Being on our side – an old andecdote quite relevant to today’s events


Thinking of current shenanigans in the world of politics, I am reminded of a story that one of my former bosses told me after he was first elected to parliament.

Given that he was and is a Master Storyteller I have no idea if it was true, but it’s a cracking good anecdote either way.

My boss was the Conservative (well, more or less*) MP Jeremy Hanley. He had secured his place in parliament with the smallest majority in the House, just 74 votes. I was his agent in the parliamentary seat of Luvvyland-on-Thames, I mean Richmond & Barnes.

Sitting on the famous green benches for the first time he spied the redoubtable (now late) Ulster Unionist firebrand Rev Ian Paisley sitting behind him.

Surprised, Jeremy said “I hadn’t realised you were on our side?”

The Rev, in his characteristic booming voice replied “Laddy, never confuse sitting on your side with being on your side!”

Note: *I say more or less reminded of another story from the same campaign trail.

We were at an all-candidates public meeting when an audience member made that old “you’re all the same – you politicians” to which our opponent Alan (now Lord) Watson the Liberal candidate took to his feet to say “no, no, we are quite different. I am a conservative Liberal, whereas my good friend Jeremy here is a liberal Conservative.”


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