Friday, 30 March 2012

False-flag politicians?

Toby Young has a most 'argumentative' article on the Spectator blog, an article in which he muses about 'Tory Rebels' and posits that a new type of politics has been born. Oh dear, my cynicism rises to the surface yet again!  According to research carried out by the University of Nottingham, there were rebellions in 179 of the 331 votes held in parliament between the election and last Christmas. That’s a defiance ratio of 43 per cent, quite without precedent in the postwar era. Wow! That begs the question that if this new intake are 43 per cent in disagreement with their party, why are they still members of that party? Also, according to what I believe is basic maths, 179 as a ratio of 331 is slightly more than 43 percent - but I digress.

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'?

Cynic? Moi?


Anonymous said...

"That begs the question that if this new intake are 43 per cent in disagreement with their party, why are they still members of that party?"

And some notable MEP's too WfW but I dunno - some would say it's an easier life but is it worth personal moral compromise and far more importantly: by ignoring the will of the people.
Same old Tories, perfidy thy name is 'Tory' and 331 the number of the beasts.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

Anon: Agreed re MEPs. The fact that present day politicians do ignore the will of the people for the sake of their careers is why we have to change our system of democracy.