Francis Beckett

Just after 5.30 on November 4, the FBU’s London Region decided it would call off the November 5 strike on the terms available. 

Last night I watched the third striking firefighter of the day being hit and hurt by a strikebreaker driving fast straight at him.  I was inches away as a fire engine mowed down a picket, and it was a very frightening moment.

It was at Southwark Fire station, where a dozen or so fire engines were due to b

One of the tabloids has sent a reporter round to Matt Wrack's former wife, and another to his student son's flat.  The latter carried a phoograph of Matt's son, asked around the neighbours, and rooted through the dustbins.

What sort of creep does a job like that?  I'd starve first.

Yesterday I recounted conversations with Clodagh Hartley, Whitehall editor of the Sun.  Since then I’ve found out that she and I are probably the only two people to have had plays produced in London about the MPs’ expenses scandal. 

So the Metropolitan Police Commissioner thinks it's too easy to sue the police, and wants to make it harder.  Try telling that to Cliff Augur.

On Saturday 5th January 2008, Cliff went to watch Chelsea play football, as he has done most Saturdays for 40 years.  He had with him his two teenage sons and two of their friends. 

Stalin used to talk about socialism in one country, but Labour today seems to have opted for socialism in one family. Ed Milliband’s views are marginally to the left of his brother’s, but that’s not why they chose him.  He may, as Neil Kinnock seems to be saying, have a more common touch than his brother, but that’s not it either.  He is leader because he was not an MP when we went to war in Iraq.

There have only been two baby boomer Prime Ministers, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.  With the election of David Miliband or Ed Miliband as Labour’s new leader today, we know that there will never be another. All three Party leaders are now far too young to be baby boomers.

So the Pope worries about "aggressive secularism" and "atheist extremism", does he?

Here's a cationary tale about what we used to call serious newspapers.

The media is all Bob Crow, because television wants him. Television wants him because he says the things television wants to hear.  He says strike.  He doesn't say why.