Cameron will have more to worry about than just his tan lines

A round-up of the week shows Brown gaining an edge over Cameron

As MPs parted discussing plans for summer freebies and parliament broke up for the summer recess, the Tories were still suffering the Brown bounce.

A beleaguered David Cameron, freshly-returned from Rwanada, took a beating from Gordon Brown in the last PMQs and the Tories were further behind Labour in the opinion polls. Iain Dale, who had accompanied Cameron on his African adventure, felt compelled to speak up for his travel buddy. The root of recent Conservative poor performance was not Cameron but his Shadow Cabinet.

He said: “Andy Coulson’s challenge is to educate Shadow Ministers and CCHQ on ways to get press coverage over and above the normal press release. Some Shadow Ministers will find this an easier process than others to adapt to. If you’ve been doing it in the same way for ten years change is not an easy process.”

It was part of a wave of comment to the effect that the Conservative frontbenchers are lazy and unenlightening, from The Sun’s Trevor Kavanagh to Matthew
d’Ancona
. Benedict Brogan lists the Shadow Cabinet’s outside interests and concludes 13 out of 29 are part-timers.

However, An Englishman’s Castle believes it is not the fact the shadow ministers spend too much time outside parliament, it’s that they spend too much time in: “The curse of modern politics are professional politicians who know nothing outside the Westminster bubble. We were far better governed when it was done by amateurs.”

One of the most salient points in Obsolete’s lengthy and interesting dissection of the proposed increased terrorism legislation is as follows: “Huge amount of data to shift through, links across the globe, 200 mobile phones, 400 computers, blah blah etc. As before, this isn’t in any way a good enough excuse or justification for those being held to be held longer, it's an argument for the police to be given more resources, or to actually use those they already have, such as to demand encryption keys.”

While, Tim Worstall points out: “Given that as yet no such suspect has had to be released after 28 days of questioning, it’s a little hard for them to come up with a justification.”

As a Liberal Democrat, the Norfolk Blogger, aka Nich Starling, fully expects to be criticised for his support of the case 56 day imprisonment: “Across Europe, in societies that we are supposed to marvel at for their liberal sensitivities, the police have powers that far outstrip our own police when it comes to questions suspects in terrorism cases. If these societies can be liberal and have such policies, why can't we?”

Owen Walker is a journalist for a number of titles within Financial Times Business, primarily focussing on pensions. He recently graduated from Cardiff University’s newspaper journalism post-graduate course and is cursed by a passion for Crystal Palace FC.
Newsgroup Newspapers Ltd/Published with permission
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Everything that is wonderful about The Sun’s HMS Global Britain Brexit boat

And all who sail in her.

Just when you’d suffered a storm called Doris, spotted a sad Ukip man striding around the Potteries in top-to-toe tweed, watched 60 hours of drama about the Queen being a Queen and thought Britain couldn’t get any more Brexity, The Sun on Sunday has launched a boat called HMS Global Britain.


Photo: Newsgroup Newspapers Ltd/Photos published with permission from The Sun

Taking its name from one of Theresa May’s more optimistic characterisations of the UK post-Europe (it’s better than “Red, white and blue Brexit”, your mole grants), this poor abused vessel is being used by the weekend tabloid to host a gaggle of Brexiteers captained by Michael Gove – and a six-foot placard bearing the terms of Article 50.

Destination? Bloody Brussels, of course!

“Cheering MPs boarded HMS Global Britain at Westminster before waving off our message on a 200-mile voyage to the heart of the EU,” explains the paper. “Our crew started the journey at Westminster Pier to drive home the clear message: ‘It’s full steam ahead for Brexit.’”

Your mole finds this a wonderful spectacle. Here are the best bits:

Captain Michael Gove’s rise to power

The pinnacle of success in Brexit Britain is to go from being a potential Prime Minister to breaking a bottle of champagne against the side of a boat with a fake name for a publicity stunt about the policy you would have been enacting if you’d made it to Downing Street. Forget the experts! This is taking back control!


 

“God bless her, and all who sail in her,” he barks, smashing the bottle as a nation shudders.

The fake name

Though apparently photoshopped out of some of the stills, HMS Global Britain’s real name is clear in The Sun’s footage of the launch. It is actually called The Edwardian, its name painted proudly in neat, white lettering on its hull. Sullied by the plasticky motorway pub sign reading “HMS Global Britain” hanging limply from its deck railings. Poor The Edwardian. Living in London and working a job that involves a lot of travel, it probably voted Remain. It probably joined the Lib Dems following the Article 50 vote. It doesn’t want this shit.

The poses

All the poses in this picture are excellent. Tory MP Julian Brazier’s dead-eyed wave, the Demon Headmaster on his holidays. Former education minister Tim Loughton wearing an admiral’s hat and toting a telescope, like he dreamed of as a little boy. Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns’ Tim Henman fist of regret. Labour MP Kate Hoey’s cheeky grin belied by her desperately grasping, steadying hand. Former Culture Secretary John Whittingdale’s jolly black power salute. And failed Prime Ministerial candidate Michael Gove – a child needing a wee who has proudly found the perfect receptacle.

The metaphor

In a way, this is the perfect representation of Brexit. Ramshackle, contrived authenticity, unclear purpose, and universally white. But your mole isn’t sure this was the message intended by its sailors… the idea of a Global Britain may well be sunk.

I'm a mole, innit.