"Hard pounding this, gentlemen; let's see who will pound the longest." The Duke of Wellington, at the Battle of Waterloo.
We have in recent weeks referred to John Redwood's ability to ask questions of the Government Front Bench that are the parliamentary equivalent of "hard pounding". This was in spite of being sacked from the shadow cabinet six months ago for no apparent reason. It was reported in The Daily Telegraph (03/07/00) that "William Haguehas appointed John Redwood to run a new Parliamentary Campaigns Unit - a team of MPs charged with harrying the Government during parliamentary questions, debates and statements."
John is reported as saying that the first campaigns would be to attack the cost of petrol and "stealth taxes".
Perhaps it is time for John to give those Opposition Front Bench under-achievers that we have been drawing attention to in "Flop of the Week", i.e. Sir George Young, Archie Norman, Caroline Spelman and Angela Browning, some intense and sharp after-school lessons in "hard pounding".
Welcome back John and go to it! We Conservatives in the grass roots and "Middle England" will be watching with interest.