The Curmudgeon


Friday, May 31, 2013

Working Hard and Getting On

Three years ago, when he was still posturing as a one-nation Milibeing-lite, Daveybloke described lobbying as "the next big scandal waiting to happen". Naturally, he has since done nothing about it; and naturally, another of his more emotional party colleagues has leapt into the breach with his hob-nailed feet in his mouth. Patrick Mercer, a right-wing ex-military rent-a-mouth with the intellectual distinction of Liam Werritty, the charm of Iain Duncan Smith and the memory of James Murdoch, has resigned from the party in the face of allegations by the hated BBC's Panorama. Allegedly, he has been taking money in return for "consultancy advice", which in present-day political discourse appears to be a euphemism for selling national policy to the highest bidder. That kind of thing is all very well when it has been approved by the Cabinet, especially since the days of the Reverend Tony; but it seems to be an area where even the Conservative Party doubts the virtue of private enterprise.

Mercer, in fact, has been an embarrassment for some time. In opposition, in the midst of the Conservatives' brief and whimsical No Longer Nasty phase, he was fired from the front bench for racism; and he apparently described Daveybloke to the People tabloid, with more accuracy than charity, as "an arse" and a "despicable creature without any real redeeming features". Mercer later claimed that he either had or had not made all the remarks attributed to him, but wasn't clear which; and he accused the tabloid of having obtained in an underhanded fashion whatever remarks he did or did not make. He has approached the present case in similar fashion, taking legal advice to find out if Panorama's allegations are true enough to be troublesome, and resigning the party whip in near-record time just in case someone comes up with a reasonable offer.


  • At 6:45 pm , Anonymous The Judge said...

    I am somewhat thrown for a loss by the notion that the Conservative Party can be deemed capable of feeling embarrassment.

  • At 7:36 pm , Blogger Philip said...

    It isn't that the party feels it, exactly. It's just that there are rather a lot of them in the membership.


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