No, actually, you really couldn't make it up (1)
The Daily Telegraph is forecasting that the business secretary in May's cabinet will be Andrea Leadsom, the woman who believes in dismantling workers' rights in small companies
No, actually, you really couldn't make it up (2)
And that the foreign secretary will be Michael Gove, the man of whom Ken Clarke said that he would 'start three wars all at the same time'
No, actually, you really couldn't make it up (3)
And that the communities minister will be Boris Johnson, the man who broke Britain. Great news for Sunderland

A case of motherhood without the apple pie
Andrea Leadsom


Sayings of the woman who might have been prime minister
'No minimum wage, no maternity or paternity rights, no unfair dismissal rights, no pension rights’ – her recipe for the success of small business
'I don’t want my mother to live in fear of teenagers who can’t be touched by the police. What’s wrong with instilling discipline?’
'Let’s get stuck into this debate about the family and marriage, aware that we are treading on very sensitive ground’
'As if that [the adoption of a young brother and sister by 'two complete strangers’], weren’t enough, the two strangers are a gay couple who have been selected ahead of several heterosexual couples’
'The self-indulgence and carelessness of non-committed adult relationships is, as we’ve just seen in the extreme case of Baby P, proving fatal to the next generation’
'I'm not a feminist because I'm not anti-men'
But she wasn’t always wrong:
'If a downgrade [of the UK’s credit status] happens, it will be a huge blow for our economy and will potentially set us back several years in repaying our debts and restoring our finances to health’

A phrase we won't be hearing again for a while
'Throwing their hats into the ring'

Quotes of the week
'We must speak, we must take sides, for neutrality helps the oppressor – never the victim’ – Elie Wiesel (1928-2016), Holocaust survivor and Nobel peace prize winner
'I’m notorious amongst my friends for having lots of ideas’ – Michael Gove
'Nobody wants to put themselves in the kind of mess the British have created for themselves’ – Professor Marlene Wind, University of Copenhagen, explaining the surge in support for the EU in Denmark (and other European countries)

Things it’s been easy to miss
1. The actress Judi Dench, aged 81, acquired a tattoo with the words 'Carpe diem’ inscribed on her wrist
2. Nicolas Sarkozy announced that he intended to run again for the presidency of France
3. The left-back of Jarna SK Reserves, a Swedish football team, was sent off for farting
4. The world’s newest country, South Sudan, was too broke to celebrate its own Independence Day
5. A football tournament took place in France. It wasn’t very good
6. A Chinese man sued an escort agency after he paid £2m on the understanding that he could have sex with a film actress. She didn’t show up. It’s been that kind of month (so far)

Word of the week
After Wimbledon, it was widely reported that the winner of the men’s title was 'overwhelmed by the enormity of it all’. The Midgie is relieved to report that King Andy had not committed some grave sin or crime or done anything remotely reprehensible. He’d just beaten the sixth seed in a game of tennis

There's all the difference in the world between something
that's enormous and something that's an enormity

Crass question of the week
Whether King Andy would like to be prime minister

Cartoons by Bob Smith

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Amidst all the post-Chilcot analyses, I was particularly interested in a comment by the journalist, broadcaster and military historian Sir Max Hastings. He said that to focus all the attention on Tony Blair’s role in the Iraq war was mistaken. Insufficient notice had been paid to the 'groupthink’ of the intelligence services and senior military figures: most of the chiefs of staff, according to Hastings, were 'gagging’ for military action, despite the reduced state of British forces and uncertainty about the aftermath. There were few contrary voices arguing for caution, or presenting an alternative strategy.

Walter Humes
Tony Blair was not alone in gagging for action

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