Friday, 19 June 2009

Breast spy for the job

THE name’s Sawers. . . John Sawers. It’s not quite as catchy as James Bond but John is a real life 007, and about to become the new boss of MI6. Superspy Sawers spent the last few years as British “ambassador” to the UN –– yeah, I’m sure that’s ALL he was up to! Anyway, he will soon be leading the country’s spooks as they stake out the bad guys and take on terrorists around the world. MI6 say it’s NOT all like James Bond. But they admit there are similarities -Sawes will even take on the codename “C” just like Judy Dench is “M” in the movies. That seems a bit silly. What’s the point of having a secret codename if everyone knows it? Why not just call him “S?” Or simply Mr Sawers? The Foreign Secretary reckons with the threats of international terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, Sawers and his team will have their work cut out.Still John is used to tough situations: he’s worked in Northern Ireland, South Africa and Kosovo. If Dr Evil turns up he’ll know what to do. “C” won’t rub shoulders with Bond Girls. Yet he’ll have one thing in common with them –– for reasons of national security, his most important assets will remain
close to his bosom.
NOW listen up, because you ought to be a little bit interested in this. Monday is a big day in Parliament—at 2.30pm MPs will meet to elect a new Speaker. The Speaker chairs debates in Parliament and makes sure everything runs smoothly. And it’s not easy keeping 646 MPs in line. But a good Parliament is also good for the country. The last Speaker, my friend Michael Martin, quit after taking the brunt of bad publicity over expenses. Despite all that heat, there’s tough competition to take his place. A whole host of MPs from veteran Tory Ann Widdecombe to Labour back-bencher Parmjit Dhanda have put their names forward. Front runners include my mates John Bercow and Margaret Beckett, plus Lib Dem hopeful Alan Beith. Psst! You could make a few bob here. The bookies are taking bets on who will win. I say stick a tenner on Bercow… he wins you can buy me a pint – if he loses, I’ll buy him one.
EVER heard of Colonel Gaddafi? He’s the dictator of Libya. He became rather unpopular in the 1980s when an American plane got blown up over Scotland and a police woman was shot dead from inside the Libyan embassy in London. It’s common for there to be protests when he travels abroad. That’s why he brought bodyguards on his trip to Italy this week. But Gaddafi’s elite handpicked security team are all women! So it seems the Libyan is a bit of a ladies man. He also wanted to meet at least 700 Italian lasses. So no doubt he’ll get on famously with Italian leader, Silvio Berlusconi. Gaf has other quirks. He tends to bring a giant tent and solid-gold furniture that he sets up on the lawn where he’s staying. He’s even been known to bring a pet camel on past visits. Maybe I should take a leaf out of his book and employ Gemma and Ashley Massey as my bodyguards. They lack the martial arts and firearms training that Gaddafi’s girls have—but if looks could kill I’ll be as safe as houses.
THERE’S been a bit of a barney between the UK and Bermuda, after the Caribbean island took on a group of unfortunate fellas from the infamous American detention camp Guantanamo Bay. The four blokes are Uighurs (Muslims from China) who were nabbed in Afghanistan a few years back by American troops. When it turned out they’d done nothing wrong the US let them go. But they didn’t want to go to China. So they went to... wait for it... Bermuda instead, because it was the only other state that would accept them. The only small problem was that Bermuda is still a British colony—or “overseas territory” as we call them now to fool everyone. The Bermudans were meant to ask the British government before letting them in. Folk at the Foreign Office got riled because the first they knew of the situation was when the Uighur boys turned up at Bermuda airport. Oops! All the same, what a life they’ve had. Born in China, nicked in Afghanistan, imprisoned in Cuba, and now living in Bermuda. With all that travel, if they can’t get a job as deckchair attendants, they ought to give Thomas Cook a ring.
OK, time for a quick name drop. I happened to be round at Prince Charles’s place—or should I say palace— yesterday for a chat about affordable houses. It reminded me that it’s 40 years next month since Prince Charles became Prince of Wales. And what a great 40 years it’s been. Some folks don’t like the monarchy, but Prince Charles has done some great stuff. He’s stood up for human rights and his charity, the Prince’s Trust, has helped many people make it in business and life. He’s a really decent fella. So well done on your first 40 years Your Royal Highness (and thanks for the nice pie)

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