Friday, May 09, 2008

Why no Tory on THIS WEEK?

So in the most successful week for the Conservatives since 1992 THIS WEEK doesn't have a single Conservative on the programme. The two main guests were ex Number Ten adviser Matthew Taylor and Gordon's little mouthpiece Kevin Maguire. You couldn't make it up.

And Portillo voted for Ken Livingstone (or possibly Paddick). Why am I not surprised? I need to lie down.

PS Tory Radio agrees


Anonymous said...

What on earth did you expect, Iain? The BBC is beyond parody. As, frankly, is Portillo.

The years really aren't being kind to him, are they?

Scipio said...

I have been growing increasingly weary with Portillo. But his revalalation that did not vote Tory in the local elections seems to be a betrayal of all those who worked for and supported him.

I am afraid I have practically no respect for him now.

Shame - he could have offered so much more.

Anonymous said...

Why are you surprised about Portillo? The Tory Party is suffering from MASSIVE hubris; IDSHome ("the voice of the Conservative grassroots", folks) seems to think the public are swarming for rampant Thatcherism and Evangelical Christianity. (Note to loonybins: Thatcher was always loathed personally, even when the public accepted she was medicine they needed to take)

Just because Gordon's up the spout doesn't make any of this popular or right. Maybe Portillo (repenting over the error of his earlier ways) dislikes this hateful smug arrogance now. You might take heed yourself.

Anonymous said...

They're only digging their mates' graves for them. Every single word spoken on that show tonight was screaming NOTHING'S WRONG, EVERYTHING'S FINE.

With any luck, those of the nation bothering to watch will be thinking: hmmmm that little message we sent them last week hasn't penetrated. We'll have to try a bit harder.

And more of this obsessive notion of Labour's and the BBC's that it's impossible for an opposition to win a election unless it happens exactly as it did in 1997.

Daily Referendum said...

A very poor night from the BBC. Has Gordon got something they want?

Anonymous said...

Why?, erm because the BBC are working for McLabour and there will be a hotline from 10 McDowning Street to BBC head office!?

Anonymous said...

***Maybe Portillo dislikes hateful smug arrogance.***

I see no evidence of self-loathing in the man.

Ted Foan said...

Do you remember Portillo and his "Who Dares Wins" speech to the Conservative Party conference in 19blob?

He was ridiculous then and he is even more ridiculous now.

He's even competing with Piers Morgan on Question Time tonight for twunt of the decade. Why these people are paid any of our BBC licence fee is a mystery. They are both truly third rate has-beens.

And as for Diane Abbott (looks to the heavens) what a useless waste of (a lot) of space she is on that sofa (and the back benches of the HoC too).

The only good thing about the programme is Andrew Neil.

Anonymous said...

How about we all club together and put a hit on Michael Portillo? If we raise enough, I'm sure they'd bump off Piers Morgan for free.

Chris Paul said...

Andrew and Michael are essentially Tories. Fantastic that he voted Ken however. An honest man finding Boris' campaign insulted his intelligence. BJ did 20% worse than Tories nationally and Ken did 20% better than Labour.

Boris' selection shows Cam's contempt for public office and the people of London.

AndyR said...

Still, it was nice to see how upset Kevin Maguire is these days. He practically spat out the news of Conservative successes.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 12:26 may be right to warn against hubris - it's really quite difficult to keep ones feet on the ground with Government-style announcements from a Tory Mayor every day and now, tonight, the 26% lead in the latest poll.

I have been a fan of Portillo and enjoy him and Diane on "This Week" but he does need to remember that he is on there as a Tory, maybe a semi-detached one as Diane is semi-detached from the Labour Party, but a Tory nonetheless. Having admitted that he did not vote for Boris, saying his campaign was "an insult to my intelligence" (NB to his (superior?) intelligence, not anyone else's!), he is coming close to no longer qualifying as even a semi-detached Tory. So, sadly for those of us who find him entertaining, he will have to go quite soon. There WAS actually one Tory supporter on the programme - Andrew Neil.

I thought it was also revealing when it was mentioned that some of us are not very pleased with him about his election night performance. "I do not work for the Tory party any more". Excuse me - is that the only reason he supported the party, because he was a hired hand? And anyway, Tory MPs and Ministers do not work for the Tory Party, they work for their constituents and the country.

Diane Abbott accused him of jealousy of Boris but it was not pushed home - pity really because I think she now knows Portillo well enough by now to have been onto something. He is also jealous of Cameron - who is doing just the sort of modernising that he was supposed to have been in favour of!

Very, very sad. What a tragic waste of inate talent.

BTW, I am the usual "Londoner": I notice that someone using the same handle was on the Eric Pickles live thingy the other night, I think they insulted or teased Iain a bit. Was not me. Save the Londoner! But I'll probably have to get used to it because suddenly it seems to have become popular for Tories to be...


Anonymous said...

cameron didnt choose Boris, Open Primaries across London chose the Conservative candidate, as they have chosen many Conservative Candidates across the country.

Anonymous said...

why have the licence payers being paying hefty fees to Portillo and Abbott for years? His main talking point during most of this time has been how Cameron had no chance. Her's for years was been that the Labour Party would really be motoring once Brown took over! Neither has offered any comment on their own spectacular lack of political savvy.

Anonymous said...

You can watch Portillo's "Who Dares Wins" speech on YouTube.

Anonymous said...

It looks like a bad call from This Week -- and I too am sick of Kevin bloody Maguire being everywhere.

But shouldn't the Andy Coulson machine be trying to ram interview offers down the throats of progs like This Week? Any half-decent PR operation would have this on the grid.

Iain -- Guto Hari spells his name with one R, by the way.

Anonymous said...

I felt the same when I watched it, to think I voted for him as leader once. I used to love that programme and still like Andrew Neil but Abbot and Portillo are beyond parody now. Portillo has really aged, I wonder if he is ill, he certainly looks as if he is. I think jealousy is behind it but whatever it's pathetic to see. He wouldn't be in his current position if it hadn't been for the Conservative Party. The sooner the BBC is sold off the better.

Tapestry said...

Doesn't the Conservative Party realise? The BBC has a close arrangement with the government of Europe, which can safely ignore mere goings-on at national level. Now Lisbon is signed, Westminster is a sideshow, and a Party which only aspires to winning a mere national election is pissing in the wind.

Portillo can perform his strange dance of revenge, and the EU will renew his BBC contract.

Yak40 said...


Love it, I'll remember that :)

Anonymous said...

"Blogger Chris Paul said...
BJ did 20% worse than Tories nationally and Ken did 20% better than Labour.."
May 09, 2008 12:44 AM

You are lying little piece of cyber-cancer, aren't you RuPaul!

Livingstone got 37% of First preference votes, 14% more than Labour Nationally.
Boris got 43%, 1% down on the 44% National Tory share of the vote.

Enjoying yourself are you? You Manc cretin!

Do you remember saying:
"Ken will win handsomely"
What a prediction!
But there again, nobody expects any intelligent comment from you.

Anonymous said...

Londoner at May 09, 2008 12:50 AM

I was posting as "Londoner" during the Eric Pickles chat as I live in London!! I certainly did do some very mild teasing but had no intention to insult Iain. Iain, sorry if it came over that way!

I didn't realise the handle was exclusive and taken. Nevertheless, I shall refrain from using it.

Anonymous said...

"BJ did 20% worse than Tories nationally and Ken did 20% better than Labour."

And what's that supposed to mean? Labour in Bromley did much worse than Labour across the rest of the country. Greater London is a more Labour area than average for England, Bromley is a more Conservative area than average for Greater London. The proper comparison is with the last London-wide vote, and on a higher turnout, Labour lost.

And Portillo's desperately trying to find a USP.

Anonymous said...

Erm, does anyone else think that Abbot/Portillo might a thing going? Sad point I know, but they do sit VERY close together and keep touching each other. Oh shut up Lola, it's puerile to speculate in such a manner.

Anonymous said...

Last night's This Week was the most painful television on the planet. I kept watching just to see how bad it got. The most amateur presentation, and biased material. It was like a 30 minute party political broadcast for the North Korean Silly Party.

Even Brillo seems to have been given a BBC brain and spine extraction.

Lampposts and piano wire urgently needed in West London.

Stef said...

Surely it is abouit time that This Week and Portillo were gently retired by the BBC. This Week really should be a much better programme, and Portillo rarely makes sense these days. I used to read him in the Sunday Times and was delighted he was removed as his columns just showed how out of touch he is becoming.

Anonymous said...

Wierdest thing for me was Kevin Maguire - long laboured theme piece based around the notion that the only reason Boris won was because he's a sleb. Was that really the most compelling theory the editorial team came across? Maybe it wasn't such a shame This Week wasn't on last week after all.


Anonymous said...

Iain, ignore Portillo. He is a bitter man. His looks have gone. He still has the quiff of hair but now it is grey and he is starting to resemble Quinton Crisp. When once I was mesmerised by Portilllo's Mick Jagger-type lips, all I can see now is his Mick Jagger-type wrinkles. His political career is over and his only future lies in being part of a political comedy double act with Diane Abbott. If you had to spend the rest of your life shackled to Diane Abbott, wouldn't you be bitter?

Alan Dean said...

I don't look at Portillo on This Week as being a spokesman for the Conservative Party, any more than I look at Diane as a spokesman for the Labour Party. He is from the right of politics, she from the left. If anyone has the right to feel put out, it is the Lib Dems due to the lack of a centrist.

I am a 'natural conservative' but that doesn't mean that I vote blue, right or wrong. I make a choice each time I cast a ballot and I can frankly say that I have not always cast it in favour of the Conservative candidate.

Portillo left front-line poltics. We all know this. As such, it practically means that he has renounced all party whips.

The reason I tune into This Week whenever it is on is because I want to hear opinion that hasn't been crafted by the party central office (LAB or CON). I say, keep it up!

Anyone who thinks that the current polling is indicative of an upswell of conservative support is deluded. The brutal fact is that the voters loath Brown (count me in that tally).

Unless and until we have a bench of policies from the conservatives, we won't have a pro-conservative vote because people don't know what a conservative government would *actually do*.

Don't mistake the previous paragraph as parroting the current Labour line that the conservatives are all style and no substance. I don't expect a bench of policies for at least another year (we are in the 'air war' right now, before the 'ground war' of the general election runup).

However, there are still some policies that *could* be published without harming that strategy. Cameron could announce that a conservative government would make individual voter registration a requirement, for example. Or that all expense receipts paid for from the public purse should be published. These, and more, would be announced as policy decisions, not soundbites. The conservatives would *commit* to introduction and challenge Labour to put up or shut up. A platform of probity in public office would be compelling and would give notice to putative public officials that any conservative government would not accept the kind of malfeasance we have grown used to under the current government.

Man in a Shed said...

BBC PTB (Privatise the bastards).

They are acting like the state mouth peace of an oppressive regime.

Anonymous said...

'The most successful week since 1992'


er.....what happened to 1992-1997?
a small matter of FIVE WHOLE YEARS!

Iain, that's why we are where we are, and you are where you are staying.

We have long memories (us proles) and we have a great stamina in informing 30 years old children who may be wobbling towards Conservatism after never having been served under one.

I love that Mcguire bloke.

Jamie said...

Get used to it - ever since the programme has existed, there has never been a regular Lib Dem on the panel, and when Lib Dem matters are discussed you often have to put up with Andrew Neil, Abbott and Portillo all slagging them off with no right of reply...

Anonymous said...

Lola: no! Now I have to go and clean my brain of that image with bleach.

Anonymous said...

Portillo is former tory MP. This is not fair to say the BBC is biased to the labour. One of their reports has just become part of the tory "s"p"in" machine.

Portillo is a tory.

Atleast the BBC do not to claim that the government has it's lowest rating for any government in history, when the evidence does not suggest this. The tories got 22% in december 1994. While labour was on 61%. So how can people claim the present you gov is the worst rating for a government party.

strapworld said...

alan dean tells us Portillo is'from the right'
Gosh I do not know what that makes me!

Portillo did not vote for BORIS. Rather a sad admission from a failed politcian who, as you Iain once pointed out, believes he should be in Cameron's position now. He, as our Maggie would say, was FRIT!

But didn't Portillo look quite ill, he is not suffereing from that Prescott ailment, is he?

Not only is THIS WEEK partial to the Labour Party so is Neil's other programme on 2, The Daily Politics Show. More Labour and Libs less Tories. Keep a count!

I only hope Call me Dave will elaborate on his policy towards the BBC. He will be shooting at an open goal!

Anonymous said...

Toilets Maguire made another unpleasant appearance on Today this morning, bigging up the 'Great Leader'.

The problem is, it doesn't work anymore, as the second anyone hears his name being mentioned as a contributor to a debate, it sets off a red alert warning of imminent spin and lies! In fact the more Today try and support Brown, the more listeners start to realise that the political balance of the show is somewhat 'skewed'.

Nice of Ming to slip in a mention of the YouGov poll - Humphries and Co were desperately avoiding the elephant in the room throughout the show.

Anonymous said...

Tapestry says: "Doesn't the Conservative Party realise? The BBC has a close arrangement with the government of Europe, which can safely ignore mere goings-on at national level. Now Lisbon is signed, Westminster is a sideshow, and a Party which only aspires to winning a mere national election is pissing in the wind.

Portillo can perform his strange dance of revenge, and the EU will renew his BBC contract."

That is the nub of it. What passes for UK domestic politics now is a con.

Alex said...

You have to hand it to the BBC. With the Labour share of opinion polls heading south, the bbeb is doing a great job of ferretting out what remains of NuLab support to appear on their shows.

Anonymous said...

Gman said...
"cameron didnt choose Boris, Open Primaries across London chose the Conservative candidate"

From a short list much influenced by Cameron and where the others on the list were obvious no-hopers.

Anonymous said...

To "Not Londoner" who said:

"I didn't realise the handle [Londoner] was exclusive and taken. Nevertheless, I shall refrain from using it."

It's very kind of you to say that; I did not mean to say that I have any right to say that you can't use Londoner if you want, I can't have a copywrite on it! It's free(ish) cyberspace after all, but just may be confusing in the context of Iain's blog and even more so ConservativeHome where I post more but much of the readership overlaps. One likes to kid oneself that one had built up a small online persona under that name. So if you can think up something different, I would appreciate it.

It's good that it's safe now in Tory circles for Londoners to come out of the closet. At 43% for Boris first preferences, only 1% behind the national local elections score, (with acknowlegements to the late Queen Mother) we Londoners can now look England in the face.

Anonymous said...

Not Londoner: "I didn't realise the handle was exclusive and taken."

That sort of name cannot be exclusive, as the complainant should realise.

Anonymous said...

After her vile performance on Adam Boulton's joke programme last Sunday in which Rachel Johnson could manage two words before this simply ghastly individual interrupted, I think both her and Portillo should be pensioned off.

Brillo is above all this BBC bias malarkey, & they've both had a five year stint on this programme. Time for a new take upon the Westminster village methinks.

Who can take a programme with Abbott, Portillo, and Maguire contributing, seriously now?
Abbott is a lazy fool, Portillo is a bitter diconnected loser, & Maguire helps to edit a comic.

Anonymous said...

As a Conservative, I realise that there are times when the BBC is biased, but it really is not as bad as you (and others) seem to think. If you don't like This Week, why not complain to its new editor, Robbie Gibb? He worked on Portillo's leadership campaign in 2001, and his brother is Conservative MP Nick Gibb

Mulligan said...


Thinking about this it is great if the BBC keep wheeling out these fools in denial to make the Labour Party look more and more out of touch with their rehearsed and tired rhetoric. Also keeps any Tories out of risk of any foot in mouth moments that would be exploited to the full by the ever neutral Beeb (sic).

BTW Haven't seen much of your mate Draper since his shocking effort alongside your good self on that post Question Time program. I'm sure he could turn quite a few more floating voters away from Labour given a few guest spots on This Week and similar political programmes.

Anonymous said...

'Someone' has just proposed a replacement for Portillo:

'Might it not be appropriate therefore for the BBC to find another balancing figure who is a broadcaster and a Tory? Like, errm, Iain Dale?'

(I thought the errm rather harsh). Why not? You seem to get on even with your opponents. Your predictions on 30 Apr were accurate, and although commentators shy away from them, predications verify whether an 'expert' has a well-tuned political antenna, and this pleb for one likes them. Come to think of it, John Hutton made an uncannily prescient observation of Gordon as PM.

Chris Paul’s analysis is, as usual, spot on. Few are blessed with the kind of perspicacity that makes them 100% wrong all the time. I have read his vacuous Blog once, like most of his readers. On the few occasions there are comments, half are from himself and his contributions are invariably the longest. It is a unique achievement to be the resident Troll on your own blog. Bitchmodeoff. He’s sad but harmless. I would still be tempted to personalise his word verification to a much harder level.

More pedantry, or more likely I’m being even thicker than usual, but a newer posting mentions ‘the ghost at Banqo’s feast’. Does such a feast exist? I feel this is like using Frankenstein when referring to his monster. (I know it’s OT but it’s at 0 comments and this isn’t suitable to be the first one).

Bill Quango MP said...

To Conservative Party Central Office 1/07/07

Dear Sir,
I would like to put my name forward for the Conservative candidate for Mayor of London. I have many years political experience and have almost run as a candidate before.
I have been in leadership races and am currently very engaged with the media,including the normally hostile BBC which would surely prove to be an advantage.
I look forward to your reply.
Yours M.Portillo.

Dear Sir further to your reply to my letter of 1/7/07 I believe that my own unique qualities have not been adequately demonstrated.
I was the MP for Southgate.I was Tory minister for transport.
I gave my [un?]hesitant support to John Major and I have been a Media and journalist figure since the 1990's.
Please reconsider this matter as I feel you are missing a unique personality to battle for London.

Dear Sir,
What utter bollocks you write.If you want a media celebrity then pick a serious one, like me.
Boris Johnson? Are you sure sir?
I have superior intellect, charm and tact and grace you moron, far in excess of Boris.
Well sir, you have lost London again and frankly it will come as no surprise to me if your polling ratings collapse nationwide too. This is a very poor joke indeed.
I agreed with minimum wage and making the BOE independent.
Who will you make Chancellor and minister of defence? Ant and Dec?
perhaps Johnathan Ross could be minister for culture!
I would like to take this opportunity to cancel my membership and return my 'Shadow Cabinet ministers do it in the dark' mug.
My vote will go to Ken.
Yours, with envy, sour grapes, disgust and a sense of betrayal and of being passed by again..
Michael Portillo. Ex MP

Oscar Miller said...

Jim Middlepark - in what way is BBC bias not as bad as we "seem to think"? Are you telling us not to trust our own judgement? This Week was self evidently biased - packed with Labour apologists. According to the latest YouGov poll nearly half the country say they intend to vote Conservative but the BBC can barely bring themselves to acknowledge their existence. And as for Robbie Gibb working for Portillo - that is no recommendation whatsoever. Don't palm us off with this kind of soft soap. The evidence is in the editorial policy of the programme - not in whoever the editor might (or might not) vote for.

Anonymous said...

"We have long memories (us proles) and we have a great stamina in informing 30 years old children who may be wobbling towards Conservatism after never having been served under one."

More searing political insight from a Labour politician so popular that when he stood in the local elections the BNP won in his ward.

Anonymous said...

Dave H. said...
"Chris Paul’s .. Blog. On the few occasions there are comments, half are from himself and his contributions are invariably the longest. "

Many bloggers make a point of replying to each comment. It's called 'common courtesy'.

Oscar Miller said...

BTW - Feedback on R4 is interviewing Humphrys on his bias and different treatment of Cameron and Brown on those infamous interviews that failed to influence voters last week. So far - he's blaming it on the fact that Cameron was combatative and Brown has been in power for a long time and therefore has real things to talk about. Actually - you really have to listen to this for sheer chutzpah - when in doubt blame the listeners.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone spot that Portillo was desperately trying to stop falling asleep the whole time.

Right near the start of the program, the camera cut back to show him lifting his head and shaking himself awake.

He also looked him and given his comments on the show, and his alleged behaviour at City Hall last week, has he been given his cards.

Dead man snoring...

Oh, and I agree - the worst THIS WEEK ever - by a long way.

robbinghood said...

If you want to see some objective comments (not!) about ' This Week' go to this vomit-inducing page:

('This Week' letters page.)

Needless to say, comments about Yellow Portello not being representative of the Conservative viewpoint, and therefore destroying the impartiality of the programme do NOT get published.

Anonymous said...

anon at 1:37.
Fair enough -if he were just being polite, good luck to him. The point is when bloggers' replies are so much longer than the comments, something more than courtesy is operating. Also, with his own blog to ease his frustrations, why is he so obsessed with Iain's?

Won't add more: I have now replied to a reply on a replied attack on an eccentric commentor. This so wildly OT it must end.

Anonymous said...

Oh, do get over yourself, you've had plenty of attention, don't be so whingy and greedy. That Matthew Taylor now; he's the real business, so I hope No. 10 was watching and will invite him back for a chat. Portillo not voting for Boris....?

Anonymous said...

Whining Oscar Millar and co. have really select memories. All the years that members of the current Government have been scrutinised, sneered at, and interrupted by Humphries have been applauded and approved by the opposition. But put Cameron under a bit of heavy questioning and he collapses like an unset jelly, the wuss. If Tories win the GE expect more of the same, the public have every right to know what they stand for, and threats to break up the Beeb will go down like a lead balloon. Get over it.

Anonymous said...

Portillo is from the past and stuck in the past!

Portillo was saying recently the tories could not win an election or do better than get even in seats with Labour - Portillo is a joke! Everything stopped for him in 1997. He should not have bottled standing for the leadership in 1995. Portillo is not much of an authority on leadership - think it is that line of yellow down his back that demonstrates this. Enjoy your sour grapes michael!

Contrast Portillo to Heseltine last night or Cameron. You may not agree with Heseltine or Cameron but they are real men - ready to stand up and be counted!

Anonymous said...

"The only good thing about the programme is Andrew Neil.", someone says. And quite right too. Which makes claims of bias against the BBC a bit thin (excepot of course that This Week comes on at a patheric late hour.

And as for Neil, he being a Scot as well remember, I am afraid he had me rolling on the floor with his description of Wendy Alexander -- "Wee Wendy McNumpty".

Clearly people do not like Portillo, but he does his duly appointed job on this programme better than more honestly than Abbott.