WHEN I started work as a civil servant at the London Passport Office 18 years ago I made the terrible mistake of believing I was going up in the world. I arrived at work wearing my best suit. I got the shock of my life. Everyone else was wearing jeans. All I did all day was stamp passports. I was part of a clerical production line.
IN THE summer of 1889 the London Evening News and Post reported on the huge strike wave then sweeping the capital. The Bryant and May match girls' strike a year earlier had been, it concluded, "the proverbial small spark" which had "kindled a great fire".
"NOW EVERYONE can see why the Metropolitan Police wanted no one to see this report." So said a bitter Sukhdev Reel last week after her MP, John McDonnell, and Hackney MP Diane Abbot used parliamentary privilege to read out a damning report on the police investigation into her son Ricky's death.
A CONCENTRATION camp for refugees. That is what the New Labour government is now planning. The Home Office is to open a privately run camp for refugees on the site of a former military barracks at Oakington near Cambridge. This will double the number of asylum seekers locked up at any one time.
THE SHORTLIST of Labour candidates for London mayor will be announced in two weeks time on 16 November. Tony Blair wants Labour's candidate to be in place before Christmas.
"THE ELECTORAL college has nothing to do with democracy. It has everything to do with keeping Ken out." That is how one Labour MP, speaking to the Times newspaper, summed up Tony Blair's desperate attempt to block Ken Livingstone from becoming Labour's candidate for mayor of London. Even would be candidate Glenda Jackson, who was a government minister, complained that the selection procedure had the appearance of a "stitch up".