By Bethan Tolley, Communications Officer at the Centre for Brexit Studies
The world of politics and of course, Brexit, can often seem full of doom and gloom. In fact, just one of the stories published this week was that people are actually avoiding the news, with a ‘Third of Britons say they avoid news out of Brexit frustration’. So although the Brexit drama continues, and we are now well into the Tory Leadership Contest, it’s strangely refreshing when politics becomes a little weird, and dare a say it, funny. This week has been full of ‘what the?!’ moments, but here’s just a few of my favourite moments from this week in politics…
Anyone for a…waffle?
Today is first big day of tory leadership contest – Hancock event first up – waffles and battery pack freebies, and light techno so far – he’s speaking at 10 pic.twitter.com/q3Bgzhi6hD
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) June 10, 2019
It’s Matt Hancock’s biggest moment of his political career so far. So he decides to hand out waffles to members of the press, to make a joke out of when he was caught eating what was no doubt a scrumptious stroopwafel on live breakfast TV a few weeks ago. Funny IF you saw the interview. Also, what is the etiquette for political merchandise? Do you eat it right there and then or do you add it to the box of strange things you’ve been given at leadership bids? Because that would make a fantastic time capsule.
What’s Lorraine Kelly got to do with Brexit?
this longer version of that Lorraine Kelly/Esther McVey clip might be the most brutal thing I’ve ever witnessed pic.twitter.com/B8NTPes6uT
— Matthew Champion (@matthewchampion) June 10, 2019
Well, not a huge amount but in a move that no one saw coming this week, it appears that the queen of breakfast TV has had actual beef with no other than Tory leadership hopeful, until she was kicked out the race yesterday, Esther McVey. Turns out they had a run in back in the 90s because of something to do with Eamon Holmes. Anyone else weirdly obsessed with this story? Because I need a tell-all interview. Lorraine Kelly for PM anyone?
Got tickets for Gove Fest?
— Dan O’Donoghue (@MrDanDonoghue) June 10, 2019
Forget the waffles, Michael Gove gave fans the treat of a lifetime to head to a festival to see, well, himself headlining at his leadership bid. As visitors arrived, they were greeted with pumping music, including Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’ (always thought Gove would be more of a Stereophonics sort of bloke to be honest) and all handed a gold wristband. All they needed was a portaloo and overpriced street food and it would have been just like Glasto.
Victoria Derbyshire drops the Jeremy Hunt C bomb pic.twitter.com/ZXoKZFUOyd
— Rupert Myers (@RupertMyers) June 10, 2019
It’s happened again everyone! Yet another victim of the Jeremy Hunt ‘Rude Name Curse’, which happens at least five times a year by some of the biggest journalists in the UK. This time it was poor Victoria Derbyshire who made the mistake on live TV earlier this week.
At least Jezza is (kind of ) in on the joke. Speaking at his leadership campaign, Hunt was asked whether he would be a “continuity Theresa May” if he became the next Prime Minister. He said: “Anyone who knows what my last name rhymes with will know I’ve been called a whole lot worse on the Today programme on the BBC.”
What’s with all the drugs?
Michael Gove on taking cocaine ‘about 20 years ago’ aged 31: ‘I took drugs on several occasions at social events. At the time I was a young journalist. It was a mistake’. pic.twitter.com/dSIyuiq9Rn
— Victoria Derbyshire (@vicderbyshire) June 8, 2019
Remember those sort of parties at University where people would try and outdo one another and claim that they had taken all kinds of drugs because they were, you know, wild or whatever. This week in politics has felt very similar. Since the news broke last week about what Michael Gove used to get up to in his Journalist days, it seems hundreds of MPs have stepped forward to tell everyone what they’ve taken in the past too. Is it in support of Gove? Is it to be appear like a real ‘normal person’? Does anyone care?
Chuka loves a party
New Lib Dems MP @ChukaUmunna says he changed parties again because he realised “there’s isn’t room for more than one centre ground option” and he predicts a “good handful” of other Labour & Tory MPs will defect #r4today https://t.co/EVYYOTYVAd pic.twitter.com/OAQc7iYwEC
— BBC Radio 4 Today (@BBCr4today) June 14, 2019
In a move that I think most of us saw coming, Chuka Umunna is on the move – again. This time he’s moved in with the Lib Dem’s, due to “massively underestimating just how difficult it is to set up a fully fledged new party without an existing infrastructure”. I think Huffington Post’s Paul Waugh hit the nail on the head when he said Chuka’s ‘had more parties than Paris Hilton’ – maybe he just likes a bit of Change?! Oh…
Prince of Whales
— Cheri1975 (@tinabop29) June 13, 2019
And in news totally unrelated to Brexit, but one that just made me LOL, US President Donald Trump tweeted to say he had met the “Prince of Whales”, before deleting it, but not before we all saw…