Philip Cowley, the Nottingham professor who conducted the research, apparently has various theories as to why the 2010 intake are such a fractious bunch. Cowley cites what he calls ‘the Norman Baker factor’ — the fact that plum government jobs that would normally go to loyal servants of the Tory party have been given to second-rate Lib Dems. With so little hope of promotion, exacerbated by a lack of reshuffles, why would any ambitious new MP toe the line? To which one can but respond: sour grapes?
Toby Young quotes Daniel Hannan who cites the fact that whips used to be able to dangle 'foreign junkets' in front of the troops, quoting Hannan thus:
"They used to be able to hand out foreign junkets, but these days who has the time to go off to Fiji?....In the wake of the expenses scandal, who would dare?"Do tell, Mr Hannan - the difference twixt Fiji and the Congo is? The difference where this principle is concerned, twixt an MP and an MEP, is?
Toby Young then quotes Douglas Carswell, in respect of the '81 rebellion':
"The view that the new intake feel obliged to pay more than lip-service to their constituents is echoed by Douglas Carswell, the Conservative MP who played a pivotal role in last year’s EU rebellion. ‘After the vote, several people phoned me up and asked how I managed to pull it off,’ he says. ‘Look, we didn’t plot it in a basement in Westminster. It was 81 MPs responding to pressure from their constituents. I don’t have magical, charming persuasive powers. The pressure is coming from where it should, from the voters."Great, in which case those 81 'rebels' won't mind producing all the emails and letters from their constituents then - you know, just to dispel the idea that those MPs were not just demonstrating their application of 'Burkes law'?
Toby Young also quotes Louise Mensch, that well-known 'wall-flower' of the Conservative Party - you know, the one that posed for GQ magazine. According to Mensch, the social media allows her to 'communicate with people'; to 'interact'; to 'have a conversation' - but more importantly 'catapult herself into the spotlight'. Enough said on that score from someone who plaintively queried what she had to do in order to gain advancement.
Where Toby Young is concerned; where our politicians are concerned; where the media is concerned; where the electorate is concerned - just who is leading who 'by the nose'?