Inside the disks - Scallywag issue 32b, February 1997
(It is suggested that any interested party go back into the Scallywag files on Portillo which will save referring to much background information which it is pointless to repeat. In particular the various holidays he has made to the Gazelle D'or in Taroudant, Morocco)
There were twelve main themes which emerged of general interest to me, and it is only fair to say that some of them show Michael Portillo to be rather different to his public persona. He is polite, gentlemanly, enthusiastic, a very good and conscientious constituency MP; he is loyal to friends and family, always speaks well of his wife, and exhibits a genuine sense of humour. Actually, none of this has been in dispute by us and was not particularly surprising.
His naked ambition is quite manifest and his cleverness as a political manipulator is emphasised clearly. There is a sort of overwhelming feeling of false modesty throughout all his correspondence. You can also tell, as he rises consistently in the power game throughout 1989-1996, that he thoroughly enjoys all the trappings of power and that he is a great lover of luxury. Again, in a well-bred Public School-Peterhouse man, there are no real surprises here. However, to those who can remember when Michael decided he would find out how the unemployed really lived by going on the dole for a week and renting a slum, the entire venture is quite laughable when you see the actual opulence of his lifestyle.