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?”