[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 4 December 2006, 15:35 GMT
Commons Confidential: November 2006
Nick Assinder
POLITICAL DIARY
By Nick Assinder
Political correspondent, BBC News website

Despatches from the House of Commons
1030 GMT, WEDNESDAY 29 NOVEMBER

Has trendsetter Tony Blair set a new rule in lunchtime etiquette?

Bowl of soup
To slurp or not to slurp
The prime minister attended a swanky lunch with senior journalists on Monday and was presented with a soup first course in a bowl with handles on each side - you know the sort of thing, like a double handled teacup.

As the other guests followed tradition and reached for their soup spoons, Mr Blair picked up his bowl by its handles and proceeded to drink it down with relish.

The surprised journos weren't exactly sure how to react to this - should they put down their spoons and follow suit or carry on regardless?

They decided to ignore it and carried on slurping. Another sign of the prime minister's waning influence perhaps?

1030 GMT, TUESDAY 28 NOVEMBER

For all those who have been living in a cave for the past decade, Gordon Brown used his annual speech at the CBI conference to remind us what a big deal globalisation is.

Gordon Brown
Brown stressed importance of globalisation
Needless to say, he has no time for the ostriches in the anti-globalisation movement and pointed out to the conference how the group seemed to be sending out mixed messages.

He told delegates that he recently turned up to one conference to be greeted by protesters carrying placards declaring: "International campaign against globalisation".

1030 GMT, MONDAY 27 NOVEMBER

After months of work, the refurbished Westminster Hall - the oldest part of the palace - re-opened to widespread delight earlier this year.