Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Who's in and out of a Green Cabinet

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Who's in and out of a Green Cabinet

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID BANKS

WHEN you read this I will be in Vancouver, enjoying a family stopover en-route by train and car down the west coast of North America to Los Angeles.

By the time your reluctant fingers have found this page "to see what that barking-mad Banksy is on about this week" (a remark overheard recently in the Cornhill shop) 33 Chilean miners will have had their first - and long-overdue - baths in 10 weeks, Liverpool FC might be either bankrupt or owned by a Singapore billionaire and the Coalition government could well have collapsed under the weight of protests at proposed changes in child benefit and university fees.

Frankly, it's the fate of Liverpool I'll be listening out for; holidays have a way of focusing the mind on the truly important things in life.

But come the weekend you might be more concerned to follow the fortunes of Britain's new billionaire prime minister: perhaps Sir Philip Green might spare the time to pop down to the Palace for the formal hand-kissing ceremony? Or will Her Maj drop in on him next time she's in Top Shop? After all, there's no doubt that's the way we're going: ever since David Cameron called on the high street's top wheeler-dealer for financial advice the writing has been on the wall. Green certainly knows how to screw costs down until the pips squeak - he might even decide to privatise Britain's Welfare State and park it offshore, alongside his own untaxed billions in Monaco.

The Great Cost-Cutter's early Cabinet appointments should be interesting: the billionaire Sir Alan Sugar made Business Minister, beaten to the Chancellorship by Belize's very own Lord Ashcroft, while Cole-shouldered X Factor contestant Gamu will surely find consolatory safe haven on our shores thanks to the intervention of Foreign Secretary (and billionaire in the making) Sir Simon Cowell.

I'm a Celebrity, Get Me into Number Ten meets Big Brother ... so much more fun than real politics!

DISAPPOINTMENT clouded my grape harvest again this year: the most northerly vineyard in England - for that is what my cluster of vines on an outside wall must surely be - matured only patchily. …

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