Andy McSmith's Diary: Tory tea-tree salesman is a shining example of longevity

 

David Tredinnick, MP for Bosworth, is not the smartest Conservative there ever was. In the 1990s, he is reported to have lost £750,000 as a Lloyds underwriter, but he is open to ideas about healing the sick. He is the first, I believe, to draw Parliament’s attention to tea tree oil.

This substance comes from a species of tree unique to Australia. Its medicinal qualities are being laboratory-tested at the University of Western Australia. A note on the university's website points out that tests are critical “if tea tree oil is to be accepted as an antimicrobial agent”.

But there is no “if” about it, to judge by Mr Tredinnick’s latest remarks in the Commons. Stressing the importance of preventing infection in A&E units, Mr Tredinnick urged the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to “remember that nature has its own remedies, such as tea tree oil”.

Mr Tredinnick is an Eton-educated former Grenadier Guard with no obvious scientific qualifications, and a member of the Commons Science Committee and Health Committee. One of his previous Commons speeches was a hymn of praise to homeopathy as a cure for an “endless” list of ailments, including HIV, TB, malaria, urinary infections, diarrhoea, skin eruptions, diabetes, epilepsy, eye infections, intestinal parasites, treatment from pregnancy to childbirth, cancer, gangrene, toxaemia and general injuries. In another debate, in 2001, he asserted that “science has worked out that pregnancy, hangovers and visits to one’s GP may be affected by the awesome power of the moon”.

Not the least remarkable fact about Mr Tredinnick is that he is, even now, an MP. In 1995 despite insisting that he refused a cheque for tabling a question, he was suspended from the Commons for 20 days for being prepared to take cash in return for asking parliamentary questions. No other MP dealt with in such a manner has survived beyond a general election. Tredinnick has been a backbench MP for 27 years.

Maid to measure

The magnificent Baroness Trumpington appears to regret the occasion when she let on how, when she was young and pretty, that old goat David Lloyd George tried to measure her all over.

“People got so excited about it. It’s really very boring and I was very young. I mean, I’ve no idea why he did it. I suppose he was bored and there was a tape measure around…” she has told Total Politics magazine. Anyway, she is not expecting any more trouble of that sort. “Nobody’s going to grope me at 91,” she snorted.

Loach’s antique pleasures

Ken Loach has confessed in Shortlist magazine to a “guilty pleasure” – he watches Antiques Roadshow. And why not? Considering it is 48 years since he directed that seminal television drama, Cathy Come Home, he is himself something of an antique.

Blair thanks beautiful game

Tony Blair would never have been Prime Minister had he not known shown some interest in football, says a new book by a leading Blairite, Jim Murphy, a down-table member of the current shadow Cabinet.

He brought out a book yesterday about football matches that changed history, which includes the tale of a young Tony Blair turning up in 1983 in County Durham where there was one last Labour seat up for grabs, introducing himself to John Burton, a stalwart of the local party, and then having to put politics aside while the football was on.

Murphy asked Blair what would have happened if the occasion had gone badly. “I wouldn’t have been Prime Minister,” he replied, “because I wouldn’t have got into Parliament until the next election in 1987. To be blunt about it, Gordon would have been, you know, so far ahead there wouldn’t really have been any doubt about it.” How different things might have been.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
News
i100
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
people
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
News
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
people
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Employment Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little