Short shrift
'Outside the parameters of decent comment'

That's the verdict of Alan Duncan, the diminutive Tory international development spokesman, on his erstwhile sparring partner Clare Short. And the reason for Short's abrupt ejection from the hallowed circles Decent Commentry? Why she's only gone and drawn a comparison between Iraqi insurgents and the French resistance.

This, apparently, has "provoked outrage at the Tory conference in Bournemouth". Mr Duncan is particularly splenetic: "She has finally gone off the edge of the cliff... [this] puts her outside the parameters of any kind of decent comment in British politics."