January 09, 2006

Tony Banks, 'man of the people'?

The obituaries of Tony Banks, or Lord Stratford as he's been more recently known, have described him as "forthright", "a firebrand" and "a man of the people". But I wouldn't use any of those words to describe him.

One of the few useful things about death is that the laws relating to libel and slander don't apply any more.So I can say pretty much what I like about him, and make accusations that he can't refute.

Not that he could refute certain allegations at the time. You see, back in 2002, myself and a few friends were at a conference in Paris, where Tony Banks was speaking alongside people such as Michael Howard and Simon Hughes (a very nice man, by the way, shame he won't be Lib Dem leader).

After the conference, we bumped into Tony and my friends began talking to him about fox-hunting (they're active hunters, I'm broadly anti). They challenged him about his views of fox-hunting, saying that he didn't understand rural issues.

His response:

You w*nkers! make me sick! F***ing b*stards!

Before storming off in a huff. I wouldn't say my friends took a particularly aggressive tone, so his response was something of a shock. And given it was at a conference of sixth-formers, it was pretty inappropriate.

By the way, he couldn't have refuted the allegations at the time, because we'd been filming him. Whoops.

As if that wasn't bizarre enough, my friends took the decision to leak the video to the Daily Mail. As you do. We were told later that they couldn't print the story (despite wanting to) because he had threatened to take out an injunction against them!

Telling the Daily Mail may have been one of the most ridiculous things I've ever been involved in, but Lord Banks' behaviour in Paris was pretty bad considering who he was talking to. However his later actions just made us think he was slightly self-important and downright weird. So I have to say that my personal experience of Tony Banks wasn't one of him having "a sharp and witty tongue" (David Mellor) but of having a foul and offensive mouth.

- 4 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Paul Mcartney

    but he was right though

    09 Jan 2006, 21:01

  2. Anon

    "but he was right though"

    Can you refute this Mr Doidge?
    Are you and your friends 'w*nkers'?
    Was Mr Banks physically sick following your meeting?
    Are you indeed a F***ing b*stard?

    09 Jan 2006, 23:29

  3. Well he can't be that much of an idiot to get where he got. He might have had a bad mouth but at least he made his opinion in a straightforward way.

    11 Jan 2006, 23:31

  4. Thecriticalaye

    I like your blog.

    This is disrespectful though. Are you by any chance talking about the 'Your Future in Europe Conference' hosted by the lovely Phillipa Forrester? If so I remember Tony Banks amusing the whole audience with his 'sharp and witty tongue' and provoking roars of approval by telling us we should all be able to have a spliff when we wanted!

    This TB at least. always said what he meant and was passionate about his politics. Perhaps too passionate in some cases such as the one outlined in your blog.

    Anyway, you will be going in my links section, much obliged if you would do the same.



    17 Jan 2006, 10:35

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