Tory blogger beaming on LabourList

Tory blogger Iain Dale is on LabourList, literally - his face shinily beaming down for all lefties to see in full colour. Who would have thought it? Today, the new editor of the Labour left wing policy website Alex Smith interviewed Dale, the openly centre-right Tory blogger. They had a measured but often frank debate on their respective points of view on everything from troughing MPs to Margaret Thatcher. Since Derek Draper left the site, the comments section has been heaving with people congratulating Smith for dragging it ouf of the quick sand - to which it was sinking rapidly under Draper. Here is a snippet from the refreshing interview between Smith and Dale. They clashed over Thatcher's Britain. Alex Smith: "One of your inspirations for becoming involved in politics was Margaret Thatcher, a person largely still vilified in this country for systematically hurting working people, for destroying British industry and for denying the idea of society?" … Dale: By people like you … Alex Smith :Yes by people like me. Although I wasn't born when she came to power …
Dale: "Yes, alright! First of all I would contest that she's largely hated: she's only hated by people on the left who are so tribal that they can't see anything good in what she did. Most of the people I mix with in politics  — Conservatives or not  — in the end admit that she did things that had to be done, even though they were very painful at the time. I was inspired to get into politics because of her. When I was 16 in 1978, all my teenage years I'd been in a country riven by strikes. I went on a school trip to Germany in 1977 and the Germans just made fun of us. We were seen as this bankrupt nation that just had strikes all the time. It was embarrassing. I remember the three-day week in 1974 and I just thought there must be something better than that. I was a member of the Liberal Party for about six months at the time. Then I heard a speech by Thatcher  — around autumn '78. It said,  "yes the country's in a complete state, but there are brighter times ahead". I thought,  "I agree with every word of that". That was when I thought: I'm not a Liberal, I'm a Conservative."
Alex Smith: Would you still consider yourself a liberal Conservative?
Dale: "Yes, yes. I always have been. I think a lot of people in the Labour Party probably regard me as an acceptable face of Conservatism."
Just shows the left and right can engage in grown up debate when they want to. Smith said he plans to do more of this style of political interviewing on the site - and the comments on the interview were positive. Who's up next? GUIDO FAWKES? Video is of Dale and Draper shaping up a couple of years ago.