15 2 mins 14 yrs

I do like reading Iain Dale, the UK Conservative blogger but I find I don’t agree with much that he says insofar is his conclusions have little connection to the body of his argument.

Let’s take two examples from his article in the Daily Telegraph today;

First, he accepts that it is right for political candidates to speak out on issues on which they feel strongly. Yet Iain shows a complete lack of support for the Conservative candidate Nigel Hastilow who was hounded out of the Conservative Party earlier this week merely for suggesting that Enoch Powell has a point about the downsides of immigration!

Then, writing as a gay man, he rightly points out that the pro-Gay rights laws are anti-freedom of expression. Well said Iain. Yet he adds that the best we can expect from his Party on this is a "courageous" abstention in the Commons when it comes to opposing the legislation.

You see this is where I have the problem. Those like Iain do know what is right but they lack the bottle to say it, or support it. That’s why when it comes down to it, you really CANNOT trust Conservatives. They know right, they support wrong – hypocrites does not seem too strong a word?

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  1. I like reading Ian’s blog too, especially today earlier when he posted about the man beside him on the plane.

    I found Ian to be lacking in support for Hastilow also. Hastilow was offered at the meeting to submit his articles for publication for vetting first and said no, this would comprimise his integrity and resigned, then Ian weighed in with a post on self censorship. The outcome being if Hastilow had self censored with his latest articles and a number of earlier ones then he’d not be in this position now. Ian could have given him a little bit of credit for speaking out on an issue in which he believed strongly.

    These pro-gay rights laws could backfire on the gay community, but as Ian says they’ll get thru an ammended version.

  2. Dale may make mealy-mouthed remarks about the new laws being ‘anti-freedom of expression’, but he is a fully-fledged member of the Militant Gay Lobby when he is in his own backyard, and is normally quite happy to attack anyone who isnt fully supportive of their great cause. He is a classic Cameroonatic, mainly because he is hoping to be parachuted into a safe seat at the earliest possible opportunity!

  3. Well noted, DSD!
    Hunting with the hounds, and running with the fox; the classic formulation of all the main parties.
    All that is, except the BNP, who strongly support the Countryside Alliance.

  4. David, an interesting post, but I think a little overstated if I may say so. I made clear in the article that I thought the Tories should oppose these proposals, but at the end I asserted that there would probably be a messy compromise. I should make clear that if I had a vote, I would vote against.

    Typhoo, I was indeed lacking in support for Hastilow because for the second time he let himself and his party down. Why should I support a man who can’t tell the different between being a columnist and a candidate?

    DSD – a ‘militant gay’?!!! That did make me laugh. I rarely comment on gay issues. I am in now way a gay rights campaigner. I should also make clear that I in no way wish to be ‘parachuted’ into a safe Tory seat. Although I am never quite sure what parachuting means. Perhaps you’d enlighten me.

  5. Iain,

    Thanks for replying. I understand the nuance of your view and I also understand realpolitik. I didn’t follow the bit about Hastilow being a columnist – does he write a column in his region? Why should that matter since it is the substance of his comment that counts, and it strikes that the Cameron Party sees Enoch Powell’s opinions on immigration as akin to green kryptonite whereas in fact they mrely illuminated an issue that no maor British political party will face into.

  6. ”Typhoo, I was indeed lacking in support for Hastilow because for the second time he let himself and his party down. Why should I support a man who can’t tell the different between being a columnist and a candidate? ”

    But I thought your lack of support of Hastilow was due to the fact that he wrote the article for the Wolverhampton star? in inappropriate language’, and that is why the party wanted to vet his contributions to it and its sister paper? They didn’t want high emotion over the immigration debate. Did I pick that up wrong? The columnist and candidate roles aren’t mutually exclusive are they?

    Ian sorry about your god mother-you wrote of her beautifully. I left a comment and am sorry for your loss.

  7. Bernard,

    If you think Ian’s reply about letting down the party is bad, wait for the forthcoming story on Malloch Brown to emerge. It seems Browns government of talent is costing the tax payer much more than was thought and the main reason is Malloch Brown. Mallochs housing situation is extemely interesting indeed.

  8. "I rarely comment on gay issues. I am in now way a gay rights campaigner."

    Now *that* made me laugh.

  9. Why? He is not a militant gay, anything he said on the gay laws he said on other protection laws.

  10. DSD

    I am not familiar with Ian Dale’s views but do you think that just because he is an openly gay political figure that must automatically make him a gay rights militant ?

  11. No, try his visceral explosions of hatred any time someone who dares to think homosexuality is morally/religiously wrong (even of the ‘its up to people what they do but I don’t have to approve’ variety) speaks. Read his opinions on (real) Conservative candidates in the US when they express an opinion on the subject (or abortion, family values etc). Particularly (if you can find it), his post on a GOP Congressional Candidate called Vernon Robinson. That one *really* opened my eyes as to what Dale is – a Blu-Labour Liberal in Conservative clothing.

  12. Should Nigel Hastilow remain loyal to the Conservative Party that sacked him as its Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for saying "Enoch was right"?

    Vote at


    Nigel Hastilow says he wants to do nothing to harm the Conservative Party of which he is still a member and confirms that he wants a Conservative government.

    What is the point of remaining loyal to a Party led by a leader infamous for his lack of policies and principles, who predictably had him sacked the moment he voiced the genuine concerns of his prospective constituents?

    Does this mean he lacks the qualities to be either a career politician (because he spoke the truth) or a conviction politician (because he apologised for speaking the truth)?

    Did he BLUNDER into this controversy without a strategy?

    Is it good riddance to someone who will only enrage his masters for not toeing the party line and disappoint his constituents for not sticking to his guns?


    "Nigel Hastilow, forced to quit as a Conservative candidate in the Black Country after endorsing Enoch Powell’s views on immigration has insisted – "I’m no racist." But in his only full-length, unedited interview since the controversy broke, he admitted to Stirrer TV it was a mistake to use Powell’s name to support his argument.

    Looking weary after days of being hounded by the media, Hastilow explained that he has no issue with anyone’s skin colour, religion, or heritage – what concerns him is the growing population of the country and the infrastructure needed to sustain it.

    He also launched a broadside against the welfare state, which sustains 1.7 million unemployed even though (as thousands of Poles have discovered) there are clearly jobs available.

    Although he has been courted by UKIP and the BNP and encouraged to stand as an independent, Hastilow said that he was still a Conservative member and would do nothing to hurt the party."

  13. ”Did he BLUNDER into this controversy without a strategy?”

    No he did not in my view. When he wrote in his column for the Express and Star newspaper in Wolverhampton, same place where Enoch Powell was an MP – he’s from the Blackcountry himself, he knew what he was doing. I don’t think he anticipated the fall out.

    He tried to make immigration about numbers which it is, and fell foul to the racist name like Enoch.

    He should stay a member – he’s not a racist. Neither was Enoch in my opinion. He should stay a member, he’ll be a benefit to the party, once this row is over. He’ll get over this. He has not let his constituents down, he has highlighted their concerns.

    Good interview. Very interesting. Thanks for the link.

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