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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

No "little local difficulty" today

Turning on the BBC, I was startled to see that the top television news story was about some sort of challenge to the authority of the Prime Minister. Complete with archive footage of Harold Macmillan talking about "a little local difficulty". What can have happened? Who has resigned? Who is in and who is out?

The story so far: in 1958, Macmillan, as Prime Minister, was hit by the resignation of all three Treasury ministers, including the Chancellor, and responded with a display of his trademark 'unflappability' by embarking as planned on a Commonwealth tour and saying that he wasn't going to be knocked off course by "a little local difficulty".

Then it turned out that the excitement on today's News was not the resignation of George Osborne. The Coalition is intact and the Queen is not warming the teapot ahead of an urgent Prime Ministerial visit. No, the story is that...Tim Yeo has said something! About aeroplanes. The same something about aeroplanes that he had already said this morning, if not yesterday.

Is it possible that it is not a crisis of authority for Mr Cameron after all?

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