"The arms that you wield now are not such as your forefathers wielded; but they are infinitely more effective, and infinitely more irresistable" ~ Cymru Fydd leaflet, 1890

Friday, 27 March 2015

The 0%

Parliament will officially be dissolved on the 30th March 2015 but as far as everyone is concerned it's all done and dusted until after the general election. This means we are now able to take a look at the 'Welsh' MPs and see how they did in the last term of parliament. Most of them will be asking once more for your vote so it's a good opportunity to see if they deserve it.

Whilst looking at the Public Whip website I stumbled across the 'rebellions' section which they use to show how often an MP goes against the majority vote of their party. Naturally I was curious to see how often the unionist MPs rebelled against their party which is predominantly made up with MPs from England.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was the number of MPs who had never rebelled against their party bosses during this parliament. To begin with here is the complete list of all 40 'Welsh' MPs. Labelled in the table is their constituency, their party and the percentage of times they have voted differently to their colleagues (who are mostly) in England.
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One of the 0% (Hain) once held the job of Welsh Secretary, it's often said that this position is Westminster's voice in Wales as opposed to Wales' voice in Westminster. The current Welsh Secretary is Crabb who with just 0.1% is the most obedient Blue Tory in Wales. Conspiracy theorists will claim that this is why he was made Welsh Secretary after Gollum was sacked.

Owen Smith (Pontypridd, Red Tory) voted 874 times and not once did he vote against the way the majority of his colleagues in England voted.

Hain (Neath, Red Tory) has voted 814 times since this parliament was convened and in all 814 votes he hasn't dared vote against the way the majority of his colleagues in England voted. Even when his colleagues were all voting for the Blue Tories £30 billion of extra austerity cuts Hain took the cowards way out and abstained. Luckily for Neath and Wales Hain is done trough guzzling. In Westminster at least!

Nia Griffith (Llanelli, Red Tory) has voted 933 times and not once did she vote against the majority of her colleagues in England. Her voters need to ask themselves they want a mindless drone that doesn't give a toss about Wales or do they want someone to fight for them and the rest of Wales?

Stephen Doughty (Cardiff S & Penarth, Red Tory) has voted 448 times since he took over the fiefdom when Alun Michael decided he wanted to be a Police Commissioner. 448 works out at around 75% which is the same as Nia so he's turned up as much as the others but when he has voted he has always voted the way the majority of his colleagues in England voted.

From a UK perspective there are 55 MPs listed who have a 0% rebellion rate. Of those 55 a whopping 47 are Red Tories which works out as 85% of all MPs that have never rebelled against their party during this parliament. In Wales four of the 26 Red Tory MPs always voted the way their English colleagues voted which works out as 15%. The majority of them only did so on a handful of occasions, 0.1% is roughly one vote. It's also worth pointing out that three of the four 0% seats have all been held by Labour for 93 years. They are Llanelli, Neath and Pontypridd.

At the other end of the scale the MPs who do rebel against their party are mostly dominated by Blue Tories. For the sake of easy maths if you take the top 100 you'll find that the Blue Tories make up 65% with the Red Tories on just 13%. At this point I think it's important to remind people that the Blue Tories are the ones in power yet their MPs still don't follow the party line.

As we have recently seen with Cardiff councillors, the Red Tories have no problem threatening their members with sanctions and deselection if they do not follow orders. It surely cannot be too much of a leap to suggest that the same sanctions and threats of deselection are just as rife at Westminster level as they are at local level. The best case scenario is that these MPs who represent English parties are simply following orders or are too scared to think for themselves. Worst case scenario is that they are thinking for themselves and when they screw Wales over they are doing it willingly.

So should you vote for your MP or try someone different? Well I guess that depends on which political party you favour because it's quite clear that you are not voting for the person whose name is on the slip but are instead voting for the party they represent. This appears to be especially true in Wales and even more especially true for Labour.

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