A dunce's cap for Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown

Schoolboy errors: The mistakes in Gordon Brown's new book could have been avoided with more careful proofing

Having absented himself from Parliament to write a book about how he saved the world from financial catastrophe – Beyond the Crash (Simon & Schuster) – former Labour premier Gordon Brown, whose eyesight is far from perfect, is let down by poor proof reading. Thus Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, Nicolas Macpherson, becomes McPherson; the Financial Times’s August chief commentator, Martin Wolf, becomes Woolf; and IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn changes sex to become Dominic Strauss-Kahn. Dunce’s cap for clever clogs Gordon.

Have you noticed the new, media-friendly Shadow Foreign Secretary Yvette Cooper giving charming interviews to selected newspaper patsies? ‘She’s watching and waiting for Labour’s Ed Miliband to fall into the leadership crisis zone,’ says my source. ‘There’s also some chat about whether she has had vocal coaching to lower her voice a register or two, like Thatcher.’ Deep waters.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: ‘I would feel ashamed if I didn’t deal with the way the world is, not dream of the way I would like it to be.’ This is an inversion of George Bernard Shaw’s famous quote: ‘You see things and you say, “Why?” But I dream things that never were and I say, “Why not?”’ Stealing the words of wiser souls is reprehensible. Turning them back to front is criminal.

Carrie Fisher

Sour grapes? Actress Carrie Fisher tells Advocate magazine she believes John Travolta is gay

Hollywood’s Carrie Fisher suggests movie idol John Travolta is gay – despite efforts by the married father’s lawyers to stamp out such unfounded rumours. She tells the magazine for gays, Advocate: ‘My feeling about John has always been that we know and don’t care.’ In 2009, Carrie told the same mag: ‘We don’t really care that John Travolta is gay.’ What’s her interest? Perhaps the fact that her ex, casting agent Bryan Luard, ran off with a man?

George W Bush’s fanciable niece, model Lauren Bush, 26, is engaged to David Lauren, 39, son of fashion designer Ralph. As his wife, she’d be Lauren Lauren, or Lauren Bush Lauren. Unless David reverts to his family’s real name, Lifshitz.

BBC1’s The Apprentice featured contestant Jamie Lester, 28, a Londoner, who, while conducting a tour bus in the capital, told passengers the Thames was ‘the second largest river in London’ (what’s the first?) and the face of Big Ben was ‘20 diameters in width’ (did he mean metres?). His teammate, Stella English, 30, said: ‘This is Nelson’s Column. It’s a monument to, er….’ Lamentable, but does their boss, Lord Sugar, know better? If so he didn’t say.

James Joyce’s novel about Dublin life, 628-page Finnegan’s Wake, has been described as impenetrable by many since it came out in 1939, although author Anthony Burgess said it made him ‘laugh aloud on nearly every page’. It’s certainly special. A new limited edition costs £250.

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