Dave doesn’t re­gret leav­ing (White’s)

The New European - - Agenda -

Although David Cameron, pic­tured, now has a rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing cav­a­lier about mem­ber­ship of even the most worth­while in­sti­tu­tions, he’s ap­par­ently miss­ing White’s, the ex­clu­sive St James’s club that he quit in 2008 when he twigged it didn’t ad­mit women.

“I’ve been see­ing quite a lot of him just lately as a guest, din­ing with a few friends he still has here,” a mem­ber tells Man­drake. “I’ve heard talk that he’d like to re­join – his dad was a mem­ber – but, to be hon­est, there would be a real risk of him be­ing black­balled if he tried. His de­ci­sion to call the EU ref­er­en­dum – and what has en­sued – hasn’t met with uni­ver­sal ap­proval within these por­tals.”

Cameron’s spokesman Lau­rence Mann em­phat­i­cally de­nies his boss wants to put in for mem­ber­ship. “He has not ap­plied,” he tells me. “I have been asked about this be­fore, but it’s to­tal rub­bish and I have no idea where it’s from.”

Still, Cameron re­mains a mem­ber of his lo­cal Hol­land Park Ten­nis Club, where he can still kill a few hours play­ing against peo­ple who are will­ing to over­look how prop­erty prices have fallen since the ref­er­en­dum.

He also has Twit­ter to keep him amused, but find­ing friends on there is prov­ing dif­fi­cult for him, too. He has a ten­dency to ex­press his “pride” in things, most re­cently set­ting up the 100,000 Genomes Project, only to have peo­ple tell him that – as with same-sex mar­riage – he can hardly claim to have been the driv­ing force be­hind it.

Ru­pert Mur­doch may won­der why Cameron can’t just get his head down and write his mem­oirs, for which Wil­liam Collins – part of the Brex­trem­ist me­dia mogul’s em­pire – paid him an £800,000 ad­vance, but he’s prov­ing strangely pa­tient with his fledg­ling au­thor. Mann as­sures me the book – orig­i­nally sched­uled for pub­li­ca­tion ear­lier this year – will be out next autumn, but adds “no firm date” has been set. Will any­one even re­mem­ber who Cameron is by then?

Chicken feed

Vic­tory (at last) for Man­drake’s cam­paign to get Boris John­son to de­clare his out­side earn­ings – as all MPS should within 28 days – from the Daily Tele­graph. John­son has just ad­mit­ted to be be­ing paid

£275,000 by the twins Sir

David and Sir

Fred­er­ick Bar­clay for what he says is 10 hours work a month. This equates to a pay rate of

£2,291 an hour or around £4.80 a word. John­son signed his con­tract with the Tele­graph on July 12, which means he has ex­ceeded the nor­mal dead­line to de­clare his earn­ings by more than 50 days. Will he face any dis­ci­plinary ac­tion?

“Rules like that are only for the lit­tle, non-eton-ed­u­cated peo­ple,” one of his dis­grun­tled fel­low Tory MPS laments. “And, be­sides, he is on the record as say­ing that sort of money is lit­tle more than ‘chicken feed’.”

Jet set

The Daily Ex­press claimed the other day that Gina Miller’s End the Chaos move­ment – it brought the is­sue of Brexit and the Ir­ish bor­der into fo­cus at a widely re­ported event in Newry last week – is be­ing bankrolled by Ge­orge Soros.

Miller doubt­less wishes that she could count on the sup­port of the bil­lion­aire phi­lan­thropist as the cam­paign is prov­ing to be a big drain on her own re­sources. Cer­tainly ev­ery penny is be­ing made to count. There was much talk of her “jet­ting” into Ire­land last week, but the re­al­ity was some­what less glam­orous: an early morn­ing “red eye” out of Gatwick with easy­jet – de­layed by two hours – re­turn­ing the next day with the same car­rier and an un­wel­come di­ver­sion to Lu­ton air­port and a land­ing that was hair-rais­ingly aborted at the last minute. I’ve said it once and I will say it again: there aren’t any peo­ple en­rich­ing them­selves (or hav­ing an easy ride) on our side of the ar­gu­ment.

Ja­cob’s lad­der

Ja­cob Rees-mogg, pic­tured, is trouser­ing around £15,000 for the 30 hours he puts in each month for his Som­er­set Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment out­fit, so his free­lance in­come from the Daily Tele­graph is nei­ther here nor there to him. Still, I’m told it grates that the pa­per clearly val­ues his words of wis­dom so much less highly than those of his fel­low Brex­trem­ist Boris John­son (see my item above). ReesMogg has just ad­mit­ted to re­ceiv­ing three pay­ments from the pa­per to­talling £1,200 dur­ing the sum­mer. Sadly, his work would ap­pear to be of di­min­ish­ing value. For as­sign­ments that al­ways took him two hours, he was paid con­sec­u­tively £600, £350, and, most re­cently, £250.

Tim Walker man­drake@the­neweu­ro­pean.co.uk


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