Village People: A natural Conservative leader
Saturday 02 July 2011
Jacob Rees-Mogg, Conservative MP for North East Somerset, is to the Conservative Party what Dennis Skinner is to the Labour Party. He is the voice of what makes his party unique.
David Cameron could have been a Liberal Democrat or even a Labour MP if he had gone to a slightly less expensive school, but Rees-Mogg could only ever be a Conservative.
Who else, in times of austerity and public spending cuts, would deliver a speech in favour of spending more, not less, on the Royal Family?
"We want a glamorous monarchy that befits the status of our nation. We are a great nation, a noble nation and a nation that has had power across the globe," he told the Commons. When I see the coronation coach being pulled through the streets of London, I want to see it being pulled by the finest horses that money can buy and I want to see it gilded with the finest gold that can be bought.
"I want Her Majesty to have as a jubilee present the finest window that can be funded by Members of Parliament. That is the status of monarchy that we want."
Why isn't this man leading the Conservative Party?
Civil Service drag feet on police bail
The oddest thing about the great police bail fiasco, which has required emergency legislation, is how long it took civil servants to tell their ministers that there was a problem. On 5 April, a judge refused an application to hold a murder suspect on remand because the man had spent several months on bail..
On 19 May, after the district judge's decision had been upheld in a high court, the police told Home Office officials that they had a big problem. There are 80,000 suspects out on bail. The chief constables and civil servants decided that emergency legislation was the answer, but did not tell any minister until Friday of last week, 24 June. On Thursday, while the Home Secretary Theresa May was in Spain, her deputy, Nick Herbert, had to inform MPs that a new law would have to be rushed through.
Why did it take civil servants six weeks to alert a minister, the Labour MP David Hanson asked. "I have answered questions about when it became clear that this case was of concern," Mr Herbert replied, displaying a politician's fondness for answering the question he would have preferred to have been asked.
Labouring over illegal entry
The Labour government had a "slack attitude to immigration", the Work and Pension Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said in his speech in Madrid yesterday. So should we blame Labour for the discovery of an illegal immigrant from Morocco aboard a Eurostar train that pulled into Euston? Not the fault of the Home Secretary, Theresa May, of course – though one could mention in passing that she was travelling on the same train.
Andrew Neil: a big honcho
An irate email has winged my way from Andrew Neil. Last week I mentioned that at a party to launch Mehdi Hasan's and James Macintyre's new biography of Ed Miliband, Mehdi described Neil as a man "who owns newspapers that slag off the BBC". Neil insists that I should have pointed that he does not own newspapers. He is a big honcho within the newspaper empire owned by the Barclays Brothers, but not a media mogul as such. I do hope no one out there was misled, and due apologies to Mr Neil for the distress I may have caused him by making him out to be richer and more important than he actually is.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
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Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
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