Derek Laud is an exceptionally articulate, thoughtful and mind, and he delivers his ideas with a classic, clipped and brilliantly posh English accent.
At once old school and with a finger on the pulse, Derek sees the big picture on events of the day. Though his is in the trenches of party politics, Derek is really a man of ideas.
We talked about from celebrity culture, to freedom of the press and the Syrian refugee crisis. I wanted to get Derek’s take on the ongoing refugee issue, not least because his latest book is called The Problem With Immigrants.
Derek believes we need to move beyond the hysteria and knee-jerk reactions displayed in the media. Frankly, it was to listen to someone so informed on the issue of immigration, and to hear Derek’s cool-headed reaction to the whole thing.
He’s a politician, but Derek is no longer a part of the mainstream of Tory politics in the UK. He goes into the reasons for that in this episode, and reveals a very original and independent perspective on current affairs.
Derek is passionate about human rights, and though he knows Prime Minister David Cameron personally (watch the episode to find out just how personal his acquaintance is) he’s not afraid to voice his apprehensions about the way government, and Britain in general, is.
Having been part of Margaret Thatcher’s staff, Derek tells me what the Iron Lady was really like, and insists that the media image was very different from the human being in officeHe also tells me just why he the Meryl Streep movie version of Mrs Thatcher’s life, and this starts a series of riffs on the dangers of lies and misrepresentation in the media.
Derek’s highly educated mind values and savours the lessons of , and the that we get from having a knowledge of our past. He was a contestant on Big Brother and like so many facts about Derek, this seems an unlikely choice of path for someone so proper.
Derek explains his for going on the TV show, and they actually have to do with the state of British politics at the time, and his own with the Conservative Party.
Derek hates everything about fame, and celebrity culture, and the way that modern news media is so with trivialities. It’s not just a personal hatred for Derek either, he quite seriously believes it’s a dangerous trend. I recommend watching out for Derek’s sociological ideas on this stuff, and like me, I’m sure you’ll think he has more than a small point!
When he talks about the Conservative government and the last two Tory wins, he’s remarkably candid for someone with so many friends in high places. Derek says he got more votes on Big Brother than the government did in the last election, and he the state of his beloved party. The problem, he believes is not that Britain is any less conservative than it ever was, but that the Tory party has lost something vital that made Margaret Thatcher’s time in power so Though he speaks with the voice of a country gentleman, and he’s proud of his Tory roots, Derek is no elitist. He even goes so far to admit a certain amount of admiration for Tony Blair and the more tolerant society ushered in byNew Labour.
Derek thinks about social trends and the ups and downs of politics. He describes himself as a ‘proper liberal’ and he’s really worried about the power of the police and security services in modern Britain.
On the other hand though, he is completely unafraid to speak his mind and demands the same straight-shooting attitude of others. It was truly fascinating to hear him talk about his sexuality, and the challenges he has had as an openly gay man in the Conservative Party. Please do watch out for this segment because although he suffered a lot for being gay, his own relationship with his sexuality is one of total acceptance.
Derek has never been anything other than completely himself, and it’s what made him popular on Big Brother, and it’s what makes him a confidante of the great and the good in politics. It’s also this quality that made him such joy to interview, and which makes him an ideal London Real guest.
So brew a pot of English tea and get comfortable, for what I promise will be both an educational and entertaining. Ladies and gentleman, I give you Derek Laud!