Thursday, March 08, 2007

Patrick Mercer, who resigned today... the one Tory MP whom I know and like. I have met him several times, spent quite a bit of time with him over the last 12 months, and I have found always him to be a compassionate, thoughtful, principled man. I am genuinely sorry that he has resigned. He was not your normal Tory MP, he had a life before politics, he had been a journalist and a soldier and it showed.

David Cameron, you nasty, pursed-lips, spinning, sanctimonious little sneak. You washed your hands of a good man, who said something stupidly truthful - that in the army, everyone insults each other all the time. ''You ginger bastard! You fat bastard! You black bastard!''. It's not very nice, but it is how it is.

As you damn well know, Cameron, as anyone who knows Patrick knows, he is not a racist. You sacrificed a good, talented man for a headline. Nice.

Patrick commanded the respect of his men in the army, serving in Northern Ireland and he was also respected and liked in the party.

Leroy Hutchinson, a black former corporal who served with Mr Mercer for 12 years, said: "He never tolerated racism in the battalion and not a single one of his men would consider him to be racist."
He added: "In the forces... name-calling - whether you be black, white, ginger, red, brown - it is part of the establishment."
He went on: "It's not meant and it doesn't come across from an individual as a racist comment. It's just part of the culture.
"When you wear that uniform, it is what goes on and it's been happening for a long, long time." ( BBC)

Yes, some squaddies are racists, and some are bullies, and everyone banters and is insulting and...well, you've heard the expression '' the language of the barracks''. It's robust and rough, and it would shock the W.I. Patrick's mistake was saying what really goes on.

UPDATE: Soldiers discuss it and come out for Patrick. Typical comment: 'He's right, we all know what he is saying is true. The fact that this sort of language isn't necessarily a reflection of racism within the forces but a demonstration of the environment we work in. Merciless piss taking is part of the parcel within Army life.'

UPDATE 2: BBC viewers come out for Patrick

UPDATE 3: Patrick and me in action

Well, the Conservative leader's reaction to his naive but not harmful comments does nothing to endear the Tory party to me. I hope Patrick comes back soon, as the party is poorer without him. He was the one Tory who made me think the party might had some decent people in it, lurking somewhere - and I have voted against the Tory party since I was old enough to vote.

And glib, ruthless, shallow, cycling-with a-car-behind-do-you-think-we-are-stupid huskie-cuddler and saddo wannabe-Blairalike Cameron made him go. Typical.

Patrick was, and is very close to David Davis, who lost the leadership race to Cameron, and Cameron didn't like that, I bet. Pontius Bloody Pilate.

(Yeah, and I don't care if people wave their handbags at me for supporting a Tory. People, above politics. He's not a racist. So he should not have been asked to go. Own goal.)

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Anonymous achilles said...

Patrick Mercer, who resigned today... If that's a resignation, I'm a banana!

March 09, 2007 12:06 am  
Anonymous Bel said...

Agreed, Rachel. However, I despair of the society that turns a decent man into a hate figure for departing from the accepted way of thinking.

I shouldn't expect any better from self-righteous Labour MPs, but even so, I was surprised to see them all over the place, denoucning Mercer's remarks. I wondered whether they had even read what he said, because if they had, surely they would have seen his point. And if they had read his comments and failed to get his point, then how stupid they must be.

But the biggest criticism I reserve for David Cameron, who sacrificed Patrick Mercer for political expediency. And not just that, but for him to stand there and spew all sorts of crap about not condoning racism, as if implying that Mercer was. That was beneath contempt. This episode has shown David Cameron to be a man without principle. He comes nowhere near Patrick Mercer in grace, dignity, achievement and principle.

March 09, 2007 12:42 am  
Anonymous Mike West said...

Yep, Rachel. You are spot on. Patrick is an entirely decent guy, sacked by an inexperienced gamma male who knows nothing about the army or leadership.

What medicore times we live in.

March 09, 2007 2:26 am  
Blogger kobwebby said...

We don't want real people, people with experience, people that tell it how it is, people with experience beyond the privileged confines and bravery of the Bullingdon Brats Club in politics, now do we..

Honesty and guts are not the order of the day in British politics….I wonder why?

March 09, 2007 3:54 am  
Blogger jailhouselawyer said...

Once again I find myself in complete agreement with you. I was tickled to read on Iain Dale's Diary that you called Cameron a twat. I had already reached the same conclusion and have him making a c*nt of himself on my blog.

March 09, 2007 9:03 am  
Anonymous newmania said...

Well thats the first thing you`ve ever said that hasn`t infuriated me .

I daresay the usual service will shortly beresumed

March 09, 2007 10:36 am  
Anonymous newmania said...

On the other hand

As you damn well know, Cameron, as anyone who knows Patrick knows, he is not a racist. You sacrificed a good, talented man for a headline. Nice.

Ooo isn`t she tough…damn no less

Rachel you misunderstand, the politically correct environment in which necessitated Mercers removal is created by the Left . Have a look at the Indy and the New Statesman today. The people who lost Mercer his job are people like you! You are the problem , you and your self serving Liberal cant

March 09, 2007 10:53 am  
Anonymous ratty said...

I agree. Cameron has shown poor leadership qualities. He has lost my vote.

God knows who I am going to vote for now.


March 09, 2007 10:59 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well if even leftie libbers like you are coming out for Mercer, Cameron has definitely cocked up.

must say I am surprised to see you supporting a Tory, had you down as Ms. PC.

March 09, 2007 11:04 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

Oh for heaven's sake newmamia, can't you get a grip before hitting the keyboard?

I am *supporting* Patrick and the Tories have chosen to let him go.

It is therefore bizarre of you to start spouting bilge like

'The people who lost Mercer his job are people like you! You are the problem , you and your self serving Liberal cant '

I can only conclude that you are trolling, or something equally puerile, and I therefore reiterate to you my comment policy. Disagreement is fine, nay welcomed, but...

1.No spam
2.No hate-comments
3.No cut n' paste conspiraloonery
4.No obnoxious personal abuse

will be published. My blog, my rules, yellow card for you.

Next time, if there is a next time, I simply won't publish your witterings, and I will continue to not publish them, nor will I acknowledge or even bother to read your comments, for ever and ever, amen, and that'll be that.

I'm sure you'll live, as you have plenty of other places to play. You can chunter on about it on your blog if you like, doesn't bother me one trice.


March 09, 2007 11:47 am  
Blogger thedacs said...

Definite own goal by Cameron

March 09, 2007 1:15 pm  
Blogger jailhouselawyer said...

Rachel: newmania shown the yellow card. LOL. I think I will stay on your good side...

March 09, 2007 1:57 pm  
Blogger Roger said...

Nice to see Labour MP Stephen Pound on today's 'Daily Politics' standing by his friend Patrick Mercer, who does seem to be widely liked and respected.

March 09, 2007 3:33 pm  
Anonymous newmania said...

Oh dear oh dear you are funny. I love the way you work yourself up to a crescendo and climax on the word “trice”. I couldn’t give, “ A short period of time “…. I can’t wait for the book.

March 09, 2007 4:10 pm  
Anonymous dc said...

Newmania wrote:

"The people who lost Mercer his job are people like you! You are the problem , you and your self serving Liberal cant"

Ha! Everybody knows it's the likes of the Daily Mail that has caused over the top PC, with their endless made up headlines. "School bans Ba Ba Black Sheep", "Council bans Christmas", "Workers not allowed Piggy Banks", etc. etc. etc.

(Sorry to hijack your blog, Rachel, but comments like this infuriate me - I hope in this case he is just trolling to wind you up)

March 09, 2007 4:39 pm  
Anonymous Steve said...

Hang on Rachel. You've just written a great post defending Patrick Mercer's right to free speech, then you threatened to ban Newmania just because he was rude and criticised you.

Isn't that just the sort of knee-jerk reaction that you've criticised Cameron for?

March 09, 2007 6:27 pm  
Blogger septicisle. said...

The problem in my view wasn't that Mercer described an aspect of army life but that he dismissed the complaints from the Marlon Clancy about the way Commonwealth soldiers in such a contemptuous and arrogant way, describing them as "complete and utter rot", then more or less suggesting that the soldiers were making it up to mask their own poor performance.

I'm not sure that he should have been sacked, but it's also worth keeping in mind that he left the army in 1999. By the army's own admission, there were only 430 soldiers from Commonwealth countries in 2000. There are now over 6000. It suggests to me that Mercer may now not properly know what's going on.

March 09, 2007 6:34 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Steve, I have reminded Newmania of this blog's comment policy. I am under no obligation to allow trolling and abuse and if he doesn't like it he can go elsewhere and play.

I didn't criticise Cameron re. free speech, I criticised him for saying falsely, that Patrick was racist which he isn't.

Septicisle, interesting point. But I reiterate, Patrick isn't a racist - and sack him for being a racist is ufair, because he is no such thing. Bad management by DC.

March 09, 2007 6:59 pm  
Blogger jailhouselawyer said...

Rachel: Bad management by David Cameron you say. Not to minimise it for Patrick Mercer, but if Cameron cannot get the little things right what hope is there for the big things?

March 09, 2007 7:27 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Not much. Glad I'm not a Tory.

March 09, 2007 7:29 pm  
Blogger Newmania said...

Same here.

March 09, 2007 10:28 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

March 10, 2007 12:24 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

An anonymous commenter wrote at 12.24am to say 'Rachel, newmania is rude'...

which he is, yes,

and then went on to say something else derogatory about newmania before suggesting I was better off without him.

What anonymous said about newmania was quite a serious slur, so I am not publishing it, because the personal abuse thing isn't just about the blog author. I don't know if the allegation made by anonymous about newmania is true as I don't read newmania's blog - though I did once comment on a rather odd, spiteful entry, which linked here,saying I would prefer it if he did not bother coming over to my blog and commenting in future. As he was certain to dislike both the content and the commnets policy, and as he seemingly harboured a great dislike of me and wanted to repeatedly tell me so.

I don't really see why I should be asked to entertain in dialogue someone who behaves like a boorish pub bore, and if I met someone who went on like this in real life at a party, joining in conversations to throw insults, or muttering in a corner about how unpleasant or despicable he found my conversation I would make my excuses and get well away from such an obnoxious person.

March 10, 2007 8:10 am  
Blogger jailhouselawyer said...

Hi Rachel:

According to Iain Dale in a Telegraph article, he states, "A true friend is one who tells the truth, even when it is unpalatable". I agree with this sentiment entirely. However, how does it equate with Cameron sacking Patrick Mercer for telling the truth?

I have fisked the article on my blog, let me know what you think.

March 10, 2007 10:31 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The reason that he was sacked is that a large portion of the media establishment, and indeed a good deal of "decent, right minded people" (a self description) would have pounded on about Tory racism for weeks if he hadn't. To claim that a party leader can just walk away from that sector of opinion making, is frankly not true.

Ask yourself, if it had been someone you didn't know, in the same situation - what would you have written here if such a stranger *hadn't* been sacked?

A climate has been created. A climate where the *perception* of racism is a destroyer. A climate where the word niggardly is dangerous to your employment prospects.

David Cameron didn't make that climate - who did?

The Anon

March 10, 2007 1:29 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rachel, it would seem that you have become utterly besotted with Patrick and thus entirely perceive this man through rose-tinted glasses. I will not therefore attempt to cause the scales to fall from your eyes for you are clearly happy in your credulity. However, I would remind you that one cannot judge a book by its cover and all that glitters is not gold. To say more would be to invite an onslaught of abuse unbefitting a lady.

I have read the commentary with interest and perhaps you will not agree that for you to say “Disagreement is fine, nay welcomed” could possibly be regarded to be an oxymoron. Clearly perception of right and wrong of disagreement, falls within your rules, and your rules alone make a somewhat tyrannical control and nay say it isn’t so.

Furthermore, I would respectfully point out that you are in breech of your own comment policy.
No.2 “No hate-comments” No.4 “No obnoxious personal abuse”. Clearly your comments about David Cameron, “you nasty, pursed-lips, spinning, sanctimonious little sneak” are acrimonious and spiteful, moreover they show that you have entirely failed to grasp the scale of the problem and the only option open to protect the beloved party of Patrick Mercer, who will likely make a comeback. Moreover you are wrong to say that Mr Mercer was also respected and liked in the party” because he is respected and continues to be held in high esteem. There is no “was” about his popularity.

I’m afraid you are entirely in the wrong to insinuate that Mr Mercer said that in the army “everyone insults each other all the time” comrades may banter but insults all the time- it’s just nonsensical claptrap.

Sadly Patrick Mercer, was complacent about racism “that's the way it is in the army” and he failed to express strong disapproval of racism which was his duty and the duty of all the upper echelons of society.

Now Rachel, lambaste me, God forbid I should practice such freedom of thought on your terrain.

March 10, 2007 2:00 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

I say nothing about Cameron that other commenters are not saying; however I have a COMMENT policy for the COMMENTERS - which is the individuals COMMENTING using the COMMENT FACILITY, and I have made it perfectly plain above. Again.

You may enjoy or may not Matthew Norman's ascerbic vitriol for example when reading his column. That does not mean he has given you permission to write him hatemail or abuse him in the street. Same here ( not that I am comparing myself to Matthew Norman).

Look. If you don't like the content here, don't read it! And if you can't comment without abiding by the perfectly clear and far-from-unusual comment policy, don't bother.

I am under no obligation to give a platform to every troll, conspiraloon, racist, anti-semite, mysogynist or oddball in town. People who want to post such stuff can start their own blogs, not use mine as a platform.

Hope that's clear but if it isn't, feel free, as I said, not to bother reading or commenting if you find it too challenging or irksome. Go elsewhere. I'm not chasing this sort of thing,I don't enjoy it.

As to 'utterly besotted' - a cheap gibe IMO. Since when is saying you have met, know and like someone the same as being 'besotted' with them? I am besotted with my husband-to-be, I am loyal to my friends, if someone I know is falsely accused of being a racist I will say so. I am less enamoured of anonymous people who pop in here on a wind up. Some people measure success on a blog by the numbers of comments disagreeing after a post, or the traffic, but as I write purely for my own enjoyment and relaxation, I prefer to leave the dick-waving and shouting matches to other sites who welcome such behaviour.

If you don't like that, well, too bad. It's not like there's a shortage of platforms for you to go and sound off on.

March 10, 2007 5:25 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Further to my comments above.

1) Contention from personal opinion - If any pol from any party (except possibly the BNP) had made these comments, he would have suffered the same fate.

2) Fact - Military personel have been court martialle, convicted and sentenced for using such abuse. People have fought and won damages for said abuse.

3) Fact - Point (2) resulted from a deliberate policy by the current government, expressed in it's various manifestos. The policy was conceived and supported by the left of the party (AKA Old Labour). The avowed aim was the criminalisation of speach which is *perceived* to be racist.

The aim of all this was to stamp out racism. The problem is that it is an attempt to stamp out the symptoms.

As any doc will tell you, symptoms don't always point to the right disease.

A comic example that is on the way is the forthcoming attempt to ban the "N word". Apparently under Human Rights legislation it will be impossible to exempt black people. So NWBA will be criminals....

May I ask where you stand on the attempt to destroy the career of an Oxford professor on the grounds that he does work for Migration Watch?

The Anon

March 11, 2007 10:09 am  
Blogger xoggoth said...

Quite agree he is not racist but there were some rather badly chosen words in there. Politicians really ought to choose their words a bit more carefully, they should be aware that some paragraphs will be quoted out of context.

March 11, 2007 11:06 pm  
Blogger John said...

Maybe if you were an ethnic minority yourself you would understand why it is offensive to say that there are 'too many ethnic soldiers in the forces who are idle and useless' and who use racism as a cover you might 'get' why it is offensive. Personally I feel that you should simply be a human to 'get it' but apparently not. I am not surprised by these MP's comments though as ignorance and being a Tory go hand in hand and always have done.

March 14, 2007 9:19 pm  
Blogger kobwebby said...

There is no doubt that some people use the race prejudice card to achieve a means to an end, often monetary gain, this is not a new phenomena. But people that would use such methodology are prejudiced themselves against society as a whole and do great disservice to genuine victim causes!!!!

As for the "N" word, surely it the depends on context in which it is used, it's about intent, but if we use such phrases in a derogatory manner then all derogatory terminology must be outlawed along with all derogatory intent. And what if the same phrase is used as a sign of affection; what then?

And what of people that would conduct a campaign of victimisation upon those that hold differing opinion? Or even worse: Through bitterness envy and jealousy!?!

Anyway, you might remember the best Bass track in the world associated with this: Koop to hip-hop junkie: "If we had anymore 'ardcore we'd get 'rrested, d'ya know wha' I mean?" and "This track is from the itchytriggerfingerniggaz"

CMD may be a politically correct do-gooder but part of him obviously
feels that a new nuclear arms-race is desirable, and that's before we even get into the morality of using such weaponry on each other..Strange that!

Context and intent!

March 16, 2007 11:05 am  

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