Dear David Evans: If you have to behave like a football manager, please model yourself on Sir Matt Busby and not on Graham Taylor, a Tory backbencher beseeches the Cabinet's outspoken critic

Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online
What is it about The World at One that has made you a permanent feature of that tendentious programme?

Could it be that self-indulgence of one kind has obliged you to deprive yourself of lunch; or could it be that self-indulgence of another, more common sort has given you the opportunity to blow your own trumpet?

When you were chairman of Luton Town Football Club, your leadership qualities might well have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat: as the newly elected member of the executive of the 1922 Committee of Tory MPs, your 'managerial' advice is as uncalled for as it is unhelpful. A period of silence on your part, a la Clement Attlee to Harold Laski would be most welcome.

Sir Marcus Fox (or better still, Sir Cranley Onslow) should take you on the Terrace and explain what the 1922 Committee of backbenchers is for. Portly men in grey flannel suits, 'sound' of wind and limb, their task is not to rock the boat. They constitute the praetorian guard of Our Great Party. Cabinet reconstruction is a pleasurable enough pastime, but one which should be kept for lunch or dinner in the Members' Dining Room. Advice, given publicly to John Humphrys as to the composition of the Cabinet, should have been made, if at all, either to the Chief Whip or to the Prime Minister himself. Richard Ryder would have made you welcome with a cup of milky tea and a mealy biscuit, while I am sure John Major would have given you more of his time than he gave to your predecessor on the 1922, Sir George Gardiner. Is there no one who will take you on one side, David, to tell you that the last thing that is wanted on the executive of the 1922 is the common touch?

The common touch should remain the preserve of the traditional Tory backbencher of the likes of William Cash, Sir Teddy Taylor, John Carlisle and Tony Marlow. It is from the fruits of their minds that we Tories derive the sustenance that enables us to reach conclusions as to the desirability of a common currency, the general reliability of foreigners, and the likelihood of Mr Major abandoning the premiership in favour of James Cran. We do not lack advice, not all of which is entirely unhelpful. Could I, as a senior colleague, advise you to model yourself not on Graham Taylor, but on Sir Matt Busby? The purpose of the game is to avoid scoring own goals.

Yours in sport,

(Photograph omitted)

Comments