Thank goodness Parliament will begin again on Monday and there will be a lot more news to report. To mark the end of silly season, therefore, Total Politics has compiled the top stories which should never have made the front pages.
1) Cat bin lady.
Mary Bale, 45, was caught on camera putting a cat, Lola, in a bin. She caught the full wrath of the media and has since had to be put under police protection. Indeed, even acting PM Nick Clegg gave her national coverage when he issued a statement on Bale last week.
2) Gillian Duffy opens Rochdale Labour HQ
Grandmother Gillian Duffy, the woman at the centre of bigot-gate, made headlines again this summer as guest of honour at the opening of new MP Simon Danczuk’s constituency office. She may have ended Brown’s career but she’s hardly in the Labour inner circle.
3) The flight of the Lib Dems
There were fears that former leader Charles Kennedy was waiting by the letterbox to receive his Labour leadership ballot paper. However, in an open letter to Nick Clegg, Kennedy denied the fabricated tale of his defection to Labour as “the silliest of silly season stories”. The papers soon pounced on Lib Dems Lembit Opik and Vince Cable as the next ones to walk. No evidence appeared.
4) David Miliband has ADHD?
The Evening Standard ran a story that the leadership contender could have the hyperactivity disorder ADHD. It included an analysis by psychologists. Their evidence? In Chris Mullin’s diaries there are two throwaway lines describing Mili Snr: He has "an inability to concentrate while others are talking. His eyes were darting all over and he was bobbing up and down every couple of minutes."
5) Shall we standardise our clocks?
The Daily Express started a campaign against having to turn the clocks back in the autumn. They believe the process was outdated. Their campaign even had David Cameron considering changing the clocks. Three weeks later... obviously this has gone nowhere.
Then of course there are the stories which didn’t make the papers but still got traffic
Guido ran a headline in a particularly slow week: "Tory MP Shows His Cock to Kids." It seems a bit of a cheap stunt against poor MP Chris Kelly who was just showing a cockerel to local school children.
Lastly, last Tuesday the press office of Business, Innovation and Skills sent out a press release informing all us hacks that Vince Cable was being allowed to test drive an Aston Martin. We were issued with five paragraphs of quotes from Cable on the “dream” experience. Silly me for not making that story top priority.
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