Revealing e-mails revealed: part 2

by Stephen Tall on July 9, 2006

Life without e-mail may be considered pretty unimaginable; but occasionally life with e-mail is unmanageable.

Desmond Swayne, David Cameron’s eyes and ears in the House of Commons’ tea rooms, may today be reflecting on the unwisdom of committing so explicitly to writing his robust views on Tory policy and personnel.

The Sunday Times has helpfully uploaded them all to their website, and they make highly entertaining reading. Here are a few excerpts:

* On the Tories’ fisheries spokesman (presumably Bill Wiggin MP?): “it does not help to have a mince head as a spokesman.”

* On Roger Gale MP, aka “Mr Angry”: “[he] bent my ear about your refusal to come to the Industry & Parliament Trust’s big dinner (next year) … they are a bunch of boring colleagues with nothing better to do and some corporate bureaucrats.”

* On the Tory members of the EPP: “… they are content with everything except your intention to withdraw from the EPP about which they remain furious (‘never seen the lads so angry’).”

* On Theresa May: “neither liked nor trusted across the party.”

* On Francis Maude’s Spring Forum, Built To Last: “Ignore what was said at Shadow Cabinet, it was frightful. We endured a really weak round table discussion with stooges agreeing with one another in a meandering conversation.”

* And on Francis Maude himself: “he may be a likeable fellow but he is not yet trusted by the parliamentary party.” (Are these two facts in any way related?)

There is only one thing more baffling than Mr Swayne’s propensity to offer up such hostages to fortune via the sieve-like medium of e-mail – his spelling of Czechs as “Checz”.

Such lacunae are clearly infectious. As the Financial Times’s Philip Stephens remarked of David Cameron last month:

foreign policy is not his strong suit. He has not travelled widely and has met precious few political leaders from overseas. It shows. Mr Cameron has been heard to refer to one such meeting as being with the president of Czechoslovakia.

From a Czech-date to check-mate… For Mr Swayne, though, it might just be time for the “Cheque, please.”