Instructions from Malcolm Tucker

I was very amused by some news coverage last night. And courtesy of 'The Thick of It', I can guess exactly what happened too. My wife Gina and I watched transport minister Stewart Stevenson's not very impressive performance on Newsnight Scotland when he repeatedly declined to apologise for the transport chaos that had persisted all day (snow had not been forecast, good job in very difficult circumstances etc.). He clearly failed to appreciate how this looked given the package played before his interview which included people who had been stuck in vehicles for 10 hours. Evidently though the press officers did see this PR disaster take place. Half an hour later Gina heard the minister interviewed on Radio Five Live. He was profoundly sorry for the inconvenience, it was not the transport system's finest hour etc. What could have caused this change of attitude?

Earlier yesterday, I saw Ken Clarke on the BBC UK news being interviewed about reducing prisoner numbers. He was asked specifically about his view (contrary to the Tory manifesto) that carrying a knife should not always result in a prison sentence. In the shot of him getting into his car to leave the prison, there was a lorry parked behind him. Prominent on the side of the lorry was the slogan 'Britain's softest white'. Was Mr Tucker involved here too?