Westminster Times

David Cameron may have had a fortnight from hell – Mr Justice Saunders, Jean-Claude Juncker, Andy Coulson, Michael Fabricant, Michael Gove, Theresa May... the list goes on.

But which leader has been attracting the attention of the tabloids? Ed Miliband. Obviously. And he ain't seen nothing yet.

If the 2015 election race continues to look neck and neck, the Tories and right-wing press will become increasingly aggressive. It has already been predicted the campaign will be a re-run of the 1992 contest which saw Neil Kinnock subjected to unparalleled (maybe) levels of personal attack.

But it is always your friends you have to watch. The old saying that, in the Commons, your opponents sit opposite you while your enemies sit behind you has never been truer.

And there was an indication of how Miliband is being set-up to be the next Neil Kinnock when the Daily Mail reported one senior Labour insider declaring: "There's lots of talk about who should replace Ed if we lose next year, but it all misses one big point: he has no intention of going.

"Ed believes he's given up too much – including his relationship with his own brother – just to quit after one election defeat. He's letting it be known he wants to continue. It isn't realistic, but that's what he thinks."

Which led to the perfectly reasonable headline about Miliband planning to do a Kinnock. Which, of course, means going on to two defeats.

With friends like that who needs John Mann.

Nigel Farage
Farage: good with a pint, not so good with a computer.Getty

Ukip tweets

Labour's Chuka Umunna felt the wrath of Ukip's youth wing (yes, there is such a thing) when he suggested many of those who voted for Farage's peoples' army were lacking in basic computer skills.

They were disconnected from the wider community, he said, because they couldn't send and receive emails, browse the interweb or complete online forms.

With absolute predictability, his email inbox was immediately clogged up with messages from young Ukippers telling him he was speaking patronising nonsense.

One pointed out that Farage had "more than 70,000 Twitter followers than yourself, that Ukip's Facebook page has more likes than Labour (approaching 250,000)".

Another message declared: "We have the fastest growing youth wing in the country", although he didn't say from what base. An increase from 5 to 10 would, after all, be a 100% growth. (I await the emails).

Anyway, wasn't it Mrs Farage who recently declared her husband did indeed have a computer, but barely knew how to turn it on?

"He has a steam powered telephone, he can send and receive texts and that's it. If I sit him down, and there is something for him to read, he can scroll up and down, he has learned that - but that is pretty much it.

"He honestly doesn't know how to [use a computer] and he has missed the boat, I don't think he ever will now," she said.

So who is doing all that tweeting for him then, or is that a silly question?

David Cameron and Rebekah Brooks
David Cameron and Rebekah Brooks are neighbours.Reuters

Quote of the week

Geoffrey Cox, a Tory member of the standards committee: "Members of Parliament have traditionally tended to feel that they knew what was right and what was wrong but it is not as easy as that."

I think we had worked that one out already.

Cotswold capers

How much would you pay to be a fly on the wall when David Cameron next nips down to his local artisan's bakery in Chipping Norton to pick up some hand-thrown olive ciabatta and bumps into his neighbour, flame-haired Rebekah Brooks?

Will it be air kissing and "mmwah, mmwah" all around or one of those awkward, insincere: "We must get together soon. Call me" conversations.

Brooks is, of course, completely in the clear of all phone hacking charges so is no longer exiled from Cameron's rural dinner table. So there is an unhealthy interest in Westminster over when they will next cuddle up to each other over a nice bottle of Barolo.

Long lenses at the ready?