In his My Week column in the Times, Matthew Parris writes:
There can hardly be a newspaper reader in Britiain who has not now heard that Norman Baker, the new junior billeted on Thresesa May at the Home Office after last week’s ministerial reshuffle, was a ‘conspiracy theorist’ who ‘believed the weapons scientist Dr David Kelly had been murdered’ – and that Mrs May was ‘spitting tacks’ at the arrival of ‘the green-ink brigade’. Well, Norman, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you. The leaks, giggles and anonymous sneers struck me as a concerted Tory strategy to rubbish Mr Baker.
Wise? I’ve been a Baker-watcher ever since, as a parliamentary sketchwriter, I described him as so boring it was riveting how boring he was. But he is also hard-working, clever, careful, persistent, patient and principled. And he’s a himan; if you prick him, he bleeds; he will have been wounded over the campaign to trash him before he even started.
Now he’s embedded right at the heart of the Home Office – that ant hill of muddle, incompetence, cover-up and low politics – with access to records, memos and documents, with all the time in the world; and with hatred in his heart.
Murder in Marsham Street. My guess is that if there’s a ministerial resignation at the Home Office before 2015, it won’t be Mr Baker’s.