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Tories on Instagram, childhood-inspired workouts and the Rag and Bone sun visor

A little to the left, no a little to the right. Chin up, shoulders down. Look a little wistfully off to one side. Wistful I said. Wistful. Not psycho. Now watch for the birdie. And "click".

All done and this reporter can categorically say that photo makes you look human, or thereabouts. The highest of accolades for any Tory MP posing for Instagram.

The news story goes that leaked social media training information has 'accidently' found itself on reporter's desks everywhere, revealing that Conservative MPs have been told they must look more human in their Instagram photos - or like" real people" to use the exact turn of phrase. But this reporter thinks, we can all agree, it amounts to pretty much the same thing.

Before we progress any further, this may be the appropriate time to raise the question of how we actually feel about this. Of course we gave up long ago on any members of the government being empathetic, self-sacrificing, compassionate people but it appears we are questioning something far more basic and biological here. Whether they are indeed made from flesh and blood.

That or perhaps they mean less stuffy suits up against drab office backgrounds and more ties off and rolling with the homies down on the streets kind of shots?

Either way Tories have been warned they must up their Instagram game. They are being left in the dust created by the more social media-savvy Labour MPs. Or so it would appear looking at the statistics, which reveal the Conservative Instagram has 20,000 followers whilst Labour 'trounces' them with 50,000.

Not that the Tories of Prime Minister Theresa May's inner-most cabinet will have a lot of time for posing and pouting, as they have the small matter of resolving the customs union on their plates this week in order to avoid that hard border in Ireland.

Mrs May, who has been trumpeting it all over the papers this weekend that she must be trusted to deliver Brexit - and never has there been more of a statement that literally makes you want to laugh or cry - has divided her cabinet up into teams to discuss the two customs union options left on the Westminster table.

These are a customs partnership (May's brainwave of an idea) which would see tariffs paid regularly to the EU and Max Fac (Maximum Facilitation - or a new eyeliner depending on your perspective) which would see a technologically-supported 'imaginary barrier' put in place in Ireland and is the preferred option of the hard Brexiteers.

The two teams have been carefully chosen with remainer MPs in one team to discuss Max Fac and Brexiteers in the other, who will look at the customs partnership. Both teams are notably devoid of any Brexit or Remainer 'extremists' - the likes of Boris Johnson or Philip Hammond - in a bid to make discussions fairer, apparently.

The teams will report back with their thoughts on their rival camp's favoured customs union measure, giving pros and cons, with the idea being, this reporter assumes, one team ultimately giving way to the other. There would be more chance of Jacob Rees-Mogg time-travelling his way to 2018.

Meanwhile, those not discussing the customs union this week - i.e. real people - have been trying out a new fitness craze for childhood games. Grown adults have been taking up a range of playground-inspired activities such as British Bulldog, Capture the Flag and Dodgeball to get fit thanks to Rabble, an alternative fitness organisation set up by ex-professional triathlete Charlotte Roach.

Ms Roach said she found many people did not appear to enjoy their fitness regime and considered exercise a chore and so embracing childhood games was an excellent alternative. Rabble has public sessions across the UK, Australia and the US and due to the HIIT (high interval intensity training) nature of the games we all used to play as children, this way of exercising appears to be working.

Participants can burn off up to 1,000 calories and cover eight kilometres without even realising during a session, as well as aiding with speed, co-ordination and endurance levels.

This reporter feels this would be a much better way for Tory MPs to spend their time. They could even gets some snaps for Instagram. Don this sun visor from Rag and Bone as a finishing touch.
"Cheese".

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