Tory MP: sorry that Cameron is incompetent


by Sunny Hundal    
8:50 am - May 11th 2012

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Conservative MP David Davies (not David Davis) launched a stinging attack on his own party yesterday with a letter accusing the government of “incompetence” at the “highest levels”.

He also apologised for the focus on gay marriage. Nice.

The letter was sent to the South Wales Argus:

MAY I sincerely congratulate councillors of all parties, and none, who were elected to Monmouthshire County Council last week. I shall be very happy to work with you all on improving local services.

May I also offer my apologies to those who feel the Conservative-led coalition has let them down. I must acknowledge there has been incompetence at the highest levels of government over the last few months in a number of departments.

Meanwhile, there has been an emphasis on issues such as gay marriage and reform of the House of Lords, at the expense of explaining the financial situation; a failure to deport dangerous terrorists because of concerns about human rights; and an apparent unwillingness to listen to the concerns of electors and the backbench MPs who represent them.

I shall have no hesitation in expressing my concerns in Parliament.
David T C Davies MP, Member for Monmouth

You go right ahead buddy.

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Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


He also apologised for the focus on gay marriage. Nice.

Yes, but only because the focus was at the expense of things he considered more important.

Interesting wish to focus on” explaining the financial situation”rather than solve it. He wants carry on falsely blaming Labour for the double dip recessionwhile continuing with the austerity which caused it.

Can see his point. Gay marriage is being used as a political dog whistle in the USA and in pretty much the same way as here. It should not be allowed to be a distraction from the fact that the government is totally inept and is wrecking the country.

Frankly even if this government had gay marriage on their agenda I still wouldn’t want them to pursue it, they’d almost certainly find a way to screw it up.

4. Chaise Guevara

Sometimes I just know an LC headline will be a lie before I read the article. This was one of those times.

The letter itself seems fairly reasonable (ok, he wouldn’t have said that about gay marriage if he was bothered about looking progressive on equal rights, but as dave points out he doesn’t actually condemn it, just presents it as a low priority). The main thing to take away is it’s another embarassing example of people mutinying against Cameron. Good stuff!

5. Planeshift

This MP once complained (in an audience of political geeks mind) that he didn’t have time to read books on Afghanistan because he had to help his constituents with trivial problems like burger vans illegally parked. Should probably point out that I’ve met him a few times and he’s actually pretty polite and pleasant – totally barmy but he does have social skills.

I’m all for gay marriage – it seems a ‘no brainer’ to me – but not as a priority before other things, issues that effect everyone, including gay couples, such as the fucking mess they’re making of the economy.

7. margin4error

#6

ditto

He’s not blaming Young Dave – saying incompetence “at the highest levels of Government” doesn’t mean the PM or ministers. It means their civil servants.

And civil servants are the latest scapegoats, as a look in the Maily Telegraph today will confirm. Let’s all shoot some messengers!

One would think that the UK government has enough people to focus on the economy, the reform of the House of Lords and on gay marriage at the same time.
I am only one guy, and I can handle more than three things at once.

10. Planeshift

” but not as a priority before other things, ”

Does passing legislation on gay marriage really prevent the government doing other things?

The most is that it takes up time getting through parliament and a couple of officials spend time drafting the legislation. What vital pieces of legislation (and bear in mind a great deal of the work of government does not involve passing legislation) are not going to have time to be passed as a result of this?

In fact if you’re really concerned about MPs not having enough time to concentrate on the economy then logically you should be in favour of having more of them, or at least giving them more staff to take the routine work they do out of their hands.

Although he doesn’t say so, the presumption given the tenor of his remarks must presumably be that he is either not in favour of gay marriage, or at the very least thinks it is relatively unimportant. He also appears to think we should deport people like Abu Qatada, no matter what the circumstances are… altho again this isn’t what he actually “says”. He alos insists that the concerns of electors and back benchers aren’t being listened to…. again without saying what these are.

So in summary, he makes specious claims that (as others have pointed out above) the government is incapable of doing more than a few things at once, then makes lots of generlised criticisms which suggest he supports some fairly unpleasant, illiberal policies but without actually having the courage to say so plainly.

No wonder he’s a backbencher few people have actually heard of.

@11

Just base your judgment on what he says, rather than what he “says”. Its a lot easier and a more accurate way of doing things.

13. Chaise Guevara

@ 9 Andreas

“One would think that the UK government has enough people to focus on the economy, the reform of the House of Lords and on gay marriage at the same time.”

Well, yes. Especially in the case of gay marriage, which seems pretty uncomplicated. Complaining about it drawing focus is probably a bit of a stalking horse.

14. Chaise Guevara

@ 11 Galen10

“He also appears to think we should deport people like Abu Qatada, no matter what the circumstances are… altho again this isn’t what he actually “says”. ”

It’s pretty classic – basically, when sensible rules create the occasional counterintuitive or plain silly isolated incident, there’s a tendency for people to claim that the result is contrary to “common sense”: basically acting as if the case was decided in a vacuum, rather than acknowledging that it is affected by existing processes and legislation.

So here we have a lot of people pretending that the policy is “don’t deport terrorists because it’s mean”, whereas in fact it’s “give suspected terrorists a fair trial, and don’t deport ANYONE if they are likely to be tortured as a result”.

@12 dave

Hmmnnn…. well yes, but as I said above he appears to have gone out of his way NOT speak plainly. Whilst I am prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt if it subsequently proves he isn’t a knee-jerk anti gay marriage (or just plain anti gay), anti Court of Human Rights, anti House of Lords Reform carpet biter….. it is legitimate to ask whether the obfuscation is just the result of him not being particularly erudite, or simply because he’s one of the “I’m not anti gay/ECHR/Lords Reform BUT…” brigade.

I know which side the smart money is on…..

Parliament does do more than one thing at once so the issue of legislating for gay marriage can be included along with the other issues especially with the economy. The people who are dead set against gay marriage are the ones who are really making an issue out of it through some notion that it is abhorrent or unchristian.

The people who are waiting for legality in the UK to get married to someone of the same sex are the ones who need this most. There are men and women who are coming to the end of their lives who would love to get married before they die, yet the government is delaying the inevitable of marriage for them and unfortunately some will not see it because of the delay. It seems like Cameron has been getting peoples hopes up and some will see this as incompetence.

@15 – I know what you mean but I just think it gets a bit messy when you assume someones predjudices based on your own

@10 Planeshift

“Does passing legislation on gay marriage really prevent the government doing other things?”

It shouldn’t, no. However, we started out with a Coalition that seemed to want to do a ridiculous amount of things – including massive things like ‘reform’ of NHS, welfare, public sector etc – in a very short space of time. Now, judging by the Queen’s Speech etc it seems like they’re focusing on fewer things after only two years; two years of making things actually worse. It’s the government that are doing the prioritising, not me. If there has to be a queue for stuff because of ‘focus’ then I don’t think gay marriage is as important as other stuff. It is important and, in an ideal world, it shouldn’t even be an issue because we’d have it in place already, but if for whatever reason a tsunami of ‘reform’ and change has suddenly been pitched as a piecemeal affair, then I think gay marriage can slip down the priority table.

As I said earlier, if only because the economy, jobs, etc are issues that are affecting a majority of people (including gay couples). I’m not really sure why I’m having to go to the lengths I am to explain any of this.

“In fact if you’re really concerned about MPs not having enough time to concentrate on the economy then logically you should be in favour of having more of them, or at least giving them more staff to take the routine work they do out of their hands.”

I’m not aware of making an argument either for or against the amount of MPs and staff. I think the only time I’ve really voiced concern about them anywhere is because I’m ‘suspicious’ of the motives regarding electoral boundaries etc.

Everyone has voiced their concerns over the economy, the lack of employment opportunities, and the collapse and cutting of essential services they rely on.
The message recieved has been loud and clear – stop gay marriage.

Cylux. The opinion polls say something different about allowing gay marriage. Just because the anti’s seem to have a loader voice doesn’t mean they are right.
The incompetence about gay marriage by Cameron is that he has got many peoples hopes up but when push comes to shove he panics and so wavers.

I was actually trying to be sarcastic, notice the complete lack of a connection between what concerns people are actually voicing, and what message conservative MP’s have apparently received.

The issue of gay marriage is a fairly good example of the kind of thing that the LD’s should have been well placed to promote surely? Same goes for House of Lords reform and the protection of civil rights. Wasn’t that sort of protection from the policies of the Nasty Party that we were promised?

Why I am I not surprised that the promised benefits of the coalition don’t amount to a hill of beans?

23. Planeshift

“I know which side the smart money is on”

I’m familiar enough with his record – he’s on the far right eurosceptic wing of the conservative party. He made his name as a no campaigner in the 99 referendum on welsh devolution, and has stayed that way since – even opposing last years referendum on whether the UK civil service should have an effective veto on welsh assembly legislation (which was what the actual referendum was about). Most conservatives and former ‘no’ campaigners voted differently to him, and were in favour of allowing the assembly to make laws on devolved matters without having to go through a bureacratic process lasting years – only UKIP were against it – which tells you something about the issue really. His father is allegedly even further to the right, and was slapped down by Cameron over alleged racism (although I don’t think it was).

“. It’s the government that are doing the prioritising, not me.”

Basically the fact there are now fewer pices of legislation indicates the opposite – they could easily find room for other stuff and gay marriage is thus not doing any ‘clogging’. It’s an issue where the labour party would agree, and thus the obsticle is essentially the bishops in the lords clogging up time – but there is little effort required to pass it in the commons and then force through.

“Obscure Tory backbencher in ‘Look At Me!’ Shock!”

Basically, all Davies is saying is, “I think the government isn’t right-wing enough.”. Truly the spirits of Peter Bruinvels (*), Anthony Beaumont-Dark, Jill Knight (*) and David Evans live on!

(* I know these people aren’t actually dead yet, but they are politically)


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Tory MP: "sorry that Cameron is incompetent" http://t.co/aApaK1D0

  2. Richard Murphy

    Tory MP: “sorry that Cameron is incompetent” | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/iT8IOii6

  3. sunny hundal

    Tory MP writes: 'sorry that Cameron is incompetent and we're talking about gay marriage' http://t.co/t3vFCZVc

  4. Kath Richardson

    Tory MP writes: 'sorry that Cameron is incompetent and we're talking about gay marriage' http://t.co/t3vFCZVc

  5. Jason Brickley

    Tory MP: “sorry that Cameron is incompetent” http://t.co/umQUw6lv

  6. Collette Winters

    Tory MP writes: 'sorry that Cameron is incompetent and we're talking about gay marriage' http://t.co/t3vFCZVc

  7. Jo Caulfield

    Tory MP writes: 'sorry that Cameron is incompetent and we're talking about gay marriage' http://t.co/t3vFCZVc

  8. Martin Shovel

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  9. Ben Raza

    Another Tory MP joins @NadineDorriesMP in criticising "incompetence" by David Cameron, etc http://t.co/vAjOfiLG

  10. D.

    Tory MP writes: 'sorry that Cameron is incompetent and we're talking about gay marriage' http://t.co/t3vFCZVc

  11. Brian Tomkinson

    Tory MP writes: 'sorry that Cameron is incompetent and we're talking about gay marriage' http://t.co/t3vFCZVc

  12. Digital Humanities

    RT @libcon: Tory MP: "sorry that Cameron is incompetent" http://t.co/hSIpfLKs

  13. Allan Barber

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  14. House Of Twits

    RT @sunny_hundal Tory MP writes: 'sorry that Cameron is incompetent and we're talking about gay marriage' http://t.co/Rh0FlMXo

  15. Izaak Wilson

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  16. Marta Welander

    Tory MP writes: 'sorry that Cameron is incompetent and we're talking about gay marriage' http://t.co/t3vFCZVc

  17. Nathon Raine

    Tory MP writes: 'sorry that Cameron is incompetent and we're talking about gay marriage' http://t.co/t3vFCZVc

  18. leftlinks

    Liberal Conspiracy – Tory MP: “sorry that Cameron is incompetent” http://t.co/7fAWVzgJ

  19. Josh Bancroft

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  26. Jamie

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