"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.