To have been pretty impressed by Ann Widdecombe and her comments on the Philpotts and benefits?

(57 Posts)
Molehillmountain Thu 04-Apr-13 22:13:56

I've been really critical of her in the past but she seems to be the only right leaning voice speaking any kind of balance on Mick Philpott. At least she seems able to isolate a wicked act by a bad man from the (unpleasant) debate about benefits that is raging at the moment. Perhaps George Osborne could have her as a mentor?

Dawndonna Thu 04-Apr-13 22:15:14

I actually yelled 'Thank you Ann Widdecombe' at the television last night.
I'm so embarrassed!

Molehillmountain Thu 04-Apr-13 22:16:33

I know! I never thought I'd see the day. Shows how much further right the right has gone.

CheCazzo Thu 04-Apr-13 22:16:58

I think she's a decent woman. She has her principles, and her faith, and she lives by them. No amount of criticism - and she's had it in bucketloads about her appearance if nothing else - seems to faze her. Good on her.

sue52 Thu 04-Apr-13 22:19:39

I strongly disagree with her politics though I agree she's a thoughtful and caring woman.

jennywren45 Thu 04-Apr-13 22:21:09

She's a wise, sensible old bird. Good on her.

Dawndonna Thu 04-Apr-13 22:21:14

I too disagree with her politics, but yes, she cares. She's also an extraordinarily intelligent woman. Hence the pathetic remarks about her looks etc.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Thu 04-Apr-13 22:22:09

But she spent a week with him and decided he was a good father hmm ? Not much insight there.

I thought the same last night.

I don't like her politics but I respect her as a person

yaimee Thu 04-Apr-13 22:23:18

I agree with sue and che
I really don't agree with her politics think she's a strong, intelligent and caring woman why oh why is she a tory

Dawndonna Thu 04-Apr-13 22:24:47

Unexpected I have a mother with NPD. She was a headmistress. Many people loved her and thought she was a fabulous mother, for the first couple of months. These people can draw people in and hide their flaws for small but significant periods.

carabos Thu 04-Apr-13 22:26:28

I don't agree with her politics or share her faith, but her thoughtful insights show that unlike many of the commentators who have weighed into this dreadful tale, she is in touch with the reality of life for people outside the Westminster village.

Molehillmountain Thu 04-Apr-13 22:27:24

The thing about ms widdecombe and her political views, much as I disagree with them, is that I believe she is not self interested and is a Tory because she cares about people and believes that her political stance serves their needs best. In that, we are the same. I don't get the same feeling about many of our cabinet. I know that may be unfair, but they seem just so much more self serving.

Dawndonna Thu 04-Apr-13 22:29:01

Spot on Molehill

Molehillmountain Thu 04-Apr-13 22:29:59

Yes-carabos-so so true. I don't believe that any of the cuts proposed would have any impact on those in the current government or their families.

moonabove Thu 04-Apr-13 22:31:15

Heard her on the radio, she didn't say anything about him being a 'good' father. She said there was no sign the children were neglected in material way, properly fed and clothed etc but that there was a certain amount of 'indifference' to them.

She did come across really well - very calm and sensible.

grovel Thu 04-Apr-13 22:35:24

The thing is, Dawndonna, she believes in bigger benefits to fewer people. I happen to agree with her. She knows full well how tricky that is politically (by definition you have to take something away from some people to achieve this). She also knows how clunky the levers of state are. No benefit claimants are in identical circumstances but the state has to make rules to fit all. I once sat next to her at a charity dinner.

On some other issues I thought she was plain wrong. But she is a decent person.

I don't like her, I don't agree with her, but I do admire her. I think, like Molehill says, that she genuinely acts from altruism. Despite her life being at odds with most peoples nowadays, she does actually care about society, and is one of the few politicians - I know she's not an MP any more - who will express an opinion because she believes it, not because it's policy.

CabbageLeaves Thu 04-Apr-13 22:36:45

She has integrity

A rare character trait in a politician IMO

What cabbage said - she is just about the one and only politician that I would believe one word she said. The others seem to lie as easily as they breathe sad and not actually a) live in the real world or b) give a shit about it or anyone in it and AW always comes across as somehow sincere/truthful and, for want of a better phrase "a good person"

She's a bit like Michael Portillo - vastly improves on further acquaintance once removed from the political cesspool.

Though why she agreed to the Louis Theroux gig I will never know.

larahusky Thu 04-Apr-13 23:02:25

She's nice to hedgehogs too!

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Thu 04-Apr-13 23:04:02

I think it's right to say she is in politics because she wants to further her sincerely-held beliefs and not because, like most of the rest of them of all political persuasions, she is a self-serving power-crazed bastard.

quesadilla Thu 04-Apr-13 23:08:53

Agree with what's been said here above: don't share her politics but she seems honest, decent and to have absolute conviction in her beliefs for which I respect her.

grovel Thu 04-Apr-13 23:12:22

I like this thread. I worry, though, that Edwina Currie will soon be in the same boat as Ann W. Old, dotty but honest.

grovel I don't think Edwina Currie will ever be regarded in the same light as Ann W. Edwina's a thoroughly nasty piece of work and is a DM rent-an-opinionated-gob.

Molehillmountain Fri 05-Apr-13 07:14:57

Edwina Currie? No-never going to happen. No one can forget the egg thing while her name still sounds a bit like "egg-Wina"!

M0naLisa Fri 05-Apr-13 07:18:04

No she didn't say anything about him being a good father. She said they weren't neglected, were fed and cared for.
She was also not scared when he stood up to her calling her a bitch.

She also said he was all front for the cameras.

Molehillmountain Fri 05-Apr-13 07:23:17

Yes-Mona, it was in response to a "why didn't ss step in?" Question and she rightly said there weren't the triggers as the children were clean, fed, well behaved and attended school. She just doesn't get hysterical about stuff or say things bigger than they are to prove a point. No wonder she never made it further in politics!

auforfoulkesake Fri 05-Apr-13 07:25:22

i was pleasantly surprised when I heard her on Jeremy vine, despite him goading her into blaming the benefit culture she would not.

ClaireDeTamble Fri 05-Apr-13 07:29:13

I like Ann Widdecombe too and although I don't totally agree with her politics, I prefer her old style, feudalistic, paternalistic, conservatism to the modern day, self centred, no such thing as society, thatcherite tories.

Gigondas Fri 05-Apr-13 07:30:15

I also thought she was sensible on this -heard her on radio.

ithaka Fri 05-Apr-13 07:32:53

I though Ann Widdecombe was the Home Secretary who was responsible for pregnant women being handcuffed to beds hen they were in labour?

But the way you are all talking about her, I must be wrong....

Nancy66 Fri 05-Apr-13 07:38:32

She absolutely DID say he was a good father. Not since he was charged but at the time of the documentary and immediately after the fire she did.

Squarepebbles Fri 05-Apr-13 07:41:41

She is a very wise old bird and lives in the middle of Dartmoor.

I ended up in the hairdressers as the same time as her whilst she was having a photo shoot for Strictly.

I was amazed at how lovely,quiet and polite she was. She also looked stunning when they'd finished cutting her hair, I looked shite in comparison.

Did have a what has my life come to moment after that

ithaka Fri 05-Apr-13 07:44:01

Ah, not Home Secretary. In 1996, as prisons minister, she oversaw the Government's policy to shackle pregnant prisoners with handcuffs and chains when in hospital. Lovely lady.

Vicky2011 Fri 05-Apr-13 07:47:48

There are plenty of people on the right who feel the benefits system needs reform and that, in some cases, it is counterproductive who don't, for one minute, think that it turned Mick Philpott into a murderer.

If anything we should be asking why he was free to murder (and yes I'm deliberately using that word) having previously stabbed his ex multiple times!

I think this case has become clouded because in court it was argued that his motive for starting the fire was part of a custody battle and that the children were, in effect, his meal ticket but to extrapolate any points on the welfare state from this one vile individual is bizarre.

Footface Fri 05-Apr-13 07:53:19

Nancy is right. She did say he was a good father, straight after the fire. But before he was charged, not sure at that point though she could have said anything else

TanteRose Fri 05-Apr-13 07:59:21

article in the Independent

her views do seem to be measured and thoughtful, in the midst of all the other coverage

Lorelailovesluke Fri 05-Apr-13 08:02:24

Ithaka, I was coming on to make same point.

She is a very right wing, shackling pregnant women in hospital, anti gay marriage for a start. Just because she made once sensible comment it does not make her a national treasure.

While I don't agree with everything AW says, I agree with your comments that she does seem more caring and considerate than other MPs. This article is interesting.

Squarepebbles Fri 05-Apr-13 08:22:39

She is a staunch Catholic.Many people with various religious convictions are anti gay marriage.I am not Tory or religious and pro gay marriage however I have to except others are not the same.There are several beliefs I don't agree with in all sorts of religions.

I have envy over her house.When I retire I want a house in the middle of Dartmoor with cats so I can spend days striding over Tors.

Did anybody see that doc in her years back,she has led quite an interesting life?Very bright lady.

I agree with Ithaka and Lorela.

Squarepebbles Fri 05-Apr-13 08:35:15

Also re prisons.They had had women escape as hospitals aren't secure.At the end of the day you are still a criminal even if you end up in hospital.Being shackled to a bed whilst receiving treatment isn't exactly a huge hardship.If you don't like it don't break the law.Don't do the crime if you don't want to do the time.

She had some interesting views re making prison more beneficial long term for inmates ie getting them to work,seems to be getting quite trendy now.

JakeBullet Fri 05-Apr-13 08:37:58

I have always liked AW, simply because she says what she believes....even if it doesn't toe the official party line.

EldritchCleavage Fri 05-Apr-13 08:59:19

I don't like her, because I think she is deeply intolerant of other women. A misogynist, in fact.

Wannabestepfordwife Fri 05-Apr-13 09:13:35

I still think she would have made a fantastic speaker

flippinada Fri 05-Apr-13 09:13:35

Yes, I was pleasantly surprised to hear her comments yesterday.

I don't agree with her views but I do think they are sincere and genuinely held, unlike the new breed of career politicians.

SparklyAntlersInMyDecorating Fri 05-Apr-13 09:16:53

Have you seen the Mail's latest headline? A direct taunt to "the left" inviting their readers to vote on that headline.


I like her. I don't agree with her on everything but she really believes her views and isn't prepared to be shifted. Nor is she one for the sound bite for a headline shite that so many politicians of both flavours seem to favour.

thebody Fri 05-Apr-13 09:21:33

She didn't fiddle her expenses either did she.

She has integrity and that's so bloody rare in public life now.

NotTreadingGrapes Fri 05-Apr-13 09:26:50

I have always admired her. Her and Tony Benn. And I bet that despite their polar opposite politics they would get on, and sit and chunter about the career-politicians around these days rather than the vocational ones that they are.

FreudiansSlipper Fri 05-Apr-13 09:47:40

I heard her on Jeremy Vine the other day and she made it very clear that this was not a benefits issue but one about a very controlling and manipulative man

I am glad she has not jumped on benefit bashing wagon but many of her other views I strongly disagree with especially her support of pro life groups those that want to take choice away from women

bochead Fri 05-Apr-13 10:00:19

It's nice to see at least one public figure with enough respect for those children to not try and exploit their deaths for cheap points. I don't see this as a "political issue" and am pleased that Ann Widdcombe at least sees the gravity of the crime.

I've been utterly disgusted with the Tory Leadership the last few days.

There are some real questions to be asked about ensuring the safety of children left in the care of men known to be violent towards their partners that are being ignored. Children died yet our leadership is so blinded by their obsessive desire to demonise the poor that they are willing to desecrate the memories of those poor children to do so. I haven't been so disgusted since Hillsborough.

(For the record I'm probably at the opposite end of the political spectrum to AW).

limitedperiodonly Fri 05-Apr-13 10:13:39

Woman with political views with which you don't agree says something you do like [shocker].

There will be plenty of 'right leaning voices' who believe it is facile to pin the blame for this crime on benefits 'culture' rather than on a psychopath who reacted to a rare challenge to his authority.

It just happens that Ann Widdecombe is now a TV personality who has met Mick Philpott so the media will go to her for her views instead of other people.

I mostly agree with her summation, but why wouldn't I? It's sensible and informed.

Where I do differ from her is her idea that it's the State's business to police people's morals, beyond criminal law, which is what that Independent blog linked to is about. It is full of blame for benefit 'culture'.

I'm sure it's a sincerely-held belief, but it's another example of Widdecombe trotting out her brand of personal morality which many of us would fall foul of.

I can remember when she was targeted for interviews when the big debate over women giving birth in handcuffs (which meant that skin to skin or even holding their babies was out of the question), because she was female. She agreed with this practice, btw, even for those convicted of crimes such as shoplifting. I cannot feel any respect for her, she may have mellowed with age, her views on single Mums in the 80's was disgusting, but it's to little to late. I am glad she had the view on this case that she did, as she is respected on the Right. This whole debate should have been around Domestic Abuse, she would find it difficult to advocate supporting women to leave their relationships, seeming as she had in the past blamed women for not trying to do all they can to not become LP.

Lottapianos Fri 05-Apr-13 10:41:30

I disagree with almost everything she says and agree that her opinions on women giving birth in handcuffs were foul but I have a grudging admiration for her. She has had to put up with absolutely foul abuse and ridicule about her looks and her weight, her lack of a husband and speculation about her sex life - it must have been soul-destroying at times but she would not play the simpering little woman. She totally brazened out all the Strictly ridicule as well.

As others have said, she sticks to her beliefs and has integrity and it's downright sad what a rare situation that is amongst politicians these days. She's certainly no national treasure though.

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