When Peter Bone and Philip Davies back the Prime Minister, something is happening in the Conservative Party
It’s pretty rich hearing the Labour Party criticize Cameron for taking a principled stance on Europe. How vulgar, they say, how amateur. Doesn’t he know that the job is to (as Douglas Alexander put it yesterday) ‘balance’ domestic interests and European ambitions?
So it has happened: EU leaders meeting in Brussels have agreed to nominate Jean-Claude Juncker as the new European Commission President. David Cameron only managed to get Hungary’s Viktor Orban to support him in voting against Juncker.
The status of aborigines in Australia has, to be frank, hardly crossed my radar until now. But that was before I met Tanya Hosch, a representative of the community who’s over here right now campaigning for them to get an honourable mention in the Australian constitution.
Is it a strength or a weakness in a leader that they do not offer a vision? The pragmatic David Cameron is so innately sceptical of visions that he went into the last general election without one. As a Conservative minister – who is supportive of Cameron – put it to me yesterday, this shortcoming probably explains why the Tories fell short last time.
Andrew Gimson’s PMQs sketch: Miliband strains credulity by claiming the whole country cares about O’Donnell
Labour could not break down Cameron’s defence, and ignored past crooks in Downing Street.
Michael Gove has this afternoon replied to Labour’s questions about Dominic Cumming’s access to the Education department since finishing as a special adviser. Coffee House has got hold of the letter first.
As Labour scrapes around for “questions” to pose about the Prime Minister’s judgment, any fair-minded person will find moral indignation harder to sustain.
Last Friday, Ed Miliband’s team assembled to review the previous day’s launch of the “Condition of Britain” report from the IPPR think tank, which Miliband had enthusiastically embraced. The morning papers were dominated by England’s World Cup defeat at the hands of Uruguay, but what coverage there was gave the Labour leader’s aides cause for concern.
The family photo at this week’s EU summit will be a particularly awkward affair. EU leaders will have just come from listening to the last post at the Menin Gate, the memorial to the British and Commonwealth dead of the Ypres campaign, but they will know that they are about to have an unholy row over dinner as David Cameron tries to stop Jean-Claude Juncker from becoming President of the European Commission.
The News of the World man’s zeal for a story was his undoing
If you walk around our great northern cities, you’ll see stunning examples of civic pride. Albert Square in Manchester and Leeds Town Hall reflect resurgent local confidence. Old narratives of northern decline are out of date. When Guardian writer Andy Beckett launched a hatchet job on the north-east a few weeks ago, claiming that the region was the ‘next Detroit’, the response was visceral and immediate.
Some people have expressed surprise that I signed today’s letter, led by the former British ambassador to Iran Sir Richard Dalton, calling on Tony Blair to be fired as Middle East peace envoy.
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