Thursday, May 13, 2010

Free the Prime Ministerial Eleven!

Clearly, the Torygraph hasn't relented on its anti-Cameron campaign. The last couple of days brought huge doses of urine from Simon Heffer (not surprisingly) and little enthusiasm from Benedict Brogan. Today, on its blog-pages, Gerald Warner was licensed to bite the legs off Theresa May, the incoming Home Secretary, a.k.a. Commissar for Wimmin and Equality on the grounds that:
May is a one-woman disaster area, a ticking time-bomb of incompetence waiting to detonate in one of the more sensitive departments of state...

May is the archetypal moderniser, the Cameronian revolution’s Goddess of Reason. As shadow Transport Secretary she distinguished herself by failing to lay a glove, over months, on the mortally wounded Stephen Byers. At the Conservative Party’s 2002 conference she coined the ricochet phrase “the nasty party”, which damaged the Tories more than any demonising slogan that Mandy, McBride et al. could devise. At the 2005 conference she strutted the stage with kitten-heeled arrogance and lectured the assembled voluntary workers: “There is no place for you in our (sic) Conservative Party”, as she promoted the kamikaze modernising agenda. That was the first notification the party faithful had that ownership of the party had passed from them to a clique of the Entitled Ones.

As the “nasty party” example demonstrated, May has always possessed an uncanny capacity to damage the Tory Party. In the office of Home Secretary she will now have unrivalled scope to exercise that talent. She occupies the post because Chris Grayling who shadowed it, in a moment of fatal candour, confessed to a modicum of sympathy for B & B owners compelled to allow homosexual activity within their own homes.

That was enough to destroy his career: in the Compassionate Conservative Party the slightest hint of compassion for ordinary, non-metrosexual Britons – still worse, for Christians – is a ticket to oblivion.
Come on, Gerald! You can do better than that!

And, sure enough, he did. On a topic that needs far more attention than Ms May:
... there is the proposal to raise the bar for voting down a failing government on a vote of no-confidence to 55 per cent of MPs. At present, 50 per cent plus one is sufficient. This measure would preserve in power governments that had lost the confidence of a majority in the House of Commons as large as 54 per cent. Since the first vote of no confidence brought down Lord North, on account of certain little local difficulties in the American colonies in 1782, a total of 11 Prime Ministers have been ejected from office in this way.
In other words:
  • Lord North lost the confidence of Parliament along with the American colonies.
  • Jim Callaghan lost the confidence of the Commons because, honourably, he prevented the Whips dragging in the dying MP, Alf Broughton (while Frank Maguire, MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, turned up to "abstain in person").
In point of fact, Lord North went before he was pushed. But let's not undermine a good story.

Suddenly now a "majority" of the Commons no longer means (Number of MPs voting)÷2 + 1 (which, in practice means about 310 "nay" votes).

No: it's 55% of (Number of MPs voting) + 1. Which means something like 630 or 631.

ConDems in action. Sphere: Related Content


Southsea Expat said...

Malcolm. The 55% does NOT relate to votes of confidence. Please seem my explanation here on Iain Dale's blog:

If it did relate to votes of confidence I would share your outrage but it does NOT.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

For the record, Southsea Expat needs a full response. See my later post.

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