Tag Archives: regulator

Join the campaign to keep Tory choice Paul Dacre from running ‘independent’ Ofcom

Paul Dacre: if he’s the Tory choice, then he certainly shouldn’t get the job.

The Conservatives are trying to rig the selection of a new chairman for communications regulator Ofcom.

They want to install former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre, even though he has already been through the selection process and was rejected.

The interview panel deemed him “not appointable” a few months ago – so the Tories have taken time out to appoint a new panel member: Michael Simmonds, a former Conservative Party advisor who is married to Conservative MP Nick Gibb (and therefore brother-in-law to BBC board member Sir Robbie Gibb, himself a former Downing Street comms chief under Theresa May).

In fact, the interview panel’s connections with the Conservatives are multiple (and therefore extremely suspicious). See the Guardian article (link below) for further details.

They have also rewritten the job description.

The intention seems clear – as the Good Law Project states in its article (link below): “When Boris Johnson doesn’t like the outcome of an official process, he tries to rip up the rules and start again.

“Ministers… are now shamelessly pushing to appoint Mr Dacre by adjusting the requirements of the role and re-running the recruitment process with a different interview panel.”

Lawyers acting for the Good Law Project have written to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, who has the ultimate say over the appointment, stating that this “second competition raises very serious concerns, in particular as to whether it has been held, and designed, in order to favour Mr Dacre’s candidacy”. And they have a point.

Ofcom should be independent of both the Government and the services it regulates. The appointment process must follow the rules of the Governance Code for Public Appointments: whoever is hired should be selected on merit, through an open and fair process.

The Governance Code for Public Appointments does allow for Ministers to appoint someone who is not deemed “appointable” by the Assessment Panel. But there are safeguards built into the Governance Code: they must first consult the Commissioner for Public Appointments, and they are required to explain their reasons and justify their decision publicly.

“The reason why Ofcom must remain independent of Government is the same reason the media must remain independent of Government: neither can do their job if they are in the Government’s pocket,” states the GLP in its article.

“We’re asking the Secretary of State to explain why the competition for Chair is being rerun and why Mr Dacre is being allowed to reapply.”

Unfortunately, the Culture Secretary is Nadine Dorries.

The GLP says it wants proper answers but is hardly likely to get any from her.

It is threatening court action if it doesn’t get them.

You can help… try… to change Dorries’s mind – by signing a petition calling on Dorries not to appoint Dacre.

Also the video is worth watching.

In honesty, this will probably end up in court. The Tories want to dismantle the BBC – despite having stuffed it with their own people – and they know Dacre will help them do it.

But this would be blatant government interference in an organisation that should be independent.

And it needs to be fought.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Jo Bird, the proposed standards review of the Jewish Chronicle… and me

Jo Bird: her complaint against the Jewish Chronicle over inaccuracies in its report about her was upheld; now she, I, and seven other victims of its falsehoods are demanding an investigation into whether the paper’s editorial standards have fallen to an unacceptable level.

In case you’ve been living under a rock since the weekend, the newspaper regulator IPSO has made yet another ruling against the Jewish Chronicle for failures in its journalism.

The right-wing rag was found to have wrongly reported that Ms Bird, a Labour councillor in the Wirral, had been suspended for a third time in late 2020.

Details are below, including her own statement on the ruling which points out that the JC crucially failed to mention the fact that she is Jewish in its account of alleged anti-Semitism by her – thereby omitting crucial context.

As you can see from the last paragraph of her statement, Ms Bird demanded a formal Standards Investigation by IPSO into the JC.

This means that IPSO would consider whether the number and regularity of Editor’s Code breaches means that the JC‘s editorial standards have fallen to an unacceptable level. If it were to find against the newspaper, then penalties – and measures to improve it – may be demanded.

Where do I fit in to this?

I’m glad you asked.

Back in 2018, the JC was one of a handful of newspapers that re-published a false claim from The Sunday Times that I was a Holocaust denier. There was no truth in the allegation, which was derived from documents leaked by the Labour Party, which was investigating me at the time; investigators had ignored their own regulations on fairness in order to fabricate the claims.

The JC had not attempted to verify any of the claims against me before it published them. I complained to IPSO and my complaint was upheld (although you wouldn’t know it from the surly line of clarification that was added to the story, to the effect that I had said the claim was false. The Sunday Times was subsequently forced to publish a lengthy clarification in which it admitted that there was no truth at all to its claim about me).

After Ms Bird’s victory was announced, I was contacted by friends acting on her behalf, to ask if I would be willing to sign a letter calling on IPSO to conduct the Standards Investigation that she had already demanded, in my capacity as another victim of false reporting.

I was happy to do so.

And that is the reason my name is attached to the following letter:

Dear Lord Faulks,

We welcome IPSO’s agreement to consider Jo Bird’s proposal for a Standards Investigation into the Jewish Chronicle and we urge you to launch such an investigation without delay. With 28 recorded breaches of the Editors’ Code and four libel defeats in just three years, it is clear that the paper’s editorial standards are shockingly low and IPSO’s actions to date have made no difference.

We have all either seen our complaints to IPSO about the Jewish Chronicle’s bad journalism upheld or secured admissions of libel from the paper. Unless standards there improve there will be more victims, while readers will continue to be misled.

IPSO’s regulations say a Standards Investigation can take place where there is evidence of ‘serious and systemic breaches of the code’. The seriousness of the breaches by the Jewish Chronicle is attested to in IPSO’s own rulings while the sheer number of breaches and libel defeats – taking place at a small publication that appears only weekly – proves the problem is systemic.

We would be grateful if you would circulate this letter to all IPSO board members and to senior management.

Yours,

Jo Bird

John Davies

Ibrahim Hewitt, Interpal

Jenny Lennox

Kal Ross

Mike Sivier

Thomas Suárez

Marc Wadsworth

Audrey White

Now we must wait for a response from IPSO, due by August 12, and then for its findings – if an investigation is launched.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Plan for social media regulator will attack the symptom of ‘harmful content’ – not the cause

A Tory government plan to hold bosses of social media platforms responsible for their content will not stop the flow of “harmful” material onto the internet.

The “online harm” White Paper proposes a statutory duty of care, to be conferred on media companies including platforms such as Facebook and Google, online messaging services like WhatsApp and file hosting sites.

They would be required to comply with a code of practice, setting out the steps they must take to meet the duty of care. This may include designing products and platforms to make them safer, directing users who have suffered harm towards support, combating disinformation (for example by using fact-checking services), and improving the transparency of political advertising.

They would be expected to co-operate with police and other enforcement agencies on illegalities including incitement of violence and selling illegal weapons.

And they would have to compile annual “transparency reports” detailing the amount of harmful content found on their platforms and what they are doing to combat it.

The government would have powers to direct the regulator – initially Ofcom, with a dedicated regulator to follow in the future – on specific issues such as terrorist activity or child sexual exploitation.

A couple of thoughts occur.

Firstly, I wonder if the media organisations who use the internet, such as the BBC, other TV companies, radio channels and newspapers realise that they would also be responsible for “combating disinformation (for example by using fact-checking services)” – and that includes during elections or referendum periods? If they had actually bothered to check a few claims during the referendum campaign, the UK might be in a very different position today.

Secondly, regulating online media platforms will not stop people posting “harmful” content to them, if there is nothing to stop them from doing so. It is farcically easy to create anonymous accounts, from which to post objectionable and/or abusive content. Shut one down? That’s fine – the individual responsible can have another up and running in a matter of minutes, if they don’t have multiple aliases working already.

It has been argued that people must have a right to be able to post anonymously, because of personal circumstances that make it important – possibly for their personal safety.

Fine. A system can be devised in which people apply for anonymity and the number of people or organisations able to ascertain their real identity is strictly limited. That would allow these individuals to continue functioning in the online world. And it would prevent others from abusing social media platforms. Any posts from an unrecognised anonymous account would be easy to flag up and isolate.

Now, I admit that’s just an idea off the top of my head, but it is workable – and if I can think of it, I’m sure government advisors have thought of it too.

And they have decided to attack social media platforms instead.

So the real questions here are: Why these choices? And what is their real purpose?


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Toby Young is now a Tory crisis. Here’s how he became one

Toby Young’s appointment to the board of the Office for Students has been criticised by … well, by everybody who knows about it, really – apart from highly blinkered Tories [Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA].

If you haven’t seen my video blog on the crises afflicting the UK – thanks to our Conservative government – you should probably have a gander before you come back to this.

All done? Good.

So: How did Toby Young become a major issue for the Conservative government?

Well, perhaps it was because of this:

The Tories today appointed writer Toby Young, who complained about the ‘ghastly inclusivity’ of wheelchair ramps in schools, to the board of their new higher education watchdog.

The Office for Students (OfS) legally come into force today with a remit to hold regulate university vice chancellors’ pay and enforce ‘free speech’ on campus.

The appointment of Young, an outspoken right-wing writer, to the board of the regulator has sparked criticism.

In a column for the Spectator in 2012, Young wrote: “Inclusive. It’s one of those ghastly, politically correct words that has survived the demise of New Labour. Schools have got to be “inclusive” these days.

“That means wheelchair ramps, the complete works of Alice Walker in the school library (though no Mark Twain) and a Special Educational Needs Department that can cope with everything from Dyslexia to Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.”

He went on to call on then-Education Secretary Michael Gove to bring back O-levels and repeal the Equality Act, because “any exam that isn’t “accessible” to a functionally illiterate troglodyte with a mental age of six will be judged to be “elitist” and therefore forbidden by [Harriet] Harman’s Law.”

University and College Union general secretary Sally Hunt said: “If this organisation was to have any credibility it needed a robust board looking out for students’ interests.

“Instead we have this announcement sneaked out at New Year with Tory cheerleader Toby Young dressed up as the voice of teachers and no proper representation from staff or students.”

Oh dear.

Then again, there’s this:

Fresh questions have been raised over the suitability of Toby Young to sit on the board of the new universities regulator after it emerged that the government exaggerated his qualifications.

Young acknowledged on Tuesday that the Department for Education’s (DfE) claim that he had held teaching posts at two of the world’s most illustrious institutions, Harvard and Cambridge, were not accurate.

“I taught undergrads at Harvard and Cambridge and was paid to do so but these weren’t academic ‘posts’ and I’ve never made that claim,” he told the Guardian.

Defending Young’s appointment to the newly set-up Office for Students (OfS) on Monday, the department told the Guardian that his “diverse experience includes posts” at the institutions.

That’s called lying. Government departments aren’t supposed to do that.

But what about the new regulator’s personality? Surely he must have admirable features, to have been appointed to the new organisation for students?

Apparently not. What do you make of this?

In a 2010 message Mr Young branded George Clooney “queer as a coot”, while he responded to a male user on another occasion with the retort, “F**k you, penis breath”

On another occasion, referring to a picture of himself with a woman, he quipped: “Actually, mate, I had my dick up her arse”.

Mr Young appears to have since deleted the messages along with other profane comments.

But an article that Mr Young published to his blog in 2004 remains online.

The piece, which Mr Young told PinkNews was “a humour piece written for a New York men’s magazine”, recalls an occasion on which Mr Young dressed up as a woman in a bid to get into bed with lesbians.

That’s pretty appalling. No wonder Mr Young’s appointment has been met with outrage.

Oh, but according to him, the issue is the fact that he is a Conservative! Check this out:

Writer Toby Young says his appointment to the board of a new higher education watchdog is being criticised largely because he is an “outspoken Tory”.

Mr Young, who co-founded the West London Free School in 2011 and runs the New School Network, is one of six new appointments to the regulator’s board.

Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, said: “If this organisation was to have any credibility it needed a robust board looking out for students’ interests.

“Instead we have this announcement sneaked out at new year with Tory cheerleader Toby Young dressed up as the voice of teachers and no actual representation from staff or students.”

Labour MP David Lammy said on social media on Monday: “Is that Toby Young who said I was wrong to criticise Oxbridge for failing to improve access?

“The Toby Young who only got into Oxford University because his Dad rang the tutor up?

So what can we say about Toby Young? Owen Jones puts it in a nutshell in the following clip – and he’s right that it speaks volumes about the Conservative Party:

We’ll come to some of those objectionable tweets in a moment. Before we do, I wanted to remind you all of an important point: The Conservative government has recently endured humiliation because of the sexually inappropriate behaviour of some of its members – and not all of the people who have been named have yet accounted for the activities of which they have been accused. I’ll hand over to Rachael Swindon now:

Okay. In light of this, let’s look at the behaviour of the Conservative Government’s newest representative. First, there’s this:

Then there’s the following:

This tweet contains some we’ve seen already, but the reference to Danny Boyle’s daughter – who was not an adult at the time, is particularly grim:

The following tweeter started a thread on the subject of Toby’s tweets. Feel free to click on the tweet and read the lot:

https://twitter.com/SKZCartoons/status/948633691395383301

It was all looking rough for Mr Young – but then Boris Johnson, of all people, threw the weight of his questionable judgement behind the man who calls himself Toadmeister on Twitter. The man whose genius encouraged the Iranian legal system to add five years to the wrongful prison sentence of a British citizen, and who failed to secure her release after visiting the country, likewise failed to impress the home audience:

But does any of this have a bearing on Mr Young’s appointment to the Office for Students? Let’s see:

It seems that Mr Young does feel some responsibility for his behaviour; he has deleted around 50,000 of his tweets.

https://twitter.com/MattTurner4L/status/948602700865949696

Unfortunately for him, members of the tweeting public have saved the worst of his work, and want the Tory government to explain why a man who would make such statements deserves a government job.

For that matter, perhaps the government should be considering action against him?

If the government does nothing, the public will. Consider the following – will you add your name?

And I haven’t even mentioned Mr Young’s belief in eugenics – a stance last supported by the Nazis in German, if The Writer isn’t mistaken.


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

The DWP has caused so many deaths it should be forced to submit to outside regulation

A classic satirical take on Iain Duncan Smith – but under his “reforms”, tens of thousands of people DID starve. Many more committed suicide in despair. He has yet to be brought to justice for causing these deaths.

Were you aware that more deaths have been linked to the Department for Work and Pensions and its homicidal “welfare reforms” than to aviation accidents?

One reason for this, according to This Writer’s fellow campaigner against murderous DWP activities, Samuel Miller, is that airlines are regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority to ensure that they don’t cut corners and introduce unsafe practices into their business patterns.

The DWP has been merrily inserting unsafe policies into its administration of benefits – but of course it doesn’t have a regulator. Mr Miller says it should have one:

If the DWP were an airline, it would be regulated by the UK Civil Aviation Authority, a watchdog with statutory powers. As it stands, there have been more DWP-linked deaths than airline accident fatalities in the UK—and shockingly, the DWP remains unregulated because the Work and Pensions Select Committee lacks statutory powers.

The DWP is a ‘grave and systematic’ human rights violator and its draconian welfare reforms are prematurely ending the lives of many benefit claimants. We must insist that it be governed by an independent body with statutory powers; otherwise, welfare reform in the UK will remain a ‘human catastrophe’, according to the UN, for sick and disabled Britons.

We should publicly call for the DWP to be regulated by a watchdog. A Private Members Bill (PMB) could help facilitate this, by eliciting discussion of reining in this rogue department, which is gravely and systematically violating human rights. I’m well aware that all Select Committees are devoid of statutory powers and that Private Members Bills have virtually no chance of passing. But it will provoke discussion and that alone is worthwhile.

It’s an interesting idea.

But, as Mr Miller rightly points out, under a Conservative government it would be doomed to failure because Tories don’t want anybody interfering with their genocide of people with disabilities (for one example).

However (again) he is also right that the discussion of such a move would return the issue of the DWP-related deaths to the public eye.

People are still dying because of the DWP’s cruel assessments and sanctions – every day. We need to do all we can to end this and bring those responsible to justice.


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Now British Gas has cut its standard tariff – by much less than it should

150119britishgas

Gosh. British Gas is to cut household gas prices by five per cent – but this is a whopping 22 per cent less than the fall in wholesale gas prices.

The company says its 6.8 million customers will benefit by £37 over a year (that’s if the price cut remains for that long). It’s more than E.On customers (as reported here yesterday)…

… but the benefit of the wholesale price cut means British Gas will still make a whopping profit of more than £1 BILLION.

(Total profit is likely to be around £1,107,040,000).

British Gas representatives were all over the media this morning, apologising for making customers wait until February 27 before they feel the benefit; this is because the company reckons it bought the gas being used at the moment at higher, 2013-14, prices.

They should have been apologising for failing to pass on all of the wholesale cut to customers. It would have saved them very nearly £200 per year.

That kind of money is desperately needed by families feeling the pinch of the Conservative-planned cost of living crisis.

The drop will only benefit customers on British Gas’s standard and those Fix & Fall tariffs and the effect on different customers will vary.

The Labour Party, which has been campaigning for fairer energy bills for more than a year, has been (understandably) disparaging about this meagre display of largesse.

Shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint tweeted: “Wholesale gas prices down by [more than] 20%, yet gas bills only cut by 5%. Regulator must have power to make sure full savings go to all consumers.”

In a statement to the press, she added: “This shows that Ed Miliband was right to challenge the energy companies to cut their prices and pass on the falls in wholesale costs to consumers. But given gas prices have fallen by at least 20 per cent a price cut of just 5 per cent means consumers still aren’t getting the full benefit of falling wholesale prices.

“The next Labour government is committed to making big changes in our energy market: freezing energy prices until 2017 so that bills can fall but not rise, and giving the regulator the power to force energy companies to cut their prices – when wholesale costs fall – to all of their customers.”

Some have taken issue with the description of a freeze that allows prices to fall, rather than keeping them static, but this is nit-picking. We can all see that Labour is simply pushing for households to get the best deal.

What do the Conservatives want? What do the Liberal Democrats want? Only last week they showed…

They’re quite happy for the rich company bosses to keep your money.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
reporting on the decisions that affect your finances.

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Who voted to put fatcat energy bosses before their constituents? Here’s the list

130925energy

The Coalition Government has vetoed a proposal by the Labour Party to put people before profit and give the energy regulator for Great Britain a statutory duty to ensure that energy suppliers pass on price cuts to consumers when wholesale costs fall – if those suppliers fail to act.

The proposal was put to the House of Commons by Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint, and was dismissed with 305 votes against and 228 for – a difference of 77.

Of course, that wasn’t the point of the exercise.

The point was to show which of our MPs actually wants to help struggling households cope with the ever-increasing cost of living by helping them cope with their energy bills… and which of them would rather siphon your money into a Big Six shareholder’s pocket as profit (possibly with an eye on a possible seat on the board during their retirement).

Vox Political has the names of all those who voted. They are presented below in alphabetical order. If your MP appears in the ‘Ayes’ column, then they did right by you.

If your MP appears in the ‘Noes’ column, then they betrayed you. You may wish to consider voting for somebody else on May 7.

Here’s the list:

AYES
Abbott, Ms Diane (Labour)
Abrahams, Debbie (Labour)
Ainsworth, rh Mr Bob (Labour)
Alexander, rh Mr Douglas (Labour)
Alexander, Heidi (Labour)
Ali, Rushanara (Labour)
Allen, Mr Graham (Labour)
Anderson, Mr David (Labour)
Ashworth, Jonathan (Labour)
Austin, Ian (Labour)
Bailey, Mr Adrian (Labour/Co-op)
Bain, Mr William (Labour)
Banks, Gordon (Labour)
Barron, rh Kevin (Labour)
Bayley, Sir Hugh (Labour)
Beckett, rh Margaret (Labour)
Begg, Dame Anne (Labour)
Benn, rh Hilary (Labour)
Berger, Luciana (Labour/Co-op)
Betts, Mr Clive (Labour)
Blackman-Woods, Roberta (Labour)
Blears, rh Hazel (Labour)
Blenkinsop, Tom (Labour)
Bradshaw, rh Mr Ben (Labour)
Brennan, Kevin (Labour)
Brown, Lyn (Labour)
Brown, rh Mr Nicholas (Labour)
Brown, Mr Russell (Labour)
Bryant, Chris (Labour)
Burden, Richard (Labour)
Burnham, rh Andy (Labour)
Byrne, rh Mr Liam (Labour)
Campbell, rh Mr Alan (Labour)
Campbell, Mr Ronnie (Labour)
Caton, Martin (Labour)
Champion, Sarah (Labour)
Chapman, Jenny (Labour)
Clark, Katy (Labour)
Clwyd, rh Ann (Labour)
Coaker, Vernon (Labour)
Connarty, Michael (Labour)
Cooper, rh Yvette (Labour)
Corbyn, Jeremy (Labour)
Crausby, Mr David (Labour)
Creagh, Mary (Labour)
Creasy, Stella (Labour/Co-op)
Cryer, John (Labour)
Cunningham, Alex (Labour)
Cunningham, Mr Jim (Labour)
Cunningham, Sir Tony (Labour)
Curran, Margaret (Labour)
Danczuk, Simon (Labour)
David, Wayne (Labour)
Davidson, Mr Ian (Labour/Co-op)
Davies, Geraint (Labour/Co-op)
De Piero, Gloria (Labour)
Denham, rh Mr John (Labour)
Dobson, rh Frank (Labour)
Doran, Mr Frank (Labour)
Doughty, Stephen (Labour/Co-op)
Dowd, Jim (Labour)
Doyle, Gemma (Labour/Co-op)
Dromey, Jack (Labour)
Dugher, Michael (Labour)
Durkan, Mark (Social Democratic & Labour Party)
Eagle, Ms Angela (Labour)
Eagle, Maria (Labour)
Edwards, Jonathan (Plaid Cymru)
Efford, Clive (Labour)
Ellman, Mrs Louise (Labour/Co-op)
Engel, Natascha (Labour)
Esterson, Bill (Labour)
Evans, Chris (Labour/Co-op)
Farrelly, Paul (Labour)
Field, rh Mr Frank (Labour)
Fitzpatrick, Jim (Labour)
Flello, Robert (Labour)
Flint, rh Caroline (Labour)
Flynn, Paul (Labour)
Fovargue, Yvonne (Labour)
Francis, Dr Hywel (Labour)
Gardiner, Barry (Labour)
Gilmore, Sheila (Labour)
Glass, Pat (Labour)
Glindon, Mrs Mary (Labour)
Godsiff, Mr Roger (Labour)
Goodman, Helen (Labour)
Greatrex, Tom (Labour/Co-op)
Green, Kate (Labour)
Greenwood, Lilian (Labour)
Griffith, Nia (Labour)
Gwynne, Andrew (Labour)
Hain, rh Mr Peter (Labour)
Hamilton, Mr David (Labour)
Hamilton, Fabian (Labour)
Hanson, rh Mr David (Labour)
Harman, rh Ms Harriet (Labour)
Harris, Mr Tom (Labour)
Havard, Mr Dai (Labour)
Healey, rh John (Labour)
Hepburn, Mr Stephen (Labour)
Heyes, David (Labour)
Hillier, Meg (Labour/Co-op)
Hilling, Julie (Labour)
Hodge, rh Margaret (Labour)
Hodgson, Mrs Sharon (Labour)
Hood, Mr Jim (Labour)
Hopkins, Kelvin (Labour)
Howarth, rh Mr George (Labour)
Irranca-Davies, Huw (Labour)
Jackson, Glenda (Labour)
James, Mrs Siân C. (Labour)
Jamieson, Cathy (Labour/Co-op)
Jarvis, Dan (Labour)
Johnson, Diana (Labour)
Jones, Graham (Labour)
Jones, Susan Elan (Labour)
Jowell, rh Dame Tessa (Labour)
Kane, Mike (Labour)
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald (Labour)
Keeley, Barbara (Labour)
Kendall, Liz (Labour)
Khan, rh Sadiq (Labour)
Lammy, rh Mr David (Labour)
Lavery, Ian (Labour)
Lazarowicz, Mark (Labour/Co-op)
Leslie, Chris (Labour/Co-op)
Lewell-Buck, Mrs Emma (Labour)
Lewis, Mr Ivan (Labour)
Llwyd, rh Mr Elfyn (Plaid Cymru)
Love, Mr Andrew (Labour/Co-op)
Lucas, Caroline (Green)
Lucas, Ian (Labour)
MacNeil, Mr Angus Brendan (SNP)
Mactaggart, Fiona (Labour)
Mahmood, Mr Khalid (Labour)
Mahmood, Shabana (Labour)
Malhotra, Seema (Labour/Co-op)
Mann, John (Labour)
Marsden, Mr Gordon (Labour)
McCabe, Steve (Labour)
McCann, Mr Michael (Labour)
McCarthy, Kerry (Labour)
McClymont, Gregg (Labour)
McDonagh, Siobhain (Labour)
McDonald, Andy (Labour)
McDonnell, John (Labour)
McFadden, rh Mr Pat (Labour)
McGuire, rh Dame Anne (Labour)
McInnes, Liz (Labour)
McKechin, Ann (Labour)
McKenzie, Mr Iain (Labour)
Meale, Sir Alan (Labour)
Mearns, Ian (Labour)
Miliband, rh Edward (Labour)
Miller, Andrew (Labour)
Mitchell, Austin (Labour)
Moon, Mrs Madeleine (Labour)
Morden, Jessica (Labour)
Morrice, Graeme (Livingston) (Labour)
Morris, Grahame M. (Easington) (Labour)
Munn, Meg (Labour/Co-op)
Murphy, rh Mr Jim (Labour)
Murphy, rh Paul (Labour)
Murray, Ian (Labour)
Nandy, Lisa (Labour)
Nash, Pamela (Labour)
O’Donnell, Fiona (Labour)
Onwurah, Chi (Labour)
Osborne, Sandra (Labour)
Owen, Albert (Labour)
Pearce, Teresa (Labour)
Perkins, Toby (Labour)
Pound, Stephen (Labour)
Powell, Lucy (Labour)
Qureshi, Yasmin (Labour)
Raynsford, rh Mr Nick (Labour)
Reed, Mr Jamie (Labour)
Reeves, Rachel (Labour)
Reynolds, Emma (Labour)
Riordan, Mrs Linda (Labour/Co-op)
Ritchie, Ms Margaret (Social Democratic & Labour Party)
Robertson, John (Labour)
Robinson, Mr Geoffrey (Labour)
Rotheram, Steve (Labour)
Roy, Mr Frank (Labour)
Ruane, Chris (Labour)
Ruddock, rh Dame Joan (Labour)
Sarwar, Anas (Labour)
Sawford, Andy (Labour/Co-op)
Seabeck, Alison  (Labour)
Sharma, Mr Virendra (Labour)
Sheerman, Mr Barry (Labour/Co-op)
Sheridan, Jim (Labour)
Shuker, Gavin (Labour/Co-op)
Skinner, Mr Dennis (Labour)
Slaughter, Mr Andy (Labour)
Smith, Angela (Labour)
Smith, Nick (Labour)
Smith, Owen (Labour)
Spellar, rh Mr John (Labour)
Straw, rh Mr Jack (Labour)
Stringer, Graham (Labour)
Stuart, Ms Gisela (Labour)
Sutcliffe, Mr Gerry (Labour)
Tami, Mark (Labour)
Thornberry, Emily (Labour)
Timms, rh Stephen (Labour)
Trickett, Jon (Labour)
Turner, Karl (Labour)
Twigg, Derek (Labour)
Twigg, Stephen (Labour/Co-op)
Umunna, Mr Chuka (Labour)
Vaz, rh Keith (Labour)
Vaz, Valerie (Labour)
Walley, Joan (Labour)
Watson, Mr Tom (Labour)
Weir, Mr Mike (SNP)
Whitehead, Dr Alan (Labour)
Williams, Hywel (Plaid Cymru)
Williamson, Chris (Labour)
Wilson, Sammy (Democratic Unionist)
Winnick, Mr David (Labour)
Winterton, rh Ms Rosie (Labour)
Wishart, Pete (SNP)
Woodcock, John (Labour/Co-op)
Wright, David (Labour)
Wright, Mr Iain (Labour)

Tellers for the Ayes:
Bridget Phillipson (Labour)
and
Nic Dakin (Labour)

NOES
Adams, Nigel (Con)
Afriyie, Adam (Con)
Aldous, Peter (Con)
Amess, Sir David (Con)
Andrew, Stuart (Con)
Arbuthnot, rh Mr James (Con)
Bacon, Mr Richard (Con)
Baker, Steve (Con)
Baldry, rh Sir Tony (Con)
Barclay, Stephen (Con)
Barker, rh Gregory (Con)
Baron, Mr John (Con)
Barwell, Gavin (Con)
Bebb, Guto (Con)
Beith, rh Sir Alan (LD)
Bellingham, Mr Henry (Con)
Benyon, Richard (Con)
Beresford, Sir Paul (Con)
Berry, Jake (Con)
Bingham, Andrew (Con)
Binley, Mr Brian (Con)
Birtwistle, Gordon (LD)
Blackman, Bob (Con)
Blackwood, Nicola (Con)
Blunt, Crispin (Con)
Boles, Nick (Con)
Bone, Mr Peter (Con)
Bottomley, Sir Peter (Con)
Brady, Mr Graham (Con)
Brake, rh Tom (LD)
Bray, Angie (Con)
Brazier, Mr Julian (Con)
Brine, Steve (Con)
Brokenshire, James (Con)
Brooke, rh Annette (LD)
Browne, Mr Jeremy (LD)
Bruce, Fiona (Con)
Bruce, rh Sir Malcolm (LD)
Burley, Mr Aidan (Con)
Burns, Conor (Con)
Burns, rh Mr Simon (Con)
Burstow, rh Paul (LD)
Burt, rh Alistair (Con)
Burt, Lorely (LD)
Byles, Dan (Con)
Cable, rh Vince (LD)
Cairns, Alun (Con)
Carmichael, Neil (LD)
Carswell, Douglas (UKIP)
Cash, Sir William (Con)
Chapman, Jenny (Labour)
Chishti, Rehman (Con)
Clappison, Mr James (Con)
Clark, rh Greg (Con)
Clarke, rh Mr Kenneth (Con)
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey (Con)
Collins, Damian (Con)
Colvile, Oliver (Con)
Cox, Mr Geoffrey (Con)
Crabb, rh Stephen (Con)
Crockart, Mike (LD)
Crouch, Tracey (Con)
Davey, rh Mr Edward (LD)
Davies, David T. C. (Monmouth) (Con)
Davies, Glyn (Con)
Davies, Philip (Con)
de Bois, Nick (Con)
Dinenage, Caroline (Con)
Dorrell, rh Mr Stephen (Con)
Doyle-Price, Jackie (Con)
Drax, Richard (Con)
Duncan, rh Sir Alan (Con)
Duncan Smith, rh Mr Iain (Con)
Dunne, Mr Philip (Con)
Ellis, Michael (Con)
Ellison, Jane (Con)
Elphicke, Charlie (Con)
Eustice, George (Con)
Evans, Graham (Con)
Evans, Jonathan (Con)
Evans, Mr Nigel (Con)
Evennett, Mr David (Con)
Fabricant, Michael (Con)
Fallon, rh Michael (Con)
Farron, Tim (LD)
Field, Mark (Con)
Foster, rh Mr Don (LD)
Fox, rh Dr Liam (Con)
Francois, rh Mr Mark (Con)
Freer, Mike (Con)
Fullbrook, Lorraine (Con)
Fuller, Richard (Con)
Gale, Sir Roger (Con)
Garnier, Sir Edward (Con)
Garnier, Mark (Con)
Gauke, Mr David (Con)
George, Andrew (LD)
Gibb, Mr Nick (Con)
Gilbert, Stephen (LD)
Gillan, rh Mrs Cheryl (Con)
Glen, John (Con)
Goldsmith, Zac (Con)
Goodwill, Mr Robert (Con)
Graham, Richard (Con)
Grant, Mrs Helen (Con)
Gray, Mr James (Con)
Green, rh Damian (Con)
Greening, rh Justine (Con)
Grieve, rh Mr Dominic (Con)
Griffiths, Andrew (Con)
Gummer, Ben (Con)
Gyimah, Mr Sam (Con)
Hague, rh Mr William (Con)
Halfon, Robert (Con)
Hames, Duncan (LD)
Hammond, Stephen (Con)
Hands, rh Greg (Con)
Harper, Mr Mark (Con)
Harrington, Richard (Con)
Harris, Rebecca (Con)
Hart, Simon (Con)
Haselhurst, rh Sir Alan (Con)
Hayes, rh Mr John (Con)
Heald, Sir Oliver (Con)
Heaton-Harris, Chris (Con)
Hemming, John (LD)
Henderson, Gordon (Con)
Hendry, Charles (Con)
Herbert, rh Nick (Con)
Hinds, Damian (Con)
Hoban, Mr Mark (Con)
Hollingbery, George (Con)
Hollobone, Mr Philip (Con)
Holloway, Mr Adam (Con)
Hopkins, Kris (Con)
Horwood, Martin (LD)
Howarth, Sir Gerald (Con)
Howell, John (Con)
Hughes, rh Simon (LD)
Hunt, rh Mr Jeremy (Con)
Huppert, Dr Julian (LD)
Hurd, Mr Nick (Con)
Jackson, Mr Stewart (Con)
James, Margot (Con)
Jenkin, Mr Bernard (Con)
Jenrick, Robert (Con)
Johnson, Gareth (Con)
Johnson, Joseph (Con)
Jones, Andrew (Con)
Jones, rh Mr David (Con)
Jones, Mr Marcus (Con)
Kawczynski, Daniel (Con)
Kelly, Chris (Con)
Kennedy, rh Mr Charles (LD)
Kirby, Simon (Con)
Kwarteng, Kwasi (Con)
Lamb, rh Norman (LD)
Latham, Pauline (Con)
Leadsom, Andrea (Con)
Lee, Dr Phillip (Con)
Leech, Mr John (LD)
Leigh, Sir Edward (Con)
Lewis, Brandon (Con)
Lewis, Dr Julian (Con)
Liddell-Grainger, Mr Ian (Con)
Lidington, rh Mr David (Con)
Lilley, rh Mr Peter (Con)
Lloyd, Stephen (LD)
Lopresti, Jack (Con)
Loughton, Tim (Con)
Luff, Sir Peter (Con)
Lumley, Karen (Con)
Macleod, Mary (Con)
Main, Mrs Anne (Con)
Maude, rh Mr Francis (Con)
Maynard, Paul (Con)
McCartney, Jason (Con)
McCartney, Karl (Con)
McIntosh, Miss Anne (Con)
McLoughlin, rh Mr Patrick (Con)
McPartland, Stephen (Con)
McVey, rh Esther (Con)
Menzies, Mark (Con)
Metcalfe, Stephen (Con)
Miller, rh Maria (Con)
Mills, Nigel (Con)
Milton, Anne (Con)
Mitchell, rh Mr Andrew (Con)
Moore, rh Michael (LD)
Mordaunt, Penny (Con)
Morgan, rh Nicky (Con)
Morris, Anne Marie (Con)
Morris, David (Con)
Morris, James (Con)
Mosley, Stephen (Con)
Mowat, David (Con)
Mulholland, Greg (LD)
Mundell, rh David (Con)
Murray, Sheryll (Con)
Murrison, Dr Andrew (Con)
Newmark, Mr Brooks (Con)
Newton, Sarah (Con)
Nokes, Caroline (Con)
Norman, Jesse (Con)
Nuttall, Mr David (Con)
Offord, Dr Matthew (Con)
Ollerenshaw, Eric (Con)
Opperman, Guy (Con)
Ottaway, rh Sir Richard (Con)
Paice, rh Sir James (Con)
Parish, Neil (Con)
Patel, Priti (Con)
Paterson, rh Mr Owen (Con)
Pawsey, Mark (Con)
Penning, rh Mike (Con)
Penrose, John (Con)
Percy, Andrew (Con)
Perry, Claire (Con)
Phillips, Stephen (Con)
Pickles, rh Mr Eric (Con)
Pincher, Christopher (Con)
Poulter, Dr Daniel (Con)
Pugh, John (LD)
Raab, Mr Dominic (Con)
Randall, rh Sir John (Con)
Reckless, Mark (UKIP)
Redwood, rh Mr John (Con)
Rees-Mogg, Jacob (Con)
Reevell, Simon (Con)
Reid, Mr Alan (LD)
Rifkind, rh Sir Malcolm (Con)
Robathan, rh Mr Andrew (Con)
Robertson, rh Sir Hugh (Con)
Robertson, Mr Laurence (Con)
Rogerson, Dan (LD)
Rosindell, Andrew (Con)
Rudd, Amber (Con)
Russell, Sir Bob (LD)
Rutley, David (Con)
Sanders, Mr Adrian (LD)
Scott, Mr Lee (Con)
Selous, Andrew (Con)
Shelbrooke, Alec (Con)
Shepherd, Sir Richard (Con)
Simmonds, rh Mark (Con)
Simpson, Mr Keith (Con)
Skidmore, Chris (Con)
Smith, Chloe (Con)
Smith, Henry (Con)
Smith, Julian (Con)
Smith, Sir Robert (LD)
Soames, rh Sir Nicholas (Con)
Soubry, Anna (Con)
Spelman, rh Mrs Caroline (Con)
Stanley, rh Sir John (Con)
Stephenson, Andrew (Con)
Stevenson, John (Con)
Stewart, Bob (Con)
Stewart, Iain (Con)
Stewart, Rory (Con)
Streeter, Mr Gary (Con)
Stride, Mel (Con)
Stuart, Mr Graham (Con)
Stunell, rh Sir Andrew (LD)
Sturdy, Julian (Con)
Swales, Ian (LD)
Swayne, rh Mr Desmond (Con)
Swire, rh Mr Hugo (Con)
Syms, Mr Robert (Con)
Thornton, Mike (LD)
Thurso, rh John (LD)
Tomlinson, Justin (Con)
Tredinnick, David (Con)
Turner, Mr Andrew (Con)
Tyrie, Mr Andrew (Con)
Uppal, Paul (Con)
Vaizey, Mr Edward (Con)
Vara, Mr Shailesh (Con)
Vickers, Martin (Con)
Villiers, rh Mrs Theresa (Con)
Walker, Mr Charles (Con)
Walker, Mr Robin (Con)
Wallace, Mr Ben (Con)
Walter, Mr Robert (Con)
Ward, Mr David (LD)
Watkinson, Dame Angela (Con)
Webb, rh Steve (LD)
Wheeler, Heather (Con)
White, Chris (Con)
Whittaker, Craig (Con)
Whittingdale, Mr John (Con)
Wiggin, Bill (Con)
Willetts, rh Mr David (Con)
Williams, Mr Mark (LD)
Williams, Roger (LD)
Williams, Stephen (LD)
Williamson, Gavin (Con)
Willott, rh Jenny (LD)
Wilson, Mr Rob (Con)
Wollaston, Dr Sarah (Con)
Wright, rh Jeremy (Con)
Wright, Simon (LD)
Yeo, Mr Tim (Con)
Young, rh Sir George (Con)
Zahawi, Nadhim (Con)

Tellers for the Noes:
Harriett Baldwin (Con)
and
Dr Thérèse Coffey (Con)

Basically, if your MP is a Conservative or a Liberal Democrat, they don’t represent you; they represent corporate bosses.

Also, how interesting to see the two UKIP turncoats, Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless, voting with their former Tory colleagues again. “The People’s Army” – what a joke.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
showing you who your MP really represents.

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

The Tories have run out of momentum, ideas and even arguments

Old Labour: Oversaw the longest periods of economic growth in British history and DIDN'T cause the biggest crash (that was neoliberalism, beloved of Conservatives). There is nothing wrong with it.

Old Labour: Oversaw the longest periods of economic growth in British history and DIDN’T cause the biggest crash (that was neoliberalism, beloved of Conservatives). There is nothing wrong with it.

Dear old Fraser Nelson has been trying to generate some momentum against Ed Miliband’s plans for a Labour government.

But, bless ‘im, not only did he hit the nail on the head when he wrote (in The Spectator), “Tories seem to have lost interest in ideas”, he might just as well have been talking about the Tory press because – other than the parts in which he praises Miliband for his political acumen and perception, Fraser has nothing new to say at all.

“Why, if he is such a joke, has Labour led in the opinion polls for three years solidly? And why has he been the bookmakers’ favourite to win the next general election for even longer?” These are the questions Fraser asks, and then goes on to answer in the most glowing terms possible.

“His agenda is clear, radical, populist and … popular. His speeches are intellectually coherent, and clearly address the new problems of inequality,” writes Fraser.

“His analysis is potent because he correctly identifies the problem. There is [a] major problem with the recovery, he says, in that the spoils are going to the richest, and it’s time to act… George Osborne does not talk about this. He prefers to avoid the wider issue of inequality. This leaves one of the most interesting debates of our times entirely open to Miliband.”

All of the above is a gift to the Labour leadership. Fraser has scored a huge own-goal by admitting the Labour leader – far from being “a joke”, has correctly identified the problem and can say what he likes because the Tories won’t even discuss it!

Worse still (for Fraser), he seems to think that telling us Ed Miliband is mining Labour’s past policies to get future success will put us off.

Hasn’t anybody told Fraser – yet – that it is current neoliberal policies, as practised by both Labour and the Tories, that caused the crash of 2007 onwards? With that as our context, why not go back and resurrect policies that offer a plausible alternative?

As a Conservative, Fraser should appreciate the irony that it is Labour who are now looking at the past to create the future.

“The philosophical underpinning is rehabilitated: that the free enterprise system does not work, and should be put under greater government control,” writes Fraser. “That companies, bankers and markets have buggered up Britain — and it’s time for people, through Big Government, to fight back.” Who could argue with that?

Then Fraser goes into some of those policies, like the plan to revive the 50 per cent tax rate. “But Miliband isn’t taxing for revenue. He’s taxing for the applause of the electorate and he calculates that the more he beats up on bankers and the rich, the louder the masses will cheer.” The answer to that is yes! What’s wrong with that? The Coalition came into office on a ticket that said bankers would pay for the damage they caused, and yet bankers have been among the principal beneficiaries of the ongoing raid on the public finances that the Coalition calls its “long-term economic plan”. In the face of dishonesty on that scale, Fraser should be more surprised that the North hasn’t invaded the Square Mile and strung anybody in a suit up on a lamppost – yet.

Next up, Fraser tries to attack Miliband’s proposed revival of a Kinnock plan for a state-run ‘British Investment Bank’ and two new high street bank chains. To this writer, the prospect of two new, state-run and regulated, banks is a brilliant idea! No more rip-off charges for services that should be free! Investment in growth, rather than short-term profit! And all run the way banks should be run – prudently and with the interests of the customer – rather than the shareholder – at heart. How can Fraser (bless ‘im) argue with that?

Argue he does. He writes: “As Simon Walker, head of the Institute of Directors, put it: ‘The last time the government told a bank what to do, Lloyds was ordered to sell branches to the Co-op’s Reverend Flowers. And we all know how that ended.’ Wrong. European regulators ordered the government (then principle shareholder in Lloyds) to sell the branches, and it happened on the Coalition government’s watch. In fact, George Osborne welcomed the deal. That’s an argument against Conservative mismanagement.

Fraser goes on to claim that Miliband doesn’t care how his bank project will work out – he just wants it done. He’s on an ideological crusade. Again, this provokes comparisons with the Tories that are (for the Tories) extremely uncomfortable. The Tories (and their little yellow Tory Democrat friends) have spent the last four years on an ideological crusade that has robbed the poorest people in the UK of almost everything they have, and are now starting to attack people who are better off (but still not posh enough) – they can hardly criticise Labour for having an ideology of its own.

The line about green policies which cost nine jobs for every four created – in Spain – is risible. Fraser has chosen a country where green policies have not worked well. How are they managing in Scandinavia?

Fraser says Labour’s energy price freeze “magically” makes good a 1983 pledge for everyone to afford adequate heat and light at home – without commenting on the fact that energy companies have been ripping us all off for many years and failing to invest in the future of power generation; they are an example of the worst kind of industrial privatisation.

Fraser says Labour has revived a 1983 demand for “a supply of appropriately qualified teachers” as though that is a bad idea (it isn’t. Bringing in unqualified people to act as teachers in Michael Gove’s silly ‘free schools’ sandpit was the bad idea). Note he says Labour wants “union-approved” qualified teachers – depending on mention of the unions to get a knee-jerk reaction from his readers, no doubt.

Fraser says Miliband attacks “predator” companies – moneylenders who offer short-term loans; people who make fixed-odds betting machines; landowners who stand accused of hoarding and thwarting housebuilding. “When Miliband talks about the future, he says very little about what he’d do with government. He talks about what he’d do to British business. All this amounts to a blitz of regulation, edicts and interference,” he writes.

This is to suggest that “regulation” is a dirty word – a synonym for “interference”. Let’s help Fraser out by suggesting a word he can use instead of “regulation” or “interference”.

That word is “help” – and it exemplifies what regulation is, in fact, about – helping companies to provide the best service possible, with the least possible corruption or profiteering, to ensure that customers get what they want and are happy to come back – boosting prosperity for everybody.

Substitute that word for the others and Fraser’s remaining rhetoric looks very different:

“All this amounts to a blitz of help” evokes the response, about time too!

“[Tristram] Hunt does not pretend that help at this level is being attempted in any free country” begs the question, why not?

While Fraser may have set out to write an assassination piece on Ed Miliband’s Labour, there can be no doubt that he ended up doing the exact opposite. It wasn’t his intention – look at his final few lines: “Miliband is bold enough to think that, in a country midway through the worst recovery in history, there may be a market for all this now. And most terrifyingly of all, he might be right.”

This botched attempt at scaremongering only exposes right-wing ideology for what it is: Out-argued, outclassed and badly out-of-step with the thoughts of the British people.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

Vox Political needs your help!
This independent blog’s only funding comes from readers’ contributions.
Without YOUR help, we cannot keep going.
You can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Alternatively, you can buy the first Vox Political book,
Strong Words and Hard Times
in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook