Anorak News | The House

The House

by | 23rd, October 2003

‘FORGET Big Brother. Forget Pop Idol and Fame Academy, Wife Swap and The Salon.

‘Go back to your constituencies and prepare for government!’

The reality hit of the summer has been putting 163 men and women (but mostly men) in a house together and telling them to organise themselves into a party that people would elect into government.

Unfortunately, the TV cameras were too busy shooting Britain’s Worst Dressed Celebrity Driver to follow the trials and tribulations of the Tory party.

But the papers have been providing round-the-clock coverage as an organisation that was renowned as the most efficient election-winning machine in history tears itself apart.

Yesterday was “wobbly Wednesday” for the party’s erstwhile leader, Iain Duncan Smith, with one MP describing the atmosphere in Westminster as “hysterical”.

The Times says he is on the ropes and “fighting to stop his remaining authority ebbing away”, but IDS is defiant, claiming that he has earned his right to lead the party.

But the paper says Duncan Smith’s chance of survival look slimmer than ever – a view endorsed by the Telegraph which suggests that 15 MPs have sent letters of no confidence, 10 short of the number needed to trigger a leadership contest.

The Indy goes further, suggesting that IDS’s own chief whip, David MacLean, had warned him to bow out gracefully or face a challenge to his position.

All of which makes hilarious viewing for the audience in the House, namely the Labour, Liberal Democrat and minority party MPs, and for the audience at home.

And proving that the Tory party at war is bitchier place than a gay hairdressers’ convention, the political hacks have been scurrying round Westminster collecting jibes.

One party activist, for instance, tells the Telegraph: “I thought we’d elected an officer who knew how to lead his troops and keep up morale.

“Instead, we’ve got his ballerina mother, a sensitive prima donna.”

A former member of staff claimed IDS was “so intellectually insecure, he can’t admit he’s not an expert on something”.

And an MP tells the Times: “Whilst it is true we need 25 names to have a vote of confidence, we only need three names to get him sectioned.”

Hooray! And Frank Bruno for next leader!’

Posted: 23rd, October 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink