Ken Clarke on the visit of President Obama

I wonder if this is David Cameron’s view? Will he raise it with the President when he meets him.

KC: Well Barack Obama has a big spending programme anyway for his election which he is trying to combine with his fiscal stimulus ..
JP: Is he equally mistaken?
KC: Well I think he has got a reserve currency, it is the biggest economy in the world. It is a gamble they might be able to afford, although he is playing politics, I mean all democratic politicians do, he is taking the opportunity it try to finance all his programme and get it through under the cover of the G20 for the very good reason, without getting into American politics, he might have difficulty financing it if he doesn’t get all the money voted through in the first month or two.
Jeremy Paxman and Ken Clarke, Newsnight, 30 March 2009

Nico Bentley

I spent an interesting few hours in the company of composer Nico Bentley this weekend. Apart from him not having heard of TheThe he was a thoroughly decent guy.

To talk to a young creator about the potential for the digital world to support his profession was fascinating. He didn’t have all the answers but was happy with the current disruption in the music industry.

Redditch by-election results

Back in the real world, Labour had a massive boost last night. Let’s be honest, the last place on earth Labour wanted two local government by-elections was in Jacqui Smith’s constituency of Redditch. And if anything answered the sneering attacks in the press that Jacqui has had to endure it is a 12.5% swing to Labour in her local area.

A Labour gain from the Conservatives in the Central ward of Redditch Borough on a 12.5% swing from last year was probably the best result of the year to date for Labour, although it was almost outdone by the 11.1% swing in next door Headless Cross & Oakenshaw, which reduced the Tories’ majority from 943 to 262 and almost cost them control of the council.