Friday, August 05, 2005

Poisoned Chalice Watch

One of the slings and arrows rivals like to aim at DD is their wholly unfounded claim that he was a lazy Party Chairman.

But it strikes us Westminster outsiders that the Chairmanship is almost certainly a poisoned chalice. It carries a high risk of being blamed for all manner of party failures and cock-ups which are actually the responsibility of others. Like the leader. Or that nest of reptiles known as CCO staff.

So just out of idle curiosity, I've started registering examples of Chairmen who've fallen down clutching their throats after taking a sip.

For example, Peter Oborne in this week's Spectator tells us:

'Norman Fowler remains a dirty word' (er...actually I make that two dirty words, Pete) 'in some Conservative Central Office circles to this day as a result of the negligence he is considered to have displayed in the early 1990s.'

Chairman Fowler's boo-boo was apparently to let the Electoral Boundary Commission gerrymander us out of scores of seats, resulting in a thousand years of Labour hegemony.

Or take Lord Saatchi, who's now fighting desperately to defend his reputation against certain parties who say he benefited financially from being crap at the job.

Or poor Theresa May who will never live down agreeing to promote that Nasty Party moderniser gambit.

Even affable old Michael Ancram was reckoned to have 'flaky public reactions to difficulties' demonstrating 'that he lacks the coolness and the intellect to be the party chairman.'

And as for Chairman Maode...don't get me started.
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