The Nature Of The Beast
It was way back in April that I wrote about Ken Clarke possibly standing for the Tory leadership. Looking back, I was quite kind to him although I was mainly writing about the strange accents of Tory leaders.
The paradox of Ken Clarke is that whilst he's always described as an 'unspun' politician, his appeal is mainly the triumph of style over substance. The best known things about him are his Hush Puppies, love of jazz and bird-watching and promotion of smoking. Some people may also have noticed that he has a wife who looks like Miss Marple but without the sex appeal.
He's generally thought to have been a reasonably good Chancellor, although he wasn't in the job for long. Before that he was responsible for as many cock-ups as other Tory Ministers and managed to provoke an ambulance drivers' strike. He apparently described them as 'glorified taxi drivers' which couldn't have helped.
To save you the trouble I've been looking at his voting record and here's my brief, personal and extremely shallow guide to our Ken:
Voted against Iraq war (good)
Pro Europe (good)
Against ban on hunting (bad)
ID Cards: voted both for and against (make your mind up)
For adoption by gay couples (good)
Against equal age of consent (twat)
Against right to detain people without trial (good)
For Foundation Hospitals (bad)
For Faith schools (bad)
Against both all-elected Lords and all-appointed Lords (?)
I also have to put on the debit side his desire to reduce taxes and end tax credits and presumably stop any attempts at redistribution.
My gay readers should also know that this self-styled 'social liberal' believes that many of you would be happily married if a predatory older male had not corrupted you in your youth. This was how I heard him defend his opposition to an equal age of consent. Yet oddly he's happy for children to have two gay adoptive parents as role models.
One can't help feeling that Ken is as full of contradictions and/or blatant opportunism as our Tony. And it's just possible that might help him finally win the leadership.
I'm rather surprised that Tim Yeo didn't stay in the leadership race to appeal to the youth vote. Not only did he once have to resign for extra-curricular shagging activities but he has a name that's pronounced 'Yo!'
How cool is that?