Anorak News | Putting It Bluntly

Putting It Bluntly

by | 22nd, October 2003

‘NOW that David Blaine is back on dry land and sitting down to a McDonalds Happy Meal somewhere, who can we find to take his place in the box?

‘Well, at least I’ve still got my looks’

Step forward to a volley of rotten eggs and golf balls, Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith.

The former guards officer who didn’t attend the University of Perugia is fast becoming a Blainesque object of ridicule with even members of his own party queuing up to hurl abuse at him.

This morning it is the turn of Crispin Blunt, who last night sent a letter to fellow MPs urging them to rise up against their leader.

“I believe the party is at a moment of strategic opportunity and danger,” he writes in the letter, which was leaked to the Independent.

“If I didn’t believe with every instinct that we must act now to save our party from further decline, that we do have an opportunity to return our party to power and that this is absolutely in the country’s interest, then I would do nothing.

“It is after all the easiest course.”

Indeed it is – but is it the course that Betsy Duncan Smith took to earn her £15,000 a year or was she in fact working long into the night sending out Christmas cards to all her husband’s political friends?

Before anyone suggests that the latter task might have been accomplished in the time it takes to lick one stamp, we should remind you that the whole affair is currently in the hands of Sir Philip Mawer.

Suffice it to say that in the Telegraph even IDS’s friends are urging him to call a vote of confidence.

However, they think the leader should appeal over the heads of his back-benchers to the party membership in order to try to protect his own position.

“His allies…think that such a move could pre-empt a formal vote of confidence among MPs,” the paper says.

Despite talk of resignations from the Shadow Cabinet, most MPs appear to be waiting for the outcome of Sir Philip’s investigations into so-called Betsygate before deciding whether to act against their leader.

But Mr Blunt, who resigned from the Opposition front bench in May, believes that, by doing so, they may miss the opportunity to ditch him altogether.

As Macbeth says of the murder of another Duncan, “If it were done when’t is done, then ’t were well/ It were done quickly”.’

Posted: 22nd, October 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink