Thursday, March 08, 2007

Cameron was Right to Sack Patrick Mercer

I spent six months working with Patrick Mercer in the Home Affairs team in the second half of 2005. He was a dedicated team player who worked extremely hard and was effective on the media. His work as Shadow Homeland Security Minister was diligent and effective.

He would be the first to admit that his remarks today were naive, insulting and unwise. I say this with a heavy heart because I do not believe Patrick to be racist, but if I had been in David Cameron's position I would have fired him too.

Danny Finkelstein has written HERE about a similar situation between John Townend and William Hague. Cameron didn't make the same mistakes as Hague. He acted swiftly, decisively, and maybe cruelly. But it was the right thing to do. If Cameron has dithered there would have been immense pressure over the next few days and we all know what the inevitable outcome would have been.

It's got nothing to do with political correctness. It's got everything to do with protecting the hard work that so many in the Party have done in recent years building up relationships with the ethnic communities. This work must not be undermined.
So I feel sorry for Patrick Mercer, but my sorrow is tempered by political realities.
NOTE: Would commenters please use temperate language. There have been far too many 'F's on this blog today!
UPDATE: For more on Patrick Mercer read Dizzy & ConservativeHome


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, Iain, but Dave behaved in a cowardly manner. Labour is never going to vote for the Tories. But he will have lost many Tory voters by this intemperate, ill-judgedmove.

Anonymous said...

I'm an ex Labour voter who was considering voting Tory but, like increasing numbers of people round here, I'll probably opt for the BNP.

Anonymous said...


This is why nobody is gooing to vote Tory in teh numbers they should. i dont care what some mug white tool says about teh 'racist' comments. I want to know that if theyve caused offence to a black person why they have done so and then fair enough take action.

I dont want to be the white hypocrite who supports sacking a bloke who was naive, careless but had no 'intent' to offend.The black guy who served for mercer and was on teh radio defending him still felt he had to mention the fact he was promoted under mercers command to justify himself.

How do you expect to beat a party that lies every day about everything if you are hamstrung by imaginary rules. If Peter Hain can admit to sending troops to die just to keep his job, if gordon brown can suggest forcing single mums back to work or lose their benefits, if blair can allow torture flights and get away with it the Tory Party look fukin stupid right now.

why not say you are having a secret inquiry into it...... maybe then just maybe Reid wwouldnt be made head of national security..... the tory party is appealling to none but itself at the momentthats why the lead is so poor.

you are after all competing against a war criminal and compulsive liar currently suffering delusions who heads a party 20m in debt, where hazel blears is considered a candidate for the DPM to replace 3.2m a year prescott and with senior officials about to face criminal charges.......oh yeah 10 pts lead is a great result.

Anonymous said...

well done mr might just get my vote now!

Anonymous said...

Correct analysis Iain. If the racist, sexist "women MPs are shrill harridans" professedly ukip Verity disagrees you know you are on the right track. Of course he had to go. David Cameron acted swiftly and with courage and will be respected for it. By lancing the proverbial boil this story will be dead in a day or so.

Anonymous said...

No, Iain, I think you are right.

By acting decisively the pain caused by rowing against the tide is avoided and Patrick Mercer will be seen as having acted honourably and will be able to earn his way back. Whereas if he and DC had vacillated over the decision it would be infinitely more painful and possibly far harder to be reprieved over any future scenario similar to this one.

Although I would agree with verity that this doesn't help with the perception that we all have to walk on eggshells and that we are all just one ill-considered [truthful] remark away from a disastrous career terminating mistake.

But the fact that he has apologised and resigned will ultimately mean he has more respect than some New Labour politicians who wouldn't know what 'honour' meant if they looked it up in the dictionary.

Anonymous said...

David Cameron has blown this situation out of all proportion. We should be proud to have an experienced military commander at the top of the party, I'd rather see his type than these advertising boys any day. If Mr Mercer says there is a real problem with coloured soldiers in the Army, then Cameron should listen to him and bring the government to account. We are at war, and the reality of life in the services is more important than a few hurt feelings in the Labour Party.

Anonymous said...

Patrick Mercer is the true face of the tory party. You need look no further than the support he has received from the comments posted on the Telegraph site.

The portrayal of the tory party as progressive and forward thinking has, again, been exposed for what it is - SPIN!

Anonymous said...

What happened to freedom of speech?

Anonymous said...

Whilst not disagreeing with your comments about the involvment of communities, the Army is a rough tough environment, lots of language is used, much of it not meant, most of it often used in the heat of the moment. Yes, in my experience, there are some (relatively few) racists, but ultimately the quality of the individual shows through often in scary circumstances.

I do not know if Mr Cameron even got near to the OTC in his privileged upbringing, but I fear that we have yet another serious politician who has not a clue about life in the Armed Forces.

The reality is that you all regard it as an enormous train set, great fun, whizzy kit, bit expensive, but good to show off to your friends. Actually, the people in it bite, spit, kick and say horrible things to each other. Poor Mr Mercer forgot that you musnt talk about that part.

Not good for morale Mr Cameron. The first lesson is usually stand by your men.

Anonymous said...

Iain, you say:

"It's got everything to do with protecting the hard work that so many in the Party have done in recent years building up relationships with the ethnic communities. This work must not be undermined."

So even if it means adhering to the oppressive thought-control dictates of PC, the Conservatives must do so, just to get into office? After all, is not the point of 'building up relationships' with the ethnic communities so that the Conservatives may in turn get some votes from them?

Is that really an honest and brave reaction from Dave? From many blogs I have visited, there is a lot of support for Patrick Mercer. The British public are not stupid. They know a racist when they see one, and Patrick Mercer is no such thing, not even close.

I agree with you that given political realities, he may have found it hard to stay in the job. However, Cameron, if he were a brave and principled politician, should have spoken up for freedom and commonsense, instead of rushing to pay homage at the altar of PC. Cameron's reaction, ie his speech about racism etc was most cowardly. Patrick Mercer was neither being racist, nor was he condoning racism, and any fool can see that. In the rush to appear 'acceptable' in the eyes of the PC lobby, Cameron discredits himself day by day.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone considered the possibility that what Mercer said was correct or are we just too eager to shoot the messenger?

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

Going after men like Patrick Mercer for this sort of thing means that we will end up with Politicians who have no views, or experience of anything other than Politics, the meedia and public relations.

Vacuous actors ending up as PM. Toothless journos ending up as Chancellor. Know-nothing naredowells telling everybody else how to live their lives.

Most of the comments about "same old Tories" are from left wingers living in areas of economic apartheid, pretending to themselves that they are superior to everyone else because they are so nice and pc, vote labour and "have many friends that are black".

Anonymous said...

Is lynching still official Tory policy?

Anonymous said...

yet another free speaker is hung out to dry by Nu-Con.

Sabretache said...

The only 'ethnic community' (what a Ghastly meaningless piece of PC verbiage that is) that it is not only A OK to vilify - but positively encouraged by government these days is our own indigenous rural one. I recall a few years ago at the Waterloo Cup; the police escorted about 50 'protesters' into the ground and surrounded them for protection whilst they chanted 'Hunt scum', 'Pedophile b*stards' and worse - in front of hundreds of women and children- very loud, and rhythmically for over 10 minutes. Not a caution, not an arrest; just more police protection as they were escorted out again.

The trouble with ALL our politicians is that they will not call a spade a spade for fear of upsetting somebody who must be shown 'REESPEC now init?' - unless that somebody happens to be native, white, subscriber to old traditional values that is - in which case they are fair game.

God how I hate what this country has become

trinitylaw said...

Can we consider what Mr Mercer said in the Times which caused him to be sacked by Mr Cameron? The following:

(1) "I had the good fortune to command a battalion that was racially very mixed. Towards the end, I had five company sergeant majors who were all black. They were without exception UK-born, Nottingham-born men who were English - as English as you and me. They prospered inside my regiment, but if you'd said to them: 'Have you ever been called a nigger,' they would have said: 'Yes.' But equally, a chap with red hair, for example, would also get a hard time - a far harder time than a black man, in fact.But that's the way it is in the Army. If someone is slow on the assault course, you'd get people shouting: 'Come on you fat bastard, come on you ginger bastard, come on you black bastard.'"

So Mr Mercer was simply pointing out that when trying to encourage troops to excel, a Sergeant Major or other NCO might use abusive language(of whatver kind) to motivate them. I don't doubt that's absolutely true, And furthermore I don't doubt that the use of such language (whether it's racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-ginger, anti-fat or whatever) is entirely appropriate within the context of preparing men and women for combat. Abusive language is used to make soldiers angry, and hopefully to use that anger to motivate them to do better. Basic psychology. If a Shadow spokesman pointing out what goes on in army training is in itself a sackable offence, then God help the Conservative party.

(2) "I came across a lot of ethnic minority soldiers who were idle and useless, but who used racism as cover for their misdemeanours.I remember one guy from St Anne's (Nottingham) who was constantly absent and who had a lot of girlfriends. When he came back one day I asked him why, and he would say: 'I was racially abused.' And we'd say: 'No you weren't, you were off with your girlfriends again.'"

Now, again, as far as I can see, Mr Mercer is simply pointing out his experience of how a soldier might try to use an obvious excuse (like racism) to cover up other motives for his absence. I'm sure some soldiers *are* racially abused and this explains their absence; but perhaps, as Mr Mercer was suggesting, others simply latch on to a convenient abuse. Maybe the excuse is racism, maybe its marital problems, maybe it's something else. But unless we know for sure that Mr mercer's observations about the use of such excuses are wholly unfounded, how on earth can we criticise his merely observing what was his experience in the army?

I'm sorry, Iain, but for you to say that this has "nothing to do with political correctness" is wholly disingenuous. It may be true, as you say, that the sacking also has everything to do with "protecting the hard work that so many in the Party have done in recent years", but that's only because politically correct people will fail properly to analyse these remarks and will simply follow the media's knee jerk reaction.

Let's be honest. This has everything to do with protecting the ethnic minority vote BUT ALSO everything to do with political correctness. Nothing Mercer said, from my reading of it, can be criticised as racist. He was merely reporting his experiences in the army. Ill judged maybe, given our media, but racist no.

uk-events said...

I'm sorry too Iain but you and your illustrious leader couldn't be more wrong if you tried.

The reason Mercer was sacked is plain to see - self preservation. Nipping the "scandal" in the bud before Labour made too much of it.

I find it shameful that Cameron didn't stand up for Mercer.

New Tories, New Labour - whats the difference?

Anonymous said...

By the look of this and other blogs, it would appear that Cameron is losing control of the situation and his party.

If he really is serious about racism then he will actively campaign to have Mercer de-selected. Or is it OK for racists to represent tory seats?

Anonymous said...

dave from didsbury has a point none of you polital types seem to appreciate. there IS racial tension in the country, people are fukin upset at having their jobs taken by cheap foreign labour, people do not wamnt to be part of europe etc etc That is not to say that they are any more racist than the next person they are just normal reactions from people to the conditions they face.

It is surely more despicable and cowardly to not tell the truth about things but hide behind a discredited ideal.

the middle class swing voters will never vote labour again, wot cant you see about that. one mention of lebanon and all those people are cringing with embarrassment as they should.

The Labour party is going to turn left, it is just a question of how far, there are many scores to be settled by the unions, rank and file and many others for the shame of blairs 10 years. so it might go further into mcdonnell and crudas territory than we think today. we are then going to be left as the only muppets supporting the illegal war, hamstrung with lovieness promises just as the Labour party, old labour and the genuinely disaffected in society look for a radical idea to rally round.

Cameron cant then retreat from the middle ground without looking stupid.

UkIP, BNP are irrelevent in electoral terms but will pove an achilles heel if policy is dishonest.

Madasafish said...

Some of you Mercer supporters need to experience politics in real life. You talk as if voters have the same perceptions as you do. They don't.

Voters are just getting used to the idea the Conservatives might be family friendly, have a social conscience and care about people.. and actually want racial minorities to vote for them.

What Mercer said can be construed as denying all the above.. As if NuLab would be punctilious in not exploiting it!!:-))

Get real. This is the 21st century..

(Freedom of speech and belonging to a political party are not synonymous. Ever heard of party discipline? If you don't like it , join the BNP)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Cameron was correct to sack the man, not for what he did, but for applied stupidity that bought the party into disrepute with the simplistic majority.

It really was not necessary to tell the truth and let people see how the sausages are actually made.

Anonymous said...

We live in the P.R age and the Labour Party learned and took full advantage of it but are at long last revealed to be liars and spin merchants.

Just a thought to all members of the official opposition 'ENGAGE BRAIN BEFORE OPENING MOUTH'

Be reasoned and reasonable with all views and then watch Labour crumble.Have a quick read of todays Spectator if you/we want hope for the future

Anonymous said...

I agree Iain. I don't don't know him from Adam but I get the feeling, from what I hear, that he is not a racist. He is a bit of an idiot though. An idiot if he thought he could write this without getting such a reaction.

Sadly his comments probably do reflect army life.

Anonymous said...

The transcript gives no indication of racist attitudes, and once the immediate furore has quietened down most reasonable people will agree, though no doubt uber-lefties inside and outside the media will ignore that and leap on it with glee.

Cameron is wrong on this one. He's encouraging those who wish him to fail to set his agenda for him - typical of a weak man with no firm convictions, only fashionable slogans. Sort of a NuBlair, only without the electoral charisma.
He really is a pathetic little man.

Anonymous said...

BTW, what has Sadiqi Kahn ever done for Britain? Does anyone know? Has he served in the military?

Wrinkled Weasel said...

"It's got nothing to do with political correctness. It's got everything to do with protecting the hard work that so many in the Party have done in recent years building up relationships with the ethnic communities"

In other words Iain, you are buying in to the nice new fluffy Cameroonie Tories who won't say boo to a goose.

You can airbrush out oldcon as much as you like but they wont go away.

Not only that, this is a debate about institutional abuse in the armed forces, not institional racsim. By all means ask whether bullying and abuse should be addressed, but this is just a cheap Tory spin machine job, designed to keep the ultra right wingers out of the picture.

You know what you are doing don't you? You are homogenising ideas out of the Conservative Party.

You will become Nulab Mk 2. Its despicable.

Anonymous said...

Judging from the comments on this board, it looks as though Cameron's Nu-Con project is unravelling fast.

Anonymous said...

I hope Mercer isnt comparable to the vile Townsend

Anonymous said...

On balance I think that Iain is right, that Cameron had no choice. Public opinion, directed by single-issue pressure groups via compliant media, has made this so.

The sad thing is that we allow hysteria and disingenuous calls of racism to try to shut down debate. The racism industry has a vested interest. They will not see anyone attack their power, yet who does the BBC immediately and uncritically turn to for a quote as soon as anyone tries to do so? Someone involved with the racism industry.

Interesting that, as proved on the previous thread, even those shouting "racis Tories" are unable to say why this is racist, and by what definition of racism. It's just a political battlecry, used to shut opposition up.

Anonymous said...

Christ, judging by 8:05 (and now it comes to it 7:23) that great left-wing group, Idiots Anonymous have arrived in force. Still haven't a clue about actually making a relevant point though, like the outlandish idea of having something to say with a reasoned argument to back it up

Like many on the left they are nothing but learnt prejudices being paraded as opinion, down to the last soundbite!

Anonymous said...

richard dale

So, do you believe Cameron is a weak leader for giving into the media?

Guthrum said...

For our current politics of groupthink of course what Cameron did was correct. However that will mean that parliament will be chock full of people who will not say what they mean. I see nothing wrong with what he said. I have been insulted for being short, thin, overweight, balding even for being white and abroad for being English,in my fifty years, not onhave I felt the need for legal protection. In training men to be killers it is neccessary to break the individual down and build them back up. All that has happed here is that race/immigration is now a non subject that can be discussed without the thought police being on hand. A sad day. I would rather follow Mercer into the trenches than Cameron acting like a second rate social worker.

David said...

cato et al have it right;

I know of a black guy who was RSM of the Green Jackets way back in the 80s, he didn't deny that sometimes he'd been called racial names but it didn't stop him becoming the senior regimental NCO based on his ability as a soldier. This at a time when we had the situation where soldiers in the Queen's Regiment and others would sit apart in the dining hall in different racial groups.

I knew a black guy who when told he had to wait two years to go into the Motor Transport Troop like the other guys (he was literally out of training) went whinging about racial discrimination to his troop leader. This same guy was allowed to join up whilst a year over the age limit - one wonders if it was anything to do with the Army wanting ethnic minorities joining up?

Again and again we see people screaming racism (witness that arrogant clown in the Met Police today) when in fact they are not good enough for the job they then demand as a right of race or political correctness rather than by merit. I note also how Blair had ethnic minority soldiers FLOWN in from other posts in Iraq when he visited so he could have lots of ethnic faces surrounding him when he flew to Basra last year for example. The vast majority of soldiers I know don't give a damm what colour a bloke is, but woe betide him if he supports a different football team!

Until the Politically Correct socialist/liberal halfwits get their moronic mindsets out of our lives and let people be people and get on (or not) with each other then race, religion, class and even education will continue to push people apart.

Funny how the Commission for Racial Equality keeps awarding the Army prizes for its race policies and treatment of ethnic minorities yet one or two disgruntled soldiers who perhaps wouldn't deserve promotion in civilian life either can command the headlines....(feel free to edit this Iain)

Anonymous said...

Nothing he said was in any way racist but if he had any political nous he should have known that it would be portrayed as such in the media, and he should not have exposed himself to the inevitable. For that alone it was right to sack him.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

I am so bored of how wet the Tories have become.

I served in the army and know exactly what Mercer was saying. He wasn't being racist... just telling it how it is. Being real.

When can we have a debate about racism without people being hysterical, obsessive, and afraid of offending people's sensibilities?

Time to grow up.

Anonymous said...

So if Taleban and Al-Qaeda shout racist epithets or impugn manhood or parentage of British soldiers the whole Army will collapse into a hissy fit and have to be withdrawn, routed

jailhouselawyer said...

I thought it was the "C" you didn't like?

Anonymous said...

Dave acted professionally - unfortunately that is the reality of the currently political environment. It shows Dave can be trusted to make the difficult decisions correctly and quickly.

Anonymous said...

As I've said elsewhere, Mercer was politically naive. He's given the left a field day and it'll be all over the papers tomorrow. "Same old Tories".
Cameron has shown he can be tough and decisive when it comes to keeping part discipline.

Anonymous said...

As I've said elsewhere, Mercer was politically naive. He's given the left a field day and it'll be all over the papers tomorrow. "Same old Tories".
Cameron has shown he can be tough and decisive when it comes to keeping part discipline.

Anonymous said...

the goal keepers fear of the penalty [7.26 PM] You ask: "Has anyone considered the possibility that what Mercer said was correct?"

I am afraid we have long since ceased to ask whether statements of fact are true or false. The only question is, are they permissible? Political correctness, which began as a sick joke, has now permeated the body politic and sits on our shoulders as we type, watching our every word and waiting to pounce.

Anonymous said...

Javelin says: "It shows Dave can be trusted to make the difficult decisions correctly and quickly."

I say it shows that Dave can be trusted to panic and act with ill-considered haste.

Anonymous said...

Ian Mercer wasn't being racist and should not have been sacked. Maybe he would have saved his skin if he said that the culture of name calling on the grouds of race should become a thing of the past. His comments might do some damage to the effort to recruit to the army more black or asian people.

Another thing today, along the same lines (racism) was the story about the beating of the lady by the policeman.

If I, a white male, tried to grab a police man by his nuts I'd expect worse than a dead arm and certainly wouldn't get on TV. Today Sky news went crazy for this story and it just wasn't worth it. She was given a dead arm!

I've seen a few epielptic fits in my life and not once thought it looked like someone resisting arrest.

Anonymous said...

'cato, author of... ' got it spot on.

Anonymous said...

So a thoughtful man with experience of real life is booted off the front bench. What does this tell us about the 'senators' that would be picked for the Upper House in a 100% elected chamber?

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Verity. How very true. Dave has panicked. Dave is a media chimera.

Its a shame. I don't care if he is posh. I don't care if he smoked a spliff. But I do care if he is becoming Tony Blair.

I was rather hoping we were going to go back to integrity politics.

Anonymous said...

Of the 86 comments on the BBC Comment page, not one is supporting Cameron - the vast bulk are saying Mercer was spot on in saying what he said.

I don't think Cameron's rush to judgment will play well with The Great Unwashed. He is just looking too squeaky clean - and too wet...

Anonymous said...

Wrinkled Weasel - Agreed. If Dave cannot handle a very minor matter like this - and it could have been so easily smoothed over with a press conference with Mercer repeating his words while they rolled up on a screen behind him and expressing himself perplexed by the response of the left - then how will he handle an actual emergency?

As I said, Mercer should have been flanked by a couple of squaddies, one of them black. He could have taken questions and then everyone could have had coffee or drinks and mixed around. I guarantee you that a reporter would grab the black squaddie and interview him for the Sunday edition of his/her paper. And the squaddie would have had nothing but good to say about Mercer.

This was such a simple matter to smooth over and turn into a goodwill exercise and Dave couldn't handle it. He panicked. He allowed himself to be driven by the left. The man's weak.

He was a PR man for a TV company, for God's sake! He is not a leader.

Mr Mercer served his country in the armed forces, and now he is serving his country again in Parliament. I think Dave's weak handling of the career of a good man is appalling. He has certainly lost the Conservatives a lot of votes and respect.

Anonymous said...

Yes. and while the capitulatuion to the NuLab cowards was going on another sodier died in Afghanistan. Hope you are happy nuLab liberal rubbish, you hound out a decent politician while his ex-colleagues are dying in your dishonest wars you shallow, yellow liars

The Hitch said...

Patrick Mercer wasn't naive, he was just being honest, something that comes naturally to a soldier and something that is anathema to a politician.
Patrick Mercer is a man , Cameron is a slippery little boy.

Anonymous said...

"If he really is serious about racism then he will actively campaign to have Mercer de-selected. Or is it OK for racists to represent tory seats?"

I suspect the vast majority of people in this country, even if they think his remarks tactless, would not consider them racist. Sorry to dissapoint you but out here in the provinces nobody gives a damn about absurd accusations of racism.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:26

No. I believe that he is a pragmatic leader. Unfortunately that is what required. That is the fault of the media and single-interest pressure groups, and to a lesser degree politicians as a whole and the British public.

Do you have anything to say for yourself?

Anonymous said...

Slightly off-topic, but one does wonder what this action means for Tory MPs on the front-bench with a fairly 'direct' approach to written communications. Boris Johnson is much to sharp to fall into traps like this but one does wonder whether his articles for the Telegraph can keep their punchy, irreverent style if he thinks that 'crossing the line' would mean instant dismissal ?

Little Black Sambo said...

Anonymous Troll 7.23: "Patrick Mercer is the true face of the tory party."
If only!
Another reason not to vote Conservative.

Anonymous said...

What a deeply tiresome story. Race is a serious issue and in this case has been driven the wrong way up the bloody carriageway by a bunch of halfwitted no-marks who can't see the difference between a sweating, ignorant 'phobe and a bloke who wanted to make some straight up remarks about how things are. Back to the beach, all sorts of colours there and no politicising. Shame on the pseudo-shocked.

Anonymous said...

He seems to be being punished for just telling his story of his experiences. You may not like what he said but he wasn't racist.

In this country, if you're white and middle class, you're not allowed to comment on race issues without someone accusing you of being racist. Nowadays, I say nothing and express my complaints on "ethnic minorities" in private.

This House believes Freedom of speech in Britain is dead. Discuss.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to discuss freedom of speech achilles, but we'd be pilloried. No wait a sec, bollox to them all, crack on.

Anonymous said...

lbs - can you take your racially prejudiced handle and racist avatar somewhere else ? Like the BNP site maybe ?

Anonymous said...

Watching the news now I have come to a further conclusion, and it disgusts me utterly. That is that Col Mercer is a victim of the disgraceful, small-minded idiots who assume that right-wing means racist. Many of them are here, like the total idiot who posted at 7:23, clearly not having seen the very clear, unambiguous interview with the former RSM who served under Mercer, showing that he is certainly not racist. Or perhaps I should support Anon 7:23 - Mercer is the face of the Tory party, as he is certainly not a racist.

What we are not dealing with is removing a man because he is racist. What is happening is protection of the Conservative party image from any accusation of racism, because idiots like 7:23 (he is a number, not a real man) assume that Tory means racist because someone once told them it was so and they are unable to form their own thought.

It seems that Patrick Mercer was thought of very highly by his senior NCOs. I can think of no higher accolade that an officer could receive, expecially from an RSM who was so obviosly competent and intelligent himself. It is an utter disgrace that petty-minded, intellectually lazy, self satisfied nonentities like 7:23 and all his ilk should rob us of the contribution tha such a man can make to British political life.

What has 7:23 ever done that he can be proud of? Wandered along to some rain-soaked gathering of fellow travellers? Moaned in a student-union meeting about capitalism?

Anonymous said...

Achilles - "This House believes Freedom of speech in Britain is dead. Discuss." We wouldn't dare.

Little Black Sambo - "If only!" Agreed.

Beachfreak - "pseudo shocked". I like it!

Cameron panicked. Acting in ill-considered haste is not acting decisively.

Anonymous 10:30 p.m. I fear that this means senior Tories will self-censor to the point of never actually saying anything for fear of Dave flying into a panic and sacking them.

So the socialists have won this round.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 7:17. I am not "professedly UKIP". I have said several times that this time I will vote for UKIP or the BNP, whichever one is available in my area. If I don't feel able to vote for the party I've voted for all my life - and my parents voted for - I am going to use my vote to give them a bloody nose. If the Tories change their leader to David Davis, I will vote Tory.

Little Black Sambo said...

Anon 10.33.
Are you the same as 7.23? I hope so, because then there is one fewer of you. You suffer from the NuLab urge to control everything and boss everybody about. Try controlling yourself.

Anonymous said...

NOTE: Would commenters please use temperate language. There have been far too many 'F's on this blog today!

Well Iain, I never thought that I would see the day that you would censor the word "flipping."

Anoneumouse said...

The Bastard Club

blacks....not/are....... welcome.

delete applicable!!!!


David said...

Read what serving and retired soldiers think. Majority supportive of Colonel Mercer. Meanwhile that clown (fake photos of Army weren't my fault and sorry if any soldiers were killed afterwards because of my newspaper's stupidity) Piers Morgan is on Question Time trying to get mileage out of this situation.hgwqif

Anonymous said...

yes that NuLab apologist did well; "give me some examples of when we heve broken trust with you" howls of laughter, audience dissolves.

the nervous girl responds with iraq and cash for peerages....audience wants the other 500 events mentioned) then morgan pipes up with " well its not a bad start"........

on the text subject one bloke in the audience asked for blair number so he could text him and tell him to leave the country

Anonymous said...

David - thanks for this. "Piers Morgan is on Question Time trying to get mileage out of this situation." Because Dave opened the door by flying into a blind panic.

If he'd handled it with a quickly organised press conference for Mercer flanked by a couple of squaddies, one of them black, he would have shut the socialist argument down and they would have backed off. Now, they're hungry. Struth!

When's he going back to his ice floe to accentuate the dangers of global warming? Could we arrange to hack it off and let him drift away? (BYW, his soft, fat southern face looked ridiculous in that parka. Dave is not parka material.)

Laban said...

"It's got nothing to do with political correctness. It's got everything to do with protecting the hard work that so many in the Party have done in recent years building up relationships with the ethnic communities"

Couldn't agree more that the Tories should be building up relationships with the ethnic communities. But these relationships must be based on honesty, openness and allowing people to tell it as they see it. Without that, the 'relationships' are fragile and not worth a great deal. Even from a purely cynical, short term vote getting/keeping the BBC/Guardian onside perspective this is no more than a temporary fix.

I imagine John Taylor will be on the BBC tomorrow ... as he would have been no matter what Cameron's decision.

PS - Townends 'notorious' speech - is there a transcript anywhere of what he actually said ? - because I can't find one. All I know of is a couple of two-word quotes in news reports which outside of context are impossible to assess.

Rachel said...

Patrick is not a racist. He is a decent thoughtful, intelligent and kind man.

He was the Tory politician I actually liked and I have had the pleasure of spending quite a bit of time with him this last 12 months.

That Cameron is a twat for knifing a talented man for a headline. Says a lot.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

I'm sorry Iain this smacks of PC.

Black (if I can say that) mark for Dave

Anonymous said...

Cameron would have shown courage by standing by his front bencher and taking a tiny bit of flak.

The decision he took was the one which carried the least amount of risk to him personally.

Anonymous said...

A good man has been fired. Disgraceful!

A small anecdote if I may be permitted....

When I was on the tube with my Great Aunt Alice, as we boarded the Tube Train, where there were several Black people seated, she exclaimed

"Achilles - it's like being in Africa!"

At first, I thought it was a racist comment but I don't think it is now. Thank God my Aunt isn't a member of the Shadow Cabinet huh?!


Anonymous said...

Those who think sacking Mercer earns Cameron respect among the electorate might like to look at BBC's Have Your Say topic on this issue. Around 95% of respondents are opposed to this sacking.

Anonymous said...

og - Agreed. Cameron took the weak decision. He was frightened. And she showed weakness. The enemy are now feasting - and they didn't even have to make a kill.

Dave should have stood by his shadow minister who had, in fact, not only done nothing wrong but had highlighted black British people in our armed services.

I would seriously like to see Dave resign. He's not up to the job. Such a tiny Tory lead amid the carnage and destruction taking place in the Labour Party!

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:11

A good point, however I don't think this is what Cameron was looking at. It is not how many, but who.

Sadly today there are a bunch of jumped-up twerps who think they are important. They think they are NGOs, but they are actually single-issue pressure groups, and they tend to be staffed by communists (hint for those lefties with no sense of humour: an exageration to make an important point). Unfortunately the BBC, and various other news media also think they are important, and go running to them for advice any time that a news story touches on issues of hteir self-declared expertise.

The Conservatives have to get them onside, or at least to blunt their attacks if they are to win the media campaign for the next election. It sickens me that Mercer went, and I hope that in the same position I would not have done the same, but I really can see why Cameron did it. It just makes me dislike the hateful, spiteful little men of the left even more.

Anonymous said...

Aologies - writing 'she' instead of he in the text of my previous post was a simple typo. Nothing more.

Anonymous said...

Achilles said:
Thank God my Aunt isn't a member of the Shadow Cabinet huh?!

Achilles, I'm so deeply offended by the non-pc nuances of this anti-Auntie remark that I shall have to report you to the relevent government department for stamping out anti-Auntieism. What's more, I'm removing your whip and you shall never be a member of Auntie's shadow cabinet :)

Ok, can I now be Prime Minister?

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

"lbs - can you take your racially prejudiced handle and racist avatar somewhere else ? Like the BNP site maybe ?"

Typical leftie, can't resist the urge to dictate and control. "We will spend your money for you, you must not send your children to that school, you must not hold those opinions, your tongue and cheek humour is evidence of a secret desire to gas 6 million Jews so you may not post here."

Anonymous said...

What I want to know is why Sky News is reporting Patrick Mercer comments as causing 'huge damage' to the Conservatives. On all the blogs and forums I have visited, the majority of the people are supporting Mercer. Do these journalists just make up their mind and stick with that, even in the teeth of contrary evidence?

If anything has caused damage to the Conservatives, it is David Cameron's lily-livered capitulation to the tyranny of PC.

Anonymous said...

Richard Dale - David Cameron didn't resist the spiteful little men of the left by defending his shadow minister, who had done absolutely nothing wrong!

Dave surrendered his case because Dave was frit.

This is the man you want as PM "standing up to Europe"? "Standing up to the United States"? He can't stand up to The Guardian.

I think he should take the first ice floe out of town.

Anonymous said...

*in cheek

Anonymous said...

Yer, Dave, you've fucked up on this one.

Iain, please write an article in support of Patrick. I find all racist comments abhorrent. BUT where someone is accused of racism and it is unjustified, I find this MORE abhorrent. I feel so angry about this.

If I were to report homophobic comments, does that mean I am homophobic also? NO!

The simplicity of the arguments expressed in the media on this circus really do make me despair. In a country of Oxford and Cambridge, can we not have a higher level of debate?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Bel.

It's a train wreck.

And it happened because the driver panicked. He should go.

Anonymous said...

Mr Mercer is an honourable man who has twice served his country: once in the military and once in Parliament.

Dave's work experience, in contrast to Mr Mercer's, is as a PR man for a TV company.

I know with which man I would trust my life and the future of my country.

Anonymous said...


It is all very well standing up to people once in power. Unfortunately there has been a tendency in the last few years for a bunch of interfering interest groups to get closer and closer to the strings of power, especially those controlling the media.

Cameron acted to stifle their response to the issue. Unfortunately this has become reality in this country, as you will know if you watched Channel 4 tonight (about another special-interest grop, the climate change enthusiasts).

However Have Your Say on the BBC is very warming. On the first page there are only two comments not supportive of Mercer. They are also, by pure coincidence, the only two comments with zero recommendations from readers.

It seems that the people of Britain are sane. They just have to take the trouble to take back the power from those claiming to act on teir behalf.

Anonymous said...

"This is the man you want as PM "standing up to Europe"? "Standing up to the United States"? He can't stand up to The Guardian."

Exactly. Well said, Verity.

Anonymous said...

Up until today, my vote for David Cameron was guaranteed. I'm now wavering. I will need more convincing now.

Anonymous said...


I love you to bits. No, really, I do. But why, oh why, won’t you defend Mercer’s right to a fair hearing? I’m sick an effing’ tired of having to put up with dour, monotonous, herbivorous and unpatriotic Tristrams on the Tory front bench who have nothing constructive to say about ordinary people and their apolitical experiences. At least Mercer has the “bolls” to speak truth to power.

Hitchens is right. None of the Above.

jailhouselawyer said...

The Hitch: I didn't think I would find myself agreeing with you, on this one I do.

flipping heck: "NOTE: Would commenters please use temperate language. There have been far too many 'F's on this blog today!

Well Iain, I never thought that I would see the day that you would censor the word "flipping."

It remind me of the ffffffffffalling brick joke.

Rachel: Funny you should call him that, there's a picture at my place entitled Dave making a "C" of himself. As Iain does not allow the word here, for Dave I made an exception!

jeremy jacobs: Sailing close to the wind aren't we? LOL.

Anonymous said...

Leroy Hutchinson, a black former corporal who served with Mr Mercer for 12 years, said: "He never tolerated racism in the battalion and not a single one of his men would consider him to be racist."

Mr Hutchinson told the BBC: "In the forces... name-calling - whether you be black, white, ginger, red, brown - it is part of the establishment."

He added: "It's not meant and it doesn't come across from an individual as a racist comment. It's just part of the culture.

"When you wear that uniform, it is what goes on and it's been happening for a long, long time."

Anonymous said...

I personally don't think that much of David Cameron, but he is the leader of a political party and has to operate in the environment in which he finds himself.

I also suspect that Mercer's comments were truthful but without the evil intent others are now trying to imply. Sadly they conflict with the prevailing sentiments and were thus stupid.

Far from being an indictment of either this issue should perhaps serve as a condemnation of modern society. We have become so sensitised to the plethora of -isms, often hyped or imagined, that it actually hampers honest conversation, particularly bewteen people who are "different".

In part I suspect that this is a major factor in the fragmentation of society, the growing tensions and the increasing appeal among some people for such odious organisations as the BNP.

Anonymous said...

Patrick was just saying as it is. Yes, it was politically naive but Cameron panicked and that doesn't look good at all. Patrick has put a huge amount of dedication and energy into his brief as Shadow Minister for Homelands Security and he didn't deserve this knee jerk reaction. I have refrained from posting because I know him well and I wanted to hear all the facts before reacting emotionally. My first reaction was anger at him for being so naive and jeopordising his career. I don't know enough about the army to know what goes on there but seeing the interviews and hearing what others had to say about the army convinced me that his only crime was not realising that his words would be twisted. Hardly a hanging offence although decidedly ill-advised. I can understand why Cameron made the decision but I think it was a decision arrived at out of sheer panic. Taking five minutes to make a decision that would ruin a man's career? I am sorry but it smacks of Michael Howard's decision about Howard Flight and you know, that didn't win the Tory one single vote. I would encourage all those who support Patrick to write to him - I know he would really appreciate it.

Johnny Norfolk said...

It just proves how wet the Tory leadership has become. This man has been sacked for telling the truth as he has seen it. As soon as the heat is on Cameron sacks him. Than we are treated in Question Time to the Tory representative letting Margaret Hodge walk all over him. The party looks flimsy, weak and wet.
Can you not see it Iain ?

Jose for PM said...

Putting aside for a minute the right or wrong about this, am i the only one to think that the BBC (as ever) are giving this an unwarrented amount of airspace.

"BBC 5 Left" just led (another) piece with the line "cracks are emerging in the Conservative Party this morning over the sacking..."

Another example of the pervasive bias..

Scary Biscuits said...

The real racists are people like Cameron and Blair, who think certain groups should be given special favours depending on the shape of their genitals, skin colour or 'lifestyle'.

I also dispute that this sort of thing 'builds up relations' with 'ethnic communities' as Iain puts it. All it does is appease the headbangers in the Muslim/Black/feminist grievance monger lobby groups, whilst alienating ordinary people from each other.

Cameron is a racist and a sexist and he puts newspeak ahead of honest free speech. Next he'll be wondering why his poll figures aren't higher.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that the language has improved.
Slackers were always c*nts in my day, never b*st*rds.
I was a 4 eyed c*nt because my CSM really loved me.

Anonymous said...

Gay Cameron, the drug taking Eton hooligan, has not got my vote now just a white feather.The symbol of a big girls blouse and a coward.
Sorry if FEATHER is the F word

Anonymous said...

I am very worried by this episode. Two weeks running we have looked stupid on QT when it should be like shooting fish in a barrel.

This episode wont affect the floating vote at all, nobody will change their mind and vote NuLab on the back of this. It will however savage the turnout of returning Tory's. We need something for the party to get behind.

The fundemental right to free speech is a massive winner in my opinion, people are sick of having to tip-toe round a myriad of subjects for fear of tripping up. The trouble is when teh otehr side just change the rules at will we are bound to look daft.

I think we need to have a serious offensive and show the true scale iof this governments failure. We absolutely need to have some cast iron details to hammer Brown with at his shit-or-bust budget. If he does a bad job he will have kissed goodbye to the leadership. The unions have backed Cruddas, a good decision, because he is REAL. He might be too left wing for most but they will forgive him that if ge continues to talk straight.

I Have been saying for ages that the public want a REAL person to lead them in a different direction. I cannot see that backbone anywhere in Camerons plan

if we cannot stand up for free speech, civil liberties and honesty then why are we standing?

Roger Thornhill said...

Frankly the "outrage" shows both how weak the skills of critical reasoning and comprehension have become and that if in doubt, press the PC button.

Having said that, given the realities, Cameron had near zero time to react or repair. Maybe he will be better off to now set out a clear policy of a "cooling off" period where the accused is first suspended then the facts collected and reasonable decisions made. At least this will distance him from TB's policy of knee-jerk closing of ranks and utter denial of any wrongdoing.

Edward said...

This has got absolutely nothing to do with free speech: Patrick Mercer is free to repeat his comments from the backbenches. Unfortunately, serving on the front bench means you can't say things which harm the party - whether they're right in a rareified atmosphere or not.

It does have to do with political correctness; we are never going to defeat it by being offensive though. We have to pick the right battles on the right ground and at the right time upon which to fight it. This is none of them.

Anonymous said...

I think Mercer is probably correct, but he cuts to the quick of the "Racism Industry" as someone puts it. Essentially it is saying that while there are occational racists, there are also people who use accusations of 'racism' as a weapon to get what they want.
So really, Dave should have supported him to the hilt, broken the newly-built Tory party upon the altar fo racism all in the name of principal.

But, if these single interest groups alone can vilify the Pope for quoting a 16th century text that was both subjective and arguably true at the time... with the New Labour spin machine behind them imagine what a broadside they could have fired?
I mean, the fact that the left are screaming both "the tories are wet" and "the tories are still evil racist bigots" at the same time and seem to be getting away with it confuses me.

What he couldn't do is declare that Mercer "had his full support", before sacking him a week later. Who did that, now? and how can people say "just like Blair", when Dave has at least been honest with his approach.

So Patrik gets a wrap on the knuckles, a sin-binning which puts him in penance for his remarks (in the eyes of some) and actually earns him some respect for both his views and his willingness to take responsibility for his actions. A year or so from now, when the furore has died down, he can be brought back to the front rank rehabilitated... looking at the long game, he made the right choice: because if media pressure forced him to do it this way then he really would have lost.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8.59 SPOT ON!
Cons were unlucky that they had (family values) Huncky Duncky representing the party on QT last night.

Anonymous said...

Almost all of the comments on this page and Mercer's original comments show up the real lack of understanding in the UK and the institutional and societal rascism that is clearly still so deeply entrenched. While I think Dave was right to get rid of Mercer, what I don't want is a quick fix to save face. The UK is obviously in need of more education on race issues because most people don't seem to have a clue why Mercer's comments were not acceptable. Some of you have said they merely reflect the reality of army life and I am sure this is true but further goes to show how surface our 'PC-ness' is.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Over one hundred comments, most of them in favour of Mercer.

Iain, do you wish to reflect on your perhaps hasty opinion on this?

Anonymous said...

I've never seen so many people miss the point at once.

1. You're right that Mercer didn't say anything as directly racist as "I hate blacks" but he said that we should just accept the fact that racism happens in the army. He clearly thinks it's ok to be racist. Surely you see a problem with that?

2. On top of (1), he mocked a recent soldier-led attempt to root out racism in that army, describing it as "Absolute nonsense. Complete and utter rot."

3. Much as Verity keeps saying otherwise, Mercer didn't say that SOME ethnic minority soldiers are useless and lazy and use racial descrimination as an excuse for their poor performance, he said that he knew a LOT of ethnic minority soldiers are useless and lazy and use racial descrimination as an excuse for their poor performance.

Think about what you would think if someone came on this board and said that "SOME Tories are racist" vs. "a LOT of Tories are racist". The second sentence is imply something different to the first.

Anonymous said...

Would it be easier for everyone if dave were appointed as UKIP's recruiting officer?
Cuts out middleman stevie!

Anonymous said...

rachel - "He was the Tory politician I actually liked and I have had the pleasure of spending quite a bit of time with him this last 12 months."

Lucky man ! Shame his luck has run out for the moment. But he will be back. As Nulabour has shown, if one resigns quickly and without fuss one can earn redemption pretty quickly.

paige said...

Sorry, but Cameron was wrong to sack him.

what he said was not racist, I for one do not want to vote for a party who has disallowed free speach.

Mercer is an accomplished soldier, he is not a politician and there is the difference. Instead of all these professional politicians, we should have a parliament of real people, from the real world, who know and understand what is really happening in the country.
Sacking this man, proves that a Cameron Government are going to be as bad or worse than Labour.
Even Tony had the balls to hang on to that worthless money waster Prescott.

This country needs real politics, honesty and someone to tell it as it is. Sacking Mercer lost the Tories lots of votes. Nothing to do with racism, when Politicains cannot speak openly then we far better just all hang up our boots and tell em to get on with it.

I for one am sick of all the spin and pathetic PR,and Cameron is just makes me feel sick with his insincere stance on everything.

I am an Ex Tory, but Cameron is as far as I am concerned a total washout.

Anonymous said...

and just how pathetic is whipping your tye off every time your told to do a piece to camera by wonderboy hilton?

Anonymous said...

"In a country of Oxford and Cambridge, can we not have a higher level of debate?"

Maybe if we get rid of Cambridge ;)

"The UK is obviously in need of more education on race issues because most people don't seem to have a clue why Mercer's comments were not acceptable."

Please tell me this is parody? Do the black soliders who defended him need more education too? Who the heck are you to go around dictating what the British people should and shouldn't think? You don't mean education, you mean indoctrination.

Anonymous said...

"1. You're right that Mercer didn't say anything as directly racist as "I hate blacks" but he said that we should just accept the fact that racism happens in the army. He clearly thinks it's ok to be racist. Surely you see a problem with that?"

He didn't say it was ok to be racist, he said racism happens and that you will never completely stamp it out. Humans aren't perfect, something conservatives have long believed.

"2. On top of (1), he mocked a recent soldier-led attempt to root out racism in that army, describing it as "Absolute nonsense. Complete and utter rot.""

Perhaps because it will backfire? People resent being lectured to and told what opinions they can hold. I remember back at school people got so sick of anti-racism education that racist jokes became popular, not due to any real racism but as a way of sticking two fingers up.

"he said that he knew a LOT of ethnic minority soldiers are useless and lazy and use racial descrimination as an excuse for their poor performance."

A LOT still isn't the same as the majority.

Anonymous said...

Glass House

Where does he say that racism in the army is OK? He talks about comments that use race in the same way as people might use the term "ginger" or I being tall and thin was "lanky" or "shorty" or named for plays on names, none of them complimentary. The fine men and women I served with could call me what the hell they liked as long as they worked for the team, they had my respect. The far fewer I didn't respect did not matter.

This is not racism, don't judge something you don't understand by twisted standards.

Have you apologised to Iain yet for assuming that he wouldn't address this issue?


Still waiting for that explanation as to what was racism, and by what definition of racism.

Madasafish said...

Judging by many comments here, many of you would not recognise a racist if you met one.
Try looking in the mirror.

Anonymous said...

Mercer was sacked because of what he didn't say, not what he did. Fine, tell it like it is, but add that the army should be/is tackling racism. He's a politician and needs to provide leadership, not just commentary.

This is important not just for the Tory party (navelgazing, doncha just love it?), but for the army too. The army has far far fewer ethnic minority recruits than it should have, if equal percentages of all races were tempted to join up - particularly from the social groups that make up the rank and file. The same is true of the Police and that institution is bending over backwards to try and redress the balance.

Why does this matter? Well, our armed forces are a symbol of huge pride for the nation, whatever the arguments about their deployment. Their role as unifiers of the nation (like that of the police) cannot be underestimated. The more the army represents all colours and creeds in this country and the more positive role models are provided in the form of proud soldiers from our troubled estates, the better for our society. That's not being PC, that's being logical, if we're going to tackle the sort of attitudes that lead to home-grown terrorism and us-and-them ghettoisation

Mercer has categorically said that if you're black, you'll get called 'nigger' in the army and that's just the way it is. Tempting career option, eh? Do try and see the bigger picture before sounding off about Dave's latest capitulation to the Left. Some of the arguments here are so narrow it's frightening.

Anonymous said...


Your honesty is refereshing, a rare quality in politics. Just heard you on 5 live, I absolutely beieve Cameron was wrong, but I guess I do see your point that hewas in a no-win position.

Thats why we must go after the oppo much more aggressively.


Unknown said...

David Cameron & courage in the same sentence. can't be! What was/is "untrue" in what the former colonel said?

thedacs said...

I'm also an ex-Labour voter (I'll never in a million years vote for the BNP - or do I mean John Reid after his anti-immigrant gruntings?) and was being pulled toward the Conservatives by David Cameron.
Not so sure anymore.
Cameron has reacted with a knee-jerk spasm to appease future headlines, and while you think it was worth the sacking of Mercer to save all the hard work spent on building ties with ethnic minorities, i'm pretty certain that Cameron has in one fell swoop lost as many voters as he had built up in a year.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:10 - You write: "The UK is obviously in need of more education on race issues because most people don't seem to have a clue why Mercer's comments were not acceptable."

Then tell us, Mr Institutionally Stupid. Did you read his comments? What on earth was there for anyone to take offence at? Even the black people under his command are baffled at his comments being styled "racist". Could you do us all a favour, oh Racist Guru, and tell us what was "unacceptable" to anyone but a panicky Cameron? We will await hearing from you, although I am confident that we won't. Because you wanted to lecture and feel superior and have your seat right on the bandwagon (that never was)and you haven't even read the article, have you, you cheap little moron?

Glass House seems to be similarily mentally impaired: "You're right that Mercer didn't say anything as directly racist as 'I hate blacks' [that's because he doesn't hate blacks, sweets, as almost all the black men under his command have testified ad infinitum] but he said that we should just accept the fact that racism happens in the army. He clearly thinks it's ok to be racist." You have misquoted him by a factor of around a million. You're another one who didn't bother to read what he said, aren't you? Another moron too lazy to read for yourself. You're quoting comments from other destructive socialist moonbats like yourself.

Paige - Agreed. Mercer is not a member of the diplomatic corps. He was a member of the military and military people are, of necessity, straight shooters. Cameron is not a straight shooter. He's a snide, smug, panicky man of little accomplishment. Indeed, he is as enthusiastic a thought fascist as Tony Blair. I would not touch the Tory party with a long stick while he's in charge.

Cameron behaved with extreme cowardice and disloyalty and he has lost a vast tranche of Tory votes - especially the people who were thinking of returning to the party.

Cameron's a department head. He is not a leader. He doesn't have what it takes.

Anonymous said...

Iain, the fact that you believe that Cameron has made the right decision says a lot about politics at the moment. Totally out of touch with reality, totally obsessed with winning the support of the BBC and liberal media. The BBC and the liberal media hated Thatcher and it did her no harm, the American media hates Bush and hated Reagan; didn't stop them getting elected. This country is crying out for a politician of principle to lead it. 15 years of weak, dishonest and unprincipled government (under Major and Blair) have brought British society to its knees. Instead, HM's opposition, rather than opposing the disgraceful Blair government, is trying to copy it.

Cameron has no integrity, and judging from your comments here, you're lacking it as well. Politics should not be about doing anything to win a vote; it should be about having a passionate belief in making the country better, and trusting the country to go with you. Thatcher passionately believed in her policies (even if they were unpopular), Cameron passionately believes in any policy that's got votes in it (even if he personally disagrees with it). Cameron is doing a fantastic job of taking the Conservative party down to Blair's level. Bravo!

Where does this fit in with the Patrick Mercer issue? Well, three things are plainly obvious:

1. Patrick Mercer is not racist nor has he said anything racist.

2. Furthermore it is clear from the reaction to this that what Patrick Mercer has said is the truth.

3. People have said he is naive for aying what he said. Rubbish. He has every right to voice his opinions on a matter of which he has considerable expertise.

If you're happy for his career as (by your own admission) a dedicated and popular conservative to be ruined just to appease our morally bankrupt media when all he has done is speak the truth, then you and your party are in dire need of both a spine, and a bit of integrity. There is a world outside Westminster, Islington and White City, you know.

Anonymous said...

"Judging by many comments here, many of you would not recognise a racist if you met one.
Try looking in the mirror."

I see, we're racist because we analysed what he said and disagreed with you. I suppose all the people backing him on BBC's "Have your say" are racists too. How odd that only BNP supporters post on the BBC website. So are the black soliders who defended him racist too?

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear to Heron.

That thundering sound you hear is the stampede of returned Tory supporters bolting away again.

What a horrible, opportunistic, disloyal man! If he can do it to Mr Mercer, he can stick it to any one of you. And he will. No one is safe around a man who panics.

Anonymous said...

"Mercer has categorically said that if you're black, you'll get called 'nigger' in the army and that's just the way it is."

Er, I don't think he said all black people would get called that. Indeed I suspect that that word is very rarely used. Nevertheless, you may not have noticed but people insult each other all the time. It's called "banter". If I was in the army and somebody was calling me insulting names I'd just ignore it because I'd have the sense to realise it wasn't intended to harm.

Anonymous said...

If you have advice for dave-just keep it to yourself.Who offers this helpful advice?dave of course on his Scottish away day.
Another winner!

Johnny Norfolk said...

Sacked after 2 hours. He cannot have been given any time to explain. I am very concerned about Camerons judgement over this. He should have said that he would fully investigate the matter and then come to a decision after consultation, but no. he takes the soft option and sacks him on the spot. Only a weak man manager would have done that.

Very disturbing

Anonymous said...

So Boris Johnson must now be on notice....Bullingdon or not....and Oliver Letwin...Eton or not.

It was after all Letwin who has managed in the last two elections to make himself a wide-mouthed fool.

Cameron will find it very lonely as he has to sacrifice some of his Etonians for their stupid remarks

Yak40 said...

Mercer was apparently under the impression he was "off the record", if so the sneaky little reporter should get severely criticised.

Sir-C4' said...

I am very angry with Cameron and you Mr. Dale.

It is only out of respect for your prior reputation that I do not give you a frank piece of my mind about your comments on your blog.

If you want to know what I think, then please follow the link:

Madasafish said...

The only black Tory peer in the House of Lords said the Patrick Mercer race row threatens the party's image.

However, he praised leader David Cameron for taking "swift" and "decisive" action over the furore.

Mr Mercer was forced to quit the front bench after suggesting being called a "black bastard" was part of Army life.

Lord Taylor of Warwick said: "Leadership is about action, not just position. David showed prompt, decisive action.

"Mr Cameron has spent the last year trying to cast off the old negative image which used to attach itself to the Conservative Party.


"Mr Mercer, with his highly inflammatory remarks, risked destroying that progress and gave the party's opponents a chance to attack it."

He added: "Mr Mercer's comments were particularly insensitive and misjudged in the light of recent revelations that black and ethnic minority soldiers are still suffering racism in the British Army.

"David Cameron has signalled the fact that racism will not be tolerated in the Conservative Party."

Anonymous said...

Interesting that the black soldiers in his ex-company are clustering round to support Mercer. I don't see any blacks speaking up for Dave. Funny that.

Patrick's a hero. Dave's a zero.

Anonymous said...

Granted, Patrick Mercer’s comments perhaps indicated a lack of political savvy, but that doesn’t mean that they were unfounded or racist; after all, this is a man who served in the army for twenty five years, and so almost certainly has a better understanding of military life than most. David Cameron’s reaction in this regard can be described as politically expedient at best, and will possibly lower his standing in the estimations of many – especially since one of the major criticisms of the Labour government is its obsession with image and spin! Ultimately, it is a tragic occasion when a politician loses his job for being honest…

Madasafish said...

plphultexyrzzewo>verity said "Mercer. I don't see any blacks speaking up for Dave. Funny that."

read Lord Taylor 's remarks..which I posted...

Arden Forester said...

You say your sorrow is tempered by political reality. How about Leroy Hutchinson becoming a Tory MP? He is a black corporal who served with Mr Mercer for 12 years. He said, "He never tolerated racism and not a single one of his men would consider him to be racist." Leroy would say it as it is!

What Cameron has done, and what you imply, is for those who are of an ethnic background and are not stepping up to the plate, it is perfectly OK to overlook their deficiencies if they say, "You're being racist telling me off".

I think Cameron bowed to political correctness, which does no good in the end. Better someone like Leroy who KNOWS rather than opinions of pink tories who seem oblivious of colleagues' characters!

Anonymous said...

What a marvelous analysis Heron! Straight to the point and now just let's see if Clucking Cameron is man enough to overturn his foolish decision. I rather doubt it though, as he's already exposed himself as a complete idiot and clearly does not have the courage to admit his over hasty actions were wrong. My God, I could never trust this guy as prime minister as he would be far worse than Blair!

Anonymous said...

Madasafish - I don't see that praising Dave for doing executing a politically expedient move is actually addressing the issue.

The black soldiers in Mr Mercer's former company gave him an excellent character report. That is different.

BTW, I wonder how many military votes Dave has lost? The military in most democracies typically votes for the conservative parties.

Anonymous said...

In this green and pleasant land, you lose your head if you tell the truth! See Patric Mercer. But you are acclaimed if you deny the truth. See Tony Blair. Even better if you perjure. See Jeffrey Archer!
This is the Jerusalem that we have allowed to be built.

People who stands together to be shot at does not in the end give a damn about whether the man/woman next to them is black, blue or green as long as he/she's not shooting at them!
If the armed forces were trully racist, no VC would have been awarded in Baghdad because he'd have run off and left all the honkys to die!
Also we should all stop pretending that others are racist and we are not. We are all inherently racist, it's how our culture, our environment, our skin colour makes us but it's how we handle it intellectually, distinguishing between a need to be not an island, to survive as a human race that allows us to deny the "rightness" of racism!!
Sure the honkys are racist, spoken to an African lately? a West Indian? An Asian? A Chinese? ask them what words they use to describe other races.
Learn Racism-it's not a one way road!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to labour on about this point, but I think this is an important issue. In an earlier post I agree with you, Iain, that Mercer was right to go. Most of the discussion earlier on focussed on the use of the word 'black' compared with 'ginger' or 'fat'.

What hasn't been discussed as widely is use of what I shall call the n-word. PM suggested that whilst black soldiers had advanced in their careers, many would also have been referred to by the n-word and this caused the furore which caused him to resign.

However, it is dangerous to leap to conclusions that he was condoning the use of this word. He may have been making the more subtle point that simply eliminating use of this word would not help black soldiers if on the other hand they were not being promoted.

Granted, some of the other comments he made indicate a lack of sympathy towards the progress being made by Commonwealth soldiers, but then one has to give some benefit of doubt.

I do agree that these kinds of remarks aren't really sustainable as a 'front-bench spokesman' and he did the right thing to step down.

But I am concerned at a couple of things. 1/ Many people are simply not clear about what is permissible to say any more. What about words like 'Taffy', 'Paddy' or the like ? Or saying 'I'm going to the chinky takeway ?

2/ I can no longer recall the court case which decided initially that the word 'paki', used by some thugs after a football match, could not be successfully be used to prove racism as they were, quote, 'mere doggerel', but was over-turned at a higher court. These seem important judgements if we are to be aware of where people stand in the eyes of the law.

3/ I am pro-diversity and think it is a good thing that e.g. police have to take account of whether an incident is racist or 'hate crime'.
But to expect everyone to consider that an incident is racist, even if only one person perceives it to be so [the 'MacPherson' standard] may not be sustainable in a day-to-day example where the intention cannot be proved 'beyond reasonable doubt'

In Britain we have a long tradition that if someone says something rude, ill-considered or offensive [and who amongst hasn't at one time or another] then a full, sincere & unreserved apology would be offered and should be accepted.

We are rapidly moving to a scenario where a faux pas can cause total, irreparable and irreversible damage to one's career and good name. This surely is not a good thing, and will just stifle debate about race.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who thinks that most people in this country either a)don't give a jot or b)would probably accept Mercer might have a point?

Anonymous said...

Dave should go, but he won't. And he won't be forced out because he will be protected by the other OEs. Britain, if the Tories ever get re-elected under Dave's leadership, will be governed by a junta of OEs.

Rush-is-Right said...

I heard the extracts from Mercer's speech on the BBC and I didn't disagree with a word of it.

And let's remind ourselves that Mercer is a decorated soldier, a former Colonel of his regiment. If anyone knows what he is talking about, it's him.

PC-ness. What a disgusting country this has become that nobody can speak the truth anymore.

Anonymous said...

rush-is-right - Yes, but are you also saying that you condone people being called 'n1gg*r' ? I think you need to be more detailed in your response.

After all, David Cameron is not going to weep at all for losing the idiots on this thread who are going to leave for an avowedly racist, fascist BNP.

Since that means he will gain 15% of the electorate in the centre-ground.

Anonymous said...

Well, the USSR-esque thought fascism was infused slowly by Blair over a period of 10 years, so that free speech is now forbidden in Britain. This incident tells us that Cameron is very much of the same frame of mind. People can only voice thoughts that he approves of. Never having done any military service - or very much else, come to that - he speaks from the deep well of ignorance.

He won't get chucked out as leader because he is protected by a cadre of Bullingdon Boys.

Rush-is-Right said...

rush-is-right - Yes, but are you also saying that you condone people being called 'n1gg*r'?

No I don't condone it, but I'm sufficiently realistic, experienced, and enough of a man of the world to know that it's going to happen. Shit happens, get used to it.

And it certainly struck a chord with me when Col. Mercer related how ethnics would go AWOL for a few days and use the race card on their return as an excuse.

And by the way, I felt similarly when I heard the Jewish lobby getting upset about 'Lord' Levy's recent treatment.

If you are part of a racial minority, nothing is ever your fault.

Anonymous said...

The problem with many middle class people, that is people that use their PCs for anything other then cheap porn and booking tickets is that they have no idear how "racist" people are in the "real" world.

A political party or theory that relies on the working classes for a very high proportion of its electorial support should be very carefull before jumping down the necks of any Tories that let their non-PC credentials out of the bag.

Do middle class socialists have any idear how their own voters talk on racial issues? Or if they do, do they care?

Because this BBC PC bullshit is driving then one by one straight up the BNP type socialist road. As anyone that actually talks to ordinary working class people will tell you.

Racism and the political use of it, is central to all types of socialist theory. Without as much racism as possible, they can not divide the people one from another.

Which is a precondition to a democratic or otherwise, National or Marxist, Socialist revolution.

It seems that there are forces amonst our political elites who no longer care which type of socialism we end up with, so long as it is socialist.

paige said...

Rush is right if you are part of a racial minority you are never wrong.

It is so easy to play this card and never lose.
Unfortunately it discriminates against the majority.

What is shocking though is that Mercer has been victimised by the media! and he should take legal action because we are entitled to freedom of speech, Labour have given most things away but this we still have.
Fortunately I was one of the few who stood up for Jade when Shilpa used the rascism card.. That too has now been thrown out of the courts!
Once again the idiots and their rascism claims get more media coverage, than the victims of the accusers. Its about time the British people stood up for free speech, common sense and kicked the PC brigade into touch!

Anonymous said...

"And by the way, I felt similarly when I heard the Jewish lobby getting upset about 'Lord' Levy's recent treatment."

That really was ridiculous. Levy's Jewishness never occurred to me and I suspect it never occurred to anybody else.

"Since that means he will gain 15% of the electorate in the centre-ground."

They don't care. Only a vocal minority get wound up by this sort of thing. In my experience even the supposedly liberal young, despite their dislike of racism, have a great dislike of PC and absurd OTT crusades with no evidence like this.

Anonymous said...

I wonder where they got the DNA sample from...?

Anonymous said...

paige - "Its about time the British people stood up for free speech, common sense and kicked the PC brigade into touch!"

Who are these mythical creatures 'the PC brigade'. You speak as though it is tattooed onto them. I have no idea which individuals you are referring to, and I doubt you do either. It is just a phrase, like 'religion is the cause of all our problems', it is meaningless as it cannot be defined.

When people say 'get rid of PC' I have no idea what they mean. Get rid of equality legislation ? Bring back racial minorities being abused with impunity ? Refuse to recognise that there are terms which upset people and would rather were not used ? Refuse to recognise that we have always been a diverse bunch in this country, from way back in Roman times ?

What are you getting at ? Spell it out, or are you frightened that your prejudices might be exposed?

Anonymous said...

Here's that court case...,11374,979109,00.html,,999973,00.html

Of course, this only relates to one word, and there is no other decided case of which I'm aware.

Gavin said...

I guess Mercer should have known better than to say what he did, but it is very sad that Cameron chooses to pander to the whole atmosphere of 'political correctness' created and nurtured by the left.
What we need is a Conservative leader who is willing to stand up and say "Enough! We won't play by your silly little notions! Damn your pathetic cries of 'racist/sexist/homophobic/islamophobic' at every turn! Political correctness be damned, the man spoke the truth and I defend him for doing so". Those are the sort of words we should be hearing from the leader of the conservative party.

Anonymous said...

tom - the truth is, society has been moving on for a long time, and Dave has to adapt. If he did say what you suggested, he wouldn't be heading into Government anytime soon - you just have to move with the times or you will continue to be political dinosaurs, out in the wilderness.

Anonymous said...

anonymous [7.39 PM] You say "When people say 'get rid of PC' I have no idea what they mean ... Refuse to recognise that there are terms which upset people and would rather were not used?"

No, by "get rid of PC" we mean fight back against the language fascists who tell us that certain views and certain expressions are verboten and must be suppressed, and that those who utter them must be anathematized.

Anonymous said...

Anonymong 7:30 says, with the sly air of one making a killer point: "Who are these mythical creatures 'the PC brigade'."

They are the thought fascists who want to control freedom of expression - especially thoughts contrary to the Marxist/Leninist doctrine they cleave to. They're not mythical and you should know that, because you're one of them.

Refuse to recognise that there are terms which upset people and would rather were not used ?
No. We recognise that and good manners dictate that we not use such terms in a way that will hurt others. But you cannot legislate good manners. Sorry, teacher, sir, but you will meet with resistance. Some people push through doors ahead of one. Are you going to bring in a new law making it illegal. Some people don't say, "Don't mention it" or "You're welcome" when someone else says "Thank you." You going to bring in a law to make your version of good manners mandatory?

Do not be ridiculous.

... we have always been a diverse bunch in this country, from way back in Roman times ? Ignorant and ill-informed or just wishful thinking? We have always been monoracial since "way back in Roman times" and many thousands of years before that. Caucasian.

With greater mobility, we have more races mixing around now - albeit it they are only 7 per cent of the population. Don't try to rewrite history. It's a nasty habit and has a bad reputation.

Read Mr Mercer's comments, if that is not too much trouble. Mr Mercer said absolutely nothing offensive from any sane person's point of view, and that includes the sane black people who served under him.

Anonymous said...

Just a few of the headlines I managed to copy before they were taken down this evening:

The Independent „Tory sacked for attack on black soldiers”

The Times “Tory front-bencher sparks race row with 'black bastards' gibe”

The Guardian “Cameron sacks frontbench Tory after slur on ethnic minority “

As one would expect, Labour loving Times, Independent and Guardian with inflammatory headlines which do not relate anywhere near the truth of what was said. No bloody wonder half the public are fed wrong information when this bunch of scandal mongers distort the truth to satisfy their own political agenda. With Dave Cameron actively supporting them, what chance is there for truth to out!

I’ve also been doing a sweep of the on-line newspaper blogs and I can safely say that Cameron is castigated for his part in this fiasco at a rate of 95 to 1 and the mumblings are now seriously starting to grow about his leadership. Maybe we’ll see his first “U” turn this week, or better still, his resignation!

Anonymous said...

Good work, Vienna Woods! But how can national newspapers get away with printing lying headlines? This is shocking, even by today's debased standards.

The left has been in a celebratory mood for two days now. Cameron, who opened the door wide and invited them in, out of cowardice, must go. He has no credibility as the leader of the Conservative Party and he's brought the party into disrepute.

Rush-is-Right said...

Vienna Woods.... spot on!

And let's not leave out the BBC News which led its News Bulletins on Thursday with 'Tory Spokesman sacked for Racist Speech'.

The moment you start pandering to the unappeasable you lose the argument.

Iain, is this another 'Olympics' moment?

Laban said...

"I imagine John Taylor will be on the BBC tomorrow ... as he would have been no matter what Cameron's decision."

And there he was on Radio 5 !

Anonymous said...

Taylor should have noted dave's words-"If you have advice for me-keep it to yourself"
I'm sure everyone has noticed that Mercer is now outside the tent.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:53 - with the stench inside the tent, outside may be the best place to be as long as the Cameroon is the chief camel jockey.

I wrote to Mr Mercer when the story broke yesterday and have not had an akcnowledgement, which tells me he has been overwhelmed with messages of support from ordinary British Tories. I'm guessing he has had at least 30K of emails.

Cameron's a fool.

Anonymous said...

"No bloody wonder half the public are fed wrong information when this bunch of scandal mongers distort the truth to satisfy their own political agenda"

Fortunately half the public don't read the Times, Guardian and Indie. The BBC on the other hand...

"Get rid of equality legislation ?"

Yes, not because I approve of discrimination but because I approve of people who own their own businesses being able to hire who they like. If you don't like their hiring policy, don't buy from them. That is libertarianism, not racism.

"Bring back racial minorities being abused with impunity ?"

No, of course one should not abuse somebody because of their skin colour. But nor should one go too far in the opposite direction so that stating inconvenient facts or harmless jokes (Englishman, Irishman, Scotsman jokes for example) become illegal or result in sacking due to pressure from the race relations industry. the fact is that most people in this country are good mannered and do not approve of racism. Legislation that singles out racism as a "special" crime (what about mockery of ginger people?) serves only to divide and goes against ancient common law principles. We know racism is wrong, we don't need the law to force us to be nice. Those who are racist are unlikely to have their opinions changed by legislation and those who have offensive opinions should be tested in the court of public opinion.

Anonymous said...

You can't change the race you were born into, and most human beings wouldn't want to.

Labour MP Shahid Malik said: "It doesn't matter what they ... tell you, they still are the nasty, racist, sexist, homophobic party ."

At first, I thought he was talking about islam. Then I saw the word "party" rather than religion. So, Shahid, if that's your view of the Conservative Party, what's not to like?

Anonymous said...

re Verity 1226am

If the Tory party is homophobic, how come there's so many gay public schoolboys in it?!!

ha ha ha......

Newmania said...

I am late catching up here but I just wanted to say that I thought you got this about right Mr. Dale.
I have blogged recently abou the great importance of losing the racist and homophbic tag and infuriating though it may be to be the puppet of the Liberal elite ,it is a non negotiabale entre to the centre.

In fact Mr. Mercers further remarks abou the laziness of blacks wre the most damning and I see no choice for the boy David.

Those poeple who think he couls bave bliuffed it out should have look at the Indy front page

Anonymous said...

Achilles said - "and if islam's so homophobic, how's it come about there are so very, very many gay boys in it?"

A wonder of the universe, IMHO.

The ones that get caught,though, get hanged off cranes. We shouldn't forget that. Including little boys of 14. Hanged. For having been born themselves.

Islam is the religion of pieces.

Anonymous said...

newmania "I have blogged recently abou the great importance of losing the racist* and homophbic tag "

Oh, the irony...!!!

* Unless you are Welsh, in which case any amount of vitriolic vituperation is completely in order from newmania

Anonymous said...

I report without comment that I have received a lot of adverse criticism from Conservative supporters about the sacking of Patrick Mercer. They believe he has been sacked for telling the truth.

Anonymous said...

You can see from David's fat,unlined,anodyne face that he doesn't let trivialities bother him.

He's made an immense mistake, out of panic, and the feeling of outrage he has caused in Conservatives at large will die down on the surface, but it won't go away. The next time he makes a mistake, it will all come up and be picked over again. This was a big mistake and he has been as imperially dismissive as Blair always is.

I loathe him and won't be voting Tory until he's gone. And once I'm over in UKIP, I may find that I like it and never go back.

Anonymous said...

Thursday March 8th, what a day!
Mercer vs Cameron & The great Global Warming Swindle. In one day two events have shown how our once-great Conservative Party has fallen for two post-Marxist cults. How do we get our Party back?

Anonymous said...

Iain, maybe you can explain this one for me? After I had written my previous post, I noticed that you had written this in your blog:

"... No one should be forced out for speaking what the rest of us know to be the truth... "

Not in this case, it seems. Could you explain why?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, the quote above was in relation to David Mundell.

Anonymous said...

I've been mulling over these newspaper and media headlines and have come to the conclusion that the editors should be held more responsible for what is printed. In this case I think Patrick Mercer should sue each one of the buggers for bringing his name into disrepute. It is clearly defamatory to print such falsehoods and they should not be allowed to get away with it. Let's face it, these clowns have got to start showing some responsibility about what they write. I'm all for freedom of the press, so long as truthful and accurate reporting is a condition of their very existence.

Anonymous said...

Vienna Woods - I would imagine Mr Mercer is still in shock. A fine, honourable man with a very honourable career - now shattered by a Tory yob party leader who has never served a day in his life as anything but a PR man for a TV company.

Dave's so honourable he hawked his disabled kid around feature editors when he was trying to get the leadership of the Tory party. He also paraded him in front of TV cameras, to show what a caring father he is.

Dave also did not stand up for the absolute right of the Roman Catholic Church (I am not a Catholic) to adhere to its religious principles by not placing vulnerable children with homosexual couples. Political correctness, aka 'thought fascism' comes first with Dave.

Dave is a man of absolutely no principles and he is a coward and he panics easily. Unlike a decorated military man like Patrick Mercer, who I imagine is still trying to come to terms with what has happened.

I doubt that he will sue, Vienna.

Heather said...

To Verity at 1134: Patrick has indeed been inundated with emails of support. I am sorry that we have not been able to reply to you or anyone else yet. We will and much appreciate you taking the trouble to get in touch.

Anonymous said...


Just imagine, if you will, that Patrick does have a crack at the newspapers. It would be very easy to prove that his statement and the headlines were completely out of sync. Written evidence is one of the purest forms and publishing it so publicly gives the newspapers not very much room for retraction and has a good chance of success. The guy has lost his job for heaven's sake and has been held to ridicule because of the headlines, which most of the half-brainers read and nothing else.

This country really needs to do something with its press and media people. They get away with too much, often destroying lives in the process. We shouldn't forget either that PC has been driven by the media and the inept Labour party and it's about time they were closed down or forced to behave responsibly. There have been several comments in this thread about how we should treat others and I agree with most of it, but the media people seem to be immune from thinking like reasonable human beings and it is high time that they start to behave themselves.

Anonymous said...

I hate to disagree with Iain. But Patrick Mercer is an excellent MP, and an honest man, and was stating the facts as he knows them. It is a sad day for the Party when speaking the truth is a sacking offence.

Anonymous said...

"it is a non negotiabale entre to the centre."

The centre doesn't care, only the Liberal-Left. Most people may accept he's tactless but they're not stupid enough to believe he's racist. The Indie piece was a gross distortion, the sort they accuse the Daily Mail of doing.

"Unless you are Welsh, in which case any amount of vitriolic vituperation is completely in order from newmania"

Wales? Where's that?

Anonymous said...

Heather - getting a response to an email of support from someone whose world has just been shaken through no malfeasance of his own is the least of my worries.

I am very, very pleased to hear that he has been inundated with support.

Vienna Woods - Believe me, you're preaching to the choir. I have a very litigious nature, but although Mr Mercer is a seasoned, decorated soldier, he may not be combative in this sense. If it were me, their offices would be papered with lawsuits by now.

I never liked David Cameron. And as he got more and more coverage, I began to develop a strong distaste for him. After this terrible,ill-considered, panicky incident, I absolutely loathe him. I will never vote for any party that he leads. It would be like voting for Tony Blair and I would chop off writing hand before I would put an X next to his name.

Cameron allowed himself to be panicked into an intemperate action. This is leadership material?

In fact, they all seemed to have panicked. Why didn't they just call a press conference and let Mr Mercer repeat his words (while the words rolled up behind him on a screen, so there would be no excuses for misreporting) and take questions. He could have had a couple of black squaddies also taking questions. It was manageable. It could have been smoothed over if Cameron had stayed calm.

If he wanted to give Mr Mercer a telling off in private, that would have been a different matter. The man's weak, weak, weak.

Anonymous said...

And can you imagine the huge tranche of military votes Dave has thrown away through his cowardice?

Anonymous said...

"Lord Taylor of Warwick, the only black Tory peer, said: "David Cameron was absolutely right to sack Patrick Mercer after his comments about black soldiers. Leadership is about action, not just position. David showed prompt, decisive action."

My bro is right you honkies are all racists.

Anonymous said...

Lord Uncle Tom's Cabin - we dealt with Lord Taylor of Warwick way back near the beginning of the thread.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you all have been checking the papers but people have been leaving hundreds of comments - and 98% are in Patrick's favour. I don't think Cameron dreamt the chord this would strike with people who are sick and tired of political correctness and who are outraged that such a thing was done to someone they perceive to be as thoroughly decent and a distinguished war veteran to boot. Cameron looked like a petulant prefect when he announced the dirty deed and I fear this is going to backfire in a big way,

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if Mercer's sacking was right or wrong. One thing I am sure about, however, is that the manner of this sacking was unjust.

Any employer who sacks an employee via a brief call from a mobile, thereby denying the employee the (statutory) right of a disciplinary meeting would be likely to end up at an Industrial Tribunal. Although the employment protection legislation does not apply in this situation, the requirements of fairness and decency do.

Mercer wasn't even given the benefit of a kangaroo court.

Adopting this sort of summary 'justice' procedure will inevitably lead to the impression that Cameron panicked.

Auntie Flo'

Rush-is-Right said...

I repeat my earlier comment.... Iain do you feel an 'Olympics' moment coming on? You are quite out of sympathy with your own blogg! Face it, Col. Mercer is just the sort of leadership material that the party should be encouraging.

I think it's disgusting the way he has been treated.

Anonymous said...

In fact Mr. Mercers further remarks abou the laziness of blacks wre the most damning and I see no choice for the boy David.

Oh Newmania of Islington seems to jump the gun yet you really want to test libel laws in The Old Bailey by trying to justify that piece of mendacity ?

He said nothing of the sort and the transcript shows he did not. So we must ask why you are inventing words and using them to defame a respected individual. What is your motive ?

Rush-is-Right said...

(Anon, 8,13pm) "Any employer who sacks an employee via a brief call from a mobile, thereby denying the employee the (statutory) right of a disciplinary meeting would be likely to end up at an Industrial Tribunal. Although the employment protection legislation does not apply in this situation, the requirements of fairness and decency do."

Quite right. But actually this is another beautiful example of the way in which those who pass laws grant themselves exemptions from the laws they impose on the rest of us. Anyone who has ever tried to sack somebody useless from their business will know exactly what I mean.

Anonymous said...

As if he wasn't ridiculed enough by this fiasco, here we go again with the "idea of the week" from Dopey Dave's "Goldfish Think Tank", the Great Tax on Frequent-Fliers. Is he completely off his trolley, or what? When everything is falling apart, he comes up with another insane idea. I just don't believe it, I really don't. Please someone in the Conservative Party hierarchy, will you please remove this guy before he ruins everything?

Anonymous said...

Vienna Woods - Dave is completely out of his depth. He is not leadership material (unlike Mr Mercer). He's a bandwagon hopper.

What is equally worrying is, he doesn't seem to understand the effect of his bandwagon, gimmicky, NuLab-wannabee "leadership" is having on rank and file Tories outside the Circle Line. And Tories who were contemplating returning to the party. I am absolutely certain that the unjust and humiliating sacking of a fine and honourable soldier will have sickened those putative returnees.

And, in a two-fer, he has clumsily alienated the military vote, which tends to be Conservative. If this is the kind of support they can expect from the gimmicky public relations man, I don't think they will want him having the power of life or death over them.

The Tories will not win the next election. Dave will lose it for them.

This was a stonking great self-administered shot in the foot. He is an incompetent. And now he's going to sit at the feet of Al Gore and allow himself to be indoctrinated by the global warming Marxists. He's a PR man. He's never seen a facile gimmick he couldn't love.