Sunday, 5 September 2010
The start of a new term
During the summer holidays, as you might expect, not much was happening in the political world. It all changed this week though as the coming of September has brought with it about a month's worth of stories in a week.
Probably one of the biggest stories was the release of Tony Blair's memoirs. They were surprisingly frank, and showed that the rivalry between Blair and Brown (know by Downing Street civil servants as 'the TB-GBs') was a lot worse than most people thought. Also, Mr. Blair likes George W. Bush and still thinks the invasion of Iraq was right – what a shock!
Ballot papers for the leadership election started going out this week. What influence Blair's book and the memories of the Blair/Brown relationship will have on the leadership election will only be known with the result on 25th September.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Secretary commented on allegations on the internet that he was gay and in a relationship with an aid with whom he'd shared a hotel room during the election campaign. William Hague categorically denied ever having been in a relationship with any man and stated that he and his wife are happily married, despite having recently suffered the tragedy of a miscarriage. There have been rumours about Mr. Hague's sexuality for years, but only on the political blogs and he has never been talked about in the mainstream media before. It just goes to show, don't trust what you read on blogs!!
For the second time in 12 months, UKIP is electing a new leader. This week Nigel Farage announced his candidacy. Mr. Farage has been leader before, but he resigned last year in order to focus on fighting the constituency of Buckingham in the general election. Nigel Farage is the best known member of UKIP and the leadership election is his to lose.
The Communications Director at No. 10, Andy Coulson (David Cameron's Alastair Campbell) has been on the wrong side of the headlines in recent days. Before working for Mr. Cameron, Andy Coulson was editor of the News of the World during the phone hacking scandal when the newspaper logged into the private voicemail of politicians and celebrities. This week, John Prescott has been calling for a judicial review into the affair, and specifically Mr. Coulson's role in it. I wonder whether Lord Prescott would be doing this if Andy Coulson was working for Labour instead of the Coalition.
And finally, the Camerons have brought their new daughter to Downing Street for the first time. The only question the proud parents would answer was "Is she keeping you awake?" To which Mrs. Cameron replied "Oh yes". I'm not sure a sleep deprived Prime Minister is not the best thing for the country.
So much news in just seven days, and Parliament isn't even back yet!!