Friday, December 05, 2014

The wisdom of Jeremy Thorpe

I suspect we shall here a lot of fresh scandal about Jeremy Thorpe and the Liberal Party over the next few days. I also suspect that this blog will happily pass some of it on.

But before we do, let's remember his wisdom. The passage below comes from an interview Thorpe gave to Allegra Stratton in 2008, when Gordon Brown was still prime minister. His summing up of David Cameron turned out be prescient:
What of Cameron's recent offer to Clegg to build a progressive consensus? He slumps a bit. "I would be very shocked. Our role is not for the Tories." 
Thorpe's constituency was naturally Tory and, like Clegg today, so were many of his target seats. Although Thorpe did agree with Heath on Europe - "without the Liberal vote they wouldn't have had the majority [to get into Europe]. On that we saved the government" - for him and Clegg, the Tories are the opposition. "Cameron is a phoney," Thorpe says of his fellow Etonian. "A Thatcherite who is pretending to be progressive." 
And what of rescuing Brown? Thorpe doesn't rate the man: "Dour and unimpressive. Like Callaghan ... You have to go back to Attlee to get a really good Labour PM." 
"We are to the left of the Labour party on quite a few things," he says. "Brown has some very Tory views. He's just as responsible for Iraq, clinging on to Bush's shirt-tails."
Featured on Liberal Democrat VoiceHe was certainly more prescient than I was. When I blogged about that interview at the time, this was not the passage I chose to quote.

1 comment: said...

Indeed more readily prescient about Cameron than I was. It was only after Cameron's reaction to the Wanless Report that I realised what a forked tongue spin doctor Cameron really was. His chillaxed public persona hides a devious subterranean agenda which Old Nick himself might be in awe of. However Thorpe's trial featured prominently in a programme on Radio 4 this weekend. It does seem justice was denied to Norman Scott.