March 21, 2024 - 5:30pm

→ David Cameron’s shady holiday

As Foreign Secretary, David Cameron’s global jaunts are tightly managed and highly publicised, but during his time out of government those foreign trips usually weren’t in the public eye. One person discovering this to their cost is Sunday Times journalist Gabriel Pogrund, who wrote on X this morning about his difficulty in finding out exactly what Dave was doing talking to the Sri Lankan government in January of last year.

Cameron reportedly met the country’s President twice at the latter’s residence, and a few months later was being paid to lobby for Port City Colombo, a Shanghai/Dubai-style infrastructure project. Despite a string of FOI requests, Pogrund has had relevant information kept from him far longer than the usual 21-day turnaround. Was Dennis Skinner on the right track in his appraisal of Cameron’s integrity?

→ The north-south Euroscepticism divide

As Right-wing parties across the continent find themselves in pole position ahead of European elections later this year, could there be more tearaways from the European Union? A new report from the European Council on Foreign Relations has surveyed 17,000 voters in 12 European countries, gauging their views on EU membership and the insurgent Right. If there’s one striking takeaway, it’s that Euroscepticism seems to be making more of a splash in Northern Europe, compared to its southern neighbours such as Italy, Spain and Greece.

Credit: YouGov/Datapraxis

In the Netherlands, 63% of voters classed as “far-Right” claimed that the leader of their country’s principal far-Right party wanted to take it out of the EU, a figure matched by respondents overall. The figures were over 50% for Austria, Sweden and Germany — all located either in Northern or Central Europe — whereas the sunnier climes of Portugal and Greece felt that their Right-wing leaders were happier maintaining a relationship with Brussels.

The report names the politicians in question, but its definition of “far-Right” might not be a universally accepted one. Besides the familiar names of Geert Wilders and Viktor Orbán, Italian Giorgia Meloni is chucked into the basket of deplorables, despite her time in office frequently being characterised as straightforwardly conservative or centre-right, including by liberal establishment publications such as the Economist. One dreads to think what they’d make of that awful Rishi Sunak…

→ MacKenzie Scott’s white guilt

When Jeff Bezos divorced his wife, it was billed the most expensive divorce in history. As part of the deal, MacKenzie Scott received 25% of Amazon stock — worth around $36 billion at the time.

That’s a lot of walking-around money. But instead of buying herself a cybertruck and moving to the Palisades, Scott has been busy making donations instead. To date, she has given away an estimated $17.3 billion to philanthropic causes since her divorce in 2019. But where, exactly, is the money going? According to a new post on X, the biggest chunk of donations has gone to race and ethnicity initiatives. Scott has donated over a billion dollars to the cause, dwarfing any other area by some margin. Let’s just hope Shaun King wasn’t the beneficiary