Welcome to my new page

Stop! Stop right now. Yes, that means you. Lift your hand off that mouse. I know your finger was hovering, poised to click on to another page, a little internet shopping or yet another graze of Twitter. But hold your horses.

I know what you are thinking. I know you are telling yourself that of all the things the world needs right now it is not another blog about politics. Westminster, you think, is awash with the things, pundits and hacks commenting on each other's utterances in an ever-increasing circle of internal navel gazing. Why, in short, do we need Landale when we have Robinson and D'Arcy?

Let me tell you why. I have always believed that the one thing Chairman Mao was right about was the importance of letting a thousand flowers blossom. Messrs Robinson and D'Arcy are as vital to the daily diet of news and comment as the morning bowl of cornflakes is to breakfast. But there are other meals in the day and variety is not just the spice of life.

My aim is not just to tell you what people are saying about the mainstream stories of the day but also those in the slipstream. More stories flow in and out of Westminster than any other institution in Britain and not all of them get the treatment they deserve.

My hope is to tell you what ministers, MPs and officials are saying about politics and policy before they reach the 10 O'Clock News - the whispers on the breeze and the mood on the benches. Much of the gossip in the Westminster village is just that, gossip, of no interest to anyone outside of SW1 in central London.

But some is important. Some will become important. So I will try to give you a flavour of what I am hearing as I walk the corridors of Parliament and the streets of Whitehall.

So welcome to my blog. I hope you stick with it and let me know what you think.