John Gibson: Tormentor of Tories is not hi-tech

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The beast’s jacket, his trademark, there’s a certain magnetism about Dennis Skinner. He’s seldom out of camera range when they sweep the Commons benches for telly.

Easy to pick out in the ranks, always a front-row seat and always it’s what he’s wearing. The sports jacket that has to be as old as Big Ben.

It’s fair comment to say that successive Tory big guns, including prime ministers, have hated his guts.

But Skinner, at least, doesn’t just sit there, tight lipped, bum glued to his seat. In short, he’s a pest. A tormentor of Tories for 40 years.

What I find almost endearing about the so-called Beast of Bolsover (his constituency) are some of his newly-revealed characteristics. Never tweets. Never texts. Never emails. And never resorts to a mobile phone.

Either he despises the technology, or he doesn’t know how to use it. Reminds me of an individual in this office. You’ve got to be old enough.

What do you do with your old jackets, Dennis?

I WORRY for her, so I do. Honest. Just been gaping, aghast almost, at the Jubilee pictures of her. Wafer-thin Kate (the divine Duchess of Cambridge, of course) with her fascinatored hats sometimes looks like a bag of bones. Skeletal I’d venture, and not a word to Nicholas Witchell about this, himself noticeably fragile.

Weighing Kate up, she’ll be a patient for Harley Street’s finest nutritionists before long.

It’s an easy life

Louche lot, our MPs. Off now for 17 days to celebrate the Jubilee. Still catching their breath after rolling their Easter eggs and that took all of 20 days in their previous holiday.

Little wonder the country’s in a helluva pickle, run by grossly over-paid galoots who don’t know their onions.