Sunday, March 29, 2009

Wheeler: Dale is Right - I Love Publicity

Well that was a bit of a shock. Jon Sopel, on the Politics Show, just quoted by blogpost last night on Stuart Wheeler, during an interview with him. This is how the exchange went...

JON SOPEL: What do you say then to other charge that this is about vanity on the part of Stuart Wheeler. A Conservative blogger, Iain Dale described you today as a menace. ‘He needs a regular fix of publicity. Wheeler is a walking advertisement for the benefit of state funding of political parties, to which I am opposed’.
STUART WHEELER: Well I’m opposed to it as well but whether it’s a vanity or not, you’d better ask my daughters, they’re rather inclined to agree with him about that but actually, I mind like hell about it… (interjection)
JON SOPEL: So you are a bit vain about it?
STUART WHEELER: I think anyone who enjoys coming on a show with you, you probably are a bit vain about being on the show yourself.

Tim Montgomerie has now agreed with me that Wheeler should be thrown out of the Party. Read his reasons HERE.


strapworld said...

Perhaps Mr Montgomerie and your goodself can tell the Conservative Party where you are going to get four or five million pounds for them?

You lost the argument in the previous post and like all EU fanatics, and continental politicians, you move on and try again and again.

Mr Wheeler can do whatever he wants with his money.

Mr Draper must be really pleased with you today!

I do hope that Mr Wheeler says that in light of what Mr Dale and Mr Montgomerie have said. He will not donate any more money to the Conservative Party.l

What if he gave that money to the BNP? They are not a proscribed organisation and they have far more councillors than ukip! Could you ever forgive yourself?

Mr Wheeler does not trust the conservative party on its eu policy, and neither do a great many people. Myself included.

Perhaps you could ask the question on your blog: Who did more damage to the Conservative Party?

I think Mr Wheeeler would be bottom of any list. BUT present members of the Conservative Party top echelons would be!

Iain Dale said...

Mr Wheeler can indeed do what he wants with his money. And he can suffer the consequences. He's free to support who he wants, but he can't have a foot in both camps.

Plato said...

Well done him. I've got so immune to spin and side-stepping that a speck of honesty goes a jolly long way.

Bit like Max Mosely.

Simon Gardner said...

strapworld said... “ all EU fanatics...”

[Splutters into coffee and drenches keyboard.]

Are you talking ABOUT IAIN???

Talk about losing the plot.

JuliaM said...

"Mr Wheeler does not trust the conservative party on its eu policy, and neither do a great many people."

This is the crux of it. It's why the Tories will win the next election because people voted AGAINST Labour, not FOR them.

JuliaM said...

Also, your headline is wrong. It should read: 'Wheeler's daughters: Dale is right, Dad loves publicity'

After all, the excerpt states "WHEELER: My daughters would agree with him. They say I like publicity."

That doesn't equate to Wheeler agreeing with you, does it?

Andrew said...


Labour's in touble in Scotland on Dunfermline Building Society. Politic Show Scotland just had the Chairman on and he was really angry about the way the UK government has handled this.

Suggested that they are playing party politics and there were also suggestions from the interviewer that Labour spinners had been leaking this.

If it comes up on iPlayer get it up. This is really damaging for Brown. It shows they aren't acting in the best interests of the economy but what they think helps their party.

They look determined to take away any independent company control in Scotland which they haven't applied elsewhere.

Iain Dale said...

Andrew, thanks for that.

JuliaM, He did actually agree that he loves publicity. I will post the video when it appears on iPlayer.

strapworld said...

With the views expressed by Mr Hannan. They are at odds with the Conservative Party.So why are you not demanding he be de-selected as a candidate?

You are saying that people cannot have contrary views in the Conservative Party.

What about the members (fully paid up members) of the conservative party that help and vote for ukip throughout the country. Will you expel those?

You really have started a ridiculous argument.

Simon gardner. Iain likes to play the anti eu line when it suits him. But this and the first blog shows where he truly stands. A fanatic!

JuliaM said...

"He did actually agree that he loves publicity. I will post the video when it appears on iPlayer."

I look foward to seeing it.

No complaints about the title of your latest post, mind you. Worthy of 'The Sun'..! ;)

Iain Dale said...

Strapworld, you are being uncharacteristically stupid. Dan Hannan has never advocated anything other than voting Conservative.

All political parties are coalitions. No one agrees with everything their own party does. But that doesn't mean they then go an d give money to or donate to a rival political party.

Tim Hedges said...

Er... sorry I'm late on this but the way to solve the problem is for Cameron to restate publicly and clearly his policy of repatriating powers from Brussels. That would get me voting for him and probably Wheeler too. Why isn't he?

Paul Halsall said...

Isn't "throwing people out of the party" kinda Stalinist?

Siberian Tory said...

So your a fanatic if you are in opposition to and ever larger EU state but don't support full withdrawal and think the party should discipline people who deliberatly undermine it.

It's not Iain who sounds the fanatic. Why not bugger off and join UKIP?

Simon Gardner said...

strapworld said... “You are saying that people cannot have contrary views in the Conservative Party.”

I’ve heard him doing no such thing. Indeed he does it himself frequently.

He is saying that advocating people vote for an opposing party at an election is an expulsion offence. [Martin Bell was an Independent and so not an opposing party.]

It certainly is explicitly so in other parties. Usually, it’s written down. Or it’s “case law” and custom and practice.

Are things different then in the Conservative Party? I’m curious.

Siberian Tory said...

On another note Cameron is a Eurosceptic in fact he's a big government sceptic like most of us.

But banging on about one issue isn't the way forward. We attack the instituion but do so by promoting local democracy not by ranting!

We're having a hard enough fight here in Siberia as it is without a bunch of Home County types buggering up our chances!

strapworld said...

You may say I am being uncharacteristically stupid but that does not alter the fact. When in ukip I met so many conservatives who attended fund raising do's and meetings- it is a fact.

Mr Hannan does not spout the party line on the EU!

But writing about free speech and politicians I
recommend you all visit this link and watch the two video's


ukipwebmaster said...

A purge?
How very Soviet Union..........
Is Daniel Hannan next?

Simon Gardner said...

strapworld said... “Mr Hannan does not spout the party line on the EU!”


Again it’s not about “spouting the party line”.


Give me strength.

Anonymous said...

I'm not remotely interested in Wheeler...

But I find it quite interesting that Iain thinks seeking publicity is 'wrong' and why that might be 'vain'. Especially when Iain has just put up a post promoting his appearance on 5live tonight? What's the difference? Is that perhaps a slightly hypocritical stance to take? Just asking...


Anonymous said...

For me the issue is one of money. It's not becoming for a wealthy donor to say I'm giving the party this much money and Cameron's agreed to do XXX. Which is undoubtedly what Wheeler would have said to the media if Cameron had succumbed to his pressure.

I might agree with Wheeler's message but not his methods. Others have tried it before - as per Pol-e-tics

Iain Dale said...

Canvas, I will give you the ebenefit of the doubt and assume you didn't see my post on this yesterday.

The point I was making is that Stuart Wheeler pops up on the Today Programme whenever there is an issue he disagrees with the Tory Party on, as if he needs his fix of publicity. Just because he gave the party a lot of money 9 years ago gives him no more right than anyone else to influence party policy.

If I appeared on the media only when there was a problem for the Tories your allegation of hypocrisy might have some legs. As it stands, it does not.

strapworld said...

simon gardner,

You really should calm down. You are quite juvenile in your outbursts and obviously are of the erroneous view that it is your role in life to edit others contributions.

When I say spout, I mean spout and if spouting a different line to the party line is not inviting people to consider voting for a party that supports that line, I do not know what is.

But,there again,one cannot have the intelligence and knowledge of political affairs as your goodself.

God, How do you sleep at night. PLEASE do not answer that I have found you to be the most boring of contributors.

Must go now, evensong beckons.

Anonymous said...

Iain, I didn'r read up on Wheeler because I'm simply not interested in the story. However, your comment now makes sense - in context.

I just thought it was amusing to hear you slamming publicity and vanity! :)

We all know that quid pro quo is 'politics as usual'. I'm also pretty sure that David Cameron won't subscribe to the politics of yesterday.

Look, Wheeler is an old man - soon he'll be dust in the ground. It's important for all of us to challenge dodgy old fashioned politicians - so for that I applaud you.

But I still think that you too thrive on publicity! haha.

Simon Gardner said...

strapworld said... “When I say spout, I mean spout and if spouting a different line to the party line is not inviting people to consider voting for a party that supports that line, I do not know what is.”

Then you are a complete ignormamus.

Who knew?

Simon Gardner said...

There is this strange attitude to UKIP - which has been noted when working in previous Euro elections. I came across a pub once full of UKIP-supplied free beermats and a few posters - during a Euro-election. The landlord was a keen supporter of a.n.other party and didn’t notice the teensy little problem until it was pointed out to him.

UKIP is a political party in elections.

Then - shazam - suddenly it’s just a very right-wing pressure group and not really a party at all.

Shazam again - and it turns itself back into being a political party contesting an election against the grown-ups.

So which is it? Is it a pressure group and OK for a member of another party to support? Or is it another party and verboten?

It’s clear from posts above that it is being both - whichever is convenient.

Neat trick.

Simon Gardner said...

From the BBC website:

Tory donor is expelled from party

“Mr Wheeler is unhappy with the Conservatives' European policy
The Conservative party says it has expelled a multi-millionaire donor who gave £100,000 to UKIP.

“Spread-betting tycoon Stuart Wheeler said he was giving the money to UKIP in protest at the Tories' reluctance to talk about the EU.

“Mr Wheeler, an outspoken Euro-sceptic, gave £5m to the Conservatives in 2001.

“He said that he would vote UKIP in European elections in June but that he intended to remain a member of the Conservative party.

“Mr Wheeler had told the News of the World newspaper that "the European Union is doing so much damage to our economy and our way of life that I can no longer vote Conservative at the European elections".

“UKIP leader Nigel Farrage said he was delighted with Mr Wheeler's donation.

“However, a spokesman for the Conservatives had previously said that Mr Wheeler's decision would have no effect on party policy.”

strapworld said...


I may well be an ignoramus,
who can spell!!

Certainly not an ignormamus, whatever that may be.

Conand said...

Simon Gardner

I agree with everything you say in your comment @7:40, except that I wouldn't describe UKIP as right wing, not as right wing as LibDems and Labour anyway.
As you probably know by now, I am an Anti-Federalist Conservative. I agree entirely with your point about parties deciding whether they are a political party or a pressure group.
I am equally concerned about this in regards to the Trade Unions & Labour. The Unions are a pressure group, but they are entirely intergrated with one major party and only give money to that party.
This money, the political levy, is paid by members unless they opt out. Even though it is abundantly clear that Union members vote for many different parties this money only goes to one major party.
I find this profoundly perplexing. I would welcome your and other's thoughts on this matter.

Simon Gardner said...

Well I am not nor have I ever been a member of the Labour party. But Labour is the creation of the unions and not the other way round.

Despite Blair’s best efforts, the two remain inextricably linked. I think they always will be.

And I’m not sure I’d categorize the unions as a ‘pressure group” but I do take your point entirely. And for members there’s always the opt-out. The union-Labour link is a matter of history.

The same is not true of UKIP which stands on its own at elections in competition with the Conservative party - particularly at Euro-elections.

I have no particular wish to enter into an argument as to how right-wing UKIP is. Save to say, I have come across very, very many of its supporters at numerous public election meetings and its on this that I make my statement. They were indistinguishable from the BNP - whatever the leadership might say.

Conand said...

Simon, thanks for responding. I think the Unions are the mother of all pressure groups. They rightly campaigned/lobbied for better working conditions etc.
I would be amused if a Labour supporter used a 'union-Labour link is a matter of history' defense to me. When Conservatives say that kind of thing we're denounced as reactionary.
I guess the rightwing/leftwing thing depends on your worldview. The BNP however are definitely using the dark side of the force.
I used to live somewhere with C18 tags sprayed on walls in the street. In those days they were all a bit of a joke. Well my Sri Lankan mates thought so anyway. BNP is not a good place to be. If UKIP are going to that place, God/Allah/YW/Jove help them.