« What you think of Tony Blair... | Main | Best Young Conservative blogs »


I suspect that under the current dispensation at CCHQ, Greg Dyke's chances are higher than Patrick Mercer's. Or perhaps Jenny Tonge with her penchant for suicide bombers?

Hear hear. It was hardly a Ron Atkinson moment and the position requires someone of substance and a solid grasp.


NO ! I think the position should be abolished, it is trite. Mercer should come back as Shadow Defence Secretary.

This Homeland Security stuff is political posturing covering up the fact that the basic functions of the State - Internal and External Security have failed.

We had more control over our borders in 1971 than now and it is the Government that caused that not terrorism or global events. Noone bombed us into open borders, noone forced open Britain's towns and cities.

Britain created Pakistan in 1947 - it knows what kind of country it is - it went along with Pakistani politics infesting British elections.

There is nothing new. Our failures will not be solved by creating new titles, new posts; but simply by doing things as efficiently as the voters expected them to be.

Homeland Security is BS. If police officers are killed by gun-toting Somalis, or a fugitive from the FBI using false identities, in Bradford and Leeds, supposedly under terrorist alert - what hope is there that Patrick mercer can wake the police from their stupor ?

The bureaucracy is complacent

The Labour government likes reinstating/reallocating ministers after much more serious misdemeanours. I don't see why we shouldn't do the same!

We need to show that we are serious about this issue and few are better qualified than Patrick Mercer.

Trying to break David Blunket's record for being 'recycled'?


We will just have to form our own esteemed Cross Party Public Enquiry Commitee and keep it for just this type of thing.The constant refusal by the Labour louts for enquiries is undemocratic and is used to hide their failures and corruption not to mention their unPatriotic stance on all things British.

They must be severely challenged on this by us and others.

Patrick Mercer should be reinstated. He should not have been sacked. He clearly has a grasp of what the real world and real people are like and is realistic and farsighted in his estimate of the threat facing this country.

Agree with Tomtom. If he comes back into the shadow cabinet it should be shadowing either the Home Office or the MOD where security decisions are made. His previous title was meaningless as well as 'trite'.

Up with Patrick Mercer! An excellent MP treated shamefully by certain parties (eg The Times).

I dont think he a racist but any politician who can say what he did without alarm bells ringing very loudly in his head is just not up to front line politics. Its a cruel world I am afraid.

Replace Cameron with Mercer and I may rejoin the Party.

I dont think he a racist but any politician who can say what he did without alarm bells ringing very loudly in his head is just not up to front line politics. Its a cruel world I am afraid.

Whether or not it was right to sack him (I think right), it would certainly be wrong to reinstate him so soon. Pre-Blair the rule was that if you are sacked for an indiscretion, whether political or personal, you have to wait until after the following General Election. Anything less is "flip flop".

Whether someone else should be given the job is another matter - I expect they should. If he can be spared from legal portfolios, Dominic Grieve might be a good possibility. If it were upgraded to the Shadow Cabinet, Andrew Mitchell would be another.

Mercer is not only a fool what he said was a disgrace. I hope we never again see hime speaking for the party on the frontbench. The party can do without right wing idiots like him!

Taken out of context or not, “I came across a lot of ethnic minority soldiers who were idle and useless” made Mercer a front-bench liability that we don't need. Mercer’s error was clumsy and self-inflicted, and gives the media a racism angle to any future story that involves him. We can’t have a front-bencher with that sort of baggage – and especially not in a justice position. I don’t see that David Cameron has any option but to keep him out.

Mercer was treated very badly. I know if I had been walking the streets of Northern Ireand or was serving in Iraq or Afghanistan today I'd rather have someone like him in charge than the substance light spin obsessed politicians who seem to be in the preponderance today.

Yes, in a defence brief. He knows what he is talking about, and it will further encourage Jack Stone to join the Limp Dems, where they appreciate his sort of ideas.

The party can do without right wing idiots like him!

Posted by: Jack Stone | May 01, 2007 at 13:13

Pas d'ennemis a gauche !

"and it will further encourage Jack Stone to join the Limp Dems, "

Now that would be a worthwhile result.

I was on a Muslim rally in Tooting recently (I am the PPC there). I was approached my a Muslim man who was very keen to introduce me to as many people from the local mosque as possible. He was encouraging them to support me. When I asked him why, he said that he was from Patrick Mercer's constituency and Patrick had done wonders for relations between the local mosque and the local community there. He said that if I was half as effective in building relations between Muslims and non Muslims as Patrick I was worth supporting. And he sung the praises of the Conservatives because of Patrick's efforts.

Michael McGowan 11.21 - how about a constructive comment for a change?

Yes, he was very impressive on Newsnight last night as was Rachel North a 7/7 survivor. She would make an excellent MP

Shouldn't have been fired for being frank and candid.
Homeland Security should be part of Defence and/or Home Office, rather pointless relegating the subject matter and shadow to the nether reaches. We might not be fighting a war on terror; i'm sure troops in Iraq and Afghan might well disagree, but whether it's a war or a campaign or an emergency or a policing or any other piece of inspired spin, people are getting themselves killed and the Security Services are at full stretch to monitor and ensure that we do not have another 7/7 or attempted 21/7.
That does mean that "Security Issues" are at the head of the list of people's thoughts and wants. Are we being properly served? are the SIS able to target potential terrorists without the PC and Human Rights rabble complaining and preventing effective scrutiny?. Are the government doing enough? or are they caught up in the typical leftie dogma of not wanting to upset the radicals in case they complain and votes are lost?.
Whosoever does the job needs to be high profile, able to understand the protagonists and clearly speak about the problems we face.
Whether B-Liar was right or wrong to accompany Bush on his Arabian Escapade, we have let the genie of Islamic Radicalism out of its bottle, and we need to ensure that we do the right thing to protect ALL the population of this country. So bugger the human rights of foreign terrorists, i won't lose any sleep if they are deported and their own torture them, serves them right for taking the path they choose. Time for our government to think of us, not others, we owe them nothing.
If Patrick Mercer is the right choice for this job, then get him on board pronto. My own view is that he should never have fired in the first place for being frank, yet another victim of the the PC fascists.
{ A musing...why are we always victims, but not NuLab types? }

Whatever the rights and wrongs of his dismissal, it is far too soon to reinstate him to any post.

I've always thought that having a separate spokesman for Homeland Security was a gimmick. Worse still, a gimmick aping George Bush's administration. (No pun intended, honest)

Perdix, what makes you think I was taking the p***? I thought that the party line from Victoria Street was that Greg Dyke was a "risk worth taking" as candidate for Mayor of London, which is a big and sensitive job. I am also sure that Lady Tonge of Ramallah can be relied on to take a non-slavish line in our dealings over terror with the US. Whether she manages the same with Hezbollah, Fatah and Hamas is harder to call.....

I have more time for the theory advanced, I think, on ConHome yesterday (and perhaps it is just wishful thinking) that Cameron is waiting for the reorganisation of the Home Office and Brown's succession. Appointing anyone to anything before then might limit the options when that time comes.

Everything I hear of Mercer seems to be positive and I he should return to the front bench even if it costs the party some political capital. But it may be shrewder politically to wait for the above two events to take place.


Why exactly should Patrick Mercer be reinstated? Was he not around before, during and after 7/7? Of what use was he?

Why exactly should Patrick Mercer be reinstated? Was he not around before, during and after 7/7? Of what use was he?



All Patrick Mercer did was to recount how he had found things within a regiment under his command, he said that some people had been manipulating anti-discrimnatory laws to support lifestyle choices and in some cases cover up laziness and sloppiness - he was penalised because he didn't at the same time mention that many from what might be described as those of indigenous British ethnic communities in many cases also showed cases of such sloppiness and laziness, but then again he wasn't saying that they didn't and it makes it almost impossible to do anything about anything if every time someone is critical of usuage of certain anti-discriminatory laws relating to minority ethnic groups or women if every time they do this they have to add in the proviso that everyone else can be just as bad.

As I see it David Cameron has 2 options - either to conclude that Patrick Mercer is racist or to conclude that maybe Patrick Mercer was very slightly careless on one occasion and that he David Cameron jumped the gun in levelling all kinds of accusations at him and failed to give him the opportunity to clarify that he was not saying that people from minority ethnic groups neccessarily had any higher levels of laziness or incompetence, but rather that he was highlighting a problem as it pertained to the use of anti-discrimination legislation. If he concludes the former then he must conclude that Patrick Mercer is unfit even to be an MP, if he concludes the latter then he admits an error of judgement in his original decision.

Mercer was sacked because as the leader himself put it he made racist comments. Anyone who makes racist comments is unfit to sit on the frontbench yesterday, today and forever.
To reinstate Mercer will undue all the good work that as been done since the last election and make it look like the party is once again heading back to the future!

Jack Stone you are a source of ribald amusement...and obviously provide much mirth and entertainment. It is going to be interesting over coming months, because the Conservatives have a talentless Front Bench facing a talentless Front Bench......Mercer has credibility where Cameron and Osborne have a deficit.

It is after all the electorate that will decide, but Mercer represents Newark not Southend....and as you move North you find Yorkshire records Conservatives on 29%.....we shall see just what kind of a result Thursday brings....last year Labour GAINED seats from the Conservayives in Bradford to emerge as the largest party......this year could be most interesting

Mercer was sacked because as the leader himself put it he made racist comments.
He pointed out flaws as he saw them in employment practices that had been intended to discourage racism but as he saw them implimented, actually appeared to be being used for other purposes than what it had been intended for and he said that in his regiment everyone who was slacking got picked on and derogatory terms used about them regardless of their ethnicity.

If government ministers and shadow ministers are not permitted out of political correctness to say that they think particular rules are being used to cover up laziness or to cover for lifestyle choices then whether they are right or wrong the issues will not be addressed and any such flaws will persist.

"Jack Stone" is fairly amusing if only for his predictability, but he also comes across as a rather nasty piece of work - unlike Patrick Mercer. However I don't expect he'd ever see himself in that light. Assuming he even exists, that is.

Mercer should come back as Shadow Defence Secretary. - TomTom

I imagine that suggestion will go down like a cup of cold sick with the editor... unless, of course, the current Shadow Defence Secretary is promoted to a position more worthy of his talents - like party leader.

Thank you DrFoxNews :-)

I don't quite understand what point Helen at 16.14 is trying to make. Is it that Mercer, in his position as SHADOW homeland security minister, unaccountably failed to prevent the London bombings? That he failed to get himself on to all the necessary committees in MI5, MI6, Home Office, Metropolitan Police, etc etc which, with his input, would have nipped the planned outrage in the bud? Good grief - perhaps she's right! And it must be Swire's fault the Olympic budget planning has gone tits-up, Tom Strathclyde's fault that the upper chamber reform is a shambles, and, errrrr.... that Cameron has made such a mess of the honours system. Bingo!

As I said at the time I would hope that if offered a new cabinet position or his old one back, Patrick would refuse. He is a far better man than Cameron will ever be and I consider him being far but off not being associated with DC and his current ideas about what constitutes a Conservative Party.

The only good thing that might ever come out of Patrick returning to the front bench is that Jack Stone might keel over from apoplexy.

If he is brought back nobody will give a damn apart from the left-wing papers and liberal ideologues. Most people don't get wound up about OTT accusations of racism. I recall Yasmin Alibhai-Brown complaining that not enough people complained about him. So even the lefties are admitting it wouldn't make any difference.

nobody will give a damn apart from the left-wing papers and liberal ideologues.

I don't quite understand what point Helen at 16.14 is trying to make.

Calling Helen Szamuely a left-wing ideologue is to confuse her with her forebear the Communist ideologue with Bela Kun in Hungary


David Davis, seems to think that MI5 and such organizations can recruit secret agents like picking apples from a tree. MI5 has increased in size by nearly 50% since 9/11 partly by calling back many old retired agents but the task of protecting this country from a devastating attack is almost a mission impossible.

David Davis, asked why, years after 9/11, was the agency so starved of resources? Perhaps because 9/11 was in point of fact “an inside job” the casus belli so needed to illegally invade an oil rich country and thus the “inside job” perpetrated by president Bush and his cronies did not seem to necessitate a great increase of resources.

However, the death of 100,000 Iraqi people, the bombing of their hospitals, the torture of their civilians, the inhumane treatment of medical personal, including the sick and wounded; then became a recruiting sergeant to many that believed we had unlawfully and so brutishly killed and mistreated their brothers and sisters.

Patrick Mercer, should have listened to Hans Blix (the UN weapons inspector) when he begged Mercer and other members of the select committee to give him just six months more to investigate the so-called WMD.

Sadly, Mercer ignored the pleading of Hans Blix and for, reasons best known to himself, and much to the detriment of this country became one of the Conservative party’s most stoical supporters of the illegal invasion of Iraq.

The sad truth is that Patrick Mercer is not to be trusted. He completely misread and underestimated the invasion and the aftermath of Iraq, he strongly and rightly opposed ID cards and then voted for them, he failed to denounce bullying and racism in the Army with his “that’s the way it is” attitude but he did criticize an attempt by soldiers from the Commonwealth who were forming a union to tackle racism which showed a remarkable lack of racial sensitivity for a Conservative spokesman on homeland security.

Andrew Rawnsley, said of Patrick Mercer that what we can say for definite is that he is an industrial-grade idiot. Hardly that, but I suspect he is for the most part a David Davis puppet politician desperately striving to follow in the footsteps of bygone Prime Minister William Gladstone, however regardless of Mercer’s populist speeches and sunshine and lollypop act Mercer holds none of the intrinsic values such as altruism inherent within Gladstone. Best by far to leave him on the backbenches for he has much to learn.

Always find it absurd when people refer to invasions as illegal - immoral perhaps, unjustified possibly, but to say a military action is illegal is not just mere nonsense but also profoundly unconservative.

The British Government can invade any country it so pleases if it believes that such an action is necessary to protect the security of our country or advance the interests of our nation. The judgement on the validity of that action is provided by the electorate at elections not by a bunch of international lawyers neither elected nor accountable making up the law as they go.

Perhaps because 9/11 was in point of fact “an inside job”

What a risible statement indicative of paranoid schizophrenia.

seems to think that MI5 and such organizations can recruit secret agents like picking apples from a tree.

No he does not but Stella Rimington focused on infiltrating trades unions and on Northern Ireland to the detriment of policing Islamic radicals imported from Paris and North Africa in the 1980s.

MI5 is not the only group in town - it has no powers of arrest and is dependent on Special Branch which was run down...and the Regional Special Branch offices were not developed. Labour reduced Customs & Immigration Officers and formed them into mobile teams - as a consequence you could fly from Continental Europe after a trip from Pakistan and land at Leeds/Bradford say and not meet any Immigration Officer - only rarely would a Special Branch Officer be there at all.

The Visa Group run by the Home Office in conjunction with the FCO is overloaded and so the Croydon Office is not properly scrutinising who is in the country, so periodically Indefinite Leave to Remain is given to clear backlogs and thus terrorist sympathisers get residence permits

But writing such paranoid gibberish as John Holmes comes up with is mindless. And what William Gladstone has to do with it is mind-boggling unless you think he should not have condemned the Armenian Massacres because the Ottomans were ready to commit yet more.

Hans Blix is hardly a trustworthy individual. He was a Swedish diplomat, a lawyer, and he seemed oblivious to the way the Iranians and the Iraqis ran circles around him as Head of the IAEA and he failed miserably in his role to prevent nuclear proliferation. He was, and is, a bureaucrat and typical of those who dominated the League of Nations where procedure counted for more than effectiveness

The Select Committees in the House of Commons have NO power over the British Government and the majority of members on that Committee represent the Government. As a mere Backbench Member Mercer was unimportant

however regardless of Mercer’s populist speeches and sunshine and lollypop act

What a silly comment from someone who cannot even spell in English, and knows little of Patrick Mercer to make such puerile comments

striving to follow in the footsteps of bygone Prime Minister William Gladstone

I wish someone would...INTEGRITY...is marked byu its absence nowadays

John Holmes obviously doesn't know what he is talking about.

There have beena total of 23 votes on ID cards in the Commons. Pat Mercer was absent from 4, voted against ID cards in 18 and voted once (along with almost every other MP present including almost everyone who opposes the idea) for a technical motion to send the cards to the committee stage.

But of course never let facts get in the way of a good bit of bigotry. Or of a good conspiracy theory either.

By he way, Mercer and Gladstone do share a common theme in that they both represent(ed) Newark as MPs. The difference being that Mercer won his seat in an election whereas Gladstone got his because his father was a friend of the Duke of Newcastle and Newark was a nominative borough which had been exempted from the 1832 Reform Act. As a result Gladstone was given his seat in Parliament rather than having to fight for it. He lost the seat when he lost the Duke's patronage in 1845.

I’m rather afraid that Richard Tyndall is delusional if he thinks the truth about Patrick Mercer and ID cards amounts simply to “a good conspiracy theory” moreover I strongly suggest he should get his facts straight before proclaiming with such supercilious hubris the inaccuracy of my rhetoric.


William Gladstone was elected to Parliament in 1832 as Conservative MP for Newark and resigned in 1845 over the Maynooth Seminary issue. Gladstone was Prime Minister 1868-1894

Patrick Mercer, did not win his seat fair and square because Fiona Jones was dreadfully vilified by the press and Mercer used some strong derogatory speech-making about Mrs Jones which made certain his character assassination polished off any real chance of an impartial election. Fiona said: The Tories have been asking people on the doorstep if they knew their MP had been arrested on several occasions. It's very damaging. I was never arrested and the court case was dismissed by the Court of Appeal."

Patrick Mercer rejected the allegations and insisted he was fighting a "clean" campaign. However Mr Mercer’s rhetoric clearly demonstrated his desire to ruin the chances of his lady opponent.

Pat Mercer: "I hope she will have a little bit more confidence to do her job properly as she seems to break appointments, to snub people and refuse to answer telephone calls and letters.

"Let us hope in a year's time we get the result she richly deserves and we richly deserve, because if she cannot do the job properly, I know someone who can." LOL


Pat Mercer, took part in a pre-election publicity stunt to donate blood, which he could not give, but managed to obtain a misleading photograph for political gain. By hook or by crook!

Now what sort of man would do such a terrible thing like that?

The same sort of man that fiercely opposed talk about decommissioning the cluster bomb that was killing children and British soldiers and a man who wanted to revoked the handgun ban imposed after the massacre of 16 primary school children. To Mercer the ban was nonsense, a “knee-jerk” reaction, to the parents of the dead children it was a much needed law and small comfort but sadly Mercer would take away that comfort because he apparently believes that people are killed in cars and we don’t ban cars so why ban the handgun?

Well, what else can one expect from a previously reincarnated soldier and self-confessed “genocide tourist”

I think it’s ToMTom (sounds like a cat that swallowed a drum) that is suffering with a schizophrenic disorder.

Also this cat-man is so credulous he believes 9/11 was not “an inside job” regardless of the likes of former MI5 agent David Shayler, who blew the whistle on the British government paying Al Qaeda $200,000 to carry out political assassinations, has gone on the record with his conviction that 9/11 was indeed an inside job.

Silly ToMTom you certainly need to read a bit more, then perhaps with luck, we would not have to endure your moronic statements that only serve to highlight your own blatant stupidity. Really, 9/11 was an inside job any idiot knows that fact.

If you don’t understand what William Gladstone has to do with it when Patrick Mercer referred so often to Gladstone then you really are one ignorant critic.

What a feeble-minded and so very uninformed comment to say that Patrick Mercer was “unimportant” and imply that whatever Mercer had to say was regarded likewise. And how could you possibly know for a fact that John Holmes “knows little of Patrick Mercer”? The truth is you don’t know what you are talking about and your just a silly tomcat deprived of reason and affection trying to make yourself look like Top Cat.

I’m sure you feel this is insulting and unfair judgment but consider how John Holmes feels about your likewise commentary? Come on and be a nice moggy and do stop trying to brutally scratch the eyes out of anyone who sees things from a different and maybe more well-informed perspective than a pedantic hypercritical sad back alley moggy.

Sorry to criticize. whoops-a-daisy!

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker