Why we should sue the Met Office

Could a class action be heading the way of Britain's weather forecasters?

In May 2010, the Met Office said we should brace ourselves for a series of hot, dry summers we would roast, they said, just as we did in 1976. There would be droughts and hosepipe bans.This wasn't an isolated warning. Last week, however, meteorologists at a Met Office conference on climate change announced that this wasn't the case after all apparently a warmer North Atlantic means Britain is now likely to have wet summers for the next five, or even ten years.

That's quite a volte-face, even to those of us who never believe a word the Met Office says. Think of all those poor, hard-working people in the Home Counties who've built swimming pools in the anticipation of long, warm summer days, says Boris Johnson in The Daily Telegraph "perhaps the greatest triumph of hope over experience in the history of British domestic architecture".

For 20 years, they'd listened to experts telling them they were going to bake as it got hotter. Houses were remortgaged, huge cuboids of earth were dug up; thousands of gallons of water filled the holes. And the people who took the prophecies seriously "imagined the poolside parties they could have when the warming really kicked in: the barbecues; the bikinis; the pina coladas.

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They saw themselves on their lilos talking to their brokers on their mobile phones They thought they were doing the sensible thing and getting ready for a Californian lifestyle and they were fools! Fools who believed that the global-warming soothsayers really meant what they said or that they had a clue what the weather would be like in the next ten years."

"I am generally against the compensation culture,", says Johnson, but "I see a class action: aggrieved English pool-owners against the global-warming prophets and the erroneous meteorologists who have, frankly, been taking the piscine."

How to be a true hell-raiser

It was nice to hear that Andy Murray celebrated his US Open win last year with champagne, even if The Sunday Times headline "Murray's night of getting smashed" was stretching it a bit. He started modestly at the celebrations in Manhattan, drinking soda, and didn't get to the champagne till he was on the plane home, eventually consuming so much that when he went to the loo he brushed his teeth with face cream instead of toothpaste.

It's a bit tame, I know, but then Murray isn't cut out to be a hell-raiser unlike the actor Oliver Reed, for example, who, as a new biography makes clear, took the business of "getting smashed" very seriously indeed. According to the biography, Reed and Alan Bates each downed an entire bottle of vodka before filming the nude wrestling scene in 1969's Women In Love.

A doctor who examined him on the set of Castaway (1986) said he had more alcohol in his blood than blood. His biographer, Robert Sellers, says Reed once drank 100 pints of beer for a bet, though this is hard to believe. He was also once sacked from filming an advertisement for rum for being drunk.

Tabloid money: 'I admire Tamara, she doesn't show her wealth'

"I admire her enormously. She does not show her wealth." So says, without a shred of irony, Jay Rutland, new husband of Tamara Ecclestone. "For the blissfully unaware," writes Jane Moore in The Sun, Tamara Ecclestone is "the daughter of Formula 1 boss Bernie and likes nothing better than an ostentatious photoshoot inside her £50 squillion house with 457 bedrooms and a gift-wrapping room. Saying she doesn't show her wealth is as risible as claiming Rihanna's a prude with a penchant for burkhas."

"While Wikileaks' founder Julian Assange costs British taxpayers £3m by holing up at the Ecuadorian Embassy here," says Ephraim Hardcastle in the Daily Mail, the leftish government of President Rafael Correa chokes off free speech, according to Human Rights Watch. "Ultra-liberal Assange must deplore this but he's beholden to the Ecuadorians for protection."

£22m is small beer for the BBC, says The Sun. But it is still "a staggering sum to spend gagging staff from bad-mouthing the Corporation. It should have been spent making new shows. Instead it was used to cover up sexism and bullying. What else did it silence? More evidence of the BBC's left-wing bias? Or even more outrageous abuses of the tax' taken from everyone with a TV?"

Calls for Alistair Darling to replace Ed Balls ignore the money he's making from after-dinner speaking, says Ephraim Hardcastle in the Daily Mail. He has earned £64,000 this year, including £15,300 from JP Morgan, "a bank he criticised for financial misbehaviour".