Election diary: The truth, as usual, is somewhere in between

PUBLISHED: 15:00 13 May 2017

Iain Dale: Election Diary

Iain Dale: Election Diary

Archant

Brexit blaming and sofa talk: Our (Brexiteer) diarist Iain Dale records a new election week

I’m really not sure about this so-called ‘Progressive Alliance’. I mean, what’s progressive about subverting democracy? If a political party is serious about power it should stand in every seat. To pick and choose the seats you put up candidates in, based upon your dislike for another party is, well, just a bit pathetic.

I was full of praise for the Green Party in 2015 as it made a real effort to stand in every constituency in the country. They even had a crowdfunding initiative to enable them to pay the deposits. This time, they’re oh so keen on trying to be too damned clever by half. They’ve persuaded the lily-livered Lib Dems to stand down in Brighton Pavilion to give Caroline Lucas a better chance of retaining her seat, not that she’s in any danger anyway with a near 8,000 majority. I’m sure the Lib Dems’ 1,525 votes will be crucial. Not.

It’s the political equivalent of virtue signalling. Green voters in Richmond Park will be denied the chance to vote Green, all in the name of ensuring that the Greenest Tory MP in the Commons Zac Goldsmith is ousted. He may be Green, but he’s a Tory, you see. And, by definition, all Tories are evil. Glad to have cleared that one up. This rather squalid campaign has little to do with ‘progressiveness’, whatever that it is. In reality it’s the ‘Anyone But a Tory’ campaign.

***

I see the Telegraph is recruiting a ‘Brexit Editor’. No, I won’t be applying – a dreadful place to work at the moment, I gather. It’s a bit of an odd job title, though. I assume it’s a fixed term contract…

***

I think an intern must have got hold of Nick Clegg’s Twitter password this week. On Tuesday he was tweeting that petrol had gone up to £1.22 a litre and it was all due to Brexit. Oh dear. When he was Deputy Prime Minister, petrol rose to more than £1.40 a litre. This constant desire among people who ought to know better to blame everything on Brexit is getting tiresome. Yes there are some negative economic consequences to Brexit, but there are many positive ones too. Yet to listen to some arch-remainers we’re all going to hell in a handcart, while to Brexit ideologues the land will be flowing with milk and honey. The truth, as usual, is somewhere in between.

***

I tuned into The One Show on BBC1 for the first time ever on Tuesday. The Prime Minister and her husband were guests on the famous sofa, and were subjected to half an hour of the most insipid questioning I have ever seen on TV from Matt Baker and Alex Jones. Baker is the sort of man who probably kisses every mirror he passes, while Jones just oozes ‘please like me, please like me’. Philip May came across as a rather nice man, who suffers from the drawback of being a Hank Marvin lookey-likey. The Prime Minister sailed through the interview without giving anything away and managing to restrict herself to using the words strong and stable in the same sentence only once.

The Alt-Left like to think that the BBC is biased to the right, and this spectacle (I can’t bring myself to call it an interview) won’t have done anything to dissuade them from that view. Sadly, Mrs Corbyn isn’t being allowed by Jeremy to join him on The One Show sofa when it’s his turn, but all eyes will be on Matt and Alex to see if they can top this week’s saccharine levels. It’s surely not possible without them immediately turning into diabetics.

***

Last Friday night I was invited to be part of Newsnight’s Election panel, along with the delightful Polly Mackenzie from the Lib Dems and the ultra-Corbynista Paul Mason. I was determined not to let him wind me up, but he was out of the traps in barking madness right from the off, accusing Amber Rudd, Theresa May and the whole Tory Party of being racist – and this in answer to a question about how Jeremy Corbyn can get his campaign back on track. Whenever I do TV interviews, afterwards I usually phone my partner to check it was OK and my flies weren’t undone. “How did I do,” I asked. “Well your body language and face told the audience exactly what you thought of Paul Mason,” he replied. “In which bit?” I asked. “All of it,” came the reply. And there was me thinking I could act.

***

Michael Gove. There. I’ve written the name of a politician designed to bring any reader of this newspaper out into a rash. I did a 30 minute Election Call Phone-in with The Gover this week. I ended up by asking him for a Yes or No answer to this question: Would you accept a post in Theresa May’s new cabinet. “Yes,” he said without deviation, hesitation or repetition. When I asked him the same question three weeks ago he just giggled like a girl. Isn’t it funny how an election campaign concentrates the mind?

Support The New European's vital role as a voice for the 48%

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

  • Become a friend of The New European for a contribution of £48. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish)
  • Become a partner of The New European for a contribution of £240. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook
  • Become a patron of The New European for a contribution of £480. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook and an A3 print of The New European front cover of your choice, signed by Editor Matt Kelly

By proceeding, you agree to the New Europeans supporters club Terms & Conditions which can be found here.



Supporter Options

Mention Me in The New European



If Yes, Name to appear in The New European



Latest Articles

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

New Ukip leader Henry Bolton named the party's new 'shadow cabinet' today - and what a bunch they are

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Catalonians against self-rule came out in their thousands the weekend before last.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

It might seem quixotic, at a time when Spain looks like it is falling apart, but could the country’s future lie in a union with neighbour Portugal? DAVID BARKER investigates ‘Iberism’

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

ALEXANDRA HADDOW on the Nordic trendsetters who have style sussed

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A second referendum that reverses Brexit would have a "positive" and "significant" impact on the UK economy, which is on track to be crippled by its EU divorce, an influential think tank claimed today.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Making money is no longer enough for firms, say ANGELA JAMESON

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The question, in a quiet voice, came from a woman in the audience at the Henley Festival’s Brexit debate, in a quiet voice: “So what do I tell my children now? They planned to live and work for a time in Europe. What now?”

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Millions of families already struggling with soaring prices could end up being another £500 worse off if Britain crashes out of the European Union without a deal, according to a report.

Monday, October 16, 2017

A day of action across the UK saw thousands of people take to the streets to demand Brexit is stopped.

Friday, October 13, 2017

People have been asking me if I know Simon Brodkin, the character-comedian/prankster who interrupted the Prime Minister’s conference speech to hand her a mock redundancy notice.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Angela Merkel’s power has taken a blow in the wake of the German election. Here Tony Paterson reports from Berlin on the new shape of German politics.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Roland Garros had every intention of pursuing a career as a concert pianist. An air show outside Reims during the late summer of 1909 changed all that.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Chancellor has admitted no Brexit deal could leave planes grounded in March 2019.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Catalonian crisis has put Europe, as well as Spain, in jeopardy, says PAUL KNOTT.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

It’s not a stretch to say that the economics of digital advertising are to blame for disasters like Brexit and Trump.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Boris Johnson is desperate to get into Number 10 – but it seems the Prime Minister has other ideas.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

We’re living in the Age of Cool Dad, with politicians obsessed with burnishing their pop culture credentials, says SAMIRA AHMED.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Theresa May has claimed “the ball is in their court” in a statement to the House of Commons updating MPs on the Brexit negotiations. Brussels, however, disagree.

Monday, October 9, 2017

By attempting to quash the result before it was even known, Madrid has made the case for Catalan independence all but unanswerable.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Lawyers have told the Government that Article 50 is not binding and can be scrapped at any time before the March 2019 deadline, it has been claimed.

Monday, October 9, 2017

The deluded fantasies of Leavers must have been inspired by the big screen says Have I Got News For You writer NATHANIEL TAPLEY. Here, he brings you the most Brexity films of all time.

Monday, October 9, 2017

France might be home of its most famous race, but Italy is the country with cycling in its DNA. To find out why, Patrick Sawer makes a tearful pilgrimage to its shrine to the sport.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Trieste, the city which has survived centuries of seductive illusions.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

As ambitions go, Lee Humphries’ is an unusual, if lofty, one – to ascend the highest points of 100 different countries. As he crests the halfway mark in his quest, he explains all to Julian Shea.

Friday, October 6, 2017

PETER TRUDGILL traces the clockwork progress of the word ‘orange’ from southern India to northern Europe, and finds the odd detour.

Friday, October 6, 2017

JUSTIN REYNOLDS on the Thomas Mann novel which tried to make sense of the descent of Europe’s most cultured nation into Nazism.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

In the days before Stephen Paddock reignited America’s gun control debate by raining down rapid fire carnage on the Las Vegas strip, a familiar voice was again calling the shots inside Donald Trump’s head.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Ahead of the return to London of arguably his greatest work, Glengarry Glen Ross, Charlie Connelly considers the craft of polymath and playwright David Mamet.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

As with other such tragedies, the Las Vegas massacre quickly brought out the worst of the internet, says JONO READ.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

They have a new leader, but do they have a new purpose? RICHARD PORRITT went behind enemy lines at the UKIP conference and found a party on the brink.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Spain is facing an existential threat, says JASON WALSH, with the country’s fragile compromise – which has held since the end of Franco’s dictatorship – now in tatters.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

What does it say about the Conservative government that Boris Johnson, a man whose record for lying, cheating and disgracing himself on the national stage stands alone in our political history, is not only tolerated in government, but actually holds one of the great offices of state?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Steve Anglesey rounds up the losers and losers (because there are no winners) of another crazy seven days on Planet Brexit.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

RICHARD PORRITT with this week's big stories.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Now the hype is over, what can we expect next from the king of hygge? As our culture correspondent Viv Groskop reports, it’s time to like lykke.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Gin has undergone a remarkable resurgence in popularity in recent years, with many new brands and flavours emerging. There are some older producers, though, with a heritage even stronger than the gin they create.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

There's good news and bad news for online news publishers: The good is that people are increasingly willing to pay for digital news subscriptions. The bad is that news often takes a back seat to entertainment services like Netflix and Spotify.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Peter Trudgill on a remarkable discovery which transformed the way we think about languages.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Jack Lang meets the football coach who has eschewed the English game to carve out a career in the dugouts of Latvia.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

How the 'Flying Finn' dominated distance running during the 1920s through sheer dogged determination more than natural talent.

Podcast

Trending

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter