week I have been chairing three panels for the Daily Telegraph with the aim of
compiling the Top 100 people on the right, left and the Top 50 Liberal
Democrats, all of which will, as usual, be published during the three party
conferences. Yes, snigger all you like about the latter. I usually do too. The
biggest challenge is to actually find 50 LibDems to choose from.
panellists are a mixture of MPs, activists and commentators, and believe me,
the discussions can become very heated indeed. On the Tory panel there was a
particularly spirited discussion about whether Maria Miller should be promoted
from 78 in last year’s list. One of the MPs was adamant that she deserved a
massive promotion on the basis of her performances at the Despatch Box. “I’ve
watched her perform really well with shitty briefs,” she said. After a moment
of stunned silence in which we all took time to contemplate the implications of
that statement, we all corpsed. “What have I said?” asked the MP in all
of the other panellists, an MP’s researcher, proceeded to irritate us all with
her precocious certainty about her opinions, interrupting everyone at every
possible opportunity. “The Home Office gave me a prison,” she said at one
point. “No,” I said. “They built a prison in your MP’s constituency.” But that
wasn’t the end of it. It was all about her. It was when she blithely told one
of the other panellists he was shit at his job that I am afraid I let my
irritation show. “Blimey,” I said to one of the MPs at the end of the meeting.
“She’s like what Liz Truss would be like after half an hour on a crack pipe.”
She’ll go far.
said to me this week they loved reading my ConservativeHome columns as they
couldn’t wait to see how I would deliberately antagonise the site's UKIP
supporting readers or those with a particular issue with homosexuality. As if I
would do that. By the way, have you read my column in Attitude Magazine (it’s a
magazine for gayers) on bisexuality? No? Well I have helpfully reproduced it on
my blog. In a way you could describe many UKIP voters as the bisexuals of UK
politics. They don’t quite know whether they are Arthur or Martha.
Instinctively they are still Conservatives, but they fancy a walk on the wild
side. The question is, once they have satisfied their self-indulgent desires or
perversions, will they return to the comforting fleshy folds of the mother
party? We may have to wait until 2015 to find out.
a politics and football obsessed individual like me, transfer deadline day is
only ever surpassed by reshuffles. There are quite a few similarities between
the two. Think of it this way. Can Manchester United really get rid of Ed Balls
or can Ed Miliband really do without Wayne Rooney? Remember all those Labour
reshuffles when they couldn’t quite find a paid ministerial job for Carlton
Cole? It’s the same at West Ham, who, a day late, found a place for Michael
Wills. At every reshuffle David Cameron tries desperately to get rid of
Nicholas Bendtner, but never quite succeed. In the same way, Arsenal do the
same with John Hayes. Rising Conservative Party star Ricardo Vaz Te demands a
transfer, as does West Ham forward Nick Boles. Both end up staying put. And I
could go on. But I get the feeling some of you are probably shaking your head
in total and utter bemusement. Politics, eh? Bloody hell.
of reshuffles, I gather the Tory reshuffle has yet again been postponed. It was
put off originally in July when David Cameron rightly thought that backbenchers
were in such a good mood, it seemed a pity to spoil it. But I have learned that
the reshuffle was slated for last Monday but was shelved at the last minute on
Sunday lunchtime. Why? I have absolutely no idea. If it’s going to happen you’d
have thought it would need to happen while Parliament is still sitting and well
before the party conferences. Perhaps it might happen today or next Monday.
of gay marriage, which I wasn’t, but I know you want me to, Aussie PM Kevin
Rudd had a Jed Bartlett moment on the issue during an election campaign
Q&A. What’s a Jed Bartlett moment, I hear you cry? Well it’s this.
you’ve never seen The West Wing, that short clip demonstrates why it is the
greatest political TV series ever made. Anyway, I digress. Have a look at Kevin
Rudd’s equivalent. It may be less dramatic, but it is no less effective.
as I agree with him, and disagree with his Liberal opponent Tony Abbott on this
issue, I could never support Rudd, who is one of the biggest charlatans in
world politics. Abbott hardly inspires confidence, but knowing how brutal
Australian politics is, he’ll probably win the election and then be overthrown.
Bronwyn Bishop for PM!
weekend I watched an action film called OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN. The plot is very
simple. North Korean terrorists attack the White House. It’s very much in the
mode of INDEPENDENCE DAY and if you like your presidential politics and action
movies you’ll love this. Apparently there’s a competitor film called WHITE
HOUSE DOWN with a similar plot, so I’ll have to make sure I put that on order.
The Americans do these apocalyptic type movies so well, and the special effects
are out of this world.