Few things indicate more clearly the moral decline and rot in our society than the shocking fact that a man such as Alan Duncan can not only become an MP, and be made a government minister, but can actually be knighted. It is disgraceful.
The recent scandal about him allegedly demanding a position on the board before backing the campaign for Britain to leave the EU is only the last in a long series of grubby little episodes that have characterised his entire career.
The brazen opportunist condescended to write a piece for the Telegraph explaining why he had abandoned his previous long-held anti-EU position and was now prepared to lobby for the Remain side. What could explain such a U-turn in a man with no visible principles at any stage of his career?
No it had nothing to do with money, of course. Nothing at all to do with being offered bribes or incentives of any sort by the well-heeled, well-funded, taxpayer-financed pro-EU lobby! Nothing like that at all.
‘I am one of those who many expected in the referendum campaign to be a fervent advocate of leaving. Until recently I also expected it of myself – even going so far as to speak to the Leave organisers at their HQ.’
Vote Leave’s Matthew Elliott has put forward a different version of events. He claims that Duncan actually went a step further than just visiting their offices. Elliott — the campaign group’s Chief Exec — says that during their meeting, Duncan asked for a position on their board:
Matthew Elliott @matthew_elliott
Surprised @AlanDuncanMP supports Remain. He came to the@vote_leave HQ the other week asking for a Board position!
http://www. telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/eureferendum/12202394/Why-this-lifelong-Eurosceptic-is-now-voting-to-stay-in.html …
11:00 PM - 23 Mar 2016
Alas no such role ever materialised and Duncan is now for Remain. While the Conservative MP stands by his version of events rather than Elliott’s, Mr S will be keeping a close eye on any changes to the Britain Stronger in Europe board on the off chance Duncan goes all the way.
Duncan's recent outbursts include a bad-tempered reaction to the Panama Papers exposure of tax-avoidance by the super-rich including the family of David Cameron. He snapped that the very idea of full disclosure of politicians' tax affairs would deter "high achievers" like himself from going into parliament and would fill the House of Commons with "low achievers".
Let's have a look at what Duncan has actually done to justify his arrogant assumption that he is a "high achiever".
Duncan's career started with a stint working for Marc Rich, the oil mogul who was indited on criminal charges by the US federal government for tax evasion and illegally making oil deals with Iran during the Iran hostage crisis. He only escaped prison by going into exile from America. From Mr Rich, Duncan seems to have got his apprenticeship in basic deviousness and greed.
When he became an MP, on the second try, by standing in a safe Tory seat, Duncan was quickly promoted to government office and as quickly demoted when it was revealed that he had blatantly abused the system of discount purchase of council houses. He didn't live in one himself, of course, but had found an elderly neighbour who did, and persuaded him to buy it, then sell it on to Duncan soon afterwards, far below the market price. Duncan was then made to resign as a minister, but not, alas, as an MP, and in the last two years of the Major government, Duncan was against promoted to ministerial status.
During the Blair years, he was a Shadow minister on the opposition benches.
In 2005 he made an impudent bid for leadership of the Conservative party, and blamed his failure on the "Tory Taliban" implying that it was his homosexuality that was the problem. By comparing the entirely peaceful, non-violent and socially responsible pro-family lobby in the Conservative Party to the violent and murderous Taliban, he insulted his own party to a degree that suggests a complete lack of perspective. He alluded to homosexuality as a private behaviour that somehow had no impact on other people or society (sic) which certainly gives us a true measure of his level of intelligence.
In 2009, when the MPs' expenses row started to blow up, Duncan again acquitted himself poorly. It was revealed that he had claimed more than £5,000 to spend on gardening at his second home. He insisted he had done nothing wrong, and went on to boast noisily on TV about how he had personally profited from the system of free mortgage payments for a second home. He called it a "great system" and at first refused to pay any of the money back. David Cameron, embarrassed, ordered him to repay it, and to apologise for his effusions, and the system itself has now been abolished.
This happened at the height of the banking crisis, which caused great financial insecurity and hardship for the public, those "low-achievers" he despises so much. That did not prevent Duncan from prolonged and public whinging. He complained that MPs with their £64,000 salary, subsidized restaurants and champagne bars and generous expense allowances, were expected "to live on rations and are treated like shit." His language was worthy of his sentiments.
Somewhat belatedly, Cameron demoted Duncan from the Shadow Cabinet. Yet, when the Coalition got into power in 2010, Duncan somehow wormed his way back. During the crisis in Libya in 2011 he advised the government to cut off oil supplies to the Gaddaffi government and divert fuel to the rebels, thus encouraging the rise of islamic fundamentalism. He sided with the people who murdered the American ambassador in Benghazi. Assuring everyone that he was an expert on the oil business, he warned in The Times that oil prices of $200 a barrel are "on the cards" if anyone is "reckless and foments unrest."
Oil prices now in 2016, despite five years of unrest, stand at $40 per barrel.
Duncan has made public attacks on Israel and his dark accusations about a "powerful financial lobby" controlling America were condemned as anti-Semitic by leading Jewish groups.
Duncan assumes a smiling, sunny image in public in the best PR tradition but his true, snarling, aggressive personality flashes out from time to time unmistakeably. In 2009, when appearing on the TV comedy show Have I Got News For You, he shocked the audience by saying that he would kill an American beauty queen who had, when asked to give her opinion on marriage, stated very civilly that she considered it was between a "man and a woman". Duncan's "joke" about murdering her even shocked other contestants on the show.
His book Saturn's Children advocated legalising all drugs, which would certainly be convenient for his chums in the LGBT movement.
And now despite a twenty-year record of euro-scepticism, he has, in the run up to the EU Referendum, suddenly joined the Remain campaign, while denying that he sought prominence and reward for backing what he was supposed to believe in. To me, looking at the whole ugly picture, it seems there is only one thing that Alan Duncan believes in, and that is grabbing whatever he can get for Alan Duncan. He is not a Conservative, because he does not believe in the principles of a moral society in which individuals take responsibility for the consequences of their own behaviour. He subscribes to the LGBT victim-culture, the belief that society owes something to people who whinge, and he has made use of this in what looks to me like a blatantly opportunistic way. There is really no explanation for him being knighted apart from the Cameron government's pathetic desire to crawl into the favour of the LGBT movement.