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Derek is an exceptionally articulate, thoughtful andpenetrating 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 background is in the trenches of party politics, Derek is really a man of ideas.
We talked about everything 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’s views on the topic are subtle, and he believes we need to move beyond the hysteria and knee-jerk reactions displayed in the media.
Frankly, it was refreshing 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 conservative, 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 evolving.
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 office.
He also tells me just why he hated 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 history, and the perspective 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 refined.
Derek explains his reasons for going on the TV show, and they actually have to do with the state of British politics at the time, and his own relationship with the Conservative Party.
Derek hates everything about fame, and celebrity culture, and the way that modern news media is so obsessed 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 mourns 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 effective.
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 objectively 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.
He also knew Jeremy Corbyn back in the day, so his take on recent events is insightful too. Typically though, he’s generous, but not overly optimistic!
And this is something really likeable about Derek.
On the one hand he’s this gentleman of the old order – well spoken, charming, intimidatingly intelligent and witty.
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 probably 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 episode.
Ladies and gentleman, I give you Derek Laud!
[5:26] How do you know Chris Eubank?
[7:24] Only man who can get away with punching Chris Eubank. What I learned from Chris Eubank and Lennox Lewis.
[9:10] A man cannot buy respect. Not swearing anymore.
[9.33] Politics during the John Major and Margaret Thatcher times. Post war Britain changes.
[13:30] Important to know about the past in order to know about the future.
[15:30] Margaret Thatcher’s death.
[17:35] What do you remember about Margaret Thatcher. Her enormous kindness to others and compassion that’s never seen by the British public.
[19:40] Thoughts on the Margaret Thatcher movie. History has a duty to be historically accurate.
[21:55] What is a son of a Jamaican immigrant doing writing speeches for the leader of a conservative party like Margaret Thatcher and John Major?
[24:07] Big Brother. Why did they like you?
[25:45] Most politicians lack authenticity.
[27:00] Why I joined Big Brother. The Economist article lead to a light bulb moment. Celebrity Big Brother vs Big Brother.
[29:30] How do you put yourself under 24 hour scrutiny for 3 months.
[31:00] Not heard of Beyonce and Davina McCall before I entered the Big Brother House.
[31:30] What they thought is important and certainly not the values. Being significantly older than other contestants.
[32:40] How was it like almost winning Big Brother.
[33:50] We are becoming less a conservative nation than say 30 years ago.
[34:43] Authentically meritocratic prime minister – Margaret Thatcher. Current Conservative is run by privileged.
[35:30] Finding myself more distant than I have ever had with the Conservative Party. Liberty.
[37:30] When are you going to run for Party.
[39:25] David Cameron’s Piggate. Using this to reinforce authenticity. All hearsay. Regurgitated vomit.
[43:00] Would winning Big Brother have changed your life? Are you a competitive person.
[44:50] Did it change your life? Not wanting the intrusion and recognition. Being a celebrity.
[47:05] The Problem With Immigrants. Why write the book?
[49:10] Refugee vs Migration issue.
[53:45] Everybody is an immigrant.
[56:00] Why we can’t have proper progress. Politicians are very good at dog whistle politics.
[58:00] Deliberate use of racist language by the Conservative party during the coalition.
[58:45] The rise of BNP. People are extremely good at blaming other people for their own problems.
[59:15] When economies are underperforming, people become more militant, more strident with what they say.
[1:00:40] If you were Prime Minister, how would you deal with the Syrian refugee crisis?
[1:02:05] How you respond to other people when you are in greatest need.
[1:05:10] The idea that we suddenly need to enforce border controls is a complete lie.
[1:06:10] Fox Hunting. Master of the Foxhounds. What is fox hunting – the practical, social component?
[1:14:30] Fox population in London.
[1:15:00] Being gay and part of a member of the Conservative Party. Homosexuaity was a significant issue in the past and still is in some professions. Prejudices were real and people used it against me.
[1:19:20] Having an openly gay Prime Minister.
[1:20:37] When you think of Tony Blair what do you think of? New Labour. Appointing openly gay people to government.
[1:23:50] George Galloway. The Killing of Tony Blair. “Politics is show business for ugly people. But what would I know about that.” Sharing a lot in common with George Galloway.
[1:24:00] Growing threat of Iraq, 911 and Weapons of Mass Destruction.
[1:29:35] Borris Johnson.
[1:31:55] Jeremy Corbyn.
[1:32:35] Blair, Camoron, Clegg and Osborune are pretty much a carbon copy of one other.
[1:33:00] Why Jeremy Corbyn will end in disaster.
[1:34:45] Can you survive by snubbing the media. Press barons and editors behave as though they speak for Britain. More press regulation.
[1:36:20] New age of Media – people can put any lies on the internet.
[1:39:00] Advice to the 20 year old Derek Laud?
[1:40:14] Best advice you’ve ever received?
[1:41:10] Advice to the 20 year old that is listening.
[1:41:35] How do you sit down to write a speech for Margaret Thatcher?
Connect with Derek Laud
Derek’s book – The Problem With Immigrants