Matthew Steeples argues that Sir Malcolm Rifkind and his breed should be consigned to ‘politics past’
In 2003, I attended an event at a large house in Kensington’s Phillimore Gardens. At the gathering Sir Malcolm Rifkind gave a speech. When it was over – and boy did he go on – I met him along with an American heiress who had happened to come with me. She congratulated the politician on what he had said but observed: “Gee… You’ve got a bad case of dandruff. You need Head & Shoulders”.
Though this comment naturally didn’t go down well and the flustered politician swiftly moved on, it stuck with me and now that Sir Malcolm has announced his ‘decision’ to stand down, it is time that David Cameron dispatched other so-called ‘Tory grandees’.
Stuck in the past yet frequently and inappropriately wheeled out for comment, supposed “big beasts” including Kenneth Clarke, David Mellor and Michael Heseltine should be consigned to history. They represent nothing but an era in government that the Conservative Party should forget and one that was tarnished by an especially weak Prime Minister, John Major.
In defending Sir Malcolm’s legacy yesterday, Mellor bizarrely backed his former colleague in telling Sky News: “You know the Houses of Parliament, I know the Houses of Parliament… Being an MP isn’t a full-time job… To be a backbench MP, if you’ve got a well organised office, it’s not a full-time job”. This arrogant remark sums up how out of touch this obnoxious man truly is and it yet again proves exactly why Cameron should focus on MPs of the future rather than those of the past.
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