"Portillo Is Mad". (Don't Believe It)
Whelan, Charlie, New Statesman (1996)
I had a brief chat with Michael Portillo last week and I'm convinced he isn't mad. In fact, he seems to be about the only sane voice left in the Tory party.
Shortly after my meeting with the best leader the Tories never had, he went on the radio to accuse lain Duncan Smith of surrounding himself with "yes-men", and who can blame him? IDS sacked some of the few people at Central Office with half a brain, and replaced one of them with a man who was chief whip for Dame Shirley Porter and, by all accounts, is even more right wing than IDS himself. Who cares about Alan Milburn plotting against Gordon Brown and Tony Blair losing all Labour Party support when the Tories are falling apart before our eyes?
Portillo says he has decided not to stand for the leadership himself, which explains why he launched his very own missile just as war is about to break out. He knows that it's too early for a leadership election, but he has cleverly ensured there will be one after the May elections. …