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High Speed three-line whip

Ed Balls said "nobody will believe" George Osborne's claims to be planning to regenerate the North with a new high-speed rail link. The IEA called it a "headline-grabbing vanity project". However, Natalie Rowe aka Madam Pain, just simply thought the Chancellor's 'northern powerhouse' announcement simply is not all it is cracked up to be.

The former escort and dominatrix, who claimed Osborne took cocaine at one of her wild parties during the 90s, snorted at the Chancellor's amped up enthusiasm for HS3.

Osborne has always categorically denied taking cocaine.

Chuka's IT lesson

Why have some voters ditched Labour for UKIP? It's a question haunting the party since Nigel Farage's 'people's army' stormed the European and local polls.

But Chuka Umunna may have hit on a diagnosis.

The Shadow Business Secretary told the Andrew Marr show yesterday that Farage's followers may be among those who "cannot do the four basics online of sending and receiving an email, browsing the internet, filling in an online form."

This has won Mr Umunna the undying support of John Mann, Labour MP for Bassetlaw, who this afternoon offered to join forces with the Shadow Business Secretary and nip that particular problem in the bud.

"I have previously criticised the Labour Party's policy of not tackling UKIP head on, and have also outlined why I think that we are losing our working class support in the north," he said.

"However, following Chuka Umunna's comments I would be delighted if he would come to my northern constituency and lead a computer literacy lesson. Not only would this reduce any UKIP threat locally, but I am sure that my constituents would value learning from his no-doubt excellent IT skills."

Someone get Graham Linehan on the phone; a fifth season of The IT Crowd must surely be on the way?

 

Labour's 'owler

Truly, a One Nation policy. 

It's a kind of magic

It didn't take long for the Harry Potter references to start flying in (on a broomstick, wahey) once JK Rowling revealed her support for the No campaign. 

The author herself said: "When people try to make this debate about the purity of your lineage, things start getting a little Death Eaterish for my taste."

Speaking for the Better Together campaign Margaret Curran, the Shadow Scottish Secretary, said: "It doesn’t take a wizard to work out that Alex Salmond’s case for breaking up the UK simply isn’t a risk worth taking."

And the ever-reliable General Boles has produced one of his masterpieces to mark the news: 

Nick Clegg does grown-up politics

Nick Clegg made a plea today to end the “synthetic fights” between Liberal Democrats and Conservatives.

A very reasonable and grown-up demand to make of his party, of course. There might be a few Tories who will feel, well, a bit miffed when Clegg’s comments are read in their entirety, however.

“I don't believe people will vote for us next year solely because we have prevented the worst excesses of Conservative nuttiness or nastiness, important though that is, and nor do I think we should blight the success of two party government by picking synthetic fights.”

Maybe that’s an example of picking an organic fight.