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   Thursday, October 30, 2003
I am too busy to blog these days, sadly. Working (indirectly) for Big Oil as a wage slave isn't all internet and laziness after all. However, given the events in the Tory Party going on right now, I must comment.

IDS is no more! Excellent. And better, the Tories are beginning to finally show some vague sense of self preservation. Not only has IDS been dispatched finally, but it looks like Michael Howhard - er, Howard - is going to become the new leader without even a political contest.

The reason why Tory leadership battles are long and ugly is because of the grassroots vote. The parliamentary party selects the candidates, then the grassroots confirm their position - but balloting the 200,000 odd members of the Tory party takes a long time, under the spotlight of a hostile BBC and all the while leaderless and impotent in the Commons. However, it looks like the parliamentary party will select a shortlist of candidates with just one name on it - Michael Howard. Thus avoiding the long campaign for the adulation of the grassroots.

It's not democratic, but it does show a degree of statesmanship and desire for power among top Tories. David Davis, my personal favourite for leader, has decided not to run against Howard but instead to back him, as have many other potential challengers. This is excellent, the party are finally taking heed of IDS' old unite or die plea (just not under IDS).

And Britain could do far worse than have Howard as Prime Minister.

As an aside it is interesting to see the Left, paragons of colour blindness, suddenly start coming up with the racist epithets regards Howard. Calling him Dracula for example because his ancestry has Romanian links. There have even been some borderline anti-Semitic comments from Jeremy Paxman, apparently. I wonder what would happen if a black politician was nicknamed "Wog" or something distasteful of that ilk? They would be (rightfully) crucified by Left and Right.

But Eastern European/vaguely Jewish descent is fair game.

As an aside I found this post by someone going by the name of Critical Mass on the Guardian readers pages (always a source of amusement) which gives 40 reasons why we should all think Howard is the Devil incarnate.

I am amused (the Guardian never fails) because most of these heresies (to leftist eyes) I actually think are excellent reasons to vote for him. A few choice examples from the list follow...

Howard attacked Labour for defending the rights of trade unionists at GCHQ (in 1979 and 1981)

Trotskyite leaning unionists lobbying from within the intelligence services? No thanks.

Howard was the Minister who brought in Clause 28 of the Local Government Act banning the "promotion" of homosexuality (March 1988)

Excellent, more please, Michael...

As Employment Secretary, Howard tried to stop attempts at EU level to introduce a 48 hour working week and to give working women statutory maternity rights (June 1991)

And again, thank you for sticking up for what I agree with, Mr Howard...

Howard dumped Sir Stephen Tumin as Chief Inspector of Prisons because he thought he was too liberal (April 1996)


...and so on. It really is a pretty good list, and very revealing of the lefty mindset.

Oh my god! He's ignoring the precious EU!!!