Friday, August 21, 2009

Iain Interviews Ann Widdecombe for Total Politics


In the new issue of Total Politics, out today, I interview Ann Widdecombe. The interview has made a few waves in the papers this morning, with the Telegraph concentrating on her view on candidate selection and climate change and the Mail relishing the possibility of her appearing on Strictly Come Dancing. In the interview...

  • Reveals she is going to write a detective novel and has started writing her memoirs
  • Says: “If I am offered it [a Peerage] I shall take it.” But says she does not want to be a Minister in a future Conservative government.
  • Says: “I came into this place as a Member of Parliament, I leave it as an employee of the House of Commons… I think we’re going to have a third rate parliament.”
  • Accuses the government of pushing through parliamentary reforms “which are the equivalent of the Dangerous Dogs Act”.
  • Says that “there has been an attitude in the Conservative Party for some time that grey hair isn’t worth anything.”
  • Says that MPs who lost in 1997 have been “treated with contempt by the Party”.
  • When asked if one should kiss on a first date she replies: “It depends what sort of kiss one is talking about. I don’t wish to go into that any further!”
  • Says Conservative Central Office told her association that they were not selecting her successor on merit. “One of my association asked the Central Office Agent: “Are you telling us we may not select on merit?” and with admirable honesty the Central Office agent said ‘yes’.”
  • Warns the party not to “blindly” sign up to the climate change agenda. “There is a deep unease that we are rushing into a theology. Those who asked questions are ‘deniers’. We are rushing into a theology imposed by the equivalent of what has become the mediaeval church and no one’s allowed to question it. And even by questioning it you’re doing the world a massive disservice and bringing it under perdition. A lot of us are very unhappy.
  • Reveals she may accept an offer to go on Strictly Come Dancing next year.
  • Says she would like to present Have I Got News For You again, having previously said she wouldn’t.
  • Accuses fellow women MPs of looking for sexism in politics but denies she has experienced it much.
You can read the full interview HERE.

31 comments:

Stu said...

Totally agree with her about climate change. The hysteria whipped up by Nu Liebour and the BBC leaves no room for contrary arguement that climate change may be cyclic.
It may be difficult to argue that we are not helping but the arguement that we are the cause really does need closer scrutiny particularly when its used by a goverment to inpose yet more stealth taxes.

Ally said...

She comes across as extremely arogant. My successor? Isn't there an election. Also talks as if the conservative party have won the next election. As for offering herself as a part-time peer, thanks but no thanks.

Anonymous said...

So the Tory candidate for Maidstone was selected on merit - you heard it here first. In how many other constituencies will the Tories be palming us off with 2nd rate candidates Mr Cameron?

Jonathan Purle said...

I am a member of the Maidstone Association.

I think you might be stirring it slightly over her successor. :-)

I get regular email bulletins from Helen Grant. She's already campaigning hard and I believe our Agent has had to tell her to calm down and save some energy for the campaign proper.

If you want to talk about merit: she grew up on a Council Estate to a single mother, but before the days of Labour's "equalities" agenda, got herself through University and now runs her own successful law firm.

Whilst there is certainly an advantage to the party having more female and/or black MPs, ultimately this lady won the Maidstone nomination because the members believe she'll make an excellent constituency MP.

As Ann Widdecombe says, she would have got this seat without the PC-based meddling of CCO. Be under no doubt about that.

None of the above said...

those pesky climate scientists

what do they know eh?

my mate down the pub says they're making it all up, in cahoots with the government and stuff, like.

FFS.

www.realclimate.org

Anonymous said...

This is a bit incestuous isn't it, Iain ? Or are you scraping the bottom of the barrel of desperation for people willing to 'volunteer' to be interviewed after the 'Curse of Dale' afflicted Hunky Dunky ??

cassandra said...

I think this denialist who is plainly in the pay of big oil should be sent on a CP training weekend/re education camp to alter her denialist misconceptions fed to her by her big oil paymasters.

Isnt she aware that the thousands of foreign built windmills will produce millions of tonnes of pure clean energy without producing any of the dangerous and deadly toxin called CO2 with which big oil wishes to poison us with and millions of green jobs and we will all live happily ever after with a windmill in sight which BTW is completely harmless to human and animal health and anyone who denies this is obviously in the pay of big oil.
Did I mention big oil? they are very naughty people indeed, we dont need their stinking oil anyway, windmills will save us.

Unless of course Anne is already in the pay of big oil and is spreading their mis information via the interblog.

Ill get my coat!

Dimoto said...

"Theology of a medieval church" eh? Well, she should know as (like Blair) a late convent to the most medieval religion outside Islam !

Time to throw a little mud at this "icon" : as my MP, she was always spectacularly evasive about her position on the Iraq war (no doubt she now cleaves to the safe, post-event, Conservative party line).
Like George Galloway and Vince Cable, she is a popular figure, carefully building her image, and usually economical with the truth.

TheBigYin said...

Oh gawd, can't stand the woman whenever she opens her mouth, her voice grates on me, which is a pity really as I try to listen to what everyone has to say, even though I don't agree with their politics.

Glyn H said...

Pure gold, Widders. Right on every count, such honesty and integrity lost to Parliament. Would have made a 1st class Speaker too, instead of that preening pip-squeak.

True Belle said...

A voice coach for Ann would have made her more bearable to listen to.

She is quite right regarding her views on candidate selection. There have been many u-turns . The Tory executive at local level usually went for the same handsome military/public school type of candidate with a huge country estate, in order to hold fund raising functions when he got elected!

The trend now is for fresh faced sporty girls with clipped forties style voices to provide local colour by way of the Boden look, this type of 'gal' appeals to the country estate ex public school retired military types who will be giving up their parliamentary seats at the next election !

Can any of us remember what is meant by quality? Do we have to hark back forty years or so.

Perhaps a local treasurer of the WI or working mans club may suffice?

Quietzapple said...

The claims that any Climate Change is not significantly a product of human actions are truly enhanced off course by s'tory liebels & abuses . . .

Fausty said...

Ann Widdecome is a thoroughly decent, logical, plain-spaking, principled person and I shall mourn her going.

Good interview, Iain.

Demetrius said...

The Conservative Party in Parliament already has quite a large number of second class citizens. However, that does put it ahead of the Lib Dems, and way way out in front of Labour.

Quietzapple said...

Ax a teenager I knew someone slightly who has now been a tory MP for some time. If you enter his name into WIKI you get the entry for "Vodyanoy" and stuff about an author soo . . .

http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/local/stainesnews/4278890.Spelthorne_MP_under_fire_for___160k_expenses_claim/

He was single minded, and may have worked very hard.

He isn't remotely as suggested the old style MPs were.

Neither, really, was a predecessor at Spelthorne, Sir Beresfprd Craddock. He was pretty dour, must have served in WW2, and was worried about inflation in 1964.

You probably need to look back to 1945 to find a significant number of candidates, let alone MPs, who were all that dashing.

Mirtha Tidville said...

I do admire Anne Widdecombe, might not always agree with her but she speaks her mind in a straight and forthright way and beleives in what she says.....are you listening `Dave`????......She will be missed in parliament. Oh yes and her views on so called climate change are absolutely spot on....the oiks have been looking for a cause ever since the Berlin Wall came down......

Bill Quango MP said...

She has been doing Ken Livingstone's slot on LBC all week. She has the perfect face for radio and the perfect voice for the printed word.

Quietzapple said...

Btw might not the window "grills" you suggest your golfing prowess causes neighbouring householders to erect be "grilles" . . ?

Or do Kings Hill residents enjoy unexpectedly strong solar heating on a regular basis?

Man with a thermometer said...

Climate change and global warming -it is the final refuge in the nit-wits' paradise that is the left.

Animal Magic said...

Iain

Followed your link to the Total Politics interview. Couldn't find any reference to the climate change quote. Has it been removed.

Iain Dale said...

Animal Magic, you clearly haven't been eating your carrots!

Half way down the second column, after the bit where I say GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE.

Senior said...

Ann Widdecombe is right about candidate selection. People should be selected on merit. If the best candidate is a woman, she should be selected. A man who is the best candidate shouldn't be rejected for being a man. She's also right on climate change. In democracies, people are free to challenge views and theories they disagree with. People shouldn't feel afraid to speak out on climate change.

Fausty said...

Quietzapple, can you not find it within yourself to celebrate and congratulate anybody to the right of your politics who does a good job?

If you can, can you point me to such an example of your scribblings?

Dick Puddlecote said...

Widdecombe: Those who asked questions are ‘deniers’.

None of the above: First page of his science blog talks of "The denialosphere".

Very stute and observant from Widdecombe.

Quietzapple said...

As it happens I have found good things to say about Anne Widdecombe in the past, and may again.

I have also defended Eric Pickles, Nadine Dorries and others to the right of good sense on occasion.

As a councillor I got on pretty well with quite a few conservatives too.

But few posters declaiming their right wing credentials can hold either their water or maintain good digestion I have found.

nell said...

I thoroughly enjoyed her interview with you. Thankyou.

I agree entirely with her comments on climate change.

Interesting lady and a loss to parliament as we are entering a new era.

Wisdom versus youth.

Russell said...

If Anne Widdecombe could only manage to stop talking about herself for a few days, "man-made global warming" would reverse itself, spontaneously.

Anonymous said...

So "Quietzapple" backs Anne Widdecombe, Eric Pickles and Nadine Dorres?

Quietapple - your first name isn't "Jonah" by any chance is it?

The Grim Reaper said...

Why can we not have more politicians like Ann Widdecombe, people who speak their mind and won't be told what to say or think by anyone else?

Quietzapple said...

Ann Widdecombe, among other things, supported the 42 days detention bill; Eric Pickles seemed to me justified in having a second home in Brentford while residing primarily in Brentwood in Essex where his constituency is; and Nadine Dorries' blog should not have been pulled by the tax exile billionaire Barclay bros Daily Telegraph in their full Dully Tele mode.

cheshireboy said...

Yes, MPs [like Ms Widdecombe] who "speak their minds" have their place.

So do MPs who speak some sense ....