Between the Lines

Issue section: 

Italian banker has journalist beaten - Directory enquiries privatisation disaster - Alastair Campbell gets fat cheques for public speaking

The governor of the Bank of Italy, Antonio Fazio, is known as 'the Pope': his job is for life, he's inaccessible, and he has absolute power over bank mergers. But when satirical TV show Striscia la Notizia tried to award him a 'raspberry' for failing to prevent a financial scandal, he denied his identity and had his bodyguards knock over the journalist, telling them to 'kick him a bit so he goes away'. Divine retribution, perhaps.

The new deregulated directory enquiry services are nothing to phone home about. Since 192 was switched off in August, calls to its 118 successors have dropped by 45 percent while complaints have doubled. A case of 'We've got your number'?

If you feel you haven't been force-fed enough of Alastair Campbell's opinions for the last six years, don't despair: Tony Blair's former chief spin doctor has been approached by corporate speaking agency JLA. His fees have been estimated at £25,000 a time. Who says war crime doesn't pay?