When the cat's away the mice will play. The Faragistas must be licking their lips

27 May 2013 at 13:05

I was just about to right an upbeat piece about how proud I was to be British in the aftermath of last week’s horrific events, where the Prime Minister gave a sensible and measured response, how the country came together in restrained grief with that hallmark gritty determination to get on with their lives and stick their Agincourt fingers in defiance of the men of terror. It was as if politics had been put on hold.

Until yesterday morning when it was back to the stunts and positioning that the public so despises.

For the life of me don’t the press realise the lunacy of their antics over the Cameron’s family holiday to Ibiza? One the one hand the SUN and the MAIL laud him for his carry on and keep calm message but now slag him off for going on holiday. The MAIL’s headline over the photo of the Camerons, “is Ibiza chilaxed enough for you Prime Minister?” Followed by another, “Is it really wise to be chill axing in Ibiza, Dave?”

The answer to the second question is a resounding yes.

After flying back from France to set up COBRA, visit the Woolwich barracks and then instigate a task force to report on what extra measures may be needed to combat terrorism and radicalisation off he goes on his hols. To cancel them would contradict his message to keep calm and carry on and play into the hands of the extremists.

But this is just a minor irritation compared to the manoeuvres of the usual suspects in Cabinet. O’Patz is refusing to buckle down to further Treasury savings. The man has gone so native he might as well be dancing around a cooking pot with bones through his nose. What I find so remarkable is the ambition of Philip Hammond which for its sheer vulgarity, pretension for someone of such limited talent, could be up for a Turner prize. It appears that he is quite prepared to resign if Osborne persists with further savings at Defence. And of course at Cabinet he stares at the Chancellor with the skill and interest of an Boot Hill undertaker. Which considering has a smile with all the warmth of a brass plate on a coffin is entirely appropriate.

And then there is Theresa May. An interesting turn. Superficially loyal, utterly ruthless and without mercy. Just the sort of person we need as Home Secretary.

But I do worry about the Home Secretary’s Guild who are desperate to bring in the “Snooper’s Charter”. The trouble is that some of our more excitable backbenchers will see this as a very big stick to beat Clegg, who will unfairly be cast as a wishy washy do gooder who will put our citizens at risk by opposing such libertarian plans for the police to monitor all our phone calls, texts, emails, tweets, web browsing habits and any other communication whether we are suspected of a criminal offence or not. George Orwell eat your heart out you are just twenty five years late.

The law on intercept is perfectly adequate at the moment, if the police have reasonable grounds to suspect that a criminal offence has been or is about to be committed they can apply for a warrant to get all the information they need.

So before back bench knees start jerking it would be a good idea to see what the task force recommends.

And then there is my dear old friend David Ruffley’s outburst in the MAIL today, saying that Cameron has a year to get things sorted or else there will be a coup. Poor old Ruffers has got form for this. Almost to the day this latest musing coincided with a similar piece in the MOS which he anonymously penned a year ago. Like so many other able people he is consumed with bitterness at not being given a job, but it really isn’t worth the heartache. Or the aggravation.

The Faragistas must be smacking their lips.