Cameron’s budget-busting holiday

After six years as prime minister, David Cameron is entitled to push the boat out.


The Camerons: no need for a staycation in Cornwall this year

David Cameron went to great lengths to project a "man of the people" image when he was prime minister. This involved taking regular "staycations" in Cornwall for his holidays (though he did manage to sneak off to Lanzarote shortly before the Referendum campaign). Unsurprisingly, now that he's out of Downing Street, he's dropped the pretence of restraint, with beach snaps of the ex-PM and his wife enjoying a £15,000 Corsican holiday appearing on the front page of the Daily Mail.

And so what, asks the Daily Mirror's Fiona Phillips. "Being prime minister is one hell of a gruelling, thankless, underpaid, under-appreciated, under-valued job." After six years of service, Cameron needs and deserves a holiday with his nearest and dearest. "I see no reason why he shouldn't be enjoying a place he actually wanted to go to rather than one he thought would look parsimonious enough for the begrudging British electorate to be satisfied that he's not having too much of a good time."

Fair enough, I suppose. But it's hard to feel sorry for someone who's just spent an estimated £225 on a pair of beach shorts from designer-swimwear brand Orlebar Brown. Indeed, I'm vaguely worried that our former prime minister was gullible enough to fall for the boutique's marketing guff, which compares them to a tailored suit and describes them as "not just a swim short but a short you can swim in". Perhaps if the tumbling pound pushes up the price of future excursions, he'll stick with a lower-budget pair from M&S next time.

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE

Get 6 issues free

Sign up to Money Morning

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Sign up

Paying off the fracking protestors

In an attempt to buy off homeowners who live near fracking sites, the government has proposed that each individual household should get direct cash payments of up to £10,000 to compensate for any disruption. It's "a fracking good idea", says The Sun's Trevor Kavanagh. In France, "homes near power plants won cheap hot water and central heating", while "those in the path of a high-speed train line were offered above-market prices for their houses". This gave them "a real personal interest in the process of change".

But don't break out the champagne just yet if you're one of the householders near a fracking project. As usual, there are quite a few strings attached to the deal. Each community will get a maximum of £10m, meaning that those in larger villages and towns will get less, notes The Guardian's Adam Vaughan. The rules for what constitutes a catchment area are also unclear. More importantly, the sums will be paid from the tax revenue generated by the wells. Given that it takes about five years to develop a well, "any such payments are unlikely to be paid to individuals before the early 2020s".

"What I can't understand is why exactly the locals need to be paid off so handsomely," says Juliet Samuel in The Daily Telegraph. When she visited shale fields in the US, "I couldn't believe what all the fuss was about". They seemed so peaceful compared with "living in the vicinity of wind farms or years-long construction projects". A cheaper and more effective option than giving all these households cash handouts would be to fly them out to the US to see the reality for themselves. "Fracking protestors are making mountains out of molehills."

Tabloid money "Fight for the right to pay in cash"

"The other day, my bank sent me a new contactless' debit card. Immediately, I cut it up with a pair of scissors," says Ross Clark in the Daily Mail. Banks and credit-card companies tell us it's all part of the "cashless society". Don't believe a word of it. It's really their insidious attempt to "engineer a future where we can never buy or sell anything without using their services".

They would use it as an excuse to ditch free banking in an instant. Were cash to disappear, transaction fees would soar. I'm no Luddite, says Clark. I'm happy to use my bank cards when it suits me, but I am not going to be bullied into using them. "If we want to avoid being ripped off by banks and card issuers, it is vital that we fight for the right to pay in cash."

Let's breathe a sigh of relief that Saatchi & Saatchi Chairman Kevin Roberts has been put out to pasture for suggesting women lacked "vertical ambition" to reach the top, says Karren Brady in The Sun on Sunday. It was a typical Mad Men culture when I worked at the company in 1988, says Brady.

One creative executive was even given a prostitute for his birthday. "The shocking thing was that no one was shocked but that's the Eighties for you." But times have changed and what was OK then, including sexism, isn't OK now. Roberts didn't get the memo. But with a dinosaur boss like that, no women will ever get ahead. "Out with the old, in with the new."

There was finally a sparkle on the face of Mark Carney, notes the Daily Mail's Sam Greenhill. Specifically, a large glitter "tattoo" next to his right eye. The 51-year-old Bank of England governor was seen strolling through the "glampy" Wilderness music festival in Oxfordshire, where a burger is £8.50 and there is even a food tent run by TV chef and restaurateur Yotam Ottolenghi. But that didn't stop Carney, the central bank boss of the world's fifth-biggest economy, from snapping up a red T-shirt emblazoned with the face of communist revolutionary Che Guevara and the word "Touch".