Cameron's free Olympic tickets might cost him public support

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Opinion digest: Cameron's Olympic junket, Egyptian democracy, and the risks of Sunday trading

LAST UPDATED AT 12:07 ON Tue 14 Aug 2012

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PM CAN'T COUNT ON OLYMPIC FEEL-GOOD FACTOR
DOMINIC LAWSON ON CAMERON'S FREE TICKETS
David Cameron did his best to co-opt the success of Team GB, constantly popping up in the prime seats next to members of the royal family. But Ed Miliband should not be too bothered, writes Dominic Lawson in The Independent. "Whatever the overall support for the Olympics, there are millions of Britons thoroughly cheesed off by their inability to get tickets to the Games: yesterday the market research firm Survation published a poll showing that only 12.5 per cent of the public agreed with the statement 'The ticket allocation was well executed'." The great majority, says Lawson, seeing the PM cheering at the Velodrome or the Olympic Stadium, will not associate him with our triumphant athletes, but instead be thinking: "It's alright for him, with a free all-areas VIP pass."

EGYPT NEEDS A SECULAR ALTERNATIVE
MAAJID NAWAZ ON EGYPTIAN DEMOCRACY
The removal of Egypt's army chief is a reason to cheer, says Maajid Nawaz in The Times. President Mohamed Morsi's sacking of his Defence Minister, Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi - one of the last remnants of the Mubarak regime - was about the struggle for civilian supremacy. It was "a counter-coup by the new Egypt against the old". If only the decision had been made by a genuine democrat. With the army out of the way, the path is now clear for Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood to form a new Islamist-dominated constitutional assembly. But "just as the Islamist movement provided a check on army power, so Egypt now needs a check on the Islamist movement" that dominates its politics. They have yet to come up with a sufficiently strong alternative. Until there is an organised, secular, democratic social movement, "Egyptians will have to juggle the series of evils that are on offer".

THE RISK OF ALLOWING SHOPS TO OPEN ALL HOURS
PHILIP JOHNSTON ON SUNDAY TRADING
Sunday trading law stirs strong emotions, says Philip Johnston in The Daily Telegraph. It is the only major piece of government legislation to be defeated at Second Reading in the House of Commons since the end of the Second World War. The law has been temporarily relaxed over the Olympics and the Paralympics, but it remains to be seen whether most shops will benefit. "Logic suggests that there is a limited amount of money for people to spend". Sunday opening may be more convenient for shoppers, but may not put more cash into the coffers. More worrying is the effect on local stores, which rely on business outside the trading hours of larger retail stores, and the impact on the family lives of those forced to work longer hours. The government now seems tempted to deregulate Sunday trading. But given the volatile history, they would be "well advised to leave things where they are". · 

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