Oh dear. At about five to twelve this morning Julian Worricker said to me on 5 Live: "That's what we like about you Iain, you don't sit on the fence". Little did he realise what was coming next. After the midday news on 5 Live they had David Mellor on to talk about the grammar school issue. I have never heard a more contemptuous and arrogant interview in my life. What made it worse was that the Mellorphant had told the 5 Live producers that he wouldn't enter into a discussion with the studio guest David Gold as was a "mere candidate" and that Mellor himself was a "former Cabinet Minister" don'tcha know.
Mellor spent the whole interview being his normal unctuous, arrogant self and slagging off "Dave" Cameron in the most self-satisfied way you can imagine. David Gold responded in a very measured and calm way. I am afraid I was rather more to the point. As far as I can recall my rant went something like this...
David Mellor has just illustrated why the Tories have been out of power for ten
years. He described David Cameron as glib, superficial and flimsy - there's certainly a danger of Mellor looking like that, as well as arrogant. Some of us in the Tory Party are sick and tired of hearing from failed relics like him. He was a failure in government and helped bring the Tory Party to its knees. How he has the cheek to lecture David Cameron on how he should lead the Tory Party I just don't know. Why doesn't he just disappear and let those of us who have a future in the Tory Party get on and try to win an election - he should just disappear into the place where all failed politicians go.
I'll just get my coat. I know it's bad form for Tories to fight live on air, but I'm afraid he triggered the red mist.
After the show had finished one of the 5 Live people told me an anecdote about Mellor's time as 606 presenter. Someone phoned in and gave a very erudite summary of their opinions of a football match, which Mellor greeted with his series of customary drawled 'yes's'. Then at the end of the call, the caller said: "...and David I've just got one final point. You're a c***." Mellor blustered, but next door the entire Radio 5 Live Sports Desk rose as one and cheered. I know how they felt.