Conservatives put the ball through own net

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The Conservatives used to “rejoice” in the description of being the nasty party.

Then Theresa May, the Home Secretary, tried to scotch all that - wisely or unwisely - by saying, in words to the effect, that this was no longer true.

But what IS true is they could now be called The Stupid Party.

Who on earth was daft enough to say the fearsomely expensive and lavish fund-raising Black and White Ball should go ahead only a matter of weeks before a general election and at a time when we’re all supposed to be tightening our belts?

Talk about self-destruction!

Some of the guests - all of them extremely well-shod - were somewhat questionable figures. And the prizes ranged from a shopping spree with Mrs May (God help us) and another, if I remember right, was a run with the Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan.

I can think of nothing more horrendous.

You would have thought that all this wallowing in luxury would have provided the Labour leader Ed Miliband with an open goal at the following session of Prime Minster’s questions in the House of Commons.

But no. He failed to make full use of this gold-plated opportunity.

No wonder David Cameron looked relieved when that session was over.

I read that one John Williams, a retired teacher from Liverpool, had his passport stolen from his hotel room in Spain.

So he made a photocopy of his bus pass and, incredibly, passed through all the airport checkpoints on his way home. (So much for security!)

Once, when I was in Moscow, I temporarily mislaid my “open sesame” Kremlin pass.

I managed to get into that stern building, even past gruff Russian guards, on the strength of my London bus pass. But my trickiest moment in the Kremlin was when I picked up the receiver of a red telephone, to try to file a story to London.

I was unaware (not being able to read the Russian notice beside it) that this telephone should only be used in the event of a fire.

So when I picked up the receiver, it started bells clanging all over the place. I hastily returned the receiver to its cradle, and went on my way, trying to appear the epitome of innocence.