Whoever it was within Conservative Party HQ that decided it would be a good idea to bring John Redwood out of the woods and into the limelight again cannot possibly think it is a vote-winner. Can they?
The one-time party bright youngish thing who first rose to political prominence as the Welsh Secretary everyone loved to poke fun at – although, truth be told, he did a pretty good job of providing the ammunition himself – is not so much yesterday’s man as a last century throwback.
I cannot help but agree with Polly Toynbee’s commentary on the re-emergence of Redwood.
There seems very little logic in allowing him such a platform, willingly sanctioned by David Cameron himself, when the country is looking for something new, dynamic and different.
I had first-hand experience of Mr Redwood’s abilities as I was working as a journalist in Cardiff at the time of his appointment to the role of Welsh Secretary. We didn’t have to try too hard to pick holes in the Cabinet minister imposed on Wales as he did a very good job of digging them for himself.
The one regret everyone on the paper had at the time – and many probably still do – was that no-one was able to get the John Redwood “money shot” – the Spock-like Tory standing outside The Vulcan pub near Cardiff prison. One former colleague was even considering climbing the prison walls when Mr Redwood paid a visit to a nearby TA centre, believing he could get a shot of him framed by the Vulcan’s frontage.
As Gordon Brown seeks to re-invent the Labour party and draw a line under the Blair years, David Cameron seems to be harking back to the bad old days of Thatcherism.
The Vulcan’s return suggests several leading lights within the Tory party are on a different planet.