Wednesday, October 22, 2008

David Evans 1935-2008

I'm very sad to hear that former Tory MP David Evans has died. He was Tory MP for Welwyn & Hatfield between 1987 and 1997 and was, shall we say, a larger than life character. Possibly best known for his chairmanship of Luton Town FC, he was an uncompromising right winger who seemed to love Margaret Thatcher as much as his oft quoted wife Janice. A full obituary has appeared in The Times.

I have two memories of David. One revolves around one of the most hilarious dinners I have ever had in the Commons. It was in 1991 and I was lobbying on something or other and I met David along with his great chum Barry Field, the undertaker-turned-MP from the Isle of Wight. By the end of the dinner, my cheekbones were aching having laughed so much.

He was very taken with a female colleague of mine when I was working at Charles Barker and invited the two of us to a Luton Town match in 1990 - against Notts Forest and a 0-0 draw I seem to remember. He really was terrific company, even if he did have some fairly outlandish views.

13 comments:

Andrew Allison said...

The House was a much more colourful place when he was a member. We all say it when a character dies, but politics really does need more people like David Evans. RIP

David Boothroyd said...

His obituary in The Times takes a different view of the late David Evans' eccentricities. Aside from the Telegraph's memorable take on the late Lord Michael Pratt, I can't remember anything that made the obituarists' feelings clearer.

Anonymous said...

It took a descent to personal insult during the election campaign of 1997, in an address to sixth formers in which he called his Labour opponent in Welwyn Hatfield, a “single girl” with “three bastard children”, to which he added general insults on blacks and homosexuals, to demonstrate to the world a willingness on his part to embrace and broadcast uncivilised opinions in a totally inappropriate context to a potentially highly susceptible audience. In the general election of May 1 that year, Melanie Johnson romped to victory by the kind of majority that the Tories had been accustomed to thinking of theirs by right.

OscottLocal said...

Sad for the family, but not sad to see the back of such a nasty piece of work

Kafkaesque said...

If only there were more MP's like him, people who actually said what they believed and what they thought (and yes anon 1.45am he was badly wrong on that issue).

Nowadays, all we are lumbered with are the careerist androids of the political class.

Anonymous said...

inspite of his views on homosexuality and capital punishment, i can still warm to anyone who tells the european commission to 'get stuffed' and favours flogging for football hooligans!

it is also worth noting that he had a life outside before entering the political swamp which is not something that can be said for the majority of droids that presently draw an mp's salary and expenses.

DanJ said...

Kafkaesque - I intuitively sympathise with the idea that MPs should speak their minds rather than read from crib sheets, but when their minds are cesspits as David Evans' was why must we be on the receiving end of such ordure?

Another Cath said...

That Times obit is fairly much spot on. Politics isn't football. It shouldn't be tribal. I won't condemn / praise someone just because of the colour of their party membership card. Many of Evans' views were an embarrasment and should never have been condoned. I hope we will never see such ignorant bile spouted by a Tory representative again.

Anonymous said...

I did not know him in England, only during his short stay in the US. He, and his family, are honest, driven and warm people. While you may not agree with his occasional opinion, you must appreciate this man who made who he was based on his own vision, beliefs and work. I will miss him.
Phil

vanessa said...

This sort of post doesn't half spew out the moralists and the self-righteous, both here and in the MSM.

Even the Times, as Boothroyd notes, cannot bear to be anything other morbidly mordant.

How do they think the majority of British people speak, think and behave? They think, speak and behave a lot less like Harriet Harman and a lot more like David Evans.

Anonymous said...

"How do they think the majority of British people speak, think and behave? They think, speak and behave a lot less like Harriet Harman and a lot more like David Evans."

You wish.

He wouldn't have suffered a landslide defeat in 1997 if the ordinary people of this country had shared his dog-whistle views.

Bobby K said...

And where is Melanie Johnson now?

luton rapid rebuttal unit said...

For the record, Melanie Johnson's heady elevation to Member for Welwyn and Hatfield was relatively short lived, and on the back of the massive Labour swindle (aka "landslide deafeat") in 1997. Thereafter she was just another slab of lobby fodder, not something you can accuse the previous incumbent of. She went to a toff school and a toff college and appears to have been parachuted in by Nu Labour, after doing a micky mouse job, having no previous interest whatsoever in the constituency, unlike her predecessor or her successor (born in Watford). She then lost it when people wised up to Labour. Local boy Grant Shapps seems to be doing well there now.