He actually has a world view…He actually believes things, and he believes them with a volcanic sincerity
..a withering reproach to all the temporising anaemic difference-splitters of this Parliament.
We want the Heff, as we affectionately call him, and we want him now.
David Cameron is said to have received 1,000 letters from assorted headcases who believe they are an undiscovered talent, the Susan Boyles of the next Parliament. And yet of all the names that have so far emerged, there is only one that has really made me sit up. I speak for millions of Daily Telegraph readers when I say that last week my heart leapt for joy when I saw that at last Simon Heffer is poised to allow his name to go forward.
I pounded the table so hard the crockery rattled. I emitted a strangled cry of relief – the kind of noise they must have made in Mafeking when they realised the siege was about to be lifted, and my being was flooded with that sense of ineffable calm that is said to have descended on Churchill when he heard that, after agonising years of prevarication, America had entered the war on our side.
Politics may be in crisis. Parliament may be discredited. The very letters MP now seem to stand for nothing but a bunch of Mercenary Plunderers. But with Heffer poised to enter Parliament, and with the ample Hefferian trouserings set to polish the leather of the green benches, I had a sudden sense that everything was going to be all right.
It is true that the news filled me with such elation that my vision was temporarily clouded, and I may not have read the fine print of the article. But I received the distinct impression that he had set his sights on an Essex seat; and since Heffer invented the very phrase and concept of “Essex Man”, and since he is already known as the “Sage of Chelmsford”, it struck me that he must be a shoo-in.
[Simon Heffer] actually believes things, and he believes them with a volcanic sincerity. And it is not all just Ayn Rand and Wagner and the Triumph of the Will. He knows a surprising amount about healthcare economics. Conversation with Heffer rapidly takes you down little-used byways, such as Ealing comedies and English composers, and whatever you think of his tastes you cannot deny that he has tastes. He has preferences, and he is willing to set them out with great linguistic violence.
Imagine the thrill of watching a debate in the Commons, and all the Buggins’-turn merchants making their predictable contributions; and then imagine the look on their faces as Heffer rises to satirise the proceedings – irascible, implacable and, above all, independent. [….]
[The full article can be seen as first printed in the Daily Telegraph on 01 June 2009]