Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, blames the attacks on the World Trade Center in September 2001 and the lengthy wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for damaging his tenure as Tory leader between 2001 and 2003.
Speaking at a fringe meeting held by the Centre for Social Justice at the Conservative conference, Smith said:
“The day before I got elected, the Twin Towers were struck. So first of all I got no lift from my announcement. It had to be buried the following day because hardly anybody paid attention.”
He went on to complain that when a foreign war is going on it becomes hard for a leader of the opposition to gain traction in the media because of the focus abroad According to Politics.co.uk he said:
“When the nation is at war there is only one person [the public] look to. It is the prime minister because the prime minister is powerful. He is the one that directs it. And [Tony] Blair of course milked that for all it was worth. It was impossible for weeks and months to get anywhere near any domestic debate.”
Obviously no Tory prime minister has ever profited from a foreign war, and certainly nobody named Maggie Thatcher, who didn’t send the army to the Falklands Islands in 1982 and then go on to win the general election in 1983, partly because of the fervour caused by the war. No sir.
Image Credit – IDS and Allegra Stratton, by the Centre for Social Justice