WHEN Suella Braverman seeks solace in the tattooed folds of the Tory hard right this morning, she’ll be cheered all the way by Sir Keir Starmer. The UK Labour leader’s gratitude to this most hapless of former Home Secretaries might not extend to a bouquet of flowers, but he’ll always hold a special place for her in his heart.

Were it not for her clumsy intervention late last week into the policing of pro-Palestinian protest marches in London, Sir Keir would still be trying to extricate himself from his party’s own inner turmoil over the Middle East. Instead, with one bound and an excruciatingly badly-constructed article in The Times by Ms Braverman, he is free … for a while at least.

The bestial slaughter of 1400 Jews by Hamas savages on October 7 caught out all western political leaders, but none have been troubled by its fallout more than Sir Keir. Having spent the entirety of his three years’ tenure sitting on fences, Sir Keir – besides pulling skelfs out of his fundament – has been little more than a crypto presence as Labour leader, merely tracking the Tories’ suite of policies with the odd nip and tuck here and there.

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The Hamas pogrom and Israel’s inevitable and ferocious response demanded something substantial from Sir Keir … for the first time in his leadership. Beyond saying that Israel had a right to defend itself from a foe committed to the extermination of Jews, there’s not been much else.

If he’d had the wit or the courage to do so he could have qualified this position by calling on the release of all hostages held by Hamas as the first step towards a ceasefire. Or, he could simply have said that while a ceasefire was his preferred option he could understand the trauma experienced by the people of Israel and Jewish communities around the world. And then added a warning to Labour’s pro-Palestine wing against using language and imagery that channelled anti-Semitism.

Let’s not kid ourselves here: Ms Braverman’s article calling on the Metropolitan Police to crack down hard on what she described as ‘hate’ marches resonated with many voters well beyond the fringes of Nazi knuckle-draggers. And I’m not having any of the contrived sanctimony by the Kelvinside Stalinistas that her intemperate words alone had brought the Millwall Massive to the Cenotaph on Saturday.

Many who have been horrified by the suffering endured by blameless Palestinian civilians have nevertheless been troubled that large swathes of London and Glasgow’s city centres have become no-go areas for Jews every Saturday since October 7. And that while the overwhelming majority of protesters have marched in good faith, a significant cohort have taken cover within the multitudes to spit poison at Jews.

The former Home Secretary could have made this point forcibly without implying that all those marching were Hamas sympathisers and accusing the police of failing in their duty. In purely political terms, she had challenged Rishi Sunak’s authority by failing to secure his approval for her article. She had to go, and not least because she had unwittingly provided relief for the opposition leader during his own mini-crisis.

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Her departure has since been overshadowed by David Cameron’s return to front-line politics after seven years of minding his property portfolio, not unlike Tony Blair.

Predictably, this has been the source of much glee amongst Labour and SNP supporters. Mr Cameron’s the man whose complacency and fecklessness brought us the hardest of hard Brexits and he sits in the House of Lords. His appointment as Foreign Secretary seems thus to epitomise the entitled, unprincipled, undemocratic arrogance of the Sunak administration and now, also, it’s sheer sense of desperation.

Yet, this is also a savvy appointment by the Prime Minister. Mr Cameron was a very successful Conservative leader and popular among moderate Tories who have lately been migrating to Labour in England’s Blue Wall seats.

He is a smooth and wily operator who glides across the political firmament on casters, leaving little trace amongst witnesses other than a feeling of bonhomie and a faint sense that you were privileged to have been in his company. He was the first Prime Minister of whom it could be said that he loitered his way into Number Ten. At next year’s UK General Election he’ll be told to set up shop somewhere in the Cotswolds and re-capture Middle England: counter-revolution by Chiraz and smoked trout croquettes.

It’s being said that his business activities acting for China in the Indo-Pacific region will prove to be an embarrassment for a UK administration that has lately adopted a hawkish approach in its diplomacy with Beijing. Mr Cameron had landed a lucrative number sourcing foreign investment for China’s Sri Lankan project, a key part of their global technical infrastructure strategy.

The Tories like to believe that Britain remains at the heart of global geopolitics. What could be better than having a Foreign Secretary who’s insinuated himself into the courts of the world’s next superpower? Mr Cameron is a firm Remainer who was respected as an honest broker across the European Union. Since 2016 and the ruinous May/Johnson/Truss era Britain has been viewed as an ASBO state by the rest of Europe. Mr Cameron will restore a measure of respect.

At another time, Rishi Sunak’s cabinet re-shuffle and the chaos which presaged it would have been an opportunity for the SNP to gather support for independence, but not with the political charlatans who are currently in charge. Humza Yousaf called for an immediate General Election with all the conviction of Father Jack shouting “drink!” from a soiled armchair on Craggy Island.

Mhairi Black, still unfathomably Deputy Leader of the SNP’s Westminster group said Scots would be “appalled” at Mr Cameron’s appointment and that his time as Prime Minister “set the UK on a path to long-term decay and decline”. Many other Scots would say that Ms Black had done little else other than contribute to the “decay and decline” of the independence movement.

Only Stephen Flynn, her Westminster boss, had something worthwhile to say. Posting on X, formerly Twitter, he wrote: “Truly remarkable that during a time of huge international unrest, not least in Ukraine and Gaza, the House of Commons will not be able to directly scrutinise the work of the actual Foreign Secretary. The UK is not a serious country.”

Meanwhile, Britain’s new Home Secretary, James Cleverley was reducing one of the UK’s grand offices of state to a slogan: “I’ll stop the small boats.” That told us more than anything else that Britain is not a serious country.