Friday, September 06, 2002

Tory Splits. None Dead

Maybe its a sign of irrelevance, but why has the latest Tory split not been more widely repored. Why, the split on Iraq of course. If you were one of the millions (billions if looking worldwide) who did not see BBC's Newsnight, then you wouldn't have seen the intriguing piece on IDS's natives getting restless.

But they were. I must admit to not taking any notes, expecting the story to be on the internet today - so apologies for the vagueness of this report. First off was Francis Maude. I just remember him saying something about it being ill thought out and how we shouldn't be giving knee jerk support to the Yanks, I can't quite remember why it was so. I know that Frank has a reputation for being a nasty piece of work (and considering that this is a reputation gained from within the confines of the Conservative party, the chap has really earned his spurs) but I have a soft spot for him. He actually admitted that in Kosovo "no direct British interest was involved". A couple of his staff actually subscribed to my column in my days on I am fairly sure that this situation does not apply to Michael Ancram's office.

Next was Steve Norris, for whom I have no soft spot. He was talking about us needing to get the the holy writ of support from the United Nations. Of course I think that anything to do with the UN is rot and needs to be firmly dispensed with.

There were also interspersed whisperings from various "senior figures" who did not wished to be named saying that the Party shouldn't be so gung ho and unthinkingly supportive of either Labour or America.

Of course the fact is that Mr Maude and Mr Norris are both loyal spear carriers for the usually reliably pro-American Michael Portillo, so I don't have a clue what the internal machinations of this are.

No mention of this so far, apart from one entry in a discussion page. Any other sightings, or recollections of this piece will be greatly appreciated. That's the sort of thing the comments box is for.


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