June 26th, 2013

Tory Wars: Bow Group V Iain Dale

A classic ding-dong between Iain Dale and the Bow Group’s pompous chairman Ben Harris-Quinney. It all kicked off when legal letter-loving Harris-Quinney took exception a mildly bitchy ConservativeHome diary piece, in which Dale, not unfairly, said the Bow Group had “disappeared up its own backside… under the control of a self-publicist who goes by the name of Ben Harris-Quinney”. Cue an utterly cringeworthy letter from lawyers Speechly Bircham, who asked for a retraction on the grounds that the Bow Group is actually doing jolly well as it has “greatly expanded its followers on Facebook and Twitter”. Guido offered Iain some friendly advice:

Which he took:

“Yes, to say that the Bow Group is “disappearing up its own backside” is indeed offensive. It was meant to be. Furthermore, it is true, as evidenced by your clients hiring you to send me your ridiculous and totally unnecessary letter. What further evidence do I need to supply to back up this assertion? Any normal person or responsible organisation would have contacted me directly or picked up the phone. Instead your clients resorted to cowardice.”

It is worth reading the exchange in full here. This is not the first time that Harris-Quinney has been spanked after hollow legal threats…


  1. 1
    I says:

    Bow and harrow

  2. 2
    Tom 'lawyers' Watson says:

    Some people have very thin skin. And If you repeat that i’ll sue.

  3. 3
    Dosh says:

    The Lawyers are the winners here.

  4. 4
    C.O.Jones says:

    But I have found from lifes experience that those with thin skin can also have big mouths.

  5. 5
    Tommy Tucker says:

  6. 6
    Jimmy says:

    What sort of person throws around pretend libel threats?

  7. 7
    Gillard Gone says:

    Cant help thing that D Miliband is thing, if only when I had the chance.

    Or even Tony Blair, “I could have done the same to Gordon”.

  8. 8
    John Tandy says:

    And meanwhile the country goes to the dogs….

  9. 9
    i don't n eed no doctor says:

    Shoe Horn Watson, you stick with your loser Ed Miliband.

  10. 10
    Jeremy Thomass says:

    Iain’s absolutely right. As a long-standing member of the Bow Group myself, I frankly despair of what has happened to it since he became Chairman in 2011. Perhaps the best thing it could do now would be to dissolve itself, and give its remaining funds to some worthy cause like the Save the Children Fund.

  11. 11
    Jimmy says:

    Don’t you mean Stuff the Children?

  12. 12
    Anonymous says:

    I’d still like to know from Dale’s recent column in Conhome which MP wanted to suck whose cock.

  13. 13
    Pompous ass prickers Unite says:

    I love your twitter Guido

    Mrs Dale is quite right

  14. 14
    Pompous ass prickers Unite says:

    Absolute truth !

    And in the national interest BTW !

  15. 15
    French Palaces and English Castles. says:

    it is worth noting that privacy is dead…except in french.

  16. 16
    pedant says:

    Obviously “disappearing up its [your] own backside” is considered preferable to gay marriage where another participant attempts this feat.
    Surely BHQ is more pompous ass than pompous arse Guido, the latter suggesting an irritatingly grand physical attribute allowing room for one more.

  17. 17
    Jeremy Thorpe QC says:

    They are not very choosy nowadays

  18. 18
    Parisian says:

    There has just been a Salon in Paris to celebrate gay marriage

    With all the kit

    The organisers are angy that only 150 people showed, up over 3 days

    I kid thee not…

  19. 19
    Jail the bankers says:

    The sort of blue chip people and lawyers who hack our phones and try and blackmail us methinks

  20. 20
    Editor of the Spectator says:

    The Bow Group used to be for Pinkos like Iain..

    What has the world come to?

  21. 21
    They don't like it up em Captain Patten says:

    Stuff the children fund also known as ‘the licence fee’.

  22. 22
    Spunker, Dave's new doggie says:

    ++ wuf ++

    ++ tail wags ++

  23. 23
    pedant says:

    They should be so lucky.
    Less than 25 mins to go to Wednesday’s HoC farce which if it resembles last weeks will be more PMT’s than PMQ’s.

  24. 24
    NSA says:

    We have France covered as well…

  25. 25
    Mars Attacks! says:

    Well said Ian!

    Sorry – nothing funny or unfunny to add – boom! Great response!

  26. 26
    Pearl E Necklace says:

    I just can’t help thinking you need to get out a bit more – shoving one’s old boy up someones fundament is one’s own business. And it’s not just men who do it to each other, many ladies like a little of this action as well, as evidenced by the well known excerpt from the King James’s Bible – “And Moses said unto the children of Iz Ray L – let it be known, that if being with child is to be avoided, then one up the bum, no harm done”

  27. 27
    William Hague's bonce says:

    The ones who get really ventilated about gay rights and gay marriage etc always turn out to be the closet cases.

  28. 28
    Davidc says:

    I would refer mr dale to ‘arkell v pressdram’

  29. 29
    Greychatter says:

    Thought that was Baldrick in the photo.

    What happened to Mrs. Dales diary?

  30. 30
    D-Ann Abbott says:

    ‘ear me now. Is ‘e a cancah suffererer? He looks da baby in SHOOTING STARS


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