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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

 

And it's goodnight from them...

Just how important is the Tory leadership contest? Whoever wins is most unlikely to become prime minister. And if recent form is anything to go by, the winner is likely to be overthrown in just two years' time.

BBC1's 6pm news last night got it right. The speeches of Ken Clarke and David Cameron were considered somewhat newsworthy, but not as much as the death of
Ronnie Barker, which took top billing.

Which means that, instead of some po-faced dissertation on the qualities of Sir Malcolm Rifkind, I can repeat some of Ronnie Barker's better jokes:

In a packed show tonight, we'll be talking to an out-of-work contortionist who can says he can no longer make ends meet.

The toilets at a local police station have been stolen. Police say they have nothing to go on.

The search for the man who terrorises nudist camps with a bacon slicer goes on. Inspector Lemuel Jones had a tip-off this morning, but hopes to be back on duty tomorrow.

There was a strange happening during a performance of Elgar's Sea Pictures at a concert hall in Bermuda tonight, when the man playing the triangle disappeared.
And a prescient political joke regarding the sanity of the Dear Leader:

The prime minister held a meeting with the cabinet today. He also spoke to the bookcase and argued with the chest of drawers.
How true, how true.

Comments:
A great actor. They'll still be watching Porridge in a 100 years time.

Just discovered that Ronnie Barker turned down the chance to play Frank Spencer in Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'em!

http://www.screenonline.org.uk/tv/id/467706/

Now that would have been interesting....
 
Just how important is the Tory leadership contest?

I'd say fairly. The Tories can't keep on screwing things up on the present scale for ever, and an awful lot of electors would love to desert New Labour if only they had a non-laughable alternative to choose.

The shameful thing is that the Liberal Democrats haven't exploited the Tories' difficulties more effectively. The Party seems more interested in defending the interests of a collection of fringe interests and has little to say to "normal" people.

Indeed there is a nasty Liberal (as opposed to Liberal Democrat) habit, to which the author of this blog is sadly not immune, of dismissing Tory voters as bigots when actually many average joes who just want a house, family and decent job are going back to the Tories because the Liberal Democrats have said nothing of interest to them.

Now after their conference it looks as if the Tories may have one or two leadership candidates who are not utterly incompetent and rabid. Whilst it remains an odds-on bet that the Conservative membership can still be relied upon to choose the more useless of the candidates put to them, it's just possible that the Tory MPs will manage to send them 2 competent candidates to choose from.

If that happens I'd say the Liberal Democrats do have quite a lot to worry about, yes.
 
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