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07 June 2012

The weekly WHIP: 7 June 2012

The weekly WHIP: 7 June 2012


While parliament took a short recess the Queen marked 60 years on the throne. The nation benefited from an extra bank holiday, a free concert and BBC presenters desperately trying to fill inbetween segments by interviewing the crowd and gathering comments from coerced celebrities.

A thousand boats sailed down the Thames on Sunday; Cliff Richard, Jessie J and Tom Jones sang for the Queen on Monday and on Tuesday a service of Thanksgiving took place in St Paul's before a procession down the Mall, a balcony appearance and a fly past. All of which you already knew.

The BBC picked up plenty of criticism for their coverage, and in some insane loop of journalistic endeavour, the BBC were covering the BBC's coverage of the criticism of the BBC's coverage. Ouch.

U-turn central

While the WHIP was taking a well earned break last week, the government decided to U-turn on most of the hashtags that picked up so much criticism for their inclusion in March's budget. The #charitytax went, the #pastytax was clarified, the #caravantax was reduced, and apparently so too did the #skiptax. Quite what was the #skiptax, we're not really sure, but doing a U-turn with a skip sounds like a perilous business. George Osborne took to the airwaves to defend the government's propensity to swivelling around.

Reaching out to the churches

Tim Montgomerie wrote this week about the need for the Conservative Party to re-engage with churches as part of its effort to win a majority at the next election.

And thanks to @churchstate for bring to our attention this interview with @stephenctimms who has just taken over as Chair of the Christian Socialist Movement (CSM).

In brief

A few other tit bits for your delectation:

No spin doctor would have created Ed Miliband admits, Ed Miliband.

Boris Johnson has "as much chance of being reincarnated as an olive" as becoming PM.

Nick Clegg sets his sights on a novel past time, but admits his first attempt was "shockingly bad".