12 October 2012
The Weekly Whip: 12 October 2012
David Cameron took to the conference podium this week to round off the conference season which sees journalists and lobbyists traipse from Brighton to Manchester to Birmingham. Party loyalists declare their man is the best thing since sliced bread, rebels vent at their chosen cause. And the rest of the country looks slightly bemused and carries on as normal.
The big speech went down a treat in the party with even perpetual thorns in his side verging on the effusive. Commentators seemed to agree he kept his party on side but others were far more critical, while some wondered at his grasp of the English language. Particularly the precise meaning of privilege.
Scottish referendum and votes at 16
Next Monday the Prime Minister and Alex Salmond, the first minister of Scotland, will hammer out details for a referendum on Scottish independence. Since grasping overall control of the Scottish Parliament in 2011 the Scottish National Party has been set on giving Scotland a say in whether it wants freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeedom.
As with most political decisions this gave politicians the opportunity to get their knickers in a twist and potentially do irreparable damage to the UK constitution. The vote will be a straightforward yes or no, but in exchange David Cameron gave way to Alex Salmond's demand for the vote to be extended to those who are 16-17. But it might not be as simple as that.
A Noble EU
The WHIP brings you breaking news that the EU has won the Noble Peace Prize. Read the criteria and it makes sense, although it's a little bit more than a person, the European Union is made up of countries which had a tradition of attacking each other and haven't done so in the last sixty years.
However, it's no surprise that the announcement prompted howls of disdain in equal measure directed at the EU and the Noble committee. The Guardian are giving you the chance to have your say in whether this was recognition of a brilliant peace keeping project, or nonsense of the highest degree, in their voting poll. While the Channel 4 EU front page suggests the irony of the announcement.
Whisky in the juice
On a slightly lighter note, or perhaps a stiffer one, a toddler was served whisky instead of juice at his birthday party at Frankie and Benny's. Rather a rum deal.