Monday, September 07, 2009

That's Alan, folks!

A little while ago, Alan Duncan was filmed whining about how MPs "live on rations" and that...
"No one who's done anything in the outside world or is capable of doing such a thing will ever come into this place ever again the way we're going."

No doubt this was a simply hilarious joke. It's just that—given that Mr Duncan whipped his quip out just as we had learned just how much MPs had been scamming out of our hard-earned wages—it is not entirely surprising that people had a slight sense of humour failure.

Still, the massively fore-headed David Cameron stood by his man.
David Cameron has said he will not sack shadow cabinet member Alan Duncan for saying that MPs are living "on rations" following reforms to their expenses.

Mr Duncan, the shadow Commons leader, was secretly filmed complaining about the changes and has since offered an "unreserved" apology.

Mr Cameron said: "Alan made a bad mistake and he acknowledges that."

But he added that MPs had to "demonstrate completely" that they understood public anger over expenses.

The secret film, made by Heydon Prowse of Don't Panic magazine, shows Mr Duncan using strong language.

Oooooh! Strong language! Ooooh!

Anyway, it seems that Call Me Dave was just biding his time...
Alan Duncan, the senior Conservative secretly filmed complaining that MPs were expected to live on "rations", has been demoted from the shadow cabinet.

He goes from being shadow leader of the Commons to shadow prisons minister.

Mr Duncan, who was responsible for the Tories' position on MPs' expenses, said it was a "sensible decision" and he was "very happy" to do a new job.

The Rutland and Melton MP agreed to leave the shadow cabinet after a meeting with Tory leader David Cameron.

A replacement shadow leader of the Commons is to be announced on Tuesday, the same day as Mr Cameron is expected to announce proposals to "cut the cost of politics", in a policy speech in London.

In a statement on his demotion on Monday, Mr Duncan said: "This is a sensible decision. You have to be realistic about how difficult the expenses issue has been.

Yes, Alan: especially when you were up to your neck in the disgusting troughing. You twat.

Anyway, Guido ascribes this scalp to ConservativeHome, whose reader polls concerning Alan Duncan's performance have been less than complimentary.
Tim Montgomerie runs a regular poll asking the ConservativeHome grassroots to rate the Shadow Cabinet. Do not for a second underestimate how much of a whip hand this gives him. Whereas once upon time a frontbench Tory politician would worry about keeping the proprietor, editor and political correspondent of the Telegraph happy, as well as perhaps sharing a few drinks with the young and upcoming editor of the Spectator, now his horizon is much more extensive. Fail to keep Tim Montgomerie and ConservativeHome’s readers onside and he might just commission a special poll on how you are doing. If that poll finds that 65% of Tory members want you to resign… you won’t last a month.

What is interesting in this case, assuming that Guido is right, is that this is a Conservative (not even a libertarian) blog taking the scalp of a Conservative official.

I simply cannot imagine any of the Lefty blogs turning on one of their own in this way—and to such effect. The only people more instinctively tribal than NuLabour themselves are the NuLabour-supporting blogs.

Interesting times...


Anonymous said...

As someone who is currently half way through reading Saturns Children. I find it hard to dislike Alan, he may have a tendency to gaffe but fuck it he's still one of the few Libertarians in the party and we need as many of them as we can in the next government.

Anonymous said...

I simply cannot imagine any of the Lefty blogs turning on one of their own in this way

Yeah, there's a reason why you can't imagine it, mate. It's because it'd never fucking happen.

The left is a tribal entity in a way that the right ain't. To some extent, this is a natural consequence of the left's historial tendency towards authoritarianism - you don't criticise an apparatchik unless told to do so by a more senior apparatchik. More than that, though, it's also a consequence of the hard discipline that Bliar imposed upon The Party as part of his electoral strategy. The suffocating top-down leadership style of ZanuLabour is, in no small part, the reason why so many people are deserting the party.

Anonymous said...

November 5th, HofC, we will storm the place and kill them all. They derserve it.

TheFatBigot said...

It might be that Cameron has played this very well. No knee-jerk reaction, wait until the BBC has done its bit, then offer the man a job in which he can bide his time before entering the cabinet at a suitable juncture.

It also keeps Duncan out of the spotlight for six or more months before the election, thereby limiting ammunition for the tribal New Labour media elements.

In these days of presentation rather than substance, my suspicion is that he's judged this one pretty well.

Vicola said...

""No one who's done anything in the outside world or is capable of doing such a thing will ever come into this place ever again the way we're going."

Which is funny, because I was under the impression that no one who has done anything useful in the outside world or is capable of doing anything was in politics at the moment. Can anyone tell me anything useful that Harman, Miliband, Cooper, Balls or indeed anyone else, cabinet or opposition, has done in the real world that was useful?

James Higham said...

Got it in one.

Look, it needs a bold and decisive leader for the Tories. Does anyone see one? No, just a Ramsay Macdonald who shifts his position as and when he meets a new threat.

When will someone stand up and put what's right firmly and fearlessly? I've had it with these spineless, self-aggrandizing, timid pollies.

Letters From A Tory said...

This poll really makes a mockery of any claims that ConHome is in bed with the party leadership. They canvass and respond faster to grassroot opinion than any political website in the UK, and Duncan finally getting the boot is a feather in their cap.

I gave Duncan a good shoeing on my blog this morning as well.

John B said...

I simply cannot imagine any of the Lefty blogs turning on one of their own in this way—and to such effect

Ahem. Ahem. Ahem. Ahem.

Have you really not noticed the way that pretty much *all* left-leaning blogs that aren't actually run by people seeking careers in the Labour party (even including most posts on LC that aren't by Sunny himself) are massively opposed to the New Labour project, called for Blair to resign, etc...?

Anonymous said...

It does not matter, any of it because these tossers are nobodies now .
Our true masters are in Brussells.
The problem is only buffoons and crooks want to be MP's .
Take a look.