Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Saeed’

Vox Political on Tory Proposal to Cut Number of MPs to Give Them Greater Number

February 13, 2016

Mike over at Vox Political put up this report from the Guardian about the Tories wishing to go ahead with their plan to cut the number of MPs down from 650 to 600. The Commons Political and Constitutional Committee, however, has rejected the proposals as unjustified. The real reason the Tories are going ahead with it is because they hope that by adjusting the boundaries they’ll get 20 more Tory MPs.

Mike has called this what it is: gerrymandering. He states it’s part of the same tactics, which has caused the Tories to cut Short money, the parliamentary funding of opposition MPs. His recommendation is that Labour should make good on their threat and stop all co-operation with the Tories.

Conservatives will go ahead with ‘unjustified’ cut in number of MPs – for their own benefit?

This isn’t the first time the Tories have tried something like this. I remember that back in the 1980s, under Thatcher, they carried out a similar piece of gerrymandering. They altered constituency boundaries in order to give them an electoral advantage. The result was that Tony Benn, the highly respected Labour MP for part of Bristol, was kicked out and we were given Jonathan Saeed instead. Not that Mr Saeed’s career in anyway blossomed under Maggie. Bristol was one of the areas where Thatcher decided she was going to cut funding. Saeed stood up to her, and so suffered the fate of all Tories when they make the mistake of confront the Generalissimo.

And, of course, there’s a fine piece of Tory hypocrisy about this. Remember the howls of rage when Tony Blair packed the House of Lords with ‘people’s peers’. Not democratic! they thundered. They compared him to Cromwell’s attack on parliament and his abolition of the House of Lords. One volume, written by an outraged High Tory, had a caricature of Blair on the cover as a punk, dressed in black leather and combats, for his assault on traditional British institutions.

Well, as Roy Hattersley I think once said, there wasn’t a British institution that Maggie didn’t handbag. To them, it’s only an affront to democracy and tradition when Labour do it. The Tories’ machinations are another step towards setting up the oligarchical state they so desperately desire. A state run by the privileged rich, for the privileged rich, and with the proles firmly kept in their place, excluded from power by any means possible. And they’ve had good practice at it. They’ve been doing it for over thirty years. The time’s well overdue this was stopped, before it leads the whole parliamentary system into disrepute.