That said, the posts have given me an idea. People tend to say often that there is too much "Ya Boo!" politics and that this kind of politics turns people away from the Polling Stations. I don't know how much of this is true, but it is certainly unhelpful at times.
So it is that I thought it would be good to show how much activists respect others from the other main parties by compiling a list of Top Ten Favourite Tories and Top Ten Favourite Lib Dems. I could do a list of my Top Ten Terribles, but I quite honestly can't be bothered and would feel a hypocrite if I did, so hence the two lists I propose.
One doesn't have to agree with them or even think they should be near power as such, but they are a list of those who I respect and admire as opponents. I have challenged Iain to do the same.
So here it is..
TOP TEN FAVOURITE TORIES
1. Tim Roll-Pickering (one of my best friends in politics, and a walking encyclopaedia of political history)
2. Iain Dale (all-round great guy and less tribal than some would think)
3. Iain Duncan Smith (I think he has sometimes been given an unnecessary hard time and even if some of his social justice ideas are wrong, at least he cares and tries to do something about the issue)
4. Michael Portillo (One of the first maj Tory figures who realised that the Conservatives needed to change. Pity his Party disagreed)
5. Ann Widdecombe (Stuff and nonsense. I like that. Plus she is anti fox hunting!)
6. John Major (Not a good Prime Minister but as a person I have always liked him, even though his affair with Edwina Currie and close friendship with Jeffrey Archer showed poor judgement, but then but for the Grace of God perhaps...)
7. Kenneth Clarke (How can you not like him! The Hush puppies and Jazz, the cigars. Like Churchill he can infuriate but can be easily forgiven for many things and that is a rare trait. )
8. Lord Howe of Aberveaon (13th Dec 1990)
9. Michael Heseltine (I think it's fair to say that if I were a Tory I'd have been a corporatist Tory in the Heseltine mould. Some of the things he did I strongly disagree with but his realisation of what unfettered monetarism was doing and his speech on intervention when he was at the DTI showed his mettle)
10. Would have put William Hague but he has gone down in my estimation over his conduct in the Ashcroft affair, so Tim Montgomerie for similar reasons I gave for mentioning Iain Dale.
TOP TEN FAVOURITE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS
1. Ruth Skinner (How could I not! The sexiest and sophisticated Lib Dem I know ;-) )
2. Vince Cable (I don't always agree with him, sometimes I strongly disagree with him, but he thinks things through and when he is right he is spot on)
3. Lord Ashdown (If only we had such a guy in the Labour Party in terms of energy and popularity and experience. We have some who have those things sure, but Paddy Ashdown does have that Je Nais Ca Qui)
4. Charles Kennedy (before his illness took hold he was more charismatic and formidable than some realised)
5. Sir Menzies Campbell (formidable and statesmanlike. We have few of those in Westminster and how sad that his Party ditched him)
6. Jo Swinson (Thoughtful. Plus (ahem) rather attractive)
7. Lord Steel (Have always thought well of him)
8. Stephen Tall (great guy, and a nice one too!)
9. Linda Jack (Have met her several times. Decent to a fault)
10. Eric Lubbock (Kept the Tories out of Orpington for eight years. Much as I respected Norris McWhirter for his easy-going charm, where it came to World Records and the way he managed to deal with Ross's murder, I am glad he never got to be a Conservative MP. That would have happened but for Lubbock winning in 1964 and 1966)