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I think Laban Tall makes a good point at Biased BBC about just what "tough liberalism" appears to mean for Oaten:


He doesn't sound particularly conservative to me.

Or particularly tough.

He does, however, sound very bleeding heart liberal.

You won't be putting out a welcome mat then John and James!!!

You can cry him a river.

The Blair rockstar drama has just started by the way.

But "Eleventh Hour" has Patrick Stewart in it...

I think a Patrick Stewart drama is somehow more appealing ;)

Patrick Stewart was a New Labour supporter at the 1997 General Election. I suppose he might have drifted away since...

"Patrick Stewart was a New Labour supporter at the 1997 General Election. I suppose he might have drifted away since..."

You can dismiss a politician for their politics, but you can't dismiss an actor's work because of their politics. To do so is missing the point.

And in this case, this seems to have been the best new ITV series for years (according to the right wing press ;-) ).

Mark Oaten, however, can be dismissed on the gounds of his politics.

I agree those ideas of Oaten's don't look very "tough". Somehow I can't see even a "compassionate Conservative" government liking the idea of votes for prisoners. Not only is it wrong, there just isn't the public support.

Brokeback M.Oaten.

(Kudos to 'Socialism is Necrotizing' on Biased-BBC blog. It was too amusing for me not to share)

"You can dismiss a politician for their politics, but you can't dismiss an actor's work because of their politics. To do so is missing the point."

...unless said actor is public about their politics. Micky Rourke was vocally pro-IRA. I was therefore vocally anti watching anything with him in.

I for one would be delighted if Oaten decided to join Cameron's new Conservative party, he should be welcomed with open arms.

Actually Frank, Oaten wouldn't be at the top of my list for libdems to woo, and in general I bang on about the excellence of a strategy of wooing the intelligent centre-right liberals. I used to think Oaten was one of them, but reading what he had to say for himself in some interviews just before Christmas, he was rubbish. (OK that's not the most incisive analysis ever expressed, but it's the best I can manage!). They can keep him, in their brand spanking new leftwing Minging party! (Same does not go for Nick Clegg et al).

There was a really funny article in the Spectator today (you should snort when you say that, and rub any corduroy trousers you may be wearing) about the origins of "minging" by the way.

Interesting this - whenever we suffered a defection, the party line always was that the defector should fight a by-election. They never did.

If someone was to defect to us, eg Oaten - would the party now insist that s/he put themselves up in a by-election? That would deter any defectors.

Oliver Letwin once said in Harrogate that he did not believe that MPs who cross the floor should resign and contest a by-election. His reasoning was that the electorate votes for individuals, not party lists. That being so, they should stick with the individual whatever he or she does.

If anyone defects, that will be the line.

Please prove that Oliver Letwin has a personal vote.

He has clung on twice despite vigorous and well-publicised campaigns against him each time.

That doesn't prove a personal vote, Simon. I think most people actually vote for the party rather than the person. Indeed I remember reading - but I can't remember where! - that an assidious MP is only worth a maybe five hundred votes more than a less popular one.

Yes, if votes were caste on personality and not party affiliation, does anyone seriously believe that Peter Mandelson would have been re-elected as an MP?

You are all so wretched to Oliver Letwin! The west Dorset result has been heartstopping the last two elections. I think James is right about the average no. of votes you get for being well known/liked in your constituency, but I think Oliver may have been helped by the impact of the libdem "decapitation" strategy; I'm only guessing rather than relying on evidence but I wonder if that gung ho approach might have got up the noses of the voters in places like west Dorset and made them more, not less, likely to let Letwin win again. Anyway - as all the best people do - he's coming to dinner in Hackney next monday so I'll ask him!

Ming - dull and Scottish
Huhne - madly pro european
Hughes - just mad

Oaten was by far the most threatening to the Tories! Perhaps he was not the most intellectual but he had the most appeal out of the candidates.......

Not sure Oaten is ready for the Tories yet though- he always slags us off so much on Question Time!

Nick, that's almost a haiku, the most beautiful and elegant summary of the "strengths" of Ming the minger, Chris Huhe and Simian Hughes I've read.

I used to think Oaten would be threatening too, till I looked more closely. There's a bias in politics against politicians without hair, but I think the lack of a chin is probably just as lethal.

Bring on Ming! Am I alone in thinking that Ming is right up himself? I watched him on C4 news the other night, what an eye-poppingly monomaniacal performance it was!

Libdems: from ginger to minger (you have to be scottish to make that rhyme).

Stop press: Simian Hughes reveals his favourite (non orange) book: it's "The God of Small Things". Vanishingly small, like Mr Huhe's majority.


The Old Minger is just what we need! - we will rip him to shreds - He can't stand up every week and talk about Soham. He will be facing the familiar jeers next week in QT.

Have you ever noticed the similarites between fellow cone head John Reid and Ming?

It seems a bit unfair not to give Letwin credit for holding a seat which had a Lib Dem vote of 36% in 1992, and could easily have been subsequently lost.

The issue that's not been mentioned is hunting. There are probably several thousand people in the seat who vote on that issue alone (the Countryside Party got 1,000 votes there in the European election). Even if most of them were already inclined to vote Conservative, I bet many more of them turned out to vote in 2005 than in 2001, and of course, they'd provide plenty of help canvassing and giving money to the party.

Sorry, it's a bit gratuitous, but you need a heart of stone....etc not to snigger at Oaten's downfall. What a preposterous man.
Did he think he was Cameron, the youthful thrusting guy, speaking without notes?
Naah! This was a photocopier salesman.
Oh dear. All those e-mails, all those telephone calls of support. Were they real? Or just a dream, created by Lemsip Optic?
We'll never know. These two, the Dumb and Dumber of Westminster are on political Skid Row. Let's not waste any more time on thoughts of defections.

Hope you don't mind John but I toned your comment down, the random insults to Oaten weren't appropiate.

He is particularly unlikely to defect having asked to lead his party only weeks early. he would lose a lot of political credibility.

Frank says:
He is particularly unlikely to defect having asked to lead his party only weeks early. he would lose a lot of political credibility.

Consider this:

Speaking from his Winchester constituency offices last night, a clearly-emotional Mr Oaten said: "I have spent all my life in the Lib Dems. But the election of Campbell/Huhne/Hughes [ delete as applicable ] and the direction in which he has taken the party in recent months, indicate that this is no longer the party I joined and served so loyally for so many years. The new policy on [ whatever ] is the final straw and marks a totally unprecedented break with the old Lib Dem party of Kennedy, Ashdown, Steel. [ Lembit - could we get away with Gladstone and Lloyd George? ]. In all conscience I can sit no longer with people with whom I have nothing in common. I respect the democratic right of the New Lib Dems to decide their own future for themselves, but it would be dishonest of me - and an undemocratic deception of my constituents here in Winchester - for me to live a lie by remaining in their ranks. For now I will sit at Westminster as an Independent while I consider which party - if any - best represents my own aspirations for a Britain which is ... [ add quotes from Cameron's last three speeches here ]"

Oaten has just resigned as LD Home Affairs spokesman over an affair with a rent-boy. I suspect this rather puts any defection prospects to bed...

Just found out!!!!!!!!


Well, that was a suprize, thats for sure. Completely left field job this one. The rumours were very private I would imagine. And after the news about the Lib Dem Leader of the House of Lords coming out about alcohol...

Ah, the NoW was going to tell the public tomorrow.


Will he become a teacher now?

Well looks like we are going to win Winchester at the next election. You couldnt make it up, absolutely brilliant!

Of course we dont know the details, and though they wont be pleasant reading Im sure (the NoW is reactionary and bloodthirsty...it got its kill), its going to be splashed over the NoW tomorrow morning. Lucky us! I feel a little bit sorry for him. Hes had a tough week. However as they say, you reap what you sow...

Less of the "lucky us" please. It must be a terrible shame for his wife. I've now added a special post on this subject.

I apologise for my flippant comment.

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