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Glad to see my comments in the earlier thread are basically the same as DD's here. And Liam Fox's too.

Anybody who thinks that what Mercer said didn't matter doesn't have a grasp of political realities, or indeed of the reality of racism. All wings of the Shadow Cabinet are united on this.

I certainly hope to see a fine man and a fine soldier like Col. Mercer back on our frontbench as soon as is practically possible.

This is code for:

"I wouldn't have sacked him. David Cameron has been rash and regrets it just enough to let me, his deputy, say that Mercer will return in due course".

I certainly hope to see a fine man and a fine soldier like Col. Mercer back on our frontbench as soon as is practically possible.

but not in a position such as "Homeland Security" which should be scrapped as it is pointless

Erm yes - if "black" is code for "white", "up" is code for "down" and "biggest Tory lead since Maggie in '87" is code for "oh no, ukip will destroy us all".

Cameron's parliamentary aide Desmond Swayne said on Newsnight that evening that Mercer could return to the front bench in time, that is nothing new. He also articulated exactly the same views as DD and LF here about the substance of the remarks.

Winning modern elections means being ruthless. Blair knows that, Cameron knows it, and clearly Mercer knew it too. No doubt he's had the nod-and-wink: "take your punishment and you'll be back sooner rather than later".

Yes, it's rather cruel for what was essentially careless rumour-mongering rather than malicious racism (ie he said "lots" of black soldiers used racism as an excuse, then later was honest enough to admit he only had experienced two such cases). Politics isn't the dignified game of gentlemen anymore, and anyone who condemns Cameron on that assumption is rather missing the point.

If Patrick has any sense he wouldn't touch the front bench with a barge pole.

Had he actually been racist I suspect his front bench career would rightly be over; however as he was guilty of mild political ineptitude there's no reason why he shouldn't come back having learnt his lesson.

Mr Mercer was a very good homeland security spokesman. "Eventual" sounds too long to me. I hope he's back in the anticipated summer reshuffle. Has Cameron already replaced Mercer, Mr Editor?

Mr Mercer was a very good homeland security spokesman.

He gave credibility to a post which is itself pointless - they should scrap it rather than make it farcical by appointing anyone else. Either Mercer knew a lot or he knew nothing, but to assume anyone can just step in and take over suggests it did not have contacts to intelligence services, military or police in which case it is an empty vessel...........or if it did then it suggests no immediate threats or Mercer would be indispensable

"Anybody who thinks that what Mercer said didn't matter..."

That's a bit strong. Surely one could argue that what Col Mercer said was very important and that for precisely this reason his enforced resignation is most regretable?

I gather from the BBC that Ken Clarke has also offered his support to Patrick Mercer. One by one a number of people are essentially saying to Cameron in the nicest possible sort of way: stop panicking and behaving like a complete prat. If Cameron were smart and wanted to stick two fingers up to the left, he would try and find a safe seat, or at least a role, for one of the black NCOs who backed Mercer and whose careers he appears to have nurtured. That of course assumes that any of those NCOs is unwise enough to want a career in the Tory Party.

Patrick Mercer a fine man. Please!Even if what he said wasn`t racist and that is debateable it was foolish to say it and anyone who shows such stupidity shouldn`t be let anywhere near the front bench.

Jack once again shows his ignorance by passing judgement on a man he has clearly never met simply because that man happens to have fallen foul of Jack's bigotries.

Sort of sums up Cameron's Conservatives at the moment.

No I must confess the Conservative Front Bench is pretty uninspiring.....I can't decide whether Labour or Conservative has the bigger mediocrities

You don`t have to meet someone to have an opinion about them.Patrick Mercer showed himself to be a fool and that`s being charitable by what he said and the front bench is better off without him.

"Patrick Mercer showed himself to be a fool"

You manage to show it every time you post.

"the front bench is better off without him."

Actually looking at the way things are going at the moment I can safely say the reverse is true and he is better off without them.

One fringe benefit of him being sacked is that he doesn't have to be bored to death later this week by Al "High Voltage" Gore.

What do you mean Richard Mercer doesn`t want a job in the next government!

Your question is based on the false premis that the Conservatives will form the next government.

More to the point I would hope he has more integrity than to align himself with the present bunch of losers simply because he wants to sit on the front bench.

He did the job as Shadow HS because he felt that he was doing some good. Now that he is no longer doing it I would hope he would realise that to return to Cameron's team would be a very retrograde step.

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