The Plastic Hippo

Along with death and taxes, the only other inevitability is the skill of a politician being economical with the truth. This week, if Birmingham had a face, its blue nose would be growing faster than that of Pinocchio.

We are only two days in, but the sheer quantity of porkie pies being flung around Broad Street and on the fringes of the Conservative Party Conference is already Olympian in scale and breathtaking in audacity. The conference was opened on Sunday, quite rightly, by the chairman of the party, the Right Honourable member for Welwyn Hatfield Grant Shapps MP. Shapps, you might remember, received tens of thousands of pounds in “donations” from property developers, mortgage brokers and an estate agency presumably to make his role as a shadow housing minister more bearable.

Then there is the curious tale of Michael Green, an alias used by Shapps for some very dodgy on…

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