Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Alan Duncan & the Secret Video

Quite the most jaw dropping comment of the day has to come from Peter Mandelson, who complains about Alan Duncan saying one thing in private and another thing in public. This from the man who waxed lyrical about Gordon Brown's deficiencies to George Osborne in private ... you can finish the sentence yourself. But I digress...

I'll be on Newsnight later talking about today's Alan Duncan farrago. There's nothing really that one can defend, apart from to point out the sheer duplicity of the jerk who did the surreptitious filming. Remember, this is the man who dug up Alan Duncan's lawn. Alan magnanimously invited him for a drink at the House of Commons so he could put his point of view to him in person. In the film he makes out that he "sought out" Alan. Rubbish. He was invited to meet him and repaid him in this disgraceful manner.

However, it's not possible to defend Alan's view, even if it was said in a half jest, that MPs live on rations. Try telling that to an unemployed single mother in Salford. He also said that "MPs are treated like shit". I'm not going to defend that either, apart from to point out that these remarks were made in June, when MPs were feeling bruised and got at, and were reacting badly to the expenses scandal. Many MPs do indeed feel they are treated very badly. That's a simple matter of fact. Whether they have any justification or not is for individuals to decide.

For the Conservative Party, these are embarrassing remarks and they will add fuel to the fire of those who want Alan Duncan out of the shadow cabinet. I am not one of them. Yes, he has his faults, but in a parliament on monochrome politicians Alan at least provides a little colour. In his interview with me for Total Politics recently, he described himself as the most misunderstood politician in Britain. In many ways he is, but he is also the architect of some of that misunderstanding.

Many MPs are already acting as if they are frightened by their own shadows. Some will feel that if they can't meet someone for a drink for fear of being secretly filmed they might as well give up.

But the fact of the matter is that members of the shadow cabinet have got to be disciplined. Meeting a geeky environmental loon like Heydon Prowse could never end well. The invitation, no matter how well meant, should never have been issued. Aspirant cabinet ministers must not place themselves in such compromising positions.

UPDATE Thu 9am: You can watch the interview HERE. Scroll in 35 minutes. This interview has attracted more negative comment than most I have done. Many people think I was far too hard on Heydon Prowse, that I was smug and condescending. That certainly wasn't the intention and having watched the interview again I do think people have gone over the top and in many cases have completely ignored what I actually said, and have critiqued what their prejudices think I said. Having said that, I don't think it was the best interview I have ever done. And it has made me realise I need to lose weight again!


Anonymous said...

Iain I share most of your view on AD but he is too `loose lipped` for his own good-particularly as to his role in the Commons.

However- the more than questionable role of the `geek`( I am being polite) raises other matters eg security.I thought that recorders/video equipment were
not permitted in the House ?
If this is case- what is PC Plod doing about it


canvas said...

Iain says> "Aspirant cabinet ministers must not place themselves in such compromising positions."

Absolutely. Discretion is everything...but what everyone will now wonder is > Did Alan Duncan show his true colours? Is this how Duncan really feels about politics?

"If we aren't willing to pay a price for our values, if we aren't willing to make some sacrifices in order to realise them, then we should ask ourselves whether we truly believe in them at all."

Anonymous said...

Let's not mince our words - Alan Duncan is a smug twat who 'ordinary' people instinctively hate with a passion.

Soho Politico said...

The problem for Duncan is that 'it was in jest' is not a workable excuse for him. After Have I Got News for You, he has a reputation as someone with a bizarre, not to mention politically tone-deaf, sense of humour. Coming from Duncan, 'it was a joke' is the equivalent of 'the devil made me do it'.

Blue Eyes said...

"Many MPs do indeed feel they are treated very badly"

Then they can resign and go and do something else with their time. Sometimes I wonder whether some MPs have more in common with Bob Crow than the average wage-earner.

Thomas Rossetti said...

Duncan's claim that he made his comments in "jest" is simply not believable. It seems to be the case that this man holds one view in private and another in public.

I don't think it's that underhand to record someone secretly, especially a prominent politician. If he had simply reported Duncan's remarks, it would no doubt be claimed that those remarks were "taken out of context".

If a journalist had secret footage of Blair admitting he knew there were no WMD in Iraq, wouldn't that be worth reporting as well.

Quietzapple said...

Osborne . . ??

The man who changed his christian name when he was a kid?

Whose flipping adds up to rather more than Mandelson's fib to get a mortgage?

THAT Osborne?

And it is Alan Duncan, a more accomplished businessman than almost any other Tory frontbencher, who should be Shadow Chancellor, whose off the cuff remarks have been reported whom you are comparing to Mandelson, NOT Osborne, who supposedly ratted on Mandy's badmouthing of Gordon Brown . . ?

And, Iain, you make part of your living from Gossip?

Back to Corrie . . .

Dick the Prick said...

Not a sacking offence but he does keep on making a right tit of himself. It does kinda make you wonder if he's cut out for frontline politics.

Anonymous said...

Agree with your post. What you haven't asked is about the timing. You say this happenened in June but is released now. There does appear to some spin going on here with someone pushing it for release as second headline on BBC 6O'clock news.

Anonymous said...

Ah, but have you seen Mandy's article about George Osborne in the Graun today ? He even has the cheek and audacity to get in a reference to 'cross-dressing' [political, natch...] from George Osborne.

A bit of a 'shot across the bows' there, methinks...

Anoneumouse said...

"Aspirant cabinet ministers must not place themselves in such compromising positions."

Such as supporting...... Fake Charities (government funded lobbyists) Quango's and, the Quackery of Climate change.

Unsworth said...

Prowse may well be a devious cretin - but Duncan displays remarkably poor judgement, some might say blind arrogance, too. Where was his long spoon?

No, Duncan may be witty, charming and entertaining - but is that all that we should expect of him? Where does perspicacity and discretion fit into Duncan's world?

This is not the first time he has been an embarrassment and, frankly, I doubt it will be the last - if he stays in his elevated position. Cameron needs to deal with this very rapidly before more harm is done.

If Duncan has real value he can always be brought back into play after a decent sojourn on the back benches. In the meantime it might be nice if Harman could be neutralised (or routed) by a more able individual.

Anonymous said...

Many MPs are already acting as if they are frightened by their own shadows.

Better that the political class should be afraid than that they should feel complacent.

A great deal of the recent expenses scandal and of the alientation which the voting public feels derives from the hubris which politicians have displayed, derives from their effective unaccountability under the current partisan political system.

If politicians are afraid, they will watch their actions and ensure that they do nothing that could be misconstrued. They will understand that they, like Caesar's wife, must be whiter than white. That is a Good Thing. Even someone like Dale, whose sympathies lies with the politicians, must see the advantage in having a political class that is aware that it is under scrutiny.

In the end, this is a binary operation: either the politicians are scrutinised good and hard or they are given a free hand. I know which I prefer.

BTW, Duncan might choose to remember the Japanese proverb that one should never say or write anything that one would not wish to see posted in a village square.

Anonymous said...

I feel that Alan Duncan could be an 'Oliver Letwin waiting to happen' in the election campaign...

Though I agree as a 'bird of bright plumage' he does add to the gaiety of the nation, especially in his teasing of Harriet Harman...

ken from glos said...

Sorry iain,

The man must be a twat and a smug one at that for speaking his mind to the enemy.

De select, i happen to think that 64k is a nice wedge in the real world.

neil craig said...

Nonetheless his point that if things go on like this nobody who has ever done anything or is capable of doing anything will want to become an MP has merit. Perhaps we will still see people who have made their pile & are heading for retirement wanting to stand, if sufficiently thick skinned & it is arguable that it is better to have them than career politicos. But the worst thing is to have cheap career politicos.

I would also like to make another kick for proportional representation which is not entirely off topic. Because we have an essentially 2 party system in which they fight over only a very limited amount of "centre" ground it becomes neccessary for all MPs to be "on message" not to say anything politically incorrect. That means Alan Duncan & everybody else gets in terrible trouble if they even start saying inconvenient things which happen to be true. Definition of a "gaff" is accidentally saying something inconvenient but true, if it isn't true it is easy to issue a "clarification" & no harm done but it is death when it is true.

We really should be having a public debate on the subject of what MPs should be paid, just as we should be having real debate on EU membership, what % of the economy should be government spending, whether the pension industry can be saved, what efforts we are prepared to make to achieve growth & numerous other things. Instead we pussyfoot around everything on the probably wrong theory that the electorate aren't adult enough to consider them & want only to reassurance. This lack of serious discussion is not what democracy is supposed to be about but it is inevitable if there are only a few parties sitting on the same ground. We need UKIP MPs in Parliament, yes and BNP ones & radical socialists & (though I think them more destructive than the Nazis) Green ones. To get widespread viewpoints we need PR. We also need national broadcasters that broadcast real debates rather than BBC "commetators" setting the lines of allowable comment.

The problem is not that Alan Duncan said this but that he & everybody else, dare not openly say what they believe.

Magic2010 said...

Iain I am glad you see these comments as indefensible, but I read your post with dismay. Your overall message is he shouldn't have gone and opened his mouth to someone because of what could come out.
That is appalling!
What does that say about what politicians, Tory or not, keep in their private thoughts. About the chasm between what 1. they think and 2. actually then say?

Okay, it is unedifying it came out in this way but no non-MPs seemed to mind when a computer security bloke handed a bunch of un-redacted recipts to the Daily Telegraph. How would we know about the house swapping without this?
It is good the public can see what Alan Duncan really thinks in private. It wasn't jest or even half-jest. The tone was resentment.
Cameron can show some mettle and demote this clown. You say he brings colour to our parliment? Well he can do it from the backbenches IF his constituents decide to keep him as their representative after today. Have you thought about how many votes Duncan has lost the Conservative Party today?

We winced as we watched Have I Got News For You and groaned after Newsnight, but this is too much. He must go immediately. He no longer passes Dave's smell test.

Anonymous said...

I really think we are having a problem with Mandelson as the attack dog of the Government - he may well be working. Too often the response is to play to what bloggers think about him - "ooh he's unelected". Whatever.

Nobody in the real world cares about this. Go instead for his jugular. The man's a liar as shown in your piece, a fraudster who was driven from government twice because of his shady dealings, a parasite eating away at the body politic. He is a repulsive slimy worm and should be attacked as such.

Mr Smith said...

Iain does anyone force someone to be an MP? If he feels so strongly about the way he has been treated Alan Duncan could have resigned or decided not to stand at the next general election.

I shed no tear for him at all, and I feel your post exposes how close you are to the Westminster elite.

Iain get a grip!

Mr Smith said...

I think Alan Duncan should be deselected for his actions. He has brought politics to a new low.

The smug idiot should GO NOW!

Anonymous said...

Iain Dale, 'sticks' to Alan Duncan, no surprise there!

Guido don't agree.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Iain.

You manage to give a good defence without once mentioning that Duncan displays the typical liblabcon arrogance of believing that they are something special, better than the rest of us. As if!

Nor that he makes clear that they are all there for the money, with no concern at all for public service.

Again, well done! You've still got it.

Ælfhere said...

To be fair, it wouldn't have happened to a nicer chap and it couldn't have happened to a worse one.

marquess of queensbury said...

Dont Mandelson and Duncan, for diferent reasons, give homosexuals in politics a bad name. Mandelson a sibilating,preening, back stabbing, manipulative little creep; Duncan, a Wilde wannabe who just isn't as funny as he would like to be, but still coming across as essentially frivolous.

Madasafish said...

Before speaking engage brain.

Obviously in AD's case, brain is fully engaged already: probably filling in expense claims.

After his escapades on HIGNFY I thought he was drunk. Now I know better. He's another Letwin without the charm or intelligence.

sinosimon said...

it is obvious from the video that the diminutive chap does really feel hard done by. he should return to his oil trading and let someone who wants to do the job for its own sake have the opportunity.
never mind the total lack of contact with the reality of the world outside the commons that he betrays, Iain just provide one example, just one,where Duncan has made a telling intervention skewering, thought not. If you can't get on the score sheet against the open goal that Harpyperson represents you should not be in frontline politics. he is an embarassment

Flemingcrag said...

I wrote on here after Alan Duncan's appearance on HIGNFY thst this man was an embarrassment that David Cameron should get rid of him ASAP.
This latest foot in mouth outbreak from Duncan shows he is all style and no substance and quite frankly not up to the job.
Idiots like him are manna from heaven to an opposition that can hope for no greater break than that the Conservatives snatch defeat from the jaws of victory at the next election by consistently shooting themselves in the foot.

Mike Law said...

"Many MPs do indeed feel they are treated very badly. That's a simple matter of fact. Whether they have any justification or not is for individuals to decide."

And it seems most individuals have come to the conclusion that, for the most part, MPs are self serving and arrogant.

Everybody cracks jokes (well, almost everybody) and we all make mistakes but Duncan really should have known better.

Whatever crap falls on him, from whatever height, it is fully deserved and he should take it on the chin.

VotR said...

Labour sting, no privacy under Labour, and history has shown that the Torys are not safe.

How very Mandelson.

Victor, NW Kent said...

He should weigh and ration his words. This is far from being his first gaffe. He is arrogant and loose-tongued.

He is not alone in these failings in the Shadow Cabinet. Some do not have the sense they were born with.

He's finished said...

"Meeting a geeky environmental loon like Heydon Prowse could never end well. The invitation, no matter how well meant, should never have been issued."

As with Unsworth, I believe the real expose of this story is that Alan Duncan's judgement is so naive.

I don't judge a person by their stated beliefs or within legal limits, their private pleasures, I judge them by their judgement. Alan Duncan - perhaps once a shining hope - seems to me today to be of little more use to real political life than a transient flare of light that gets burned up in full visibility of the public. A bit like tonight's Perseid show. Grains of dust left in the trail of a comet. Once a year, we revisit their trajectory, the grains flare as our atmosphere burns them, and then we move on. The caravan passes.

Jess The Dog said...

I can't get excited over this....he's saying what 650-odd other MPs believe in private.

If they think they're being treated "like shit" then good...the expenses scandal was simply the icing on the cake, after over a decade of Parliamentarty supinity.

Anonymous said...


you still don't get it.

keeprightonline said...

I hope we'll make the daley dozen:

Anonymous said...

MOST of our MPs are scum.

"That's a simple matter of fact."

Anonymous said...

mr Duncan is my MP, and has a long history of troughing arrogance, so I am sure he meant every word. His is a very are seat, but in no circumstances will I vote for him.

I hope that he gets deslected but think it unlikely.

Thatsnews said...

I think he was joking.

Of course the self-styled 'journalist' may well find himself being tracked down by tabloid journalists eager to see what dirt they can dig up on him, or even what they can create.

Be very careful, old chap. That noise from your back garden, is it a fox or a tabloid journalist rifling through your bin?

Better get a cross-cut shredder, just to be on the safe side.

Oh. And do be careful about any new offers of work that you get. When you meet them, do remember to check that they are not wired for sound and vision...

By the way, you DO have a clean past, don't you? I mean, we'd hate for anything unpleasant to emerge, wouldn't we?

left-of-centre said...

Alan Duncan should be treated as a person who he really is.

Anonymous said...

Then they can resign and go and do something else with their time. Sometimes I wonder whether some MPs have more in common with Bob Crow than the average wage-earner.

Only sometimes?

Of course they have more in common with union leaders then the average wage-earner.

Only one of the reasons being that they do not earn an average wage.

May I respectively suggest that we really would be far better represented by our elected politicians if we chose to not pay them anything at all. A charity could be set up with the virtually empty collection tins left outside the voting booths. If the candidate won they would be allowed to collect from the doorsteps in the same manner that the losing candidate would. If they do a good job they could make a far income for themselves. Although much of it would be spent on new shoes, it would keep them out of parliament, so the damage they could do would be seriously limited. It would therefore be a win win situation.

Ok maybe this is a little mean. We could simply pay them not the average wage, but the wage most earned by the most amount of people. Which would be around £2 per hour above the minimum wage, with only a state pension to look forward to.

Doing this really would end boom and bust forever, and there would still not be a sortage of candidates for any form of political party.

Anonymous said...

If he stays in the Shadow it will say more about Dave than it ever will about Hunky Dunky.

trevorsden said...

I think the points you make are fair iain.

This episode does just reinforce the point that Duncan is not quite the sassy performer he thinks he is. Given that that is meant to be his unique selling point this performance is not good for him. Politics is a tough business.

But Mandelson is doubly wrong and up to his usual misleading tricks. Despite the secret filming this was not a private meeting. Duncan was publicly meeting a known critic not one of his cronies. It shows up Mandelbums warped blinkered view of the world.

The other point to make is the lie being told by the secret filmer who puts the film in the totally wrong context.

Whoever this group are they come across as a bunch of tossers

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Put me in a cocktail dress and call me Dolores, but I like Alan Duncan. He is indiscreet, and consequently should not be an MP. He does not seem to be able to get the "fake personality" bit right, so beloved of his peers. He is genuine and misunderstood. We misunderstand him when he is being honest. It is the fate of the good politician.

Thatcher ruined the UK said...

I think that Alan Duncan should have Means Tested benefits and live on the Dole for a week. Apparently thats what we unemployed have to live on.

trevorsden said...

'most' MPs are not scum. And its really just ignorant to say so.

Craig says the 'point that if things go on like this nobody who has ever done anything or is capable of doing anything will want to become an MP has merit.'

I agree. And it will get worse if MPs are to be discouraged from earning a living - of being normal - outside politics. Trouble is with the web and blogs its just an easy way for anonymous people (like me) spout their pomposity and in some cases bile.

BTW - I really am not a fan of Duncan. The Tory party could manage quite nicely without him. As it is, given the lies that Mandelson is spreading about it - it still presents an opportunity.

smear stories said...

Iain could you ask the BBC why they dug up this ancient story today. That video was shown online weeks ago. Were the BBC handlers at Labour HQ trying to throw a smokescreen around the unemployment figures ?

Anonymous said...

It would only be fair if MPs were treated like sh*t, as most of them are.

Dole said...

Perhaps if Alan Duncan was to have what I get to exist on a week he would have a reason to moan.

Old Codger said...

1. If AD believes what he said, I believe he does or he wouldn't have said it even in jest, he should get out of politics. Despite his contrary thoughts, there is no shortage of potential politicians.

2. Any politician who aspires to be more than back bench fodder must be very careful and circumspect when in almost any company, let alone a virtual stranger. He joins the shadow chancellor as a first class twit.

3. I become more depressed by the day. The future looks increasingly bleak.

Joe Public said...

"Many MPs are already acting as if they are frightened by their own shadows. Some will feel that if they can't meet someone for a drink for fear of being secretly filmed they might as well give up."

Now they know how the public feel about all the state surveillance that goes on.

If they hadn't troughed so much, they wouldn't have brought the profession into disrepute.

Joe Public said...

Some cracking, p1ss-taking cartoons at:-

And this week-long compo's only been running a few hours.

It's 1st post is particularly apposite.

Johnny Norfolk said...

I think the BBC spent more time on this story than the unemployment ststs. I caanot help remember how different the BBC attitude was when we had these levels of unemploymennt under the Tories. The whole news was devoted to it now its just treated in a light half hearted manner. just like Duncan in fact.

Weygand said...

Ministers need to have judgement.

Inviting people who dug up your lawn to the Commons with a view to winning them over with your charm and wit shows that Duncan has a great ego but no judgement whatsoever.

He is a liability and should be let go asap.

Martin said...

Sorry Iain but Duncan is a complete prat. I strongly suspect were he not gay he'd have had the boot long ago.

I'm fed up of politicians not being given the boot because of their gender, colour or sexual preference.

If you're USELESS you should get the boot.

Anonymous said...

How many more own goals will Alan Duncan score before Cameron gets shot of him? Every time he opens his mouth he provides ammunition for the likes of the BBC and New Labour to ridicule the tories.

fyoc said...

I thought Alan was a multi-millionaire in his own right?

Sorry to hear that MP's can't get a £2,500 plasma screen on expenses and have to make do with a £750 version like Lembit "GEEK" Opik had to. It must be awful for them.

I have got an old lump of a TV given to me by a neighbour who was moving abroad but it does the job.

When are MP's going to realise that a lot of people would be delighted to do the job for £64,000 a year? Because I know I would.

Paul Halsall said...

I kind of sympathise with Alan Duncan on this one.

None of the above said...

It's plain for all everyday folk to see that the man is an odious arrogant cock with total disdain for the electorate.

Mind you, I knew that yesterday.

Robin B'stard MP said...

I seem to remember certain bloggers holding Heydon Prowse up as some shining light, giving his videos lots of exposure.

Shame he turned out to be a bit of a shit........

Anonymous said...

For Heaven's sake. Can no one indulge in a bit of cynical banter?

It's a sad, sad tine when they can't.
and Duncan's second comment after the one that the press picked up, around no one who's done anything outside the House being able to work there is so true.

So as a result, Duncan qualifies as an MP. A bit of PU (political uncorrectness) is a good thing

Young Gideon, though, as a naive t**t, has to go.

Anonymous said...

What is so utterly lamentable about this entire affair is that Duncan is amongst the most erudite members of the shadow cabinet (I'd recommend "Saturn's Children" to all, incidentally), and that he has far more substance than the majority of Cameron's toadies. Alan Duncan would make a far better minister in government than many of the increasingly banal, homogenous Cameronite inductees, irrespective of a proclivity for gaffes. Much the same as Boris.

Charlie said...

Duncan has no political skills whatsoever. He has to go. This is very far from the first time that he is badly embarrassed the party and, of course, it will not be the last.

I Squiggle said...

Newsnight - Nice final point, Iain. Why indeed..

andrew said...

I don't have a favourable opinion of AD, generally, but I feel he's been hard done by here.

I believe it should be possible for an MP to utter words at a private function and for those words to not make it into the news. And it would be nice if our MPs could treat us with similar respect, by cutting significantly the surveillance agenda, and axing ID cards.

Ryan Andrews said...

I think you just confirmed why you deserve to be labelled as cloyingly sanctimonious. "Your parents must be so proud of you". How pathetic.

Anyways, I suspect this comment won't be published given that my criticisms directed at you yesterday, when I stated that I think that you are badly out of your depth depth and would come to regret unfairly smearing someone as a fascist, failed to be published.

Just what are you afraid of? People see through your shameful hypocracy, your lazy, unintelligent musings and your facade of geniality. You are pathetic and will be confined to the sidelines when Dave or Mandy ride triumphant into No. 10 next year.

The Grim Reaper said...

I hold the same opinion of Alan Duncan that Jeremy Clarkson holds of Gordon Brown. I need not say more.

Nick said...

You came across like a complete fool on newsnight. You just don;t get it. No wonder Norman Lamb handed you your ass on a plate

Anonymous said...

Watched you (Iain) on TV. Shame you had to stoop to comments regarding the other guest's parents being proud of him. Felt it rather unnecessary to involve his family members in a rather immature line of attack. Your smug attitude actually provoked me to look your blog up on the internet and leave a comment.

Dimoto said...

Duncan should be lost at the next reshuffle ..... and top Tories should stop indulging "Peter" and pretending that not only is he a member of the human race, but "engaging", "competent" or "amusing". He is vile and corrupt.
Sometimes it seems that clinically removing this disgrace of an "administration" is a task too far for the fun 'n games loving Tory boys !

trevorsden said...

On listening to Newsnight I am happy with my opinion of the 'geek'. He is a tosser and since he leaned over backwards to constantly criticise Cameron and Osborne its clear he is a socialist tosser.

The likes of Mail and Telegraph are happy to get on their high horses and if we want to criticise Duncan (and I do not hold him in high regard) it must be remembered that the meeting happened way back in June - during the expenses revelations. The papers talk as if it happened yesterday.

Mr Dale on Newsnight you ask why MPs are not going round the country selling themselves and the work they do and why they need expenses (like you have been doing).
The answer is the public and the press do not want to listen. MPs on Question Time were ridiculed and the self righteous public do not want to listen.

nostromo said...

I have just watched you on Newsnight, and although your fellow guest's lack of articulacy hardly did him credit, especially the way he indicated his view that this was a 'Tory' problem, your own behaviour, would have done little to convert those like me, who do not believe that Duncan's apology is sincere, especially your references to 'parents' being 'proud'. Irrelevant and patronising.

To me, Duncan's behaviour indicates his contempt for the criticism of the expenses system, and his comments regarding 'nationalised' are grossly offensive to anyone who works in the public sector. There was little 'magnanimous' about Duncan's invitation to go to the Commons - he probably just underestimated a weak opponent (further indication of his own naivety). The timing of the footage is indeed more than relevant - but quite how at that stage Duncan has such apparently entrenched opinions, as further shown by his appearance on HIGNFY, hardly inspires confidence that he had a rethink of his views.

No one wants 'colourful' MPs - they just want GOOD ones, my own MP being an excellent example (and no, I do not have strong political views).

You mentioned on Newsnight that the very rich and the very poor might soon populate the Commons. Perhaps - but many of those who don't vote seem to come from the middle - and in that case they get the representation they deserve - and those that do care watch those elected more closely.


Anonymous said...

Just watched Newsnight. I thought you did very well. Mind you, you were up against someone who was useless: he could hardly string two words together and couldn't develop a coherent argument.

John Green said...

Just another multi millionaire Tory who thinks it is his God given right to govern.

Let's be honest Duncan was speaking honestly about how most Torie MPs feel. That's why he has been made to spologise. Musn't let the cat out of the bag, oh no.

For him being an MP is an ego trip on the great parliamentry gravy train.

Resign and give someone with integrity the opportunity to do the job MPs are extremely well paid for. And do it full time.

gustavus said...

Iain, I think you're letting your friendship colour your coverage. The "jerk" who filmed him may have behaved in an underhand way, but given Duncan's membership of a political class who either support or are apathetic* about the extension of surveillance in the UK, it's hard to feel much sympathy. Especially when a little public surveillance shows him to be entirely impenitent about his and his friends' troughing conduct. If he has any honour, he'll resign.

[*=Duncan apparently couldn't be bothered to vote on the Regulation of Investigatory Powers legislation. Pretty unimpressive for a self-proclaimed libertarian.]

Anonymous said...


you're very lucky that the twat from 'Calm Down', or whatever his site is called, that were up against is an inarticulate, naive fool.

This story has been completely overblown and it is quite the coincidence that it emerges on the day that more grim news on the UK's economy is released.

However, there was absolutely no need to resort to the 'are your parents proud of you?' comment.

Your smug, condescending attitude was completely unecessary given the calibre, or lack thereof, of the opposition which you faced. Are you just like that? I must confess that this was the first time I watch you on tv but from reading your blog of late I was quite surprised by your attitude given that the tone conveyed on this site is fairly relaxed and unpretentious.

I am, nevertheless, convinced that, to quote the headline in tomorrow's Daily Mail, you still don't get it.

Dr Evadne said...

Regardless of this current episode, AD is a liability to the Tories. His various performances in public, be it HIGNFY or Argument Time with Dmblebore, are cringe-worthy. Dave needs to run a very tight ship and keep chaps like AD out of the limelight. Sadly Al likes publicity of the wrong sort. Either he is sent packing to the House of Lords or the Glasgow Empire. He is not much of a politician and will not be missed in the commons...colourful or not.

Anonymous said...

Jesus Iain, you still don't get it.

I'm certainly not a "leftie" (Tory voting since my first vote) but I still think that you were unecessarily ridiculous and condescending towards Heydon Prowse. He probably deserved it but it says a lot about your argument and character that you felt the need to behave in that way. Why could you not just let your superior debating skills and intellect win the argument for you instead of bringing his parents into it? Pathetic. And in fairness to Prowse, he didn't rise to your taunts. Fair play to him. Just goes to prove though, that you are quite a weak debated. You froze when confronted by Galloway a few months ago. I dread to think what would happen to you if exposed to a beast like Mandy - they'd have you for breakfast.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Duncan looks like a pratt, acts like a pratt, sounds like a pratt so he must be a pratt.

Cameron must get shot of people like this NOW.

Uncle Bob said...

I think it's all a storm in a teacup and people need to grow up, especially the public. Hounding out MPs will only lead to the electing of sub-standard replacements. And like trevorsden has said it was pretty clear what the guy who filmed it's agenda was. If he was that concerned about MP's expenses he could go after members of the government too. There were plenty enough troughers there to keep him busy. Personally, if he'd come and dug up my garden I'd have given him a broken nose for his trouble but then again, I haven't got the patience required of a modern MP.

Anonymous said...

No Iain, nothing to do with being a leftie. I watched two people on Newsnight, both wrong. One unwisely revealed himself as a leftie, undermining his stance in the process, and the other resorted to inappropriate arguments. Neither looked good - but the neutral/undecided wouldn't have gone with you if forced to choose I suspect. Would your parents be proud that you use your articulacy in such an unsopisticated way?

John Green said...

I really think you have to get "back on message" Iain.

You really let the mask slip this evening.

How on earth did you manage to try and take the moral high ground whailst firmly placing your foot in your mouth.

If Cameron was watching I'm sure his bum was squeaking.

Come on now Iain remember the mantra.

The Conservatives aren't the nasty party.

The Conservatives aren't smug.

The Conservatives aren't arrogant.

Keep saying it until you really believe it.

It may take some time.

John Green said...

Yes Iain you still don't get it.

Long live site moderation and supression of freedom of speech!

Lady Astor's son-in-law said...

You've spent far too much time with BluLabScum MPs - they've corrupted you - you're one of them!

John Houghton said...

seems Iain thinks that everyone who pulled him up for his smug, condescending attitude on Newsnight is a 'Leftie'

How immature

Thatsnews said...

Oh, look at Haydock Park, sorry, Heydon Prowse:
This person is no longer a member of Shooting People


GJ said...

You've spent far too much time with BluLabScum MPs - they've corrupted you - you're one of them!

Dale makes an excellent living by cosying up to them. Just consider the amount of times he was on the radio or TV today alone. He's making a fortune off being a full-time lobbyist for MP's interests.

So, in light of that, why would he change his behaviour when he blatantly makes a killing feeding the public political propaganda through his popular blog?

Although in all fairness to Dale, he may claim to be a Tory but I think, in the end, his problem is really with Brown and Harperson. He got into bed with Andrew MacKinlay and has defended the indefensible actions of Labour MPs throughout the expenses 'scandal' e.g. the Blears obsession he developed a few months ago or the rehabilitation programme he's endevoured to assist Jacqui Smith with.

He wouldn't be much use at the deep end. Just watch tonight's Newsnight's performance and weep. And, like someone said earlier, Galloway ran rings around him to the extent that he almost sounded emotional after that particular debate.

So, if you were crap at debating, hadn't the balls/ability to win a seat in the Commons, and had a condescending, sanctimonious attitude to all those who dared to disagree with your views, then why would you risk a very formidable source of income by becoming more critical of MPs? I know I wouldn't. But, then again, I would never put myself in the position Dale has done in the first place.

(That's not to mention the deliberately nasty, falsified smears he's posted on this site e.g. yesterday's 'fascist' attack and his misrepresentation of Nick Griffin's views some months ago with regard to representing his new constituents at the European Parliament)

And yes, Iain, I know this won't be published but let's give it a go anyways.

Iain Dale said...

GJ, I have been on four media programmes today and haven't made a penny out of them. Yeah, a real killing. As for the rest of your post it's too pathetic to reply to.

Katie Hayes said...


JenS said...

"the ridiculous Heydon Prowse"

Oh please, Iain. Act your age and have some manners. You're behaving like a hysterical child.

Manfarang said...

I'll have all the Tory MPs living on vegan food and ginger beer!
Good Daily Express frontpage-

TomTOm said...

Patrick Mercer was publicly hanged for saying something true and anodyne, but Duncan can joke about killing a beauty queen, and fiddle expenses, and then reveal himself to someone who has already set him up once....and he must be preserved for the big scandal in a future Tory Government. He lasted 17 days when he was in Government long bfore Cameron has to fire him from the real Cabinet ?

Quietzapple said...

Points: Had a Labour front bencher been caught badmouthing the public while the unemployment figures under Mrs Thatcher were being announced there would have been a far bigger furore than this.

Mandy panders to Tory fantasies quite nicely, but his departures have not been for anything so dishonest as Osborne's flipping imho: (following from Wiki)

"In December 1998, it was revealed Mandelson had bought a home in Notting Hill in 1996 with the assistance of an interest-free loan of £373,000 from Geoffrey Robinson, a millionaire Labour MP who was also in the Government, but was subject to an inquiry into his business dealings by Mandelson's department.[10] " and

"In January 2001, it was revealed Mandelson had phoned Home Office minister Mike O'Brien on behalf of Srichand Hinduja, an Indian businessman who was seeking British citizenship, and whose family firm was to become the main sponsor of the "Faith Zone" in the Millennium Dome. At the time, Hinduja and his brothers were under investigation by the Indian government for alleged involvement in the Bofors scandal. On 24 January 2001, Mandelson resigned from the Government for a second time,[16][17] insisting he had done nothing wrong. An independent enquiry by Sir Anthony Hammond came to the conclusion that neither Mandelson nor anyone else had acted improperly."

Were he a conservative many would claim he had been victimised, as indeed he was, by Tony Blair in my view. Why Geoffrey Robinson had to go, for lending money when no improper influence was alleged by the sane, was an instance of ultra political priggishness.

And the famous bit is borrowing money for a deposit and not making that clear, hopefully a hundred thousand prospective mortgagees will do that to some extent over the coming year, while others will manage without any such minor fraud.

Alan Duncan is quite right that the public regard MPs quite unfairly, most are pretty decent people, even a few of the Tories, and some of them have rather more wit and tolerance than those who pursue their virulent and wretched antagonisms against MPs - and even the Total Politics One - to ridiculous lengths.

Time to take a grip against the febrile hate merchants.

Flemingcrag said...

After my initial post on the inadequacies of Alan Duncan as a future Government Minister I decided on a period of reflection lest I had been too harsh on the man.
After this period which allowed my anger to recede and for a reasonable weighing up of "fors and againsts" I can reveal my cold hearted judgement on Alan Duncan;
This man makes Squeaker Bercow look as a man of giant intellect, modest demeanour and a true servant of the people with nary a selfish gene in his body.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

Get shot of him. He's a loose cannon. Cameron should have fired him yesterday. Too late now.

JBW said...

The phrase "Don't piss on your own doorstep" comes to mind:-)

Lady Finchley said...

My God, what a bunch of bitter, twisted, little people you all are - with the exception of Uncle Bob and a few others. You all take yourseleves so seriously - Alan Duncan has a sense of humour, so what? Do you really think that he would be be seriously telling some jerk who carved a pound sign into his lawn that he was hard done by?

And he was right about MPs feeling under siege - particularly the majority that didn't abuse expenses. It is not about money, it is about the sheer amount of hours and energy that most put into the job. Don't talk to me about the offical hours or whether the Chamber is full - it is about the behind the scenes work that you all seem to be so ignorant of.

Tell you what, next time a member of your family needs a cancer drug that the PCT has refused, HMRC says that you were overpaid £10,000 in tax credits, your autistic son can't get into a special needs school, your daughter's benefits have been cut off or your granny who had a stroke is losing her care package, DON'T call your MP - sort it out yourselves and see how far you get.

Anonymous said...

mandy and brown will set up any sting to stuff the tories.
they are watergate waiting to happen,if it has not happened already,but us brits put up with much more than the yanks.

anybody in dc's team that dont get this should go.

this is what worries me about the tories,they are intrinsically good people against labour who have absolutely no morals what so ever.

Nicholas Rogers said...

I had no idea that Prowse played the sick kid in 'The Secret Garden'!

Batteredstrat said...

I think even the slower of us can see what is happening here. This film is weeks old. The BBC have run with it big time, on the day the unemployment figures come out.

In the lead up to this, certain blogs have been inundated with comments from people who are well known in the blogosphere for being in the employ of the 'Labour quick rebuttal unit'.

Mandleson uses an interview to try to draw Osborne into a personal spat, inwhich he knows he can use the BBC at will top slander his opponent, (and revisit the Deripaska affair).

McBride (or someone following his playbook), is firmly in the saddle at Labour HQ. This will be the pattern of events until polling day, and the kind of thing that we can expect from a Labour opposition.

Anonymous said...

Using ADs logic then I suppose a ride on mower is still making him into a better MP ?

Alan Duncan is an idiot and is getting worse. Anyone recall his rather strange (perhaps even drunk ?) performance on HIGNFY ? He needs to be removed to the back benches where he can be safely ignored.

Armchair said...

I don't doubt that Alan Duncan said this half jokingly, but it was a bit naive.

I have met Alan Duncan a coulple of times and I have to say that I am no admirer of his.

Anonymous said...

I quite like Alan Duncan - he entertaining. He's been around long enough for people to know about his sense of humour, even if it is off the mark sometimes.

He opened our new council HQ recently and was polite and interested.

If I was DC I'd book him in for some more media training though.

Anonymous said...

You sound like you're reading from a Millbank private paper on how to deal with Duncan's little faux pas.

At least you're consistent Iain, no one can't take that away from you. Maybe some day you'll wake up and realise how hopelessly out of touch that you really are. Probably not though given that you'd struggle to make a living if you took your nose out of their collective arses.

Mandelson's not robotic and he certainly does interesting things - is he ok too then?

james.bottomley said...

Everyone has focused on the "rations" comment, but to me the really revealing Duncan remark was "nationalised" - what exactly did he mean by that?

Is it that he (and by extension, his fellow MPs) regard the Commons as a sort of comfortable private club, where well-healed members can relax beyond the ordinary laws that govern the rest of us?

And that the "nationalisation" is this cosy system being brought under public scrutiny?

Mr Smith said...

"Paul Halsall said...
I kind of sympathise with Alan Duncan on this one."
Before I laugh out load with complete amazement at this statement the question is WHY? I have not sympathy with him whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

Your supportive comments are sooo touching! Prowse has done us a favour in exposing the hypocracy and utter arrogance of Duncan. If Cameron is serious, he'll dump him - immediately.

Paul said...

Very brave of Newsnight to put a young guy who's clearly never had any media training on live TV - just as well it wasn't Paxman doing the interviewing or he might have cried.

You however where incredibly nasty and smug - fancy bringing the guy's parents into the debate!

Iain, I would like to ask you one thing though - We all know your politics and we now your a big fan of AD, but if an MP form another party say Lembit Opik or Hazel Blears had been caught saying the same thing to a hidden camera and you where asked for a comment, would you have said the same things in support of MPs in general and in support of LO/HB/whoever?
I await your response with interest.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Duncan is gonna be chopped.

Tim want's him gone, he's a goner.

Iain Dale said...

Paul, Clearly you have not been reading my blog very well for the last few months, where I have been trying to defend politics as a whole and explain why MPs need allowances and expenses to do their job. The fact that no one is willing to listen is by the by. Most readers will know that I have been quite kind to Hazel Blears. Indeed, she thinks so too. I have defended MPs from other parties but also criticised MPs from all three parties. So I am afraid that your gut accusation doesn't hold water.

Quietzapple said...

I am continually amused by some commenters' posts critical of those who have achieved riches, political power, academic and intellectual distinction, literacy etc. so often denied said commenters.

The new a-politics are not winsome, likely to wither with the dead sea fruit whence they crumbled I suspect.

james.bottomley said...

I share that view about Iain Dale's "what your parents think" comment on Newsnight Iain - incredibly smug, condescending and patronising.

I thought Prowse came over rather well in the interview and Iain Dale came over as defending the indefensible.

Is there any proof behind the assertion that it is the BBC who have dug this story off Prowse's website to mask the bad economic news? Did the Beeb get it first, or has this come through from another news source and the BBC just picked it up?

Cronan said...

If Duncan feels that way he should resign. Now. And he is clearly too dim-witted to be in the shadow cabinet.

trevorsden said...

Who criticises Iain re the Newsnight interview. He pretty much said Duncan was an idiot. He also questioned the veracity of the tape which was fair. I think the point about MPs being secretly filmed after a generous invitation was valid. the Don't panic block was the smug one in my opinion and his insistence throughout the interview on criticising Tories shows I think a certain bias.

Like I have said Diuncan is an idiot I hold no great regard for him but these remarks were made to a clear opponent and were not 'secret' or two faced comments - simply daft (which is bad enough for me) and just a typical piece of (not very funny) sarcastic or ironic Duncan humour.

Also they are not recent, post apocalyptic expenses, comments but made back in June. Anyone who thinks Prowes has done us a favour is simply feeding their own prejudice.

Remember the Norwich North by election? Labour voters were angry that the labour incumbent had been expelled, despite his alleged offences and despite what frenzy is being whipped up by the media.

I am with Lady Finchley on this. There are too many saddos shouting at the moon here.

Anonymous said...

Paul's throwing you a straw man Iain.

You absolutely were condescending and, any time you addressed Prowse directly, you came across as smug and sanctimonious.

You can try and rationalise your detractors and critics as 'lefties', having deliberately ignored what you actually said or allowed "their prejudices" to interfere with their critique.

But it's utter nonsense and goes to prove, once again, just how out of touch and condescending you really are. We've heard your defence many times before - you seem to be all over the media these days, spouting the same lines over and over again. It would actually be very, very difficult to 'ignore' what you actually said on the interview.

You've become a shameless lobbyist for MPs.

Paul Halsall said...

If Duncan goes, so do a lot of gay votes fore the Tories.

DespairingLiberal said...

I know Iain came over as patronising, but trust me, from years of experience, we can assume this was pre-planned and widely discussed amongst Iain Dale's peers (Montogmerie et al) as a put-down on Prowse. This shows that their base position is to defend Duncan. It backfired because it sounded pre-planned and Proswe seemed relaxed and cheerful about the remark, making it further sound just silly.

Duncan himself has a long, long history of unusual behaviour and dodgy dealings, making his money by profiting from the Gulf War and funding his private office from oil interests whilst holding the Energy portfolio.

It's all about graft in Tory circles and defending graft - Iain was just doing his Tory duties last night.

Iain Dale said...

DL you specialise in asserting things as obvious truths but as usual you are way off the mark. There was no preplanning with anyone of what I said on Newsnight. I had indeed intended to take on Prowse but that was my call.

Did you not listen to my words on Newsnight? I did not defend Duncan, I criticised him for his rations remarks and said that a lot of Conservatives are very angry with him.

john83 said...

I was on the table next to Duncan et all on the terrace when this conversation took place - it was on the evening on the speaker's election.

I'd say three things.

Firstly the film gives the false impression their meeting was brief. I was there for a good 45 minutes and for the whole of this time, Prowse was there with two of Duncan's aides with Duncan getting up every 15 minutes or so to vote. In other words, it has been heavily edited down to suit Prowse's purposes.

Also the video gives the false impression that Duncan left as soon as Prowse mentions outside interests - in fact the reason he was hurrying to leave was because the division bell had just rung.

Finally the swipe at Nigel Evans just shows how ill informed Prowse is about our Parliamentarians and clearly just out to smear whoever helps him get publicity. Look at Evans' declaration. Evans' only outside interest is the corner shop he runs in Swansea.

Nicholas Rogers said...

Iain, I just watched the interview and to be honest I have no idea what your critics in this comment thread are talking about.

Hayden Prowse deserved to be taken down peg or two for the underhand way in which he got his footage. It was rude and uncalled for, especially given that Alan Duncan was being extremely polite in inviting him to the HoC.

You were quite right to say what you did. Politics needs defenders.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that most of the reaction to Duncan is focussing on what he said, whether he meant it, etc. Actually, Iain has raised the most important point:

Many MPs are already acting as if they are frightened by their own shadows. Some will feel that if they can't meet someone for a drink for fear of being secretly filmed they might as well give up.

Doubt they'll give up. But more of this and you can bet a pound to a cracked pisspot that they will always watch everything they say to anyone. As ever, the problem with secret filming is rarely the ethics, more the fact that once people are aware that there is a possibility of them being recorded that's the last time you'll get an unscripted thought out of them.

Anonymous said...

Many people think I was far too hard on Heydon Prowse, that I was smug and condescending. That certainly wasn't the intention and having watched the interview again I do think people have gone over the top and in many cases have completely ignored what I actually said,

Dale, it's a fairly standard event on this blog for you to say something, for people to call you out and for you then to throw a fit and start calling all your critics morons who just don't understand what you're saying.

If you are regularly described by viewers and readers as smug, arrogant, preening and dismissive of the public but you honestly do not intend this, maybe there is some issue with your manner of presentation or your social skills.

Time and again, I watch you on television and read your posts and, particularly, your responses to critical comments and time and again I am astounded by the levels of condescension and contempt for other people that you display - and I am not alone in feeling this way. Your name is a byword in the blogosphere for this kind of self-regard.

Now, fundamentally, you either know what you're doing and are acting this way deliberately or your actions are being misinterpreted - it's one or the other but, if it is the latter, maybe you should recognise that a problem exists and revise the way you present yourself and the way you handle and respond to the concerns of the general public. That way you will better be able to communicate your intentions without being accused, constantly, of arrogance, of smugness, of condescension and of a self-serving disregard for the voters and the democratic system.

Desperate Dan said...

Its difficult to see Alan Duncan, as some do, as a colourful wit who would be a loss to parliament. The embarrassment he causes in so many people is prompted by his social awkwardness. He has the ego necessary to be an MP but none of the nous.

Anonymous said...

If Duncan goes, so do a lot of gay votes fore the Tories.

Really? So you're saying that no gay man or woman was offended by what Duncan said. You're saying that "The Gays" are a monolithic political entity who will flock to whichever party has the prominent gay member.

Halsall, you contemptible fool, I hope that one day you will understand that gays are motivated by things other than identity politics. I hope you'll realise that gays worry about education, defence, the state of the economy, the tax burden, civil liberties, the conduct of your party's illegal wars, the country's position within Europe and many other issues and they vote on the aggregate of how they feel about the entire policy gestalt. One day I hope you'll understand that but I very, very much doubt it'll ever happen; you're stuck in your small-minded identity-driven fantasy of a gay political ghetto.

Gays left the ghetto a long time ago, Halsall. They saw the big bright world outside and they joined it. You saw the bright lights of the outside and you got scared and ran back into the darkest depths of the ghetto where you console yourself with pretty stories about being the spokesmen and representative of All Teh Gay instead of being a sad, washed-up throwback whose whole existence revolves around sexual identity in a world where it.just.doesn't.matter.

DespairingLiberal said...

No Iain, I just see through your "nice guy" image to the steely Tory inner-circles planning that goes into your carefully crafted and pre-arranged assualts - as with your little faked assault against Michael White not so long ago.

This is all designed to try to deflect public opinion from the rather startling truth of the astonishing level of greed, deceit and shameless gouging that quite a number of Tory MPs have engaged in.

I seriously doubt that Cameron can sail into office as you all hope with a large majority as all this goes on. There will be a hung parliament and you will need to talk politely with the LibDems, with plenty of apologies for all the slurs in this and other Tory blogs.

None of the above said...

It's a true sign of our times when people like Iain Dale can be asked their opinion on a show like Newsnight. The only qualification for appearing on the show appears to be vulgar self-promontion and toadying with those wjho pull the strings.

There are people in my local bar with more erudite comment on the matter. And I mean that most sincerely folks.

Heidi said...

The thing is, Iain, you just don't seem to understand the anger at the expenses scandal - and at the fact that MPs are still milking the taxpayer. They voted to increase their grocery allowance (with no receipts needed) from £400 to £500. Why the hell do they get their food for free? The rest of us have to buy our own groceries, and on much lower salaries. Prowse behaved very badly of course; Duncan was naive to think Prowse wouldn't trap him (he's an underground film-maker, it's what he does); but I'm afraid the most important point is that Duncan was shown to hold the electorate in complete contempt.

Ann said...

When Alan Duncan tries to be funny it just backfires and he shouldn't do it, as we saw on Have I Got News for You. He seems to think he's as witty as William Hague but he isn't. Another point occurred to me, though, just how did somebody manage to film in the House of Commons without anyone knowing - what about security, or doesn't it matter?

Patrick said...

I agree; twas a pretty low thing to do.

But More fool Duncan for saying foolish things to this sort of person - and putting himself in this position.

Gordon Slocombe said...

You are impervious to criticism and always respond to it by saying that others have not listened to what you said or read what you wrote.

It is always the others with Mr Dale. He himself is never at fault.

That is why you are the insufferable, smug Tory tool you are often accused of being.

Lord Snooty said...

I agree, Iain, that some of the critical comments here are a bit over the top. But even you must realise by now that the 'your parents...' jibe was crass and juvenile and said much more about you than the person you aimed it at.

Gonk said...

As if that wasn`t bad enough , Nadine Dorries is on Radio 2 at the moment , trying to defend the indefensible yet again.
It`s all the media`s fault, according to her.
They STILL don`t get it do they ?!

carter said...

There's no political brain in that head so no point in him being in the Shadow Cabinet.

canvas said...

Yes, Iain, your dialogue with Heydon Prowse did seem quite churlish. There is no point in shooting the messenger. Your performance was feeble - at best.

As for your observations regarding your weight gain - I think you could possibly look 10 years younger if lost two stone.

jaybs said...

Alan Duncan was perhaps stupid to say what he did, he must have known if it go out what would be made of it, just funny how it took over month for the media and Mandelson to pick up on it (August and anything from Mandelson to detract from nu labour)

No wonder today Mandelson says he never wishes to be PM, would you? if you are on a gravy train like us, so much power and never had to answer to either Parliament or the electorate. This all comes from a man who had to stand down from office how many times? and has his nose in the trough in that many camps his pat off the the EEC, his pension, his expenses, he is a Joke! and he dares to attack Osborne as a cross dresser!

Cynic said...

Sorry Iain but what exactly is Alan Duncan FOR?

Speaking as an interested political observer it seems to be that I only hear of him with its ABOUT him. FRom his busisnes scareer he clearly has accumen and knowledge but is it properly applied?

Iain Stewart said...

This man is an absolute disgrace. RESIGN!!!

Unsworth said...

@ Canvas

"There is no point in shooting the messenger."

And then:

"Your performance was feeble - at best.

As for your observations regarding your weight gain - I think you could possibly look 10 years younger if lost two stone."

Slight contradiction here possibly?

canvas said...

@ unsworth, I think Iain shot himself in the foot with his weight gain comment :))))

Mr Smith said...

Paul Halsall said...
If Duncan goes, so do a lot of gay votes fore the Tories."
Paul how pathetic. That's all you care about is because he is gay.
What on earth are you talking about loosing a lot of gay votes.
You treat the gay community as some juvenile club. Give them respect they deserve. They will know that he has done wrong and should resign.
The only gay person who doesn't think that is Iain Dale and its because he is trying to defend the indefensible once again.

Mr Smith said...

Paul Halsall do you think you can speak for the gay community and say that the Conservative party will loose a lot of votes because of the hypothetical departure of AD.
Paul Halsall do you see yourself as a member of the gay community and that's why you think you can speak for gay voters?

YMCA Tory boy said...

Iain as Borat would say "you are a fat... you are fat"
So who cares if you put on two stone. I don't... I couldn't give a shit you still look sexy to me.

Quietzapple said...

One of your "Anons" said:

"this is what worries me about the tories,they are intrinsically good people against labour who have absolutely no morals what so ever."

Amusing that "Watergate" is being brought into the party political equation as thought it was Labour or HMG which had:

Employed an Editor who had to resign because people he paid were hacking other peoples' mobile phones, including the Deputy Prime Minister Prescott;

Advised a wanna be candidate to join the Home Office to leak to the Tory Front Bench;

Fenced stolen material from the Fees office around Fleet St and sold it to the telegraph for a suspected hundreds of thousands of pounds;

Stolen emails from a Civil Servant re a proposed campaign, most of which was moonshine;

Published the libelous aspects of that proposaed campaign and been sued for libel and had to apologise to Mrs Osborne.

Nope, it was the Tories and their supporters wot dunnit. As usual.

Duncan's cack handed humour is tosh, and Chameleon's apologies are hypocritical cant.

If the media was remotely neutral the Met and other relevant authorities would have prosecuted a fair few of the real miscreants I am sure.

If none of those whose expenses were seriously fraudulent are prosecuted either, it is time those there who may anticipate changes of government and so backpedal at every opportunity were sacked.

Conspiracy said...

I tell you who cares about sexual identity politics - Iain does.
The only reason which motivates Iain in his defence of Alan Duncan is the fact he is (get ready for it) GAY!!!!
He is gay and Iain is gay and they both have something in common.
A question that you will automatically think is why should it matter. Ideally it shouldn't but to Iain it does a hell of a lot because there is something more fundamental going on.
This is where it becomes interesting. If you remove Alan Duncan there will no longer be a gay shadow cabinet member for the Tories.
Iain couldn't possibly comprehend that that's why he is defending the indefensible. The Conservatives will also appear out of touch and not representative of the population. (which we all know they aren't).
So there you have it!

Iain Dale said...

I considered deleting that last comment. What a travesty. I couldnt care less whether Alan Duncan is straight or gay. I criticised him for his expenses and I have criticised him for what he said to Hayden Prowse. The fact is I couldn't care less how many gay people there are in the shadow cabinet. People should be there on merit regardless of their minority status.

That;s why Paul Halsall';s comment on another thread about gay voters deserting the Tories if Alan Duncan is sacked is so preposterous and insulting. Gay people do bot vote en bloc. They have brains. If Alan Duncan is sacked, it wont be because he is gay. It will be because he has shot hos mouth off once too often.

Mr Smith said...

Do you think Alan Duncan should be sacked from the shadow cabinet?

Paul Halsall said...


It was in this thread, not another.

I did not say "gay people" en masse, I said "a lot of gay votes", which is rather different.

And I don't think it was preposterous. Duncan is cited repeatedly (along with you) as an example of how the Tories have changed. PINK NEWS covers his every move.

Don't pretend otherwise.

He is an aspirational figure for gay estate agents everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Iain Dale said
"People should be there on merit regardless of their minority status."
So gay people are now a minority status?

Dieter said...

Paul Halsall said...
"If Duncan goes, so do a lot of gay votes fore the Tories."
Paul Halsall there is just one word for you and that is Pratt.
You should know better than to type that s***.
You were not doing very well in the thinking department were you during that post!

Gay Voter said...

Paul Halsall are you homophobic by any chance because you seem to have a preoccupation with homosexuality as of late.

optimus prime said...

The s*** that comes out of your mouth amazes me. "He is an aspirational figure for gay estate agents everywhere."
What the hell is that suppose to mean?

Paul Halsall said...

@Gay Voter

I am always concerned wrt gay issues.

Cameron seems to have ditched green issues; how many other leading Tories other than Duncan are gay; and the EU Parliament Tories have joined with anti-gay religious nuts.

Quietzapple said...

OMG the gay bashers are out. Just my opinion off course.

A political party may not need a gay male, or women, or men, or black or whatever MPs, or Cabinet members but, given the prevalences of people in those categories it become suspicious should any party have no black, or gay, or female, or male MPs or cabinet members.

Why are they so unrepresentative?

In like manner a party whose MPs and Shadow Cabinet are drawn so disproportionately from those who have been to public schools, and Eton College particularly looks foolishly prejudiced.

That's why Chameleon cut back on his Old Etonians, cannot sack Alan Duncan, and has adopted gender balanced short lists:


Quietzapple said...

Alan Duncan may be a role model for Gay Estate Agents perhaps?

A survey beckons?

Anonymous said...

Gay voter- I can't see how Halsall is homopohbic given that his banner on his website states "Perspectives from an English Historian who just happens to be Gay, Catholic, and a Democratic Socialist."

Lord Lavendon said...

Mr Halsall

Gay estate agent ?

Alan Duncan was an oil trader before entering politics .

Phil Fowler said...

The problem f0r me Iain, is that you didn't condemn what Duncan said. You used language like "I'm not going to defend what he said" and "No one can defend that", but you personally didn't condemn his actions, and as the saying goes "What you don't condemn, you condone." So when you attacked Prowse and not Duncan, it made you appear partisan and a Tory stooge. Prowse isn't elected and funded by tax-payers, Duncan is. That is the issue here, and trying to sideline it into a discussion about methods of journalism made it look like you had no grip on the discussion and so resorted to rubbishing your opponent.
I wonder if you were caught off guard by Prowse's approach to the discussion? He didn't appear that he wanted to "win an argument", whereas you did, as you admit with the comment that "I did go into the studio intending to take Prowse to task for what he did" which gave you the appearance of a bully.

neil craig said...

It has been pointed out by detractors that Alan Duncan is rich. One conclusion not drawn from that is that he has no reason to be seriously concerned about MP's payment personally because he is in Parliament for reasons other than pay.

That makes his remarks about the danger that no high earner will want to be in Parliament all the more serious. It may be that monkeys only deserve to be paid peanuts but equally if that is what we pay that is what we get.

chris m said...

If Duncan gets the axe it could cost the Tories the gay vote, the spiv vote and the prat vote.

Those people who employed a dubious method to obtain their neighbour's house through the Right to Buy legislation might also be alienated.

james said...

Iain, you fail to quote the most important thing Alan had to say: "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."

That is the real tragedy of the expenses scandal. It's not just a question of money - the salary is decent and it shouldn't put people off. No - the real problem is that no one will want to enter parliament, having seen the extraordinary cynicism of a public that wants to read about their household bills in newspapers and show absolutely no respect at all.

No one, like Alan says, who is a normal, successful person, capable of great things in the private sector (or, perhaps, public service) is going to volunteer for a position that offers little compensation, pecuniary or otherwise.

Putting a huge effort into getting elected actually leaves you less respected by the public and media than you were before you started.

Neil A said...

What I don't understand is why so much opprobrium is directed at the pay of politicians when this country has huge numbers of public servants (literally thousands) who are on much higher salaries than our politicians could ever dream of. And most of those office holders have the luxury of complete privacy because most of us don't know the first thing about them. Every council, health authority, constabulary and department of state has employees on more than twice Alan Duncan's salary.