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London Tonight Tonight Thursday 12th February 2009

Good afternoon.

The best politicians are great word smiths: Churchill, Disraeli, Michael Foot. Many are tremendously well educated - Cameron was described by his tutor at Oxford as the brightest student of politics he had ever taught; Harold Wilson and Enoch Powell were Professors shortly after they were old enough to vote. So when Boris went off on a verbal tirade at the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee you might have expected some literary lightening - a verbal Vesuvius, a classical cacophony of luscious illiteration. No. He apparently used the "F" word ten times, and popped in a two syllable description of bovine excrement for good measure.
No "terminological inexactitude" here - he was straight to the point, with a flourish and frequency of which Chaucer would have been proud. I mention "terminological inexactitude" because it was what Churchill quickly coined as an alternative to "the lie" when reminded by the Speaker that MPs can't accuse one another of not telling the truth. MPs just don't, in the House of Commons. Yeah, I know: difficult to stomach but there you go.
So, was Bozza a little economic with the "verite" as a senior Civil Servant once admitted in court when conceding he hadn't been fulsome with the truth, or did he feel he was simply wrongly accused? The matter was the Great Case of Damian Green and the man with the burning ears and soiled soul is one Keith Vaz, former Minister for Europe, still an MP for Leicester, and now Chair of the important Home Affairs Select Committee. The Oz and I will preside over our Star Chamber and will then invite you to be the jury. Thoughts on e-mail or by text and let's have no Boris-isms, please.

For years the good people of Richmond, and there abouts, have wanted to get to the East End by direct rail service. Now they can. Well, no they can't but they will be able to by 2012. What is more there is much celebration that this is being achieved for a paltry £75 m - an amount most modern bankers wouldn't miss if it fell down the back of their plush, taxpayer provided Liberty's sofas. But if so simple and so cheap, why such a long wait?
Harris asked Geoff Hoon, the Transport Secretary, about the delay, but may have nodded off halfway through the answer. We'll find out at 6.

The theists have hit back at the atheists on London buses. God knows why but he may yet tell. Perhaps he will place his own thought on a bendy bus. I'm hooked. Hope you are, or purgatory awaits you. The Big Boss thinks the new theistic response may prove difficult to believe if you've been stuck in traffic on a number 14 for nine hours. I have warned him of a lightening strike before 6.

Modern health care in London is supposed to be a great example of "the money following the patient". In Essex that penny is yet to drop. In fact the huge pile of pennies making them all healthier has waddled off in a different direction leaving one GP, with a waiting room as crowded as the 02 on a Kylie night, funding provision from his own pocket. He's a hero, the system has come unstuck and Lewis is asking the NHS Trust for answers.

Ben has gone to an exhibition which celebrates unusual talents which, in Victorian times, were known as "freak shows". Think Elephant Man and Bearded Lady and you are on the right track. I think he is just spending a very dubious afternoon in the company of a female contortionist. I'll certainly be glued to his report and not in a judgmental way. I am just impressed: last night, mitten crabs; tonight, a woman who probably wouldn't know what a mitten was if it tried to cover her fingers up. Bet her name is Fifi.
Also at the show, sword swallowers and, according to Faye, "fire-blowers". She is sporting a tight white T-shirt and those vein-vanquishing jeans again so I suspect circulation problems may have numbed the brain. "Fire-eaters, Faye, fire-EATERS"!

Glen meets the man who, despite £10 million, couldn't find true love. Only when he pretended to be Joe Normal on Nine and Nine pence did he meet the woman of his dreams. If he really thought he wasn't going to be a magnet for gold diggers, having said "Hi, I'm Joe and I'm worth £10m", then I fear for his sanity. As for the girl with whom he finally found true love, I suspect she may just have had an inkling that "you've got to be in it to win it...". We'll see.

Robin has looked a lot more self-confident since the sun came out - he hopes the contract on his life has now been lifted. We may ask him at 6.
The papers have lots of "F"s and even more "****"s on their front pages - Boris, what have you done?!?!

The Oz is excited by lots of pictures of Koalas with little mittens protecting their little paws from the nasty blazes Down Under. I think they are Chinese crabs in fur disguise to avoid ending up on Ben's restaurant menu, but she seems happy in her ursine fantasy. It's a "Down Under" thing.

We'll see you at 6. (She'll be the one cooing and I'm the one feigning shock at Bozza's vocabulary. In Australia, may I remind you, it is the norm).

See you at 6

Alastair and Alex