Anorak News | To The Bitter End

To The Bitter End

by | 27th, October 2003

‘POLITICIANS’ aides go to a lot of time and trouble to make sure their bosses are always photographed in the best light (and we’re not talking about apertures and F-stops here).

IDS, BDS and their new secretary are happy as they are

But when your man is on his way down, there is not much you can do to prevent a picture of him enjoying a pint with a group of students being recast as a drink in the last chance saloon.

And so it is this morning with Iain Duncan Smith, a picture of whom supping said pint appears on the front cover of both the Guardian and the Telegraph.

It now seems certain that the unrest over IDS’s leadership will come to a climax this week after what the Telegraph calls “a weekend of feverish speculation”.

The man himself is insisting that he will not go, but those plotting to unseat him have started to break cover with former whip Derek Conway suggesting in the Independent that he was “not up to the job”.

The conspirators need to have submitted 25 letters of no confidence in their leader by Wednesday’s meeting of the 1922 Committee if they are to force a contest.

However, privately MPs are telling the Telegraph that there could be as many as 40 or 50 names – “which would be intended to force Mr Duncan Smith to quit without a formal vote”.

Even a member of the shadow cabinet concedes that it is all over for the former guards officer.

“He’s obviously passionate in his belief he’s been undermined by some people inside his tent,” he tells the Guardian. “But the tide is now flowing away from Iain and he won’t get it back.”

But John Redwood, a man who has made a career of running for the Tory party leadership, says a contest will not change anything and urges IDS to hold firm.

“We have been told that the 25 names would be there once the conference ended, once parliament returned, once the 1922 committee met again, once we reached the weekend, once we reached the next weekend,” he writes in the Guardian.

“Now we are told they will be there today. It has been like waiting for Godot.”

“We’ll hang ourselves tomorrow,” Vladimir tells Estragon at the end of the Samuel Beckett play. “Unless Godot comes.” “And if he comes?” “We’ll be saved.”

Don’t bet on it.’

Posted: 27th, October 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink