I've been meaning to do a quick post following the news of Alan Duncan's demotion within the shadow ministerial team, to a role outside the shadow cabinet. I know he's not to everyone's taste, and has been becoming the punchball for those with a gripe against the Tories. Duncan, however, is pleasant, friendly, charming politician, who always gives the impression of being happy to give you time. After all, how many leading politicians would have bothered to give the time of day to a protestor who cut up their lawn? Duncan did, only to be paid back with more opprobrium. And while he may come out with comments that hit the headlines and views that don't chime in with the majority, at least he has a mind and an individual attitude. In the days of identikit politicians, we should be treasuring the Alan Duncans of that grey world all the more. For all his wealth, he also remains identifiably human - still the only Tory MP to actually come out and acknowledge, unapologetically, his homosexuality, without it becoming his whole defining character; and a man who seemed as happy to mix with a group of deprived teenagers from Liverpool as with a claret quaffing collection of businessmen.
Alan Duncan's demotion has been taken in good part by the man himself - David Cameron must wish that more people were as willing to put party before self. Let's hope it's not long before he's back in front line politics, even if not on Have I Got For News For You, one of the few places where he does not, alas, shine!
Now just off to Bourne Hall for a No2ID debate featuring Chris Grayling and Tom Brake.