Damian Hinds – the 100/1 CON leadership longshot who at Oxford beat Moggsy for the Union Presidency
A guest slot betting tip from Woody662
I’m sure those political obsessives amongst us all remember the ‘Party Games’ episode of Yes Minister where 2 candidates on the extremes of the party were frontrunners for the post, only for the civil service to conspire to see them withdraw in favour of a compromise candidate. Sir Humphrey and Sir Arnold listed their requirements ‘malleable, flexible, likeable, No firm opinions, no bright ideas ect’ and eventually arrived, to initial self-amusement, at Jim Hacker.
Looking at the next Conservative leadership race, could we hit on a situation where a life mimics fiction once again. In a party that is split between Breixiteers and Remainers, it is entirely plausible that if one of the extremes of either camp becomes leader, it will split the party.
- As the next election looms and Brexit is dealt with one way or another, the Party will inevitably regroup and focus on its ultimate reason for existing and that’s power and keeping the Labour Party out.
To attract the broadest possible voting coalition therefore, a moderate compromise candidate could be seen as the best way of achieving this. Someone who after the referendum has supported Government policy on Brexit. Someone who is actually getting positive airtime for their portfolio. Someone who could be acceptable to both wings of the party, someone with not a lot of baggage.
Few of the frontrunners meet that criteria but looking at members at senior cabinet level, there is one contender I believe is vastly overpriced and he is Damian Hinds.
Now when I researching Damian Hinds, there wasn’t a huge amount of information, clearly he is a man who just quietly gets along with his business. However there is a profile on Conservative Home from last year which has some very illuminating information. For instance, it quotes Michael Gove, who ‘foresees a day when Hinds might contest the Conservative Party leadership against Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary.’ He goes on to say ‘Hinds (President of the Oxford Union in 1991, three years after Gove) was “a dashing and accomplished speaker”.
It also confirms that Hinds beat a certain Jacob Rees Mogg to that position of President! He is one of very few Cabinet Minister’s getting on TV talking about matters other than Brexit (he has appeared at least 3 times on Good Morning Britain in the past few weeks opposite Piers Morgan, and come out unscathed) and again from Conservative Home, a journalist was quoted as saying after a lunch with Hinds “He was enormously impressive – he didn’t tell me anything at all. He was just very straight and gave nothing away,”
Hinds head the Education Department where the heavy lifting of policy development has already been completed by Michael Gove, and doesn’t appear to be attracting the scorn of the teaching unions that his predecessors endured. Unlike the likes of Javid, Hancock and Rudd, Hinds shouldn’t have historic departmental problems to trip him up. He enjoys positive numbers in the Conservative Home cabinet league table and they have crept up over the last 3 months.
If the moderates in the party are looking for someone to take on a Brexit candidate and if Gove does indeed get behind him, Hinds may well be their man. The Education Department has a decent record of providing Conservative leaders and 100-1 looks a good value bet.
Woody662 has worked for a CON MP for the past decade