April 3rd, 2021

Not The New Chips

The Mail is publishing extracts from the Diaries of former cabinet minister Alan Duncan in which he is exceedingly rude about his colleagues in government. The paper draws a comparison with the wonderful Chips Channon, but whereas Channon offers insight and racy anecdotes, Duncan- on this showing- is just calling names. There is nothing here that someone following the news at secondhand wouldn't or couldn't have concluded about Johnson, May, Hammond, Gove, Patel and the rest of the gang- nothing insightful or illuminating- or, even better, surprising. Johnson is a "buffoon", May "a cardboard cutout", Patel a "nothing", Gove "oleaginous" and "untrustworthy". Well, we knew all that already. Duncan has had privileged access to them and yet has seen no more than the man or woman who has been following developments on TV. Of Duncan himself we learn nothing except that his use of language is banal, that he enjoys Hawaii Five-O, that's he holds a grudge and has spent his professional life supporting- and campaigning for- a bunch of people he mistrusts, dislikes and despises.