I think John McTernan was some sort of spin doctor for Tony Blair. And, in an article he has written, he reminds me how much Blair and Brown destroyed honesty and decency in politics. This isn't a comment about ideology or policy but one about behavior and attitude. Put simply McTernan champions the bully:
A Cabinet minister who served in both the Blair and Brown governments retells his first encounter with Labour whips. Newly elected, he was walking through the corridors of the House when he was accosted by one. He was pushed against the wall, his testicles grabbed and twisted sharply – and painfully. “Son, you’ve done nothing to annoy me. Yet. Just think what I’ll do if you cross me.” That is how you manage backbenchers.
This isn't politics it is physical assault. Yet McTernan seems to think it admirable and he repeats his joy in violence:
“Hear that noise John? It’s limbs being broken.” That was the job, and it was done.
This is a truly unpleasant world, the sort of nasty, violent, principle-free world captured so terrifyingly (and sadly too gleefully) by 'The Thick of It'. And it makes me sick. If violence, bullying and unpleasant vulgarity is how John McTernan thinks politics should be conducted, he shouldn't be let anywhere near it. At best McTernan is an apologist for nasty bullies, at worst he is one himself.