Sticks and stones

Manchester United fans will be sorry to hear that the team's manager Sir Alex Ferguson has left to be president of the Immigration Appeal Tribunal. Just like at Old Trafford, where Sir Alex actively encouraged immigration, the Govan old boy has been assiduously supporting the rights of asylum seekers, a policy that has landed him in hot water with Tony Blair. Tulkinghorn fears he may be stripped of his title and forced to return to Manchester red-faced and wig in hand.

What a cosy place Simmons & Simmons is. Apparently, it's such a backslappingly happy firm to work for that the chipper partners have funny little nicknames for the management. Fragrant senior partner Janet Gaymer is, Tulkinghorn was told recently, known as Auntie Val, after Valerie Singleton, the jolly-hockey-sticks, bags-of-energy, all-round trooper from Blue Peter. While managing partner David Dickinson is simply known as 'Dicko'. Tulkinghorn assumes that this is just a shortened version of his name.