Introducing Ms Theresa Villiers MP, my doubly incompetent representative!

This post was written by Jon on August 17, 2010
Posted Under: Democracy,Environment,London,Public Sector,Tories,Transport,Uncategorized

For the last two years or so, I have been engaging in a dastardly plot to destroy the Tory party. Yes, by writing silly outraged-liberal letters to my Conservative MP – to which she must respond – on matters she ultimately doesn’t care about, I’ll hopefully waste enough Tory time and resources to destroy the party from within. I’ve had mixed success so far.

A resident of Chipping Barnet, I live in a Tory safe seat – someone once said you could put a blue ribbon on a cabbage and it would get elected here – but at least my representative isn’t a total dinosaur. Theresa Villiers has been criticised by some cunts in the party for her liberal views on social issues – she voted to keep the abortion limit at 24 weeks, for which I thanked her – and her environmental record; she’s opposed airport expansion in the South of England and puts much emphasis on high-speed rail. She also gave Michael Gove a very public bollocking after his department refused academy status to a local school. A good egg, then, as far as Tories go.

One week I read this:

Cameron has put the man most to blame for the worst environmental disaster in living memory in charge of his cuts agenda, and appointed a man who has faced accusations of wriggling out of cleaning up a environmental atrocity to run his party’s finances. He has slashed programmes to prevent global warming first and hardest. He has decreed that the Department of Transport will take the hardest cuts, which will shutter much of our public transport network and force far more people onto smoggier roads. And he has appointed an oilman to ensure we begin deep-water drilling, Gulf of Mexico-style, off the coast of Britain – just as every newscast in the world is showing how well that turns out. Johann Hari, The Independent. Read the full thing here:

The Department of Transport, you say? Why my liberally-prone constituency MP heads that department. Surely I should bring this to her attention, and get some sort of comment.

What did my MP have to say?

I appreciate your taking the time to let me know your views. I have noted your comments with regard to the appointment of John Browne [the former BP exec who oversaw a radical cuts agenda in the corporation that led to the deaths of several employees in oil rig explosions. He was also found to have lied in court about the whole thing. This man is now the government's 'Cuts Tsar'].

I am afraid that my responsibilities as Minister for Transport mean that I have to take care in relation to areas where my work in Government overlaps with cases I take up for constituents.

As recommended by the Ministerial Code, I am therefore passing your correspondence to officials at the Department for Transport to consider. They will be in touch in due course; and will keep me informed.

Thank you again for writing.

Kind regards


What the fucking fuck????

It seems my MP has a hard time reconciling her constituents’ dual lives as both residents of  Barnet and transport users. And as for this ‘Ministerial Code’, I do appreciate having my ‘correspondence’ passed along to some unaccountable bureaucrat in the Ministry; I hope he gave it a thorough ponder before binning it.

I know what some of you will be thinking. What was I expecting? Did I think she was going to bravely resign in protest, spurred on by my letter? Well maybe not. But this woman is perfectly comfortable publicly admonishing a fellow member of the government for not granting academy status to a place with a rock-solid reputation as a shit-street sink school. Yet not a titter on this.

In particular that second paragraph is bugging me. Can someone please help me decipher this?

Anyway, my stern weekly letters have yet to end the government, but at least I’ve got one more Tory to loathe inflexibly.

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Reader Comments

I’m confused, why the fuck are you pro-academies?

Written By Jacob on August 17th, 2010 @ 6:46 pm
Oberon Houston

Theresa Villiers is a Minister who attends cabinet, therefore she is bound by the code of collective responsibility.

This means that whilst as an MP, it is possible to pressure government, or your own party, whoever you decide you disagree with, on any particular policy. If you go against a whipped vote then you are rebelling against your party, but as an MP no big deal usually.

On the abortion limit, this is always a free vote, i.e. it is not whipped so MP’s of any party decide on their own what they wish to support, and are free to do so.

Opposition to the third runway at Heathrow and the fast rail link to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds is official Conservative policy, so glad you like them.

She cannot respond to your letter about Transport because she is the Minister for that department, and as such under the code of collective responsibility, she would potentially conflict herself from governments policy if she took a position at odds with the agreed policy of Cabinet. If this occurred she would either have to resign of withdraw. e.g. Michael Hesaltine, Westland affair, Robin Cook, Iraq. This is the way British constitution and administration works, or the way it should work.

Jacob: He’s pro Academies because the kids do so well at them.

Written By Oberon Houston on August 17th, 2010 @ 8:06 pm

Even while taking the point about collective responsibility… I’m still pretty sure it’s a fob-off, bollocks answer.

Besides, she’s not actually a cabinet minister, just a junior minister.

Written By socialistedd on August 17th, 2010 @ 9:35 pm
Oberon Houston

Sorry you’re right, she was shadow minister, but isn’t now, Hammond was (rightly, for me not that I’m talking to the right audience here but anyway) he was given it after the election. My comments about Abortion, Heathrow and high-speed rail etc. still stand.

As a junior minister she is still be bound by cabinet. Only ordinary MP’s (i.e. not in Government aren’t, which is why Tom Watson was rightly labeled as disloyal by Blair when Brown tried that coup.)

Written By Oberon Houston on August 17th, 2010 @ 11:50 pm
Obeorn Houston

To return to your first point, ‘collective responsibility’ in Cabinet isn’t a ‘fob-off answer’, go and read UK Constitutional and Administrative Law before you judge on that. All lawyers study it in the UK as a core subject, ask any one of them if it’s ‘a bollocks answer’. Look forward to your reply…..

Written By Obeorn Houston on August 18th, 2010 @ 12:01 am

I don’t think the doctrine of collective responsibility stops a member of the government voicing opinions or concerns about policy. They do it quite a lot.

In any case, even if it’s constitutionally justifiable, it’s still a bollocks answer, because we have a bollocks constitution.

Written By socialistedd on August 19th, 2010 @ 10:45 pm
Oberon Houston

You don’t know anything about our constitution, you just know you don’t like it.

Written By Oberon Houston on August 19th, 2010 @ 11:23 pm

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