Election diary: a tax on disco music, a levy on punctuation – and VAT terror stalking rural England

<span>Sir Ed Davey participates in an assault course at Arena Pursuits outdoor centre in Flimwell, Kent, on 13 June.</span><span>Photograph: Tolga Akmen/EPA</span>
Sir Ed Davey participates in an assault course at Arena Pursuits outdoor centre in Flimwell, Kent, on 13 June.Photograph: Tolga Akmen/EPA

Best campaign

If you see a guy trying to pogo-stick along a trapeze while arguing for an overhaul of capital gains tax, think twice before calling the authorities – it’s ­probably Ed Davey. The Lib Dem leader has so far talked tactical ­voting in a fairground teacup and endured an assault course in Tunbridge Wells. We knew the Tories were ­worried about the Lib Dem assault on the “blue wall”, but installing trenches and rigging seems excessive. Congrats to Davey for this hard-fought win.

Best prediction

Incredible stuff from Craig Williams, the parliamentary aide to Rishi Sunak – and Westminster’s answer to Mystic Meg – who used nothing but his political acumen and impeccable judgment to correctly place a bet on the election date just days before the snap July poll was announced by his boss. Frankly, it’s crazy that Sunak hasn’t made greater use of the all-seeing Williams. Presumably he could have told the prime minister that ­calling the early poll might not be the nailed-on winner he hoped for.

Worst spin

A win for chief secretary to the Treasury Laura Trott here, who reacted to the safety-first Labour manifesto launch by saying the party hadn’t “ruled out ­taxing your home, your car, your pension”. Why stop there? The list of things the party didn’t specifically rule out is, quite literally, endless. Also still technically in play are a new tax on disco music and a levy on exclamation marks. Trott’s ­missive was followed by a Tory claim that Labour had engaged in a “panicked tax U-turn” as it ruled out capital gains tax on family homes. Maybe a flat £1bn tax on inane press releases might be one we could all get behind.

Saddest moment

Related: Election diary: Nigel Farage snaps his fingers and his devoted sidekick steps aside

It seemed unlikely that “Rishi in the rain” would be beaten here, but that piece of pathetic fallacy has since been gazumped by Sunak’s younger self with the bleak revelation he didn’t have Sky TV growing up. Suddenly his odd question to members of the public earlier on in the campaign – “Are you looking forward to all the football?” – now makes far more sense. The prospect of free-to-air Euro 24 coverage without the need for Sky Go clearly had Sunak struggling to contain his excitement.

Best policy take

A late but unbeatable entry from Jo Thomson, ­headteacher of Clayesmore School in Dorset, who ­suggested Labour’s plan to apply VAT to private school fees could hit rural areas like the closure of the mines. Quite apart from this vicious attack on Margaret Thatcher’s legacy, it has been gently suggested that Thomson could be ­erring on the side of overstatement here. But perhaps this is a new attack theme. Next up: school breakfast clubs as the new collectivisation of the farms.

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