Eric v Paddy: who’s the “frail and confused” one?

by Stephen Tall on January 17, 2010

Eric Pickles has, we hear, labelled Paddy Ashdown “frail and confused”. It seems an odd charge for the lifelong political hack and current Tory chairman, Mr Pickles, to level against Paddy – a former Marine, diplomat and spy, who’s placed himself in danger in service of his country more times than Eric’s had hot dinners (no mean feat).

Here’s a picture of Eric.

And here’s a picture of Paddy (taken just last week, I believe).

And now let’s see Eric in action – in his infamous car-crash appearance on BBC1’s Question Time. A cruel person might observe that Eric seems a little, well, “frail and confused” as he tries to justify his second home allowance:

Perhaps Eric could take some tips in how to handle the pressure of Question Time from Paddy? Here, Eric, is how it should be done:

Let’s leave the last word to Lib Dem MP Colin Breed, who has proposed Eric and Paddy meet up in the south-west of England to ‘yomp’ across Dartmoor, but reckons the Tory chairman:

would have passed out on a boggy patch a few hundred yards after trying to keep up with the frail and clearly decrepit Paddy Ashdown.”

PS: Liberal England’s Jonathan Calder blogs his own take here.