Later today David Cameron will present the Greatest Briton Award. According to The Telegraph, contenders include Ellen MacArthur, the yachtswoman and Andrew Flintoff, the Test cricketer, in the sports category; Jamie Oliver in campaigning; and Jonathan Ive, the iPod designer, in creative industries (a very worthy candidate).
The Tory leader will take the opportunity to distance himself from Gordon Brown’s recent remarks on Britishness in which the Scottish Chancellor encouraged popular flag-flying. Mr Cameron will say that understatement and reserve are intrinsic characteristics of being British:
"We don’t do flags on the front lawn."
I wonder if Liam Fox has seen Mr Cameron’s remarks? Only last October the new Shadow Defence Secretary was very enthusiastic about flag-waving:
"When I suggested recently that all schools in Britain should fly the Union flag as a symbol of what unites us I was told it was racist. By what possible stretch of the meaning of the word could even the most crazed member of the politically correct brigade regard flying your own flag outside your own schools as racist. Let us send them a message: this conference will never be ashamed of the Union Flag."
My guess is that Liam hasn’t seen the remarks (I’ve certainly had no contact with him or his staff). I also wonder how much the shadow cabinet is being involved in all of David Cameron’s first 100 days announcements on tax etc. One member of the shadow cabinet and another senior frontbencher have described the power of the kitchen cabinet around Mr Cameron. It’s no big deal yet as both men (and they are men) are content with the direction of the Cameron leadership. The power of the kitchen cabinet may yet become a source of concern for less contented MPs, however.