Ten Tory MPs with less than 50% of the vote.

July 10, 2014


It is true that if you were to include the number of potential voters in each constituency, no current Cabinet Minister would have received over 50% of the vote. But with the freedom to vote, comes the freedom to not vote, and with that in mind we should look more closely at the the percentage that current Tory MPs – seeking to impose voter threshold on strike action – managed to win at the 2010 general election, among actual voter turnout.

So here’s a quick list of ten:

  • Sajid Javid – MP for Bromsgrove and Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Minister for Equalities – 43.7%.
    – A man who is in control of the state’s involvement in culture, media, sport, and has the key responsibility for equality in the UK, was elected with less than 50% of the vote in Bromsgrove.

  • David Jones – MP for Clyde West and Secretary of State for Wales – 41.5%.
    – A Secretary of State for an entire country, elected with a little over 40% of the vote.

  • Oliver Letwin – Minister of State at the Cabinet Office and Chairman of the Conservative Party’s Policy Review – 47.6%
    – Letwin – after winning less than 50% of the vote – insisted that public sector workers require “discipline and fear”. On a completely unrelated note, Letwin used £2,145 in Parliamentary expenses to fix a leaking pipe on his tennis court.

  • Mark Garnier – MP for Wyre Forest -36.9%
    On his website, speaking of strikes in November 2011, Garnier writes:

    “These strikes, which will cost the economy up to half a billion pounds, were not voted for by a majority and will hit ordinary working people hardest.”

    – Replace the words “strikes” with “Tories” in this massively ironic statement, and you have a far more honest sentence.

  • Jessica Lee – MP for Erewash & Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Attorney General Dominic Grieve – 39.5%.
  • Stephen Mosley – MP for the City of Chester – 40.6%
    – On his website, Mosley says:

    “The strike action undertaken by PCS union members in June highlighted the unconsidered approach that appears to be the default setting for many unions.
    Less than 20% of their members voted for the industrial action and less than half walked out on their responsibilities that day.”

    – Interesting admiration for majority votes, when almost 60% of Mosley’s own constituency doesn’t want him representing them.

  • Nicky Morgan – MP for Loughborough – 41.6%
    – Elected with a minority of the vote, and yet voted in an attempt to ensure same-sex couples couldn’t get married. She believes with less than 50%, she gets to regulate the love lives of others.

  • Edward Garnier – MP for Harborough, Knight Bachelor and former Solicitor General – 49%.
  • James Morris – MP for Halesowen & Rowley Regis – 41.2%
  • Paul Uppal – MP for Wolverhampton South West – 40.7%
    – Uppal voted in favour of a change to striking laws that would prohibit strikes in the transport sector unless a majority of the workforce voted in favour and not merely a majority of those voting. This same principle, if applied to Parliament, would mean every Cabinet Minister would not have been elected. The closest would have been Theresa May, though she’d still have fell short by 7%.

    – If a Conservative Party wishes to impose a 50% voter threshold on strike action, then I see no reason why there should not also be a 50% voter threshold on the ability to propose legislation and vote in Parliament. Indeed, if MPs with less than 50% of the vote in their own constituency can vote to restrict pay and pensions for public sector workers, I see no reason why those same public sector workers can’t then strike with less than 50% of the vote.

  • Panic Petrol: A Tory blunder

    March 31, 2012

    On Question Time this week, the frankly embarrassing Liberal Democrat Minister for Children and Families, Sarah Teather blamed the Unions for the panic buying of petrol that we’ve seen this week in the UK. In typical Tory fashion, she could think of no other reason why people might rush to the petrol pumps, than to blame the Unions for actually doing nothing of any significance. Unite has ruled out strike action over easter. The union seems more likely to focus on talks, than threats. All the fear, has come directly from Downing Street.

    I take a different view, and I think, a view shared by those of us who aren’t living in Tory-land.

    Today has been damning for the Tories in this whole dispute, because whilst on Question Time, Teather seemed disgusted by the suggestion that this was all political on the part of the government, a memo has been leaked from Downing Street stating:

    “This is our Thatcher moment. In order to defeat the coming miners’ strike, she stockpiled coal. When the strike came, she weathered it, and the Labour Party, tarred by the strike, was humiliated. In order to defeat the coming fuel drivers’ strike, we want supplies of petrol stockpiled. Then, if the strike comes, we will weather it, and Labour, in hock to the Unite union, will be blamed.”

    – This is about as damning as it gets. A lady suffers 40% burns, because the Tories want to win political points over Labour? Playground politics turned tragic.

    I think there are three reasons why the Government issued several warnings in the press this week regarding the possibility of a strike, and Teather played along with it on Question Time. When asked who is to blame for the panic buying, she said “The Unions are to blame, for calling this strike“. Now, the Union hasn’t called a strike. In fact, as we speak, there is very little chance of their actually being a strike. Sarah Teather played the typical Conservative line; blame unions at all costs. Which includes lying. Teather is in the cabinet, she knows the unions have not called a strike, so why say it? This is reason one. Conservatives are usually very good at making unions look bad. This was another opportunity. During the public sector pension strike, Conservatives issues statement after statement about how hard working families are struggling, how private sector pensions are much lower than public sector, how economic times are woeful, and how the unions are making it worse. All of which, have been absolutely caused by Tory/Lib Dem economic austerity failure. The message seems to be “We expect you to just sit back and take it“. For Liberal Democrats, this is utterly disgraceful. For Tories, we know this is what they do. We know that even if economically speaking, the Country was strong, Tories would do the same thing. Slash, burn, destroy, and immiserate.

    So, point 1) Take another opportunity to make the unions look bad; link the Labour party to the unions.

    On the second point, and I think the most significant. The OECD pointed out that in the last quarter of 2011, the economy shrank by 0.3%. The OECD then pointed out early this week, that they believe the first quarter of 2012 will see a drop of 0.1% in growth. This means the UK is in recession. This is a terrible indictment on the absolute failure of austerity. They cannot blame Labour for this anymore. They cannot blame the snow. They cannot blame unions. They cannot blame Europe. The Tories and the Lib Dems only have themselves to blame. The “budget for growth”. Remember that? What we have is stagnation and failure. What they have done, is risk an economic and social engineering program that has led the country to ruin. To avoid a recession, by propping up spending at the end of the first quarter of 2012….. induce panic buying. Tell the country that you are prepping the army to deliver oil in the event of strike. Needlessly tell the country you are having meetings of the crises response team “Cobra”. Tell the country to fill up cans of petrol and take them home. For what reason? IN CASE of a strike? Strikers must give seven days notice. Ben Fenton at the Financial Times tweeted something similar:

    There is absolutely no way we will be in recession after all this #pasty #petrol buying, though. What a brilliant tactical ploy.

    There is one problem with this theory. To buy back 0.2% of GDP growth, consumer spending would have to top £800mn over the past three days. This is quite a stretch. Be interesting to see 2nd quarter growth figures.

    Point 2) Prevent double dip recession in the most cynical way possible.

    Going back to the point about lack of growth here is what the Government’s “budget for growth” has achieved. You see the green bar? That represents government debt as a share of GDP as outlined by the Tories on how they thought the austerity measures would work. The blue line, is what has actually happened. No amount of spinning this can make it positive.

    And lastly, Bad press attention over the past week. First, a budget that cut the top rate of tax for the highest earners, whilst continually hitting the most vulnerable, especially pensioners was announced. Secondly, cash for access promises to be the scandal of the year for the Conservatives. Every employee in the country might not be too pleased to know that the man who wrote the government report on the need to strip workers of their rights when it comes to unfair dismissal, Adrian Beecroft, donated over £500,000 to the Tory Party. I’m not sure it’s right that very wealthy Tory donors should be allowed to create government policy. As well as the Tories not having a mandate to do any of what they have so far done, the public certainly didn’t vote for an odious little turd like Beecroft to oversee certain policy making endeavours.

    Ed Staite, a former media advisor for the Tories is accused of trying to sell policy to the highest bidder. He is filmed by undercover reporters that they can use their money and influence to affect government policy in a way that helps their business, by pushing for the sale of Royal Mail. How does Staite defend himself? Well, on his website he says:

    I was suggesting a transparent approach to generate new ideas which may well never become Conservative Party policy. That is how the policy formulation process works.

    – How this is a defence, is beyond me. Policy is generated, he is suggesting, by selling access to very wealthy individuals? How is that a defence? And these people have the nerve to attack the Labour Party for its ties to unions? Unions represent hundreds of thousands of people. The one or two that speak to despicable advisors like Staite, represent their own private business interests. It actually disgusts me that these people are allowed anywhere near power. It seems, even though they did not win a mandate, like vultures they are attempting very successfully to use government to enrich themselves and their friends. This is corruption on a horrendous scale.

    Francis Maude made the entire media onslaught a thousands times worse by insisting that people stock up on fuel at home in jerry cans. It was made a million times worse when a woman in York suffered 40% burns after transferring fuel at home and setting herself alight. Maude should resign.

    Party funding, should be public.

    Point 3) An attempt to divert the horrendous press the Tories have received this week away from them, and onto the unions and the Labour party.

    It is all political. If it isn’t political, then it is such vast incompetence, it is scary to think that these idiots are running the country. This wouldn’t surprise me, given the different messages coming out of Downing Street. Firstly, fill up your cars. Then, fill up your jerry cans at home. Then, only fill to three quarters. But don’t panic. There is no coherent message. When a government goes out of their way to tell the entire nation not to panic….then there is going to be panic.

    And then there are those who blame the public.

    “Well they should have used their common sense!”
    What a ludicrous argument. What a weak defence of an indefensible and perpetually shambolic government.
    People don’t have all the information.
    People are told the government are in emergency meetings for this.
    People are told to stock up on cans.
    People are already struggling, so when they hear this, they react.
    People are aware that governments are more informed than anyone else on the situation.
    It just so happens, that the government weren’t more informed.
    And it just so happens that they weren’t more informed….. on the week of a big cash for access scandal, and reports of double dip.

    Here is a particularly favourite argument I have came across:

    – I highlight this argument, because it seems to be quite common. And yet, it’s very contradictory. He is saying that people should think for themselves instead of listening to government. And then he’s saying (in regards to the riots), people don’t listen to government at all. I’m not sure what the overall point is.
    ‎”If the government advised people to chop their testicles off to reduce over population, do you think people would just blindly do it?
    The “if the government said chop your testicles off blah blah utter bollocks” argument is as painfully uninspired as any other. Just a silly comparison. We know chopping a testicle off is detrimental. It’s common sense. There is no weighing up of pro’s and cons. But when a government who are privy to information we aren’t, on the proceedings of 1) government 2) economic conditions and 3) the possibility of strike action because they’re constantly updated on the threat ….. then people, who lead busy lives, or businesses that are struggling to cope, cannot be expected to spend hours wading through all the information and coming to a rounded judgement, especially when they do not have all the information and cannot possibly get all the relevant information. Of course people rely on official sources for their information. If you think a top Cabinet Minister going on TV and saying “we’re holding emergency Cobra meetings” and “fill up your tanks, take petrol home” is going to make people take a day off work so they can sit and read through all relevant documentation and information available, I think you’re expecting a bit too much. The government have a responsibility. They purposely caused panic in this instance.

    Also, the riot analogy is just as weak. The riots themselves were not the result of sudden desperation and a fear of a lack of essential supply. There was an obvious economic and social undertone to the riots, and always have been when it comes to violent disorder. How he managed to compare the two, actually hurts my head. As I noted in a previous blog written just after the London riots:

    The motives are of course opportunistic. There appears to be no political motive. It has purely brought out the violent and senseless mob who are achieving nothing but the destruction of their communities. But the social and economic situation in relation to these riots cannot be ignored. We must accept that when one person commits a crime, it is an individual problem. When thousands commit the same crime, on the same day, there is a deep social problem. Certain tweeters have said they watched people looting supermarkets of nappies and milk. The underlying issues need addressing. Many of the Greek rioters last year, were opportunistic in nature. But the economic pressures created an atmosphere where rioting was essentially inevitable. A government who go out of their way to initiate a shock to the system that forces unemployment up deliberately, whilst living cost and rising inflation also rise purposely, is a government that is committing economic criminality. It is similar in the UK. A study by the business information group Experian found that inner city poorer areas are not equipped to deal with economic shocks like that of austerity, because they are still dealing with the after affects of the economic shocks of the 1980s. It found that Elmbridge in Surrey was the least likely to be affected by austerity, coincidentally, Elmbridge in Surrey was labelled as the town with the highest quality of life by a Halifax Estate Agency, and the “Beverly Hills of England” by the Daily Mail. The looting of the public services and economic violence from the Government, will absolutely always lead to social violence and criminality.

    An entire generation has been told that we must own stuff. That the purpose of life is to consume. We are given easy credit to fuel the debt needed to sustain an economy and a prevailing social wisdom built around consuming. People who have very little, who are told they will always have very little, living in areas where the opportunities are bleak at best and non-existent at worst, are still encouraged to consume. The materialist mindset that has dominated all other thought processes for far too long, must not be ignored as a contributing factor to the unrest; this can be seen quite evidently with the looting of non-essential, luxury goods. We are what we buy. And that is a problem. A generation of young people have had luxuries dangled infront of their faces by incessant advertising, only to be told they would never be able to afford them; well that temptation exploded and now they can get those desirable consumer items for free.

    – To add to this. We live in a greed fueled culture. Humanity has many different traits. Our economic system is based on one trait; greed. Which isn’t always a terrible thing. But it does mean that that particular trait is quite obviously amplified, because it is rewarded. This is how the trickle down affect actually works. Greed at the top, will trickle down to the very bottom. This is when unrest becomes inevitable. Wealth trickling upwards, results in unrest trickling downwards. It isn’t a conscious phenomena, it is a product of the system that we live.

    The petrol crises is the fault of the government. No one else. It was a cynical political game that has backfired miserably. People are still panic buying, petrol stations are closing, fuel is running low….. and there isn’t even likely to be a strike. What a total mess. Typical of such an awful government.

    Support the strike

    March 21, 2010

    Teamstar, the US Union said it hadn’t ruled out banning it’s members from handling BA baggage, in a show of solidarity with the strikers. BA said that action by a secondary union was against US law. This amazes me. Why does a law like that exist? Why do companies have more rights than people? Why aren’t workers allowed to show solidarity against a corrupt regime? Afterall, Americans think it’s okay to own guns in the knowledge that they may need to overthrow a corrupt Government, so why are corrupt businesses given such protection? Why is there a bill of rights for the abstract concept of “company“? If that isn’t proof that the protection of the rights of those at the top is more important than the majority, i’m not sure what is.

    BA said it was sad to see overseas Unions support:

    “unjustified strikes against an iconic British brand”

    If all else fails, if incompetent and a bully style of management, and scandal after scandal is starting to make management look like the wolves in sheep’s clothing……….. appeal to Nationalism. It never fails in the realm of the idiots.

    The Tories, reminiscent of 1979 today announced they would fight the power of the Unions. Members of the Unite Union working for British Airways voted in favour of strike action, and are today on strike.

    Let’s get one thing straight from the start, BA is not at risk. The strikers, are not putting BA at risk. BA is the British market leader in international flights. It started to lose it’s top spot, before recession hit. The cabin crew on strike, were not responsible for that. Bad management, was responsible for that. The Tories who are now criticising Brown for being weak with the unions, are far weaker in their unwavering support for unbelievably incompetent management.

    The Union offered 60 million in cuts, with a 2 year pay freeze on it’s staff. The staff were ready to accept it. Walsh didn’t think it went far enough. To him, the only way this is over, is if the Union is totally broken, so he can bully as much as he damn well pleases. I hope he fails.

    There is something fundamentally wrong with a system that rewards incompetence and greed and punishes those who simply wish to protect their livelihood. Obviously i’m going to be incredibly bias, because just looking at BA Chief Exec. Willie Walsh’s smug face, on the left, makes me want to convert to fundamental Christianity and stone him to death.

    The Sun reading British public, owing to it’s great sense of idiocy and selfishness is largely against the strike action. Regardless of how poorly management of BA has been, and regardless of how many jobs are on the line, the public seem to hate the strikers, simply because it might put a few holidays at risk. The death of brotherhood, and the ongoing nightmare World of the narcissistic consumer.

    So why the anger at the striking cabin crew?

  • It wasn’t the Cabin crew who created the huge pension deficit. It was Willie Walsh’s management.
  • It wasn’t the Cabin crew who were fined £270,000,000 for price fixing. It was Willie Walsh’s management (this resulted in huge job losses, to pay for it.) He tried to manipulate costs. And yet, he wasn’t sacked.
  • It wasn’t the Cabin crew who fucked up over Terminal 5. It was Willie Walsh’s management.
  • It wasn’t the Cabin crew who ran the company so far into the ground, that 30,000 workers whose livelihoods depend on their wage packet, were asked to work for nothing. It was because of Willie Walsh’s management. The union actually called for better management, instead of workers working for free, surely that makes more sense?
  • The distrust of BA because of it’s dirty tricks economically, is not the Cabin crew’s fault. It was Willie Walsh’s management.
  • It wasn’t the Cabin crew who went to the Supreme Court to block industrial action. It was Willie Walsh.
    In short, the head of BA, Willie Walsh is a crook. An appalling manager. 13,500 people don’t just decide to strike because they want to ruin your holiday, or they want a bit of a break, or they’re “greedy”. They have a reason. And that reason, is still in charge of a company he damn near destroyed. The strikers don’t hate BA. The strikers want to save BA.

    Overpaid arrogant bankers and managers have screwed the entire system over, for the past thirty years. Lehman Brothers, and Goldman is testament to that. Walsh is just another one of the same breed of greedy bastards who have somehow convinced a generation that they are indispensable. They are not indispensable. They should be dispensed of as soon as possible. The Tories, quite clearly support ruthless Capitalism. Because whilst jobs and livelihoods at BA are threatened by management who bully their staff…….. BA stock price is at the highest it’s been in over six months. Which suggests that whilst staff are being threatened daily with cuts in the wages they rely on to survive, the shareholders, who quite clearly have a bit of money anyway given that they have shares in BA……… are making more money.

    If a President or Prime Minister were to run a Country as badly and with bullying tactics as Willie Walsh has ran BA, the public would be supremely outraged. When a company does it, the public don’t seem to care. The way of Capitalism. Greed and selfishness wins every time.

    What a wondrous system this is.

    David Cameron said:

    “The BA strike threatens the future of one of Britain’s greatest companies along with thousands of jobs. But will the Prime Minister come out in support of the people who cross the picket line? No – because the Unite union is bankrolling the Labour Party”

    Firstly, why are the strikers threatening BA? I don’t think they are. Why hasn’t Cameron mentioned the bad management, the scandals, the threats, the bullying? This leads me on to my second point…
    Cameron will never mention poor management and a need to curve excessive and rather fascist business tactics, because big business donated almost £5.9million to the Conservative Party last year. Big business is the Conservative Party. Anything that slightly threatens big business, is going to be called socialist, destructive, terrible for Britain.

    What Cameron means is, those like Willie Walsh should be allowed to bully their staff all they want and there should be nothing anyone can do about it.
    Let’s not forget that it is thanks to a brotherhood of workers, that those of us who complain about unions, have a minimum wage to fall back on, and a universal healthcare system to look after us when we’re ill, and better working conditions in so much as we’re not choking on deadly gases in our workplaces, or our kids being sent down mines.

    Kenneth Clarke suggested that we’re heading back to the 1970s and allowing the Unions to take over England. So, the polar opposite of the Unions taking control, is big business. As an example, i’ll use Lloyds Group.

    Lloyds today announced it has made profits of £3.5bn. They seem over joyed. The reason they were overjoyed is because recently, the took over HBOS, which had a plethora of toxic debts, which were then transfered to Lloyds, who miscalculated the risk. Lloyds shareholders decided to take over HBOS. The workers didn’t have any say, obviously, because that would be EVIL SOCIALISM!!!! So thankfully, those wondrous Capitalists were on hand to save the day………….. by having to appeal to Socialism to bail it out. The Government then took 43% of Lloyds over. The wondrous Capitalists who were going to save the day from EVIL SOCIALISM!!!! then announced they were taking on Andy Hornby as a consultant on £60,000 a month; the very same Andy Hornby who was at the top of HBOS and drove it into the ground. So whilst Lloyds needed desperately a government bail out because they’d made a huge mistake buying HBOS, they could still afford to pay an incompetent lunatic £60,000 as a consultant. A man who drove his bank into the ground, was now earning £60,000 advising another Bank how to run it’s business. But wait, those wondrous Capitalists weren’t finished saving the day yet. After making mistake after mistake, they then cut 15000 jobs. Lloyds, the largest employer in Aylesbury had effectively shut down the town by cutting 300+ jobs, because of supremely incompetent management. At what point does the Chancellor, who represents our 43% share in the business, step in and tell the management that we don’t want our money back as a Country, if it means 15000 lose their jobs. We’re not a Tory country. We don’t believe that sort of thing is perfectly acceptable.
    And these are the people who should be running the show as opposed to Unions?

    For those of you who believe the Unions have too much power, and deplore the BA strike…….. you are simply fighting in favour of protecting a system that allows mindless management thugs to control the lives of the very people who fund their luxurious lifestyles.
    The idea that they should be happy to even have a job, amazes me, and doesn’t even warrant a response.

    I fully support Unions, in all their attempts to advance workers rights and curve the oppression of selfish incompetent fatcats.