Tag Archives: voting

Should Labour and the Lib Dems go into an electoral pact?

Number 10: What strategy will put Jeremy Corbyn in the prime minister’s house?

Simon Wren-Lewis on his Mainly Macro blog raises an interesting question: with the Brexit Party making overtures to the Tories about an electoral pact, should Labour and the Liberal Democrats do the same?

He makes some good points in favour of it – there are many seats where it would make sense for either party to stand aside, allowing the other a greater opportunity for victory, and it makes no sense for the Liberal Democrats to try to block Labour, only to let the “no deal Brexit” parties have a majority in the House of Commons. Every Liberal Democrat attacking Labour is supporting a Johnson/Cummings administration.

But if the Liberal Democrats have any kind of reputation at the moment, it is for treachery. They cannot be trusted. That position will only have been strengthened – against Labour – with the defections to that party of former Labour and Conservative MPs. That will push Labour away.

And the Liberal Democrats themselves may fear that Tory propaganda painting Jeremy Corbyn as the Devil himself will put marginal Tory voters off switching to them, if they go into a pact with Labour.

So Professor Wren-Lewis is supporting tactical voting – supporting the LDs where they have a more realistic chance of winning, and Labour where that party would fare better.

But his logic isn’t perfect. He says voting for a Labour MP who supports leaving the EU will not help as such a person would not support a second referendum with remaining in the EU on the paper – but this fails to take into account the fact that such a referendum is Labour policy and it is better to have a government with such a policy, if you are a remainer, than a government former by a Johnson/Cummings/Farage “no deal Brexit” alliance.

He also says the Tories can expect around 350 seats according to current polling, but he is out of date. Current polling, it seems, suggests the Tories could only muster around 285 seats unless they win constituencies that would be far from their grip usually.

He also suggests that Labour cannot hope to enjoy the huge surge it had in 2017 because Dominic Cummings will use all the social media expertise he learned during the EU referendum campaign to undermine it. This ignores the fact that the media will have to ditch their anti-Labour bias by law, that hundreds of thousands of young people are signing up to vote just so they can support Labour, and that Labour has a thriving social media presence of its own that has made mincemeat of the Tories on that platform for years.

I mean, you’re reading This Site – right?

Professor Wren-Lewis is right to sound a note of caution – but I wonder if he is going too far.

You can read his article here.

What do you think?

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Tories vote in second round of Tory leadership contest, as candidates round on Rory Stewart

Not that confident: Rory Stewart.

The second round of the Conservative Party leadership election has begun, amid acrimony between some candidates and dark horse contender Rory Stewart.

Mr Stewart, who polled lowest among contenders who got through to the second round, has been quietly (and politely) amassing a surprising amount of momentum.

He came second in a survey of candidates by ConservativeHome, behind Boris Johnson.

He was considered the most impressive candidate in the Channel 4 televised debate on Sunday – in which Mr Johnson was “empty-chaired”.

And it seems he is thought to be the most “disruptive” candidate apart from Mr Johnson.

This could make him a danger to Mr Johnson’s own chances if they face each other in the BBC televised debate today (June 18). It seems likely that, if he does get through the current round of voting, he’ll be asking awkward questions about the promises Mr Johnson has been making.

It seems Mr Johnson has persuaded groups that have irreconcilable differences to back him and Mr Stewart is likely to ask whether this means he has been offering different things to different groups, telling them what they want to hear rather than what he intends to do.

Strangely, it seems the other candidates don’t want this to happen and would prefer Mr Johnson to have an easy time of it, as they are doing their level best to gang up on Mr Stewart.

Sajid Javid said Mr Stewart was effectively the candidate for remaining in the European Union: “I think [Stewart’s] effectively telling us that we should remain in the EU and there is a small constituency amongst my colleagues that would rather remain than leave, and I think that is part of the challenge that we have to deal with. And so I think up to a point Rory can attract that support but it’s not going to get us any further.”

It is possible the claim was prompted after Mr Stewart, who is MP for Penrith and the Border in Cumbria, commented that he was concerned about the effect of a no-deal Brexit on sheep farmers in his constituency. He has repudiated Mr Javid’s words:

There have also been rumours that Mr Stewart may have been a spy for MI6 when he worked as the British Representative to Montenegro in the wake of the Kosovo campaign in 1999. If he had been, he certainly would not admit it – and in any case, he said, the press would not be allowed to report it, according to the law.

Will this combined criticism cause Mr Stewart’s support to collapse? We’ll know very soon.

Asked how he was feeling when he cast his own vote, Mr Stewart admitted: “Not that confident.”

Possibly the most interesting comment on it has come from David Gauke, who supports the Stewart campaign. He tweeted:]

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.

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Tory hypocrisy exposed again: They oppose votes at 16 while letting 15-year-olds choose their leader

David Lidington stood in for Theresa May at Prime Minister’s Questions on January 31.

This is shameful, isn’t it?

If you didn’t hear the exchange between Emily Thornberry and David Lidington at PMQs, it included the following, from Ms Thornberry:

At 16, we are free from parental control, we can leave home, we can start a family, we can get married, we can start work, we can pay taxes and we can join the forces, so can he give us a logical explanation of why a 16-year-old should not have the right to vote?

To this, Mr Lidington replied thus:

it was the last Labour Government who raised the legal age for buying cigarettes to 18, raised the age for selling knives to 18, raised the age for buying fireworks to 18 and raised the age for using a sunbed to 18.

It’s a valid point – although there is an argument in that all the things for which Labour raised the legal age are potentially harmful, whereas voting is usually done in the interests of the person concerned and (it is to be hoped) the nation as a whole.

And now we learn that Mr Lidington was taking a completely false position, because the Conservative Party allows votes at 15 in its own internal elections.

Perhaps he thought it doesn’t matter so much, because the average age of his party members is 72.

David Lidington has been accused “hypocrisy” for suggesting 16-year-olds lack the “sufficient maturity” to vote in general elections, despite teenagers aged 15 and over apparently being allowed to vote in Tory leadership contests.

Under Conservative Party rules, 16 and 17 year olds are allowed to become full members of the party.

“There is no upper or lower age limit on membership, although children under the age of 15 cannot be enrolled as full voting members,” party guidelines state.

Members have rights including “one member, one vote in the election of the Leader of the Party” and “a vote in the selection of candidates for Westminster and Europe”.

It costs just £5 for anyone under the age of 22 to join while it costs £25 for anyone over the age of 23.

Source: Tory ‘Hypocrisy’ For Opposing Votes At 16 While Letting Teens Pick Party Leader


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Poll drubbing for Tories means nobody in the mainstream media will be talking about it

It’s business as usual next week with Theresa May getting on with Brexit and a plan to cap energy bills – and no mention at all of the fact that her party is now trailing Labour by five points.

According to the BMG poll for The Independent, Labour enjoys the support of 42 per cent of voters, while the Tories can only rely on 37 per cent.

For the Conservative Party, a mid-30s poll rating is the kiss of death – but commentators are predicting that the fall is far from over.

Theresa May’s own problems are, if anything, even worse – she trails Jeremy Corbyn, the man most people had written off as any credible candidate to be prime minister before this year’s general election, by two points.

By the way, in Scotland the situation is even worse for the Tories.

According to YouGov, Labour has leapfrogged the Tories with a five point gain to take second place behind the SNP.

Mr Corbyn has managed to gain exactly the number of popularity points that Mrs May has dropped – 62. He now has a massive 69-point lead on her, north of the border.

Left-wing commentators are already saying if left-wing candidate Richard Leonard wins the Scottish Labour leadership election, the SNP’s days at the top will be numbered … and the number isn’t very high.

So there won’t be any discussion of Scottish polls in the mainstream media either – despite the fact that Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson and the SNP’s Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh were on Robert Peston’s show today (October 8).

Theresa May’s crisis has deepened today with a new poll showing Labour surging ahead of the Conservatives, while the public now also has a clear preference for Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister.

The exclusive survey for The Independent by BMG Research now has Labour five points ahead of the Tories, who are still reeling from a coup launched by ex-ministers to overthrow Ms May.

Mr Corbyn, fresh from a conference at which he cemented his position, has a two point lead over Ms May in terms of who the public would prefer to be running the country.

The under-fire PM also faces pressure from the European Union where leaders in France and Germany signalled they would not allow Brexit talks to progress on to trade.

The study by BMG Research gives Labour a four point increase to 42 per cent, while the Conservatives fell two to 37 per cent.

In a separate question on who would make the better Prime Minister, Theresa May fell two points to 30 per cent, while Jeremy Corbyn rose four points to 32 per cent.

Source: Labour pull clear of Tories as new poll shows voters prefer Corbyn over May as PM


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Did Vox Political’s Conservative commenter change Labour’s leadership voting mechanism?

The line-up: Labour's leadership candidates - Tory supporters will not be allowed to vote in the election, even if they pay their £3 and try to claim they support the party.

The line-up: Labour’s leadership candidates – Tory supporters will not be allowed to vote in the election, even if they pay their £3 and try to claim they support the party.

Note: Please don’t take claims about Vox Political‘s influence, made in this post, too seriously!

A Conservative commenter on This Blog may have helped change the voting mechanism for the Labour Party’s leader election after he claimed he would pay £3 to become a Labour ‘supporter’ in order to pervert the process.

Alex Clarke wrote yesterday, “I am a Tory and this morning I took out a £3 Labour party membership specifically so i can vote for Jeremy Corbyn in the leadership election.”

His words came after it was revealed that a campaign had been launched – “ToriesForCorbyn” – in order to elect the left-wing candidate to the Labour leadership. The idea was to sour Corbyn’s name by association with the Tories – but it seems he won’t be needing their endorsement as the public loves him.

However, it is important that the election process should not be perverted by supporters of other parties pretending to be what they aren’t, so This Writer emailed interim Labour leader Harriet Harman with Mr Clarke’s details and comment.

I added: “It is now vitally important that you, together with the other members of Labour’s leadership, reverse the decision to adopt this mechanism… You must not allow supporters of other political organisations to interfere with the selection of Labour’s leader.”

It seems she has been a little more clever than that.

According to the Daily Mail (which has no love for Labour, so it seems likely we can trust this information), “Labour sources said registered supporters must back the aims and values of the party and anyone publicly opposed to them will not be given a vote, although their £3 ‘donation’ will be kept.

“A party spokesman said: ‘All registered supporters must be verified against the electoral register and will only receive a vote if they support the aims and values of the Labour Party’.”

It remains to This Writer only to thank Mr Clarke (and also ‘Hayfords’, who made a similar comment today) for his donation to Labour.

You can bet he’ll try to convince us otherwise, but he will not be allowed to vote.

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Voters in North East Somerset: Ask Jacob Rees-Mogg about ‘Traditional Britain’

The Beast has presented some more information to add to the lengthening list of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s crimes against common people.

150331rees-moggIn his latest article, he states: “The extremity of his [Rees-Mogg’s] right-wing views are shown by his membership of the Traditional Britain group. This is another bunch of rightists, who stand for the restoration of the traditional feudal hierarchy, the absolute destruction of the welfare state and the privatisation of the NHS, and absolutely no immigrants. And particularly not Muslims. They were last seen a few years ago on the fringes of UKIP’s annual conference. You also see them posting on the anti-Islam, ‘counter-jihadist’ site.”

So there you have it. He seems like a prime candidate for defection to UKIP, alongside Carswell and the Reckless one.

If you live in North East Somerset then, next time you spot Jacob Rees-Mogg, why not go up and ask him about his membership of Traditional Britain, and its aim to destroy the fabric of the nation as it has been built up since World War II?

Put him on the spot and he’ll tell you – all by himself – why he shouldn’t be your MP.

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Will North-East Somerset consign Jacob Rees-Mogg to the history he clearly represents?

Jacob Rees-Mogg and his nanny: The parents should take the blame.

Jacob Rees-Mogg and his nanny: The parents should take the blame, though.

What on earth is Jacob Rees-Mogg doing in Parliament during the 21st century? He belongs in the 19th.

It’s hard to know where to start, when discussing this particular wet-wipe. Perhaps the best way to do so would be to point out that a new constituency had to be created before he could actually win a Parliamentary seat – and even that is only a Tory marginal, perhaps because The Guardian‘s criticism that this candidate’s highly privileged life ran against the Tories’ then-current narrative of social inclusion rang true with the electorate.

In 1997, Rees-Mogg attracted ridicule after canvassing a working-class neighbourhood of the Labour seat of Central Fife with his nanny. Rumours he had gone around the constituency in a Bentley were dismissed by Rees-Mogg as “scurrilous” – he insisted it had been a Mercedes.

In 2001, he stood for The Wrekin in Shropshire – and lost again, this time to Labour’s Peter Bradley, who managed a 0.95 per cent swing to Labour against the national trend of a 3.5 per cent swing to the Conservatives.

He finally achieved his ambition of a Parliamentary seat in 2010, in the newly-created North East Somerset constituency, with a majority of just 4,914. It seems he was not above a few dirty tricks to achieve this, however: In December 2009, a pamphlet which purported to show him talking to a local constituent and calling on the Government to “show more honesty” was criticised after it emerged that the “constituent” was a London-based employee of his investment firm.

“The Honourable Member for the Early 20th Century”, as Parliamentary sketch-writers are said to describe him, then embarked on a voting career that seemed to have very little to do with his party’s policies and a lot to do with his own extreme right-wing views. He voted against the government whip on the Fixed-term Parliaments Bill, the October 2011 European Union Referendum Motion and the House of Lords Reform Bill 2012.

His main claim to fame appears to be in the art of the filibuster – talking-out a Private Member’s Parliamentary Bill in order to prevent it from going to the vote and progressing further. Examples of this include his speeches on the Daylight Savings Bill 2010-2012 and the Sustainable Livestock Bill 2010-12.

In his speech on the Sustainable Livestock Bill, he recited poetry; spoke of the superior quality of Somerset eggs; and mentioned fictional pig the Empress of Blandings, who won silver at the Shropshire County Show three years in a row, before moving on to talk about the sewerage system and the Battle of Agincourt.

He also attempted to amend the Daylight Saving Bill to give the county of Somerset its own time zone, 15 minutes behind London.

In February 2012, Rees-Mogg made the record books with the use of floccinaucinihilipilification, an Eton college neologism meaning “the habit of considering as worthless”, in the House of Commons, which became the longest word in Hansard.

Perhaps a future Prime Minister should consider a Bill to outlaw filibustering, in which case Rees-Mogg, if he retains his seat, will become a prime candidate for floccinaucinihilipilification himself.

Examples of his right-wing chauvinism abound. For example, in a debate on London Local Authorities Bill on December 7, 2011, he said that council officials who have the power to issue on-the-spot fines should be forced to wear bowler hats.

He supports zero-hour contracts, arguing that they benefit employees – including students – by providing flexibility and could provide a route into more permanent employment. He rejected criticism by Vince Cable and others that they were exploitative as “the standard response of the Left”.

In December 2014, Rees-Mogg was reported to the Parliament’s standards watchdog for speaking in debates on tobacco, mining and oil and gas without first declaring he is founding partner and director of Somerset Capital, which has multimillion pound investments in the sectors. However, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Hudson, displayed the lack of judgement which has made her justifiably infamous in some sectors by deciding that no wrongdoing had been committed and so no investigation would take place.

How would North East Somerset residents vote if they knew Jacob Rees-Mogg’s voting record? Let’s find out.

He is very strongly against increasing income tax paid by the extremely rich; strongly against a bankers’ bonus tax; strongly supports cutting Corporation Tax (even though this does not make companies more likely to invest in the UK or its workforce); and supported the increase in VAT very strongly. Clearly this extremely rich Tory has no objection to taxing the poor to pay for himself.

Like so many of his fellow Tories, he is very strongly in favour of the current government’s creeping privatisation of the NHS, and the opportunities for profit that it affords to private shareholders at the expense of care.

He very strongly supports the Bedroom Tax.
He very strongly supported cuts to social security benefits including Jobseekers’ Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, the Personal Independence Payment and so on.
He very strongly supported the benefit uprating cap, ensuring that benefits do not rise in line with prices.
He voted very strongly to make local councils responsible for helping people afford council tax – and for reducing the amount available for such support.

He very strongly supported the twin drains on the education budget that are privately-run ‘Free Schools’ and privately-owned ‘Academy Schools’; he voted very strongly for the increase in undergraduate tuition fees to £9,000 per year; and he voted to end financial support for 16-19 year olds in training and further education. This toff Tory only wants education to be available to those who can pay for it.

He is a strong supporter of military operations overseas.
He voted strongly for replacing Trident with more nuclear weapons.

He is against further EU integration and voted moderately for a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.
He voted very strongly against same-sex marriage and equal rights for gay people.

He is against localism and has voted to reduce both the powers of local councils and their funding.

He very strongly supported the waste of money that is Police and Crime Commissioners.
He voted very strongly against removing hereditary peers from the House of Lords and making it a wholly-elected house – as a backward-thinking Tory toff, you couldn’t expect anything else.
He strongly supported the restriction of Legal Aid that has made justice available only to the rich.

He strongly supported the invasion of privacy that allows the security services to monitor and keep information about your communications.
He very strongly supports secret courts.
This is a right-wing would-be dictator who wants to ensure that the proles are monitored and controlled.

He voted very strongly for the botched privatisation of the Royal Mail – and very strongly for the sale of England’s state-owned forests.

He opposes green energy generation.
He strongly supported the badger cull.

If you live in North East Somerset, you need to know this information.

Vox Political readers are invited to distribute it to friends and relatives who live there.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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After Aidan Burley, will Cannock Chase ever trust a Tory again?

Aidan Burley: He won't be seeking election this year - but will his Tory replacement be any better?

Aidan Burley: He won’t be seeking election this year – but will his Tory replacement be any better?

According to Wikipedia: “On 11 December 2011 it was reported by The Mail on Sunday that Aidan Burley [Conservative MP for Cannock Chase] had attended a stag party at the French ski resort of Val Thorens which involved Nazi salutes and a toast “for organising the stag do, and if we’re perfectly honest, to the ideology and thought process of the Third Reich“.

“Burley subsequently released a statement through the Conservative Campaign Headquarters, saying: ‘There was clearly inappropriate behaviour by some of the other guests and I deeply regret that this happened. I am extremely sorry for any offence that will undoubtedly have been caused.”

“On 17 December 2011 the Prime Minister, David Cameron, sacked Burley from his role as PPS after new claims emerged linking him directly to “the offensive and foolish behaviour”. On 22 December, French prosecuting authorities announced they had started a preliminary inquiry into the event. The groom was prosecuted for wearing Nazi uniform and his French lawyer said it was “deeply unfair” that Burley, who had organized the uniforms, had not also been prosecuted.

“An internal Conservative party enquiry found that Burley had “caused deep offence.” Although not a racist, he had not clearly shown his disapproval of the Nazi toast and had not been present during Nazi chanting. However the Daily Mail published pictures which it claimed proved that Burley had misled the enquiry in that he had been present during the chanting. The paper also criticized the inquiry for accepting Burley’s word at face value and not interviewing their reporters. Claiming that Burley had already admitted bringing shame on the constituency, Ian Austin MP said the report’s findings should be rejected and he should be kicked out of the party.”

This was not the only controversy in which Burley was involved. Let’s go back to Wikipedia:

“During the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games, taking place in London, Burley denounced the content of the ceremony on the microblog Twitter as ‘leftie multicultural crap. Bring back Red Arrows, Shakespeare and the Stones’.

“He went on to suggest that it was ‘the most leftie opening ceremony I have ever seen – more than Beijing, the capital of a Communist state’.”

One more point:

Aidan Burley received six bottles of wine from Hitachi consultants for a speech in 2011. Hitachi Consulting UK built an online ‘portal’ for NHS commissioners to help them monitor performance. He is one of the many Conservative MPs who have profited from the creeping privatisation of the National Health Service.

This may seem like strangely excessive behaviour for a man occupying only a marginal Conservative seat. Perhaps Burley felt overconfident because he won the seat with a swing of 14 per cent, one of the largest from Labour to the Conservatives in any contest in 2010.

A fat lot of good it did him: Burley announced on February 5, 2014 that he would not contest the 2015 general election. The Conservative candidate this year is Amanda Milling, director of a market research business and a councillor for Rossendale, which is in another Parliamentary constituency. Labour candidate Janos Toth, meanwhile, is a councillor for Cannock Chase itself.

What could Cannock Chase voters expect from another Tory MP? Let’s look at Burley’s voting record to find out:

Well, gosh. He voted very strongly in favour of the current government’s creeping privatisation of the NHS. Considering he had an interest in it, this is unsurprising.

Like a good Tory backbench sheep, not only did Burley support the twin drains on the education budget that are privately-run ‘Free Schools’ and privately-owned ‘Academy Schools’, he very strongly supported them; he voted very strongly for the increase in undergraduate tuition fees to £9,000 per year; and he voted very strongly to end financial support for 16-19 year olds in training and further education.

He was strongly against increasing income tax paid by the extremely rich; strongly against a bankers’ bonus tax; strongly supported cutting Corporation Tax (even though this does not make companies more likely to invest in the UK or its workforce); and supported the increase in VAT strongly.

He supported the Bedroom Tax.
He strongly supported cuts to social security benefits including Jobseekers’ Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, the Personal Independence Payment and so on.
He very strongly supported the benefit uprating cap, ensuring that benefits do not rise in line with prices.
He voted  for making local councils responsible for helping people afford council tax – and for reducing the amount available for such support.

He was a strong supporter of military operations overseas.

He voted both for and against a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU – and both for and against more EU integration.
Perhaps his mock-Nazi leanings have confused his understanding of what this means.

He is against localism and has voted to reduce both the powers of local councils and their funding.

He strongly supported the waste of money that is Police and Crime Commissioners.
He supported the restriction of Legal Aid that has made justice available only to the rich.
He supported secret courts.

He also supported the invasion of privacy that allows the security services to monitor and keep information about your communications.

He voted for the botched privatisation of the Royal Mail – and very strongly for the sale of England’s state-owned forests.

He very strongly supports unrestricted rises in rail fares, and is very strongly against regulation of gambling.

He opposed green energy generation.
He supported the badger cull.

If you live in Cannock Chase, you need to know this information.

Vox Political readers are invited to distribute it to friends and relatives who live there.

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Will Loughborough expel Nicky Morgan

Nicky 'No Brains' Morgan: Under-achieving Education Secretary.

Nicky ‘No Brains’ Morgan: Under-achieving Education Secretary.

It is typical of our execrable Coalition Government that its education secretary could not hold the attention of a school class.

Vox Political praised Nicky Morgan a few days ago, for her determination not to allow a non-political organisation to set the school curriculum but to ensure that the government takes the blame for it. This is only right – there is a lot of blame to go around.

Since then, this blog has discovered that she actually has done something of note – and it was, typically, something wrong. In a bid to improve the take-up of the so-called STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) – because the number of international students in these subjects is plummeting, perhaps? – Nicky Morgan said that studying arts and humanities would hold students back for the rest of their lives.

Here’s poet Jess Green on that subject:

“So she did maths, and she was good at it and she became an accountant. I saw her on a train last Tuesday; she said she earned 60 grand a year and wakes up most days fighting the urge to top herself.” Nice one, Nicky Morgan, you “stuck-up, out-of-touch politician”.

How would residents vote if they knew Nicky Morgan’s voting record? Let’s find out, starting with education.

Well, gosh. Not only does Nicky support the twin drains on the education budget that are privately-run ‘Free Schools’ and privately-owned ‘Academy Schools’, she very strongly supports them; she voted very strongly for the increase in undergraduate tuition fees to £9,000 per year; and she voted to end financial support for 16-19 year olds in training and further education. This is the Secretary of State for Education in the UK, and she only wants education to be available to those who can pay for it.

She is very strongly against increasing income tax paid by the extremely rich; strongly against a bankers’ bonus tax; strongly supports cutting Corporation Tax (even though this does not make companies more likely to invest in the UK or its workforce); and supported the increase in VAT very strongly. Clearly she believes in taxing the poor to pay for the rich.

Like so many of her fellow Tory sheep, she is very strongly in favour of the current government’s creeping privatisation of the NHS.

She strongly supports the Bedroom Tax.
She very strongly supported cuts to social security benefits including Jobseekers’ Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, the Personal Independence Payment and so on.
She very strongly supported the benefit uprating cap, ensuring that benefits do not rise in line with prices.
She voted very strongly for making local councils responsible for helping people afford council tax – and for reducing the amount available for such support.
This is someone who, having denied education to anyone whose family is not rich already, is happy to deny them state benefits while they try to find someone willing to employ them. Perhaps she would like to see such people begging in the street so she can step over them like former Tory chief whip Sir George Young.

She is a strong supporter of military operations overseas.
She voted strongly for replacing Trident with more nuclear weapons.

She voted both for and against a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.
She supports same-sex marriage but does not support equal rights for gay people.
Nicky Morgan is a confused woman.

She is against localism and has voted to reduce both the powers of local councils and their funding.

She very strongly supported the waste of money that is Police and Crime Commissioners.
She strongly supported the restriction of Legal Aid that has made justice available only to the rich.
She very strongly supports secret courts.

She strongly supported the invasion of privacy that allows the security services to monitor and keep information about your communications.

She voted very strongly for the botched privatisation of the Royal Mail – and for the sale of England’s state-owned forests.

She very strongly supports unrestricted rises in rail fares, and is against regulation of gambling.

She opposes green energy generation.
She supported the badger cull.

If you live in Loughborough, you need to know this information.

Vox Political readers are invited to distribute it to friends and relatives who live there.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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Will Wirral West divest itself of Esther McVey?

Esther McVey: Her constituents want her sacked from the government.

Esther McVey: She seems to get a perverse thrill from pretending her government’s policies are helping people; it is more likely they are driving the needy to despair and suicide.

There is little that this blog can add to the litany of outrage against the woman who has been dubbed ‘Fester McVile’ by commentators who are feeling kind towards her.

In a previous column, this blog stated that the employment minister, who works under Iain Duncan Smith, “has accumulated a reputation so bad that the only way she can hide the metaphorical stink from the public is by associating with …Smith himself, in whose stench she seems almost fragrant. But not quite”. How accurate those words are.

This is a woman who has lied to the public that it is impossible to carry out a cumulative assessment of the impact on the sick and disabled of the Coalition’s ‘final solution’ changes to the benefit system.

This is the woman who, in the face of public unrest about the prevalence of zero-hours contracts, announced that Job Centre advisors will now be able to force the unemployed into taking this exploitative work.

She has previously misled Parliament over the loophole in Bedroom Tax legislation that meant the government had removed Housing Benefit from thousands of people who were exempt from the measure – including Stephanie Bottrill, whose suicide has been attributed to the pressure of having to survive on less because of the tax. Asked how many people had been affected by the loophole, McVey played it down by claiming she did not know the answer, while other ministers suggested between 3,000 and 5,000. In fact, from Freedom of Information requests to which just one-third of councils responded, 16,000 cases were revealed. Esther McVey is a very strong supporter of the Bedroom Tax

Mark Hoban stood in for McVey to trot out the lie that independent reviews of the Work Capability Assessment had identified areas of improvement on which the government was acting. In fact, out of 25 recommendations in the Year One review alone, almost two-thirds were not fully and successfully implemented.

In a debate on food banks, McVey’s lies came thick and fast: She accused the previous Labour government of a “whirl of living beyond our means” that “had to come to a stop” without ever pausing to admit that it was Tory-voting bankers who had been living beyond their means, who caused the crash, and who are still living beyond their means today, because her corporatist (thank you, Zac Goldsmith) Conservative government has protected them.

She accused Labour of trying to keep food banks as “its little secret”, forcing Labour’s Jim Cunningham to remind us all that food banks were set up by churches to help refugees who were waiting for their asylum status to be confirmed – not as a support system for British citizens, as they have become under the Coalition’s failed regime.

She said the Coalition government was brought in to “solve the mess that Labour got us in”, which is not true – it was born from a backroom deal between two of the most unscrupulous party leaders of recent times, in order to ensure they and their friends could get their noses into the money trough (oh yes, there’s plenty of money around – but this government is keeping it away from you).

She said the Coalition had got more people into work than ever before – without commenting on the fact that the jobs are part-time, zero-hours, self-employed contracts that benefit the employers but exploit the workers and in fact propel them towards poverty.

She lied to Parliament, claiming that children are three times more likely to be in poverty if they are in a workless household. In fact, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, in-work poverty has now outstripped that suffered by those in workless and retired households; children are more likely to be in poverty if their parents have jobs.

She attacked Labour for allowing five million people to be on out-of-work benefits, with two million children in workless households – but under her government the number of households suffering in-work poverty has risen to eight million (by 2008 standards), while workless or retired households in poverty have risen to total 6.3 million. Esther McVey has very strongly supported cuts to social security benefits.

She claimed that 60,000 people were likely to use a food bank in 2014 – but Labour’s Paul Murphy pointed out that 60,000 people would use food banks that year in Wales alone. In 2013-14, the actual figure for the whole of the UK – counting only people who received a minimum of three days’ emergency food from Trussell Trust food banks alone – was 913,138 – nearly 23 times more than at their height during the last Labour Government.

Thanks to Nick Rhodes for editing the graph showing the rise of food bank use, to add in the most recent increases. The height of the image speaks for itself.

Thanks to Nick Rhodes for editing the graph showing the rise of food bank use, to add in the most recent increases. The height of the image speaks for itself.

She said the Coalition’s tax cuts had given people an extra £700 per year, without recognising that the real-terms drop in wages and rise in the cost of living means people will be £1,600 a year worse-off when the next general election takes place, tax cuts included. She said stopping fuel price increases meant families were £300 better-off, which is nonsense. Families cannot become better off because something has not happened; it’s like saying I’m better off because the roof of my house hasn’t fallen in and squashed me.

Her talents won exactly the recognition they deserved when her Wikipedia entry was altered to describe her as “the Assistant Grim Reaper for Disabled People since 2012, second only to Iain Duncan Smith. She was previously a television presenter and businesswoman before deciding to branch out into professional lying and helping disabled people into the grave.”

In her food bank speech, she also said the government had brought in Universal Credit to ensure that three million people become better-off. There’s just one problem with that system – it doesn’t work.

How would residents vote if they knew Esther McVey’s voting record? Let’s find out.

This minister of state for Work and Pensions very strongly supported cuts to social security benefits including Jobseekers’ Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, the Personal Independence Payment and so on.
She very strongly supported the benefit uprating cap, ensuring that benefits do not rise in line with prices.
She supported making local councils responsible for helping people afford council tax, while reducing the amount available for such support.
She very strongly supported the Bedroom Tax.

She is very strongly in favour of the current government’s creeping privatisation of the NHS.

She is very strongly against increasing income tax paid by the extremely rich; strongly against a bankers’ bonus tax; strongly in support of cutting Corporation Tax (even though this does not make companies more likely to invest in the UK or its workforce); and very strongly supported the increase in VAT. Clearly she believes in taxing the poor to pay for the rich.

She is a strong supporter of military operations overseas.
She is strongly against strengthening the Military Covenant.
She has voted both for and against a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.

She very strongly supports privately-run ‘Free Schools’ and privately-owned ‘Academy Schools’; she voted very strongly for the increase in undergraduate tuition fees to £9,000 per year; and she voted very strongly to end financial support for 16-19 year olds in training and further education. Clearly she only wants education to be available to those who can afford it.

She is against localism and has voted to reduce both the powers of local councils and their funding.

She supported very strongly the waste of money that is Police and Crime Commissioners.
She supported the restriction of Legal Aid that has made justice available only to the rich.
She strongly supports secret courts.

She supported the invasion of privacy that allows the security services to monitor and keep information about your communications.

She voted very strongly for the botched privatisation of the Royal Mail – and for the sale of England’s state-owned forests.

She supports unrestricted rises in rail fares, and is against regulation of gambling.

She is very strongly against equal gay rights, and voted against same-sex marriage.

She supported the badger cull.

If you live in Wirral West, you need to know this information.

Vox Political readers are invited to distribute it to friends and relatives who live there.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have enjoyed 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!

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
calling on voters to rid the UK of politicians like Esther McVey.

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