‘This Joke of a Man’: The Real, Metaphorical Identity of Ian Duncan Smith

Last Updated: November 10, 2013By

There are one or two factual inaccuracies but this particular character assassination of the man with no character is fundamentally… appropriate. It’s well worth pointing out that RTU did NOT lose any elections – he never got that far. In fact his party turned on him after two years and replaced him with Michael Howard – and being replaced by the man said to have “something of the night” about him should have been enough indication to all involved that he should never – ever – be offered a ministerial post!
Let’s all take a look at the Red Dwarf clips, apply the comments to this red-FACED political dwarf, and laugh him into the obscurity he deserves.


  1. […] There are one or two factual inaccuracies but this particular character assassination of the man with no character is fundamentally… appropriate. It's well worth pointing out that RTU did NOT los…  […]

  2. john elwyn kimber November 13, 2013 at 10:14 am - Reply

    I’m afraid I am not laughing. The unexplained hold that the ‘RTU’ faction has over the Conservative party is one of the big untold stories of contemporary politics. It certainly has little to do with political ability.

    Was it Matthew Parris who once quipped ‘the function of Iain Duncan Smith is to lose the Tories the next general election’ ? Had Michael Howard been in charge for longer he might have done much more to weaken New Labour in 2005, so every Tory has known for a long time that he is not an electoral asset.

    But RTU seems untouchable. Looking at it from the Conservative Party’s own point of view, any self-respecting PM would have sacked a Minister of the Crown who behaved as RTU has behaved long since, yet Cameron dares not do so.

    The question that people should be asking is why not – who is backing RTU? Because somebody rich and influential must be, and RTU is one of these ostensibly implausible yet bafflingly powerful front-men, like Rand Paul or Ted Cruz.

    I daresay there are plenty of Tories who are pondering the damage the RTU factor will do them in key marginals, shaking their heads and asking why the devil Cameron cannot kick the man upstairs. Lost seats equal lost influence, deals not done in constituencies and town halls, influential people being hit hard in the wallet. Keeping RTU where he is is an expensive luxury for the Conservatives.

    Implausible and extreme ideologues are all there because somebody wants them to be. If it were just a matter of political acumen then they’d be gone long ago – Paul and Cruz now show every sign of having been dumped by at least some of their backers, following the debacle of the US Government shutdown. And without their sponsors they just seem politically inept and accident-prone.

    But RTU sticks like superglue. Since he declares himself to be a conviction politician of the Christian right, perhaps it is time for Tories themselves – the pragmatic sort – to ask hard questions about the magnitude of donations to the UK Conservatives from US Evangelical sources? RTU’s ‘Catholicism’ sure is not in step with that of Pope Francis, that’s for sure.

    And [just by-the-bye] to hear the Prime Minister defending an attempt to tack on a provision censoring ‘esoteric material’ on the internet – meaning just about anything religious that is non-Christian and ‘fringe’ – to a measure supposedly intended to tackle obscene or abusive content also sounds like these kinds of donors/lobbyists at work.

    In short, I think someone should ask if the UK Conservative leadership have been to any Tea Parties recently. And not just if they’re on the political left.

    • Mike Sivier November 13, 2013 at 10:17 am - Reply

      ‘RTU sticks like Superglue’ could be a very good slogan…

      • john elwyn kimber November 13, 2013 at 12:07 pm - Reply

        Yes, unfortunately. But does anyone know any more about this?

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