics” Award: Tory chief whip Michael Gove was nominated by his gossipy wife Sarah Vine. When told that men burn 4.2 calories a minute during sex, she quipped: “Wow! That’s 12.6 calories a session.”
Big Benn Clanger of the Year: Diane Abbott for live tweeting from inside church at Tony Benn’s funeral. An angry admirer of the Labour legend (that’s Benn, not Abbott) raged: “Why not go the whole hog and do a selfie with the coffin?”
The Prat that got the Queen: The royal claws were out for David Cameron after he claimed Her Majesty “purred” with pleasure when he phoned her the No vote in the Scottish independence referendum.
OBE – ‘Orrible Butty Eater: Ed Miliband, who bit off more than he could chew when he tried to battle his way through a bacon sandwich. The sarnie won.
The Gillette Award for Sharpest Political Putdown: Louise Mensch after MP’s wife Karen Danczuk posted saucy cleavage selfies on Twitter: “Put them away, love. Frankly, I’d rather see Ed Miliband eating a bacon sandwich.”
Karen Danczuk gives yours truly a lesson in how to take a selfie.

Karen Danczuk gives yours truly a lesson in how to take a selfie.

Gold Medal for Selfie-Exposure: Charities Minister Brooks Newmark resigned after sending explicit photographs of himself to an undercover reporter. The nation was appalled at his bad taste. Surely, no self-respecting MP would be seen dead hanging out of paisley pyjamas.
Class Warrior of the Year: Singer Myleene Klass for ripping Ed Miliband to shreds on TV over his planned mansion tax. “You can’t just point at something and say let’s tax it,” she stormed. “You might as well tax this glass of water.”
Worst political U-turn: Ed Balls, who was investigated by cops after hitting a parked car while doing a seven-point turn in a narrow street then driving off. It’s not the first time the shadow chancellor has found himself in a tight spot.
The Jack Horner Award for Women’s Rights: Nigel Farage, who infuriated mums by telling them to breastfeed in the corner of cafes and restaurants where nobody could see them.
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Exposed: My story about Brooks Newmark.

Feminist of the Year: Sports Minister Helen Grant for her efforts to get more women involved in physical activity with these fine words of advice: “There are some wonderful sports you can do and look absolutely radiant and very feminine. Ballet, gymnastics, cheerleading and even roller-skating.”
Overseas Aid Champion: Harriet Harman who wore a T-shirt with the slogan “This is what a feminist looks like”. Her selfless act helped to boost employment in Mauritius, where women were paid 62p an hour to work in a sweatshop making the garments.
House of Lards Pin-up of the Year: Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, who has been bombarded with demands for signed photographs from young girls in Russia. A puzzled aide admitted: “I’ve no idea why Eric is so big over there.”
Cockup of the Year: Communities Minister Penny Mordaunt for using the word “cock” six times and “lay” or “laid” five times during a Commons speech on poultry welfare. But she later let slip it was part of a smutty dare from Royal Navy officer friends.
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Penny Mordaunt: Putting cock welfare first.

Twerking twerp of the year: David Cameron for twerking at an Ibiza-style rave he hosted at Chequers to celebrate his wife Samantha’s 40th birthday – after branding top twerker Miley Cyrus a bad role model for kids.

Pint of Order: George “We’re all in this together” Osborne, for keeping a padlock on his office fridge to stop staff raiding his milk. Well, at least he’s miserly with the rest of us, too.
Rocky Belt for Parliamentary Punch-ups: SNP chief Alex Salmond and Labour’s Alistair Darling who squared up in live TV debates over Scots independence. Two Scottish men shouting at each other and they didn’t have the decency to do it in a Glasgow pub.
Resignation of the Year: Home Office minister Norman Baker quits, saying that working there was like “walking through mud”. Think how your boss, Theresa May copes, Norman. She does it wearing kitten heels.