Leading Article: As Mr Portillo once said, who dares wins
Friday 10 September 1999
But since that chastening moment Mr Portillo has been carefully reinventing himself, with thoughtful speeches and novel television series. We - and the selectors of Kensington and Chelsea - are presented with a new Michael Portillo. The new Portillo has swabbed the floors of a hospital; is at ease with people who want to pursue lifestyles that deviate from the ideal of the nuclear family; and is (at last) honest about his own sexuality. We may be dimly discerning the shape of a more tolerant, modernised, "new" Toryism that, oddly, embodies some of the best of the values of what used to be called the Tory wets. Such a philosophy is certainly more welcome than William Hague's drift into crude, even cruel, moral authoritarianism, which we have seen in recent weeks.
Mr Portillo is able, intelligent and charismatic. He may now add humility to those qualities. If his new ideas are converted into new policies, he will provide a much-needed boost to the intellectual and political abilities of the Tory front bench. We should be grateful for a more effective Opposition. But William Hague should be worried. Mr Portillo has dared to challenge his party's prejudices. And, as he once infamously declared: who dares wins.
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
- 2 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 3 Nick Kyrgios calls former Olympian Dawn Fraser a 'blatant racist' after she tells Wimbledon star to 'go back where their parents came from'
- 4 World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
- 5 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
Game of Thrones season 6: Daenerys actress Emilia Clarke says '50/50 chance' Jon Snow is alive
Chronixx interview: Reggae sensation on taking the opening spot at Glastonbury and calling Barack Obama a 'waste man'
Game of Thrones season 6: Director Jack Bender says showrunners 'communicate closely' with George RR Martin
Top Gear: Jeremy Clarkson 'can't front ITV motoring show' due to BBC contract clause
Amy Winehouse film: Mark Ronson praises 'respectful' movie as it scores highest ever UK opening for British documentary
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
Greece debt crisis: Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande issue Athens with 24-hour ultimatum to avoid crashing out of the euro
Greece crisis: Referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its lack of genuine legitimacy