ANDREW PIERCE: Modi's operandi gives Jeffrey Archer's books a boost

ANDREW PIERCE: Modi’s operandi gives Jeffrey Archer’s books a boost

Relations between Britain and India took a turn for the worse last year when the country’s vainglorious prime minister, Narendra Modi blocked Covid vaccine exports.

Modi’s display of vaccine nationalism drove a coach and horses through a legally binding agreement between Astra Zeneca and Boris Johnson‘s government. 

In 2021 he had the country’s largest stadium, capacity 132,000, renamed the Narendra Modi Stadium. Only North Korea‘s capital has a bigger arena and even that is not named after a living leader!

But cricket-loving author Jeffrey Archer will not have a word said against Modi, who sent a letter to the author to mark the 75th anniversary of Indian independence this year.

India is Lord Archer’s biggest market and thousands of counterfeit copies of his books are printed to be sold on the streets at knock-down prices

India is Lord Archer’s biggest market and thousands of counterfeit copies of his books are printed to be sold on the streets at knock-down prices

‘I decided to write to you, and a few other friends of India, with a sense of gratitude for your affection for India and the hope that you continue to work closely with our nation as well as our people.

‘Your prolific writing career that spans over nearly five decades has enthralled many generations of readers across the globe.’

India is Lord Archer’s biggest market and thousands of counterfeit copies of his books are printed to be sold on the streets at knock-down prices.

He once recalled being accosted in Mumbai by a street urchin carrying an armful of books. ‘Would you like the latest Jeffrey Archer?’ the boy asked. ‘I am the latest Jeffrey Archer!’ he replied.

 

Lucy Allan, Tory MP for Telford, is angry at fellow MPs plotting to topple Boris Johnson. 

‘Trying to remove an elected PM with a huge personal mandate mid-term is anti-democratic.’ 

This from Allan who in 2019 wrote of Theresa May: ‘It’s time to start again with a new leader.’

 

I spied Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer in conversation with ex-health secretary Matt Hancock, who quit after breaking lockdown rules with his mistress. 

 As the chat ended Starmer said cheerily: ‘I have to call you.’ 

What are they plotting?

 

The left has returned to its favourite hobby — smearing Winston Churchill. 

A new biography by veteran 1960s activist and Corbyn supporter Tariq Ali, titled ‘His Times. His Crimes’, claims ‘the Churchill cult is completely out of control’. 

Ali argues that ‘Churchill’s crimes abroad include the brutal assault on the Greek Resistance during the last years of the war’. 

Will there be any mention of how the great leader saved this country from fascism during its darkest hour?

 

While Keir Starmer tries to sound hawkish on Ukraine, Labour MP Diane Abbott and her mentor Jeremy Corbyn make no secret of their admiration for Russia. 

On a Stop The War panel last week, Comrade Abbott said: ‘We see that the U.S. has decided that it needs to send U.S. and other NATO troops to Russia’s borders. 

This alone should tell us that the claims Russia is the aggressor should be treated sceptically. 

The destabilisation in the entire region comes from the continued eastward expansion of NATO.’

 

£23bn shutdown bill

Just when you thought the energy crisis, with bills soaring by an average £700, couldn’t get any worse, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, deputy chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in charge of a hearing on Nuclear Decommissioning, revealed the cost of closing eight creaking nuclear power stations will be £23billion over the next six years. 

‘This money could be used to build hundreds of schools and hospitals and employ thousands of additional doctors, nurses and teachers,’ he says. 

‘The PAC will be keeping a close eye on this to ensure it is done for the best value for money.’ 

Sir Geoffrey was on last month’s shoot with Tory MPs staged by the new all-party group for clay pigeon shooting. 

He says, contrary to my report, he never witnessed any talk about the future of Boris Johnson or changing the leadership rules to make it easier to evict him. 

He says the idea there was a plot to depose the PM by the MPs named by me was wrong.