Anorak News | Softly, Softly

Softly, Softly

by | 14th, October 2003

‘JUST when it looked like the Quiet Man had found his voice and was ready to take on the world, Iain Duncan Smith finds himself engaged in a life-or-death political battle over “sleaze”.

Still laughing at the idea of the Tories winning the next election

“Sleaze? How 20th Century,” we hear you sigh, and there is certainly something familiar about it all.

“But at least sleaze was associated with Tory governments, rather than opposition rumps,” you counter, “so surely the Tories must be heading in the right direction.”

True enough, but the IDS sleaze allegations are a far cry from the exciting days of yore.

He is accused of fiddling payments to his wife, who worked as his secretary – standard practice among MPs of course, but now subject to strict parliamentary rules governing disclosure, and also of interest to the taxman.

And it is here that the problem arises.

IDS’s defence is that his wife Betsy (or BDS, as she is now known) was far from being a nice little earner.

The Telegraph reports that she worked more than 25 hours a week for less than £15,000 a year, according to the couple.

Affidavits have been supplied from a few close colleagues, but this has only fuelled the row.

The Times raises the question of the large numbers of Tories who DIDN’T confirm the story, and reports allegations that some of IDS’s staff were pressured into signing statements, but refused.

It looks grim for the beleaguered Tory supremo, but he has one thing going for him.

As everyone knows, quiet men can often prove to me the most dangerous when they are cornered. Or, as a very successful politician once said, speak softly and carry a big stick.’

Posted: 14th, October 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink