Are you desirable?

Only if you're friends with loads of oligarchs, obviously

This is an excellent one from Pravda. It is fast becoming my favourite Russian newspaper. Why? I'll tell you why.

a) It has a whole section wonderfully called Hotspots and Incidents, generally listing horrific happenings and an uncanny amount of explosions happening around the place. I mean, elsewhere you might just call that news. But not at Pravda. Also, why call it news when you could call it Hotspots and Incidents? These guys have a sense of drama and event, and I like that.

b) Sometimes there are headlines like Sporadic Prostitutes Conquer Moscow.

c) They run loads of photo stories, such as Cyclops Cats, Two-Headed Birds and Monster Dogs.

On top of all this, there is this story -- unequivocally titled Russia's Most Desirable Single Women, based on "women's fortune and their celebrity status". Check them out. My favourites thus far are Alina Kabayeva, friends with Putin; Alyona Akhmadullina, friends with "many Russian oligarchs"; and Ksenia Sukhinova (you must remember Ksenia -- she's a major hero of this blog AND the face of the Eurovision Song Contest). And then of course's there's the other Ksenia -- oh, how the Ksenias must want to scratch each other's eyes out -- Ksenia Sobchak, who is, says Pravda, "an analogue to Paris Hilton". Can you possibly imagine a more distinguished tagline to your identity?

Sophie Elmhirst is features editor of the New Statesman

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Voters are turning against Brexit but the Lib Dems aren't benefiting

Labour's pro-Brexit stance is not preventing it from winning the support of Remainers. Will that change?

More than a year after the UK voted for Brexit, there has been little sign of buyer's remorse. The public, including around a third of Remainers, are largely of the view that the government should "get on with it".

But as real wages are squeezed (owing to the Brexit-linked inflationary spike) there are tentative signs that the mood is changing. In the event of a second referendum, an Opinium/Observer poll found, 47 per cent would vote Remain, compared to 44 per cent for Leave. Support for a repeat vote is also increasing. Forty one per cent of the public now favour a second referendum (with 48 per cent opposed), compared to 33 per cent last December. 

The Liberal Democrats have made halting Brexit their raison d'être. But as public opinion turns, there is no sign they are benefiting. Since the election, Vince Cable's party has yet to exceed single figures in the polls, scoring a lowly 6 per cent in the Opinium survey (down from 7.4 per cent at the election). 

What accounts for this disparity? After their near-extinction in 2015, the Lib Dems remain either toxic or irrelevant to many voters. Labour, by contrast, despite its pro-Brexit stance, has hoovered up Remainers (55 per cent back Jeremy Corbyn's party). 

In some cases, this reflects voters' other priorities. Remainers are prepared to support Labour on account of the party's stances on austerity, housing and education. Corbyn, meanwhile, is a eurosceptic whose internationalism and pro-migration reputation endear him to EU supporters. Other Remainers rewarded Labour MPs who voted against Article 50, rebelling against the leadership's stance. 

But the trend also partly reflects ignorance. By saying little on the subject of Brexit, Corbyn and Labour allowed Remainers to assume the best. Though there is little evidence that voters will abandon Corbyn over his EU stance, the potential exists.

For this reason, the proposal of a new party will continue to recur. By challenging Labour over Brexit, without the toxicity of Lib Dems, it would sharpen the choice before voters. Though it would not win an election, a new party could force Corbyn to soften his stance on Brexit or to offer a second referendum (mirroring Ukip's effect on the Conservatives).

The greatest problem for the project is that it lacks support where it counts: among MPs. For reasons of tribalism and strategy, there is no emergent "Gang of Four" ready to helm a new party. In the absence of a new convulsion, the UK may turn against Brexit without the anti-Brexiteers benefiting. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.