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29 June 2012

The Weekly WHIP: 29 June 2012

The Weekly WHIP: 29 June 2012

National Prayer Breakfast

At the crack of dawn on Tuesday hundreds of people filed into parliament for the National Prayer Breakfast. The Bishop of London spoke of the many monologues we hear calling for dialogue and the tendency to get angry in the pursuit of peace.

Lord Bates of Langbaurgh introduced the breakfast and the theme of 'A World in Union' following his 3000 mile walk to promote the Olympic Truce. Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson also spoke to the assembled masses flank by the unlit Olympic torch.

Following the breakfast Lord Bates led a 7 mile prayer walk to the Olympic Park.

The Department for U-turns

It can't be very nice to be asked by your boss to go on Newsnight, get grilled on something you didn't decide and be branded as incompetent by Jeremy Paxman. And that was after an uncomfortable experience earlier in the evening on Channel 4.

David Cameron ducked accusations that George Osborne was a coward, but the fresh faced Chloe Smith suffered something of a mauling after being sent into bat by the Chancellor.

Following the budget in March, the Treasury has transformed the U-turn into something of an art, and attempted to turn it into a virtue by branding it an exercise in listening to the people, and responding to what they say.

Faith Partnership Principles

What do you get when you put two Archbishops, a Patriarch and a variety of other faith leaders in a room with the secretary of state for international development?

It's not a joke, but the scene this week for the launch of the department for international development's Faith Partnership Principles. The WHIP crept in at the back among the esteemed guests to hear Andrew Mitchell applaud faith groups for the work they already do in development, and set out the principles the department would be using to encourage further partnership in the future.

Lying about LIBOR

If you don't know what LIBOR is, then you're in good company. Until yesterday morning that is, when everyone started scanning Wikipedia pages or the BBC's Q&A, it was hardly a regular topic of conversation over cornflakes.

This sparked a competition among politicians for who could come up with the greatest expression of outrage. Ed Miliband and Boris Johnson all inferred that criminal charges might ensue, while the chancellor said Barclay's bosses must pay the price. This was certainly a bad thing but the politicians couldn't agree who among themselves might be to blame.