Portillo is a Broadcaster Not a Tory

Iain Dale gave Portillo a great tongue lashing on election night which has sparked off a wave of Polly-bashing. Guido has a confession to make, he was if not a Portillista certainly a sympathiser. In fact a couple of decades ago Guido worked for David Hart,* the breaker of the NUM and Scargill’s nemesis. Less well known is that Hart had been grooming and encouraging Portillo for years in readiness for greater things. Hart was also the man who installed the phone lines prematurely in preparation for an abortive Portillo leadership challenge. It backfired when it leaked out and undermined Portillo badly. In retrospect perhaps this was fortunate.

Portilllo’s living is nowadays derived from him being respected as someone who understands the Conservative Party and he is drafted in to provide balance and a non-left-wing perspective on the BBC. Oddly he seems completely unsympathetic to Cameron, in fact peevishly hostile. Reports that he voted against the Conservatives last week are incredible if true. Might it not be appropriate therefore for the BBC to find another balancing figure who is a broadcaster and a Tory? Like, errm, Iain Dale?

*Something I have been meaning to blog for sometime – David Hart is seriously ill. He has done his country great service. His role in defeating NUM thugs and ending Scargill’s Marxist dreams make him deserving of the highest honours. He also personally financed and supported a network behind the Iron Curtain which was crucial in assisting dissidents and later in pressurising Gorbachev on perestroika in the Western media. These are just two examples of his good works. For some unexplained reason he was not ennobled by Margaret Thatcher, perhaps an oversight, perhaps he fell out of her favour. By convention the leader of the Conservative Party is able to put forward some names for honours every year for services to the party. David Hart may not have made any donations to the party lately, but he did help Thatcher with her speeches and battles back in the day. His work deserves recognition.




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