Anorak News | Do Not Disturb

Do Not Disturb

by | 28th, October 2003

‘IF you want to get on in politics, you need a good catchphrase.

‘And no-one told me I had been sacked for a whole seven years!’

That Thatcher lady was not for turning, Harold Macmillan told us how good we were having it and Tony Blair not only gave us his stuttering commitment to education but brought the word “guys” out of Cliff Richard films and into the public arena.

It’s clear that Iain Duncan Smith’s image makers – a job every bit as unenviable as Vanessa Feltz’s masseuse or Cherie Blair’s dentist – have noted the trend.

So following on from last year’s cry of “unite or die”, IDS is today calling on his detractors to “put up or shut up”.

As the Independent goes on to say, IDS has given his critics 48 hours to gather the 25 signatures needed to force a vote of confidence in him or else stop their plotting.

And the signs are that IDS doesn’t want to end things there. Like Jimmy Savile and Bruce Forsyth, IDS has realised that you can never say too much, you can never have too many phrases that epitomise your unique take on life.

And so it is that he says unto you, via the Times: “I cannot compel the plotters to quit the field but I’m confident my parliamentary colleagues, our party members and all fair-minded people will insist that my detractors accept their game is over.”

Not catchy at all, but it is him who is speaking, and that has to be an improvement on his customary performances.

No longer the “quiet man”, he goes on to say, “The rules are the rules” and that he is ready for the fight.

And so to the line which could well serve to sum up IDS’s tenure as leader of the opposition.

Sticking with the Times, IDS issues his final challenge to his enemies: “My door will be open to anyone to tell me [to go] in person.”

It is not hard to conjure up an image of a solitary IDS still sitting in his office waiting for a first knock a year from now, while beyond his door a new party leader has been elected.

Neither is the nameplate outside his parliamentary rooms, which no longer reads “Conservative Leader” but the more commanding “Do Not Disturb”.’

Posted: 28th, October 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink