Sunday, May 27, 2007

In Praise of Alan Duncan

I've just watched Alan Duncan give a 20 minute interview to Steve Richards on GMTV's Sunday Programme. It struck me while I was watching it that he has developed into a really serious politician and is one of the Conservative Party's best communicators. He sounds calm, measured and normal - something many politicians have difficulty with. When the reshuffle comes Alan should be given a post where he is in the front line in media terms. His current job doesn't give him the exposure he should have.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Slightly off Topic but praise also needs to be given for GMTV's Sunday Prog. I find its content far Superior to The BBC's and Sky's Sunday offerings.

My only criticism is that it is not live or at least does not appear to be. Then again neither is Question Time any more.

Carol said...

Do I detect a line of thought which further enhances the Power Base in the Conservative Party,of the Homosexual Elite. I thought the Party was for Diversity not Cliques.

Dave Bartlett said...

John Bercow was good too.

mitch said...

But that business of how he got his house shows very poor judgement.

Anonymous said...

After reading Melissa Kite's piece in today's Sunday Telegraph, could you tell me which Libdem you intend to 'Love Bomb' Iain

Anonymous said...

"It struck me while I was watching it that he has developed into a really serious politician"

A Doctor writes:

Something's obviously struck you Iain if you have developed this strange condition. I would refer you to A&E if it wasn't for the balls-up which Patsy's making of our once-fine service.

Hunky Dinky's contributions to the 'debate among the masses' is of course known to be legion but 'serious'???? I feel a MacEnroe moment coming on!

Anonymous said...

Enbarrassed to admit I know very little of Alun Duncan - except for my entirely superficial wish that he'd wear casual clothes and hair sometimes, he always seems to look so formal.

What did he speak about, Iain?

Anonymous said...

Alan has come a long way since some rather odd and scary views a few years ago. And he's fairly cute too.

Man in a shed said...

He's a bright cookie ..

Johnny Norfolk said...

I find him wet and weak like the rest of the Tory top team.

Anonymous said...
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Another Ed said...

He's also got a tremendous sense of humour. I met him once - briefly - at a book launch at which George Osborne was squeaking - sorry, speaking. He was outside and asked me if he was in the right place as we were walking in.

"Is it through here?"
"Yes, it is. You're Alan Duncan, aren't you. Pleased to me..."
"Did you write this book?"
"No."
"Have you written any books?"
"Well, yes, but not about poli..."
"Then how are you any use to me now?"

Held the door open for us, though.

Bethany said...

I know Alan quite well and he is, as you say, a great politician!

Iain Dale said...

And Carol, you win the prize for the most predictable comment of the day. Can you really not do beter. Such a sad reflection on you that you think like that.

Anonymous said...

I always thought that us Brits love our politicians to be totally barking.

Anonymous said...

Iain, Carol's posting is based on the Robert Mugabe defense.

anyonebutblair said...

Carol, I'm not quite sure what your sexuality has to do with being articulate or a forthwright politician. Alan is openly gay, but doesn't force it on anyone nor represents any sexually defined clique. I like him and hope he moves on up in the party.

David Anthony said...

I've always liked Alan Duncan. Trade and Industry is one of the most important roles in government in my opinion. It's the lack of business awareness of the BBC that reduces his exposure. His role should be to help rectify this situation.

Anonymous said...

So let's get this right Iain, you are saying than Alan should expose himself more and that he should be put up on a post in the firing line? Bit 'General Haig' for you isn't that?

Cynical Voter said...

Will Saturn's Children be re-published ?

# Paperback: 344 pages
# Publisher: Politico's Publishing; New Ed edition (October 1, 1998)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 1902301048
# ISBN-13: 978-1902301044

I see Politicos might know

Mog said...

I have dined with Alan Duncan - he ia a witty, intelligent man and I would like to see more of him in the future.

He is very media friendly and that should be utilised.

Nom de plume said...

He used to be born-again Christian.

Anonymous said...

AHa! The source of the stary-eyed smile!

Desperate Dan said...

Pardon me for butting in to this Alan Duncan Fan Club but I couldn't disagree more. Like Oliver Letwin he is a regular on Question Time and Any Questions and like Oliver Letwin he is an appalling representative of the Tory Party. Alan Duncan comes across as toe-curlingly false and no matter what the subject under discussion he manages to strike the srong note. His attempts at humour are unfailingly embarrassing. It has occurred to me more than once that the BBC invite him on to programmes at the instigation of No. 10 to convey the subtle message that the Conservatives are total prats.

Anonymous said...

Spot on! Hand that man another cow pie. ANOTHER BBC conspiracy!

Anonymous said...

I remember Dunkin Duncan at The Onion in Oxford with Damien Green as President and his girlfriend Ceiri Roberts.....Merchant Taylor's wasn't it ? I can't recall but I think Dunkin Duncan followed Anthony Charles Lynton Blair at St John's, that rather bland place attached to Balliol where Damien did his thing.

Those were the days with Nick O'Shaugnessy pretending to be an English twerp imported from the USA...what was Dunkin - Librarian or Secretary of the onion ?

Anonymous said...

he was very good at any questions in manchester a few weeks ago. warmed the crowd up with some amusing blair impressions and ripped the piss out of vera baird. would certainly get my vote.

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a Labour Party member I hearily endorse your comments Iain. Make him Shadow Chancellor and give us a 500,000 head start. Please.

Anonymous said...

Do I detect a line of thought which further enhances the Power Base in the Conservative Party,of the Homosexual Elite. I thought the Party was for Diversity not Cliques.

Roll on the fourth term.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9.40.

Correct in all bar a few details. Merchant Taylors & St John's, yes - though no-one had any memory of ACL Blair. He did make president of the Onion at his second go, some time after Damien Green. (He and Green hated each other).

He was actually a nice guy at Oxford. Hope he still is!

O'Shaughnessy.. I thought he WAS English, though something had indeed gone badly wrong with his accent.

Pip pip.

Anonymous said...

The only reason why people think there is a 'gay elite' in the Tory party is because they are making such noises to show that they are actually (now) quite OK with people being gay.

This, after decades of people being forced to hide their sexuality, can only be a good thing!
Alan Duncan is one of the better communicators in the Shadow Cabinet. Cameron is another, and David Willets is a third - and obviously William Hague is a damn fine speaker and debater. Andrew Landlsley and Liam Fox are also very good. Caroline Spelman is utterly great, and other than the fact that age is now catching up with her (and the rest of us), Teressa May is still excellent!

But unfortunately there are some terrible ones which need to be purged or kept out of the media spotlight! Oliver Letwin - too long winded, Andrew Mitchell comes across as a thoroughly disagreeable arrogant old-school Tory - a cross between a public school master lecturing his naughty charges and a sergeant Major shouting at the troops! Teressa Villiers - oh dear!!! Cheryl Gillan - oh dear, oh dear!!! Peter Ainsworth - too posh. George Osbourne - too wet and fopish!

Outside the shad Cab - Bercow and Vaizey are about the best communicators - and John Bercos impressions of Ken Clarke are legendary!

Anonymous said...

John Bercow was once challenged to speak for 5 minutes without saying "another fantastic thing about me is..." - and failed.

I lie, of course, but it would be a good game. The man is a self-obsessed tool.

Perhaps he has changed since I met him.

Anonymous said...

The trouble with Duncan is that he comes over as Alan B'stard. Maybe its a cultural thing but outside the Tory heartland he just makes people want to vomit.

Oh and we all remember the houses.

simon said...

Have to agree Iain. Alan Duncan has impressed since 2001. I remember an old tv piece he did, something like ski-sunday in an indoor arena for an election programme. Hilarious! A politician WITH a sense of humour!

chatterbox said...

Agree with Iain about the talented and media savvy Alan Duncan. He should be used much more frequently as a "spokesman" for the party on the news channels but he also deserves a bigger role in the shadow cabinet.

Mike Burrows said...
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Anonymous said...
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