Thursday, April 09, 2009

Defending Nadine From The Brute

Last night I spoke at an event organised by the public affairs consultancy Weber Shandwick. A panel of four of us mulled over what might happen under a future Tory government, and whether David Cameron would be beholden to the right. The other speakers were Andrew Haldenby from REFORM, Nadine Dorries and Bruce Anderson.

The points I made in my brief talk were that...

* What we mean by the right today is very different to what people meant when they used that term 20 years ago.
* However, there are certain constants, like a belief in freedom, a free market economy, low taxes and a small state
* But there are new challenges to address - the environment, technology, energy supply etc - which the right needs to get to grips with
* The traditional right in the parliamentary party are not force for anti-Cameron dissent.
* Newly elected MPs may well be described as being on the right, but they will be predominantly social liberals and free marketeers rather than from the authoritarian right
* David Cameron's grip on both the voluntary party and the parliamentary party is like superglue. There is no real dissent, and there is no king over the water. I don't see this changing in government.
* The challenge to Cameron's authority in government won't come from within the party, it will come from a Civil Service which may be reluctant to implement his programme with the necessary urgency.
I have to say I was appalled by the behaviour of Bruce Anderson towards Nadine. Throughout her speech he interrupted, and when he wasn't interrupting he was whispering very loudly so as to put her off. The thing is, I had predicted something like this would happen, so before the event started I surreptitiously changed the seating so she didn't have to sit next to him. Anyway, Dizzy has just pointed out that Nadine has already described the evening on her Blog so over to her...

Bruce Anderson was bloody rude. When I arrived at the event, Iain went up to the top table and moved around the name places. When the Chairman asked him what he was doing, Iain said, “she’s not sitting next to him”.

In that blonde way I have it kind of went over my head, until we began to make our presentations. Everyone did their five minute introduction/speech. Bruce Anderson spent his intro berating Gillian Shephard, and then went on to state that there was not one single female MP in the Conservative party fit to be in a Conservative cabinet.

I stood to reply, at which point Bruce Anderson began to talk, loudly, to the person sat next to him, and he carried on and he did not stop. It was incredibly off putting.We then took questions. When I was asked to speak Bruce decided he would interrupt, when he was pulled up for this he then again, talked over me.

Iain lost it at this point and asked him why he didn’t shut the f**k up. I’ve never spoken on a panel quite like that before. Misogyny at its most blatant; from a man who mutters incoherently, constantly. He told me at the end of the evening that everything I had said had been wrong, which is why he had spoken over me.

“Really,"said I. “Do you think so? Because do you know what, almost every person here has just come up to me to congratulate me on how I handled myself in the midst of your rudeness and commented on what a complete misogynistic a**e you are. And I have to say, I agree. I would just have slipped the word fat in somewhere”.

I then gave him a kiss on both cheeks and left with Iain, as Bruce Anderson stood with red wine lips and teeth (easy to see as his mouth was wide open) and stared after us.

Actually Nadine got one detail wrong. What I actually said was: "Bruce will you stop being so fucking obnoxious".

UPDATE: Since I wrote this I have been inundated with 'Brute' anecdotes. I think THIS one from Paul Waugh takes the biscuit.

35 comments:

Jonathan Cook said...

Well done Iain and Nadine....

It is always gratifying to see bullies taken down a peg or three.

P.S. I've never heard of Bruce Anderson - I did a quick Google and am still none the wiser.....

Oliver Drew said...

@Jonathan Cook

I assume this is the guy discussed...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Anderson_(columnist)

Hope that helps :)

Iain, Nadine - well done!

Simon Gardner said...

“Brute” Anderson - Private Eyes passim.

JuliaM said...

Oh, that's who it is.


I was wondering why that old duffer from CND had suddenly become a boor as well as a peacenik... ;)

Unsworth said...

It's no good. The only thing animals like Anderson understand is a smack in the gob. I usually warn twice and then act. Now I understand that might be construed as 'anti-democratic', but it's mostly pretty effective.

Anderson et al do not understand that a debate is an exchange of views, not a personal platform.

Mind you, it seems that the Chair was piss-poor.

Norbert Z Goosecreature said...

Bruce Anderson is a renowned windbag and blunt instrument of torture. Nadine has posted a picture of the old Mr Mangetout and whilst I never judge a book by its cover normally, it’s a big old cover and a picture paints a thousand words so they say. Well done to both Nadine for persevering and to Iain who I know values genuine debate and defends it vigorously.

Uncle Bob said...

Nice to see he was made to look the fool. Good for you Iain for throwing a spanner at his spoiling tactics.

Chalcedon said...

Never heard of Bruce Anderson. Have heard of Nadine Dorres. looked up Anderson. He's on the Indy I see. A journo. Hmmmmm. Anyway, with few preconceived ideas that description of the meeting brands him as "Bloody damn rude" in my book. That's no way to treat another peson.

subrosa said...

Mr Anderson was very lucky it wasn't the chair of my local bridge club who was in charge. He would have been asked to leave the room if he erred after the first warning.

Conand said...

Three cheers for the Knight of Tunbridge! Urrah! Uzzah! Hurrah!

Stan said...

Well - at least you're honest about how far left the Tories have moved in the last 20 years. I don't know why others bother to deny it, but they do. Congrats on that.

Trouble is, most Tory MPs may be social liberals, but so are most Labour MPs - what's the difference? Minor discrepancies over detail and implementation of the progressive agenda, but other than that - none. Why bother voting? Oh - people aren't. Is that really a surprise?

The other big problem is that while most of the political elite are social liberals, most British people are still social conservatives.

And what is this "authoritarian right"? You actually even propagate the myth that being right wing means being authoritarian - but we were a predominantly right wing (socially conservative) nation for decades before the lurch to the left and far from authoritarian. Indeed, it was when we had right wing governments that we had the traditional liberties and freedoms which you pretend to support!

Christ Almighty, no wonder the country is in such a state.

Andy said...

One would hope that a Tory MP who aspires to be Cabinet material could deal with this situation on her own and not require a fellow pannelist to fight her corner for her?
God help us if she ends up in the Foreign Ministry and some Chinese officials are rude to her...

trevorsden said...

I cannot believe that people who read this blog can say they have never heard of Bruce Anderson.

Anyway Paul Waugh has another interesting take on whats behind all this
http://waugh.standard.co.uk/2009/04/horizontal-discussions.html

Anderson by the way writes for the lefty Independent. No doubt it suits the Indy to caricature conservatives by using this buffoon.

Anderson and Heffer should form a party of their own

Simon Gardner said...

“One would hope that a Tory MP who aspires to be Cabinet material...”

Dorries? Hahahahahahahahahaha.

Oh my aching sides.

James said...

I had the great pleasure of seeing the Brute fall up some stairs onto his portly front a couple of weeks back. Magnificent, like a drunk buffalo or an over-sized dung beetle with the legs pulled off, rolling desperately to right himself...

The Grim Reaper said...

To sum up,

Dizzy = blogging god.
Bruce Anderson = twat.
Nadine Dorres = twat.

Thank you and goodnight.

Head of Legal said...

I'm sorry you're so negative about the civil service, Iain - and I hope that wouldn't be the attitude of any Cameron government. The increasing feeling by politicians of both sides that the civil service is "against" them - Barbara Castle thought so, Mrs. Thatcher seemed to think so and so have New Labour - is precisely what's led them to politicise a civil service that is now insufficiently independent, and sometimes too identified with ministers' political interests.

If David Cameron intends to depoliticise the civil service (as I think he's suggested) and to trust it, like he favours trusting other professionals, he needs to begin by abandoning the assumption that its advice is motivated by entrenched opposition. If he maintains that world view, objective advice will remain less valuable than being "one of us" - and the downward spiral of politicisation will continue.

Simon Gardner said...

Stan said... “Trouble is, most Tory MPs may be social liberals, but so are most Labour MPs - what's the difference?”

So your complaint boils down to complaining who do the socially illiberal authoritarians vote for?

Good point. Who do the socially illiberal vote for?

Didn’t I see a Tory Edward Garnier, the Shadow Justice Minister saying the Tories would bring back fox-hunting? Does that help on the socially backward front?

trevorsden said...

Indeed Mr Gardner -
Who would have thought Jacqui Smith would have made it as far as 'second' Home Secretary?

As you say ho ho ho.

trevorsden said...

Sorry to be back

"the Tories would bring back fox-hunting?"

Fox hunting has not gone away.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

OK so far as it went. But really, Iain, you should have held him while Nadine decked him with a single blow.

Paul Burgin said...

I notice his Wikipedia entry is brief, does this mean few have anything polite to say about him?
Iain in all honesty, why doesn't the Conservative hierachy send him to coventry, i.e. blacklist him from events etc.. purely on the basis that so many people find him personally objectionable!

Simon Gardner said...

“Fox hunting has not gone away.”

I just knew some damn-fool pedant would attempt that bogus nonsense. You knew exactly what I meant. As did Edward Garnier MP mean.

So who do the socially illiberal (if that’s their main thing) vote for anyway?

niconoclast said...

No one here was there to see what actually happened and we only have ID's version of events.Do we have a reliable witness in the latter? I have always seen Anderson as an uncompromising Conservative, a bit like Peter Hitchens,Somon Heffer etc and we do know ID has avery low tolerance level for such principled defenders of Conservatism and has past form on dissing them in an ad hominem albeit sometimes amusing way.Think we should reserve judgement on Anderson at this point.

Graeme Archer said...

Simon wrote So who do the socially illiberal (if that’s their main thing) vote for anyway?

Sorry Simon that's too open a goal. The socially illiberal vote for the Labour Party. Didn't you notice? That way they get to be governed by a bunch of socially illiberal control freaks with their ID cards, CCTV, ASBOs, DNA databases, 'Connecting for Health', restriction on right to trial by jury, abolition of smoking in pubs, e-borders to control access to that dangerous den of iniquity (the Isle of Wight), thought crimes for just about everything, longest period of detention without charge in the civilised world, whitewash cover-ups when the police execute innocent tube passengers, bullying of the BBC when it broadcasts the truth about the lies that took us to war, and general smears on just about anyone who stands up to their thuggish bullying illiberal worldview (Rose Ellis, the Paddington train survivors, Dr David Kelly etc etc etc).

Social liberals vote Tory, of course.

trevorsden said...

Point is Mr Gardner the Tories are not too fussed about repealing the fox hunting laws as there is no need and they will give the police priorities which include more important things to police.

The socially illiberal will vote for the party that insists on 90 day detention without trial and more CCTV and speed cameras and black boxes in motor cars and ID cards and keeping track of your emails /phone calls /web browsing.

And storing your (quite innocent) DNA.

And interfering with you choice of school for your children.

And supporting fraudulent cabinet ministers.

Charlotte Corday said...

I seem to remember a story about him in "Private Eye" to the effect that he got so drunk when staying as a house guest that he soiled the bed.

Still, I don't think either Iain or Nadine will be having him to stay.

Paul Halsall said...

I googled him too. He seems to be onw of your team/

Horshamite said...

You are 100% wrong about the civil service delivering a Tory Government's agenda.

Our civil service is still one of our national treasures. What they require is Ministers who have a clear idea about what they want to achieve, and the bottle not to change direction every five minutes in response to the tabloid press, and they will work their socks off to deliver. That is what they joined for.

It is impossible for any organisation to deliver successfully when the leader changes lacks any coherent goals other than to win the next election. It is not the job of the civil service to deliver election victory!!

Thatsnews said...

Well done, Iain! You stepped in to defend someone.

That's why I think you'd make a good MP. You'd fight for people who you felt needed help.

Unsworth said...

@ Simon Gardner

"I just knew some damn-fool pedant would attempt that bogus nonsense. You knew exactly what I meant."

So we're all telepathic now? A little clarity of thought on your part would help. You are the one trying to make a point - so make the effort.

Conand said...

Thatsnews @12:35 said

'You'd fight for people who you felt needed help.'

That slots neatly into the point I was going to make.
Nadine has spent her whole professional life fighting for people who needed her help. First as a Nurse and then as an MP.
A complete cock like Bruce Anderson isn't fit to lick the soles of her (sometimes unmatching) boots clean. What has he ever done to help people? He's a pathetic boorish nincompoop. If I ever met him I'd knock his block off.

niconoclast said...

So being a nurse or an MP is next to Godliness?As both the latter work for money and not love why are they on a higher plane or righteousness than any other group of workers? Sloppy thinking or what?

Conand said...

Woooo yeah they get paid! How evil. Did I say it was Godliness? No. Did I suggest it was more worthwhile than being Les Patterson, I mean Bruce Anderson?
Crap thinking or what?

Stan said...

Simon Gardner said...
Stan said... “Trouble is, most Tory MPs may be social liberals, but so are most Labour MPs - what's the difference?”

So your complaint boils down to complaining who do the socially illiberal authoritarians vote for?

Good point. Who do the socially illiberal vote for?"

Oh right - so if you're not a social liberal you must be an authoritarian?

Quality argument. (That's sarcasm, btw).