"Once again the Useless Tories are thinking of bringing Ken Clarke back to their front bench, so as to look as if they have some, er, bottom.
"Mr Clarke is without doubt an asset, a quick-witted and human politician who has a life outside Westminster (his love of jazz is genuine, not a pose). He also has plenty of bottom." Peter Hitchens "Will Israel never learn? Each bomb is a gift to its enemies: Devaluing the £ in our pockets", Mail on Sunday, 3 January 2009
"So much for the Tories, then. Surely, this must be the end. Finding that nobody takes seriously their ‘Shadow Cabinet’ of unknowns and teenagers, and unknown teenagers, they have delved into the cupboard of the yesterdays.
"In there they have found Ken Clarke, an unreliable medium-range missile, decommissioned many years back because of its habit of landing on its own troops. Next it’ll be John Major, Lord Heseltine and Michael Howard. That should cure us all of nostalgia. ... No government containing Mr Clarke could offer anything better than a repeat of the Major years." Peter Hitchens "What use is Ken against Mandy? They agree on everything", Mail on Sunday, 24 January 2009
"But Mr Clarke doggedly keeps on in active politics, a rare grown-up in a government of inexperienced and callow young men. I actually rather like Mr Clarke, as do many people. (He is funny and convivial, his enthusiasm for jazz is genuine, and his knowledge of it real, and he tends to tell the truth in preference to spin. He took it in good part when I once tried to present him with a Labour Party membership card)." Peter Hitchens "What will real Conservatives do about this Torberal Government?" Mail Online weblog, 12 May 2010
"I agree completely with that awful old wet liberal Ken Clarke. Talking about politicians and crime, he says ‘the failure of the past has been to use tough rhetoric and to avoid taking tough decisions that might prove unpopular’.
"Quite. I would much rather have an honest, straightforward mugger-hugger like Ken in charge, weeping and snuffling about rehabilitation and similar rubbish, than a false friend of the people like that phoney hard man and closet liberal Michael Howard, all mouth and no truncheon.
"That way, we all know from the start that we can expect no help from the State against the misery of modern Britain... What unites Michael Howard and Ken Clarke (and the Labour Party, and the Liberals) is that they wilfully don’t have a clue about crime or disorder. They wilfully know nothing about policing. They wilfully don’t understand what happens in prisons. They know that the truth is very Right-wing indeed, so they hide from it." Peter Hitchens "This mugger-hugger knows the truth, just like the ‘all mouth and no truncheon’ phoney", Mail on Sunday, 4 July 2010