Outside Bet?

Alan Duncan is to Guido’s mind the most interesting prospective Tory leader. Said to have made his money from oil trading, he looks good on TV (a rare commodity on the Tory benches), openly gay, he is both clever and amusing. He hails from the libertarian wing of the Conservative party and wrote a controversial book on political philosophy, which enjoys samizdat status in Tory circles for advocating the decriminalisation of drugs (or more precisely, returning them to their pre-1920 status).

Guido thinks a different title might have helped sales, Saturn’s Children is not, as the title might suggest, a sci-fi book, but a dry on economics, liberal on social issues treatise. Alan Duncan wants to boost sales by getting rid of the gory cover and changing the too subtle title, preferably to something like “The Conservative Party Manifesto 2008”.

He amused many at a Tory party shindig for MPs last year when he debated the ever popular Boris Johnson dressed as Ali G, and won. But most think he has little chance of winning over the Tory party

Many, if not all, the leadership candidates claim to be modernisers, Duncan is and has always been the real thing, what would it say about how the Tories had changed if he was the leader? A lot of sneering comes from the other camps about how he is wearing his gaydom on his sleeve, but Guido sees no sign of that in reality. So far he has not really put a foot wrong, but nor has he raised his head above the parapet in the leadership stakes. The odds against him winning have slowly narrowed from some 200/1 to 33/1, which still might not be bad value.

Most observers say he has no chance and will find it difficult to even get the required number of MPs to nominate him. However an endorsement by someone like William Hague might change that, Hague owes him one, after all Duncan was his leadership campaign manager…




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