Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Patrick Mercer Speaks Exclusively to 18 Doughty Street



This is a fifteen minute exclusive extract from my interview with Patrick Mercer which will be shown tonight on 18 Doughty Street at 9pm. In this clip Patrick talks about the remarks which caused his departure from the front bench. He's brutally honest about what happened. Excuse the rather chaotic opening!

12 comments:

Richard Dale said...

Patrick comes across very well. I think he also has a lot of support from most that matter - those people who might conceivably vote Conservative, and ironically haas a much raised profile. Hope to see him in a cabinet post soon after the next general election.

Laurence Boyce said...

Sounds like the whole business was blown out of proportion, but even so I can’t say that he won me over exactly.

Sunny said...

Hi Iain,
I thought that was pretty bad interviewing. Aren't you supposed to even slightly play devil's advocate?

The issue with Patrick Mercer wasn't that he himself called others a 'Black Bastard', since it was clear he didn't.

There were two issues:
1) His gross stereotyping that ethnic minority officers played the race card when being lazy.

2) That he evidently tolerated and did nothing much about the racism he viewed.

I expanded on my points fully here:
http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/1039

My brother used to be in the British army and I find it grossly offensive to hear that people like him are automatically seen as playing the race card if they make mistakes etc.

And if Patrick Mercer ends up back in the cabinet it would simply signal that the Conservatives aren't that bothered about rooting out racism, and only interested in waiting until furores die down before rewarding those in trouble.

Praguetory said...

Sunny - 1. He thought his comments were off the record. What you might consider "gross stereotyping" may actually be his experience. 2. You have to make a lot of assumptions (and ignore the evidence of his colleagues) in your argument to conclude that he tolerated racism. Why are you making fallacious arguments?

B said...

saw this on dizzy last night, this is good.

but iain why do these streamed videos have to take so long to cache? i ususally have to press play, then pause the vid immediately, do something else for 10 minutes, and then come back if i want to watch more than two seconds at a time.

it cant be my connection, i can get up to 400kb/s at times.

Anonymous said...

when this goes out tonight, in what sense will it be 'live at nine' as the monitor in the background claims?

Anonymous said...

I have to eat some humble pie here.

I thought Cameron was fire him, since he appeared to expressing a tolerance for racism which cannot really be justified, even in the rough and tumble world of the armed forces.

But I now think he has been stitched up somewhat [although DC was in a no-win situation], and it means we are walking on eggshells trying to discuss these things.

This, I'm afraid, just plays into the hands of those awful, hateful, xenophobic people at the BNP, who have no such qualms about discussing these topics.

That said, maybe Mercer is better as a backroom strategy guy for the next election.

Sunny - in fairness to Iain, since the Guardian [which I enjoy] often sees it as its role to provide some balance to the moonbattery of the more rabidly right wing media, he is allowed to give Mercer a chance to rebut some of the crazy shit he has been asked to endure.

Mercer did, I accept, stereotype to an extent and I was furious at him at the time for this. But he made clear that not all ethnic minority officers played the race card. He was, I think, saying that if one does use race as an excuse for one's under-performance, then you have rather queered your pitch if you want to make a legitimate point about the use of 'black bastard'.

Mark Clarke said...

I attended a Muslim rally in Tooting recently (I am the PPC for the seat).

Several Muslims came up to me and told me that Patrick Mercer was responsible for building excellent relationships between the Muslims and non Muslims in his own seat.

They offered to help me win in Tooting based largely on their positive experiences of working with Patrick Mercer.

Michael Ehioze-Ediae said...

The Interview with Mercer MP highlights the patronising way in which Black people are treated.

Why did he feel that to justify his position, he needed 'black' people by his side.

If his actions were right, they were right. They did not need further confirmation by 'black' people.

We are not puppets that you wheel out when you need to justify your arguments!

By the way, I thought Cameron was wrong to sack him.

Michael said...

Michael Ehioze-Ediae is right,

Black people are so infantilised by the left-wing media that they’re thrust into a state of self-parody.

The veiled racism of Sunny Hundal is detectable in his mawkish moralising: that black people are so “reactionary” and so “sensitive” and so “traumatised” that they cannot be expected to engage in banter or rough-and-tumble military humour. These people are trained to kill. They’re trained to be men – they’re trained to be heroes. The idea that black men need “special protection” from nasty words and old-fashioned disciplinarians is so patronising that I do not want to dignify it with a response.

Race-relations sock puppets like Sunny should go back into the holes from whence they emanated. Mr Ehioze-Ediae has every right to feel angry. As Lenny Henry pointed out in a recent interview for the Sunday Times, it’s about time that the chattering classes grew up.

Black people deserve respect. And that includes a respect for their capacity to accept criticism and/or engage in banter.

It’s about time that the BBC ditched their veiled racism.

Anonymous said...

I’m afraid the overly considerate and discreet interview of Patrick Mercer was for the most part a little more interesting than watching paint dry with all that mind-numbing tedious rhetoric about the army and terrorist attacks which has been rammed down our throats for years by the national media.

When Patrick Mercer, talks about our boys coming home dead;he would do well to remember that he was one of the people who ignored Hans Blix (the UN weapons inspector)when he begged him and other members of the select committee to give him more time. Instead Mercer voted for war, by any means necessary, thus the innocent people of Iraq died by their ten’s of thousands and our boys come home in body bags and only now in retrospect does he see
or miraculously care that he got it all terribly wrong.

Come on people, you only have to look at Mercer’s indifferent rhetoric about the massacre of
16 primary school children and their teacher in Dunblane to know he is not all sunshine and
lollypops. Mercer visited a school in Balderton, Newark, where he was asked what he would do about the situation in Afghanistan if he was Tony Blair,to which he replied: the bombing is wrong, but now it has started, he would continue it. Continue the wrongdoing whatever next?

That he would want to continue the bombing is no surprise because Times Online reported: “Tories'
ex-Army Patrick Mercer (Newark) recommended cluster bombs as others might recommend Thornton's chocolates.” Regardless of the fact there is a clear record of enormous damage to civilians, and to British soldiers.

Tory Alan Duncan MP told BBC One's Question Time that Mr Mercer “appeared to be indifferent to the fact that someone was taunted for being black. You cannot be indifferent to that." And that’s
why David Cameron rightly gave marching orders to one “industrial-grade idiot” who
ought to have known to denounce and deplore the way he said it was in the army.

Actually; I think Mercer was to some extent indifferent to racism and bullying because according to
Patrick Mercer, that’s the way it is in the army and we need to remember that his response to
the idea of an anti-racist trade union was “Absolute nonsense. Complete and utter rot.”

“Absolute nonsense” he proclaimed, “utter rot”, now that’s a rather indifferent attitude to racism!

Rod Liddle, asked Mercer “is David Cameron a man of principle?” Remember that Mercer told us in the interview that what Cameron did to him was “nothing”, just “sticks and stones” and yet in a resentful manner he replied “He is the leader” To which Liddle said: “Yes, I know he’s the leader. I asked you if he had principle” Mercer then finished off his glass of water, smiled from the other side of the table, sticks two fingers up at Rod Liddle and boldly marches away.

There is something of the night about this man but because he seems to have sunshine pouring through every orifice and his act is damn perfect and supported by the good yet gullible folk willing to sing a chorus of “For He's A Jolly Good Fellow” few will see the monster in disguise and few will see,the Damien side,of Patrick Mercer MP.

Anonymous said...

I’m afraid the overly considerate and discreet interview of Patrick Mercer was for the most part a little more interesting than watching paint dry with all that mind-numbing tedious rhetoric about the army and terrorist attacks which has been rammed down our throats for years by the national media.

When Patrick Mercer, talks about our boys coming home dead;he would do well to remember that he was one of the people who ignored Hans Blix (the UN weapons inspector)when he begged him and other members of the select committee to give him more time. Instead Mercer voted for war, by any means necessary, thus the innocent people of Iraq died by their ten’s of thousands and our boys come home in body bags and only now in retrospect does he see or miraculously care that he got it all terribly wrong.

Come on people, you only have to look at Mercer’s indifferent rhetoric about the massacre of 16 primary school children and their teacher in Dunblane to know he is not all sunshine and lollypops. Mercer visited a school in Balderton, Newark, where he was asked what he would do about the situation in Afghanistan if he was Tony Blair,to which he replied: the bombing is wrong, but now it has started, he would continue it. Continue the wrongdoing whatever next?

That he would want to continue the bombing is no surprise because Times Online reported: “Tories' ex-Army Patrick Mercer (Newark) recommended cluster bombs as others might recommend Thornton's chocolates.” Regardless of the fact there is a clear record of enormous damage to civilians, and to British soldiers.

Tory Alan Duncan MP told BBC One's Question Time that Mr Mercer “appeared to be indifferent to the fact that someone was taunted for being black. You cannot be indifferent to that." And that’s why David Cameron rightly gave marching orders to one “industrial-grade idiot” who ought to have known to denounce and deplore the way he said it was in the army.

Actually; I think Mercer was to some extent indifferent to racism and bullying because according to Patrick Mercer, that’s the way it is in the army and we need to remember that his response to the idea of an anti-racist trade union was “Absolute nonsense. Complete and utter rot.”

“Absolute nonsense” he proclaimed, “utter rot”, now that’s a rather indifferent attitude to racism!

Rod Liddle, asked Mercer “is David Cameron a man of principle?” Remember that Mercer told us in the interview that what Cameron did to him was “nothing”, just “sticks and stones” and yet in a resentful manner he replied “He is the leader” To which Liddle said: “Yes, I know he’s the leader. I asked you if he had principle” Mercer then finished off his glass of water, smiled from the other side of the table, sticks two fingers up at Rod Liddle and boldly marches away.

There is something of the night about this man but because he seems to have sunshine pouring through every orifice and his act is damn perfect and supported by the good yet gullible folk willing to sing a chorus of “For He's A Jolly Good Fellow” few will see the monster in disguise and few will see, the Damien side, of Patrick Mercer MP.