James Forsyth

Things the Tories shouldn’t do

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It strikes me as being in both bad taste and politically foolish for Alan Duncan to suggest that Gordon Brown is “vandalising” the despatch box when he uses a thick pen to take notes during PMQs. It is bad taste because the reason Brown uses a thick, black felt-tip because he is blind in one eye and has poor sight in the other. Whatever one’s opinion of Brown, his eye problem is not something that should be mocked. It is politically foolish because one of the themes that Labour is trying to get into the national conversation is that the Tories are a bunch of posh bullies. This kind of behaviour from Duncan plays into Labour’s hands. It is unnecessary and unpleasant.

PS This isn’t the first time that Duncan’s antics have led to questions about his judgement. Tim Montgomerie has reported that he has been told authoritatively that Alan Duncan will not sit in Cabinet.