The Tory candidate who has dropped his Quadruple barrelled name as part of Cameron’s Detoffication Plan!

Would you change your quadruple barrelled name just to fit in? It certainly makes the posters that much easier...

Now plain Richard Drax you might think he is just a Bond villain with an exciting surname, but the Conservative candidate for Dorset South is really known as Richard Grosvenor Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax.

Plunkett-Ernle-Erl-Drax, 51, is an Old Etonian like Mr Cameron and lives in a small Elizabethan pad set in just 7,000 acres.

The descendant of Admiral The Honourable Sir Reginald Aylmer Ranfurly Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax (1880-1967), says that he uses Richard Drax in real life but says:

“I come from a very privileged background but it shouldn’t make any difference. It is what is in your soul.”

I find it difficult to disagree that he comes from a privileged background and by all accounts Richard’s ancestor from whom he has earned such an extreme name was in fact the person upon which some of the more outlandish P.G. Wodehouse names are based.

So, if you want Bertie Wooster as your MP in Dorset this may be the man for the job!

I must confess I am a little disappointed that just ‘Drax’ will appear on the posters in Dorset South, they would be a true collectors item for the smallness of the font on the billboards, but I suspect the ballot papers will still need to be made a little larger to accomodate his official name.

The Daily Mirror has a bit more here.


18 out of 32 in the Shadow Cabinet would benefit from the Tory Inheritance Tax cut

18 of the 32 Conservative frontbenchers would benefit from their own Inheritance Tax cut - truly representative of Britain...

It may not come as a shock to many to discover that the Conservative front bench will, on the whole, benefit from the cut in Inheritance Tax, but the fact that they will benefit to the potential tune of £7 Million will.

According to today’s Daily Mirror calculations, ‘Mr Cameron and shadow chancellor George Osborne are among nine top Tories whose families stand to gain the maximum £520,000 from the change, because their wealth is estimated at more than £2 million.

George Osborne’s plan to cut Inheritance Tax to help the wealthiest people in Britain is a sign that if the Tories get back in to power they will not, as they claim, ‘be in it together’ with the rest of us.  They, and their rich chums, will give themselves such a large financial boost that they won’t need the outside jobs they have at the moment.

Mr Osborne has claimed that the cuts will benefit people who live in former council houses, and once again the Tories are proven to be completely out of touch with reality.

Cameron’s Chums accused of ‘filling their boots’ with the proceeds of second jobs before they are forced to quit in the New Year…

David Cameron's chums are 'filling their boots' before they have to settle to the poverty wages of just being an MP and a Minister!

There has been a lot of chest beating over the subject of MPs expenses, and much recrimination, but one of the areas that some MPs seem to have just been allowed to carry on, as before, is in the area of having second jobs, often bringing in very large second incomes.

Now I have always been quite sceptical of MPs who are just professional politicians with very little experience of what is often called ‘the real world’ but MPs should be representative of society, as far as reasonably possible.

The debate in South West Norfolk was a battle between the old fashioned Tory party and Mr Cameron’s alleged brand of modern Conservatives.

The recent news that ‘Conservative candidates are too posh’ would have come as no surprise to many, but today a senior Labour MP has attacked several Conservative MPs for trying to cash in on their second incomes before they are given up at the end of the year.

As the Labour MP said; ‘David Cameron’s allies are filling their boots with a last-minute money grab.’

Apparently William Hague earned £15,000 for a speech to an annual conference in September, declaring it as two hours work! Perhaps the prospect of just an MPs wages, that of a Secretary of State, a free house in London and one in the country is not enough for the rich living Mr Hague.

This appears to be contrary to all the honeyed words that Mr Cameron has deployed to make himself look palatable on the issue of MPs expenses. He needs to understand, though I suspect he doesn’t, that if he really wants his party to be in touch with real people, not many of us earn £7,500 per hour.

It may be ‘chicken feed’ as Boris Johnson would say, but it is this sort of snouts in the trough attitude that makes it clear to most people that the Tories are still a party for the rich and privileged and do not represent the majority of people.

See the Evening Standard for a little bit more.

Cameron could sack Osborne according to the Evening Standard…


They may look like 'Bullingdon Buddies' here, but Cameron might sack Osborne!

One of the key things that we Liberal Democrats have been hanging on to is that Vince Cable is the most competent, and knowledgeable, of the Shadow Chancellors.

I had always assumed that the ties of The Bullingdon Club had prevented David Cameron considering getting rid of his friend George Osborne.

But, according to today’s Evening Standard he would:

He said: “Absolutely; I’ve done so before with other colleagues and I will do so again. One of the most difficult parts of the job is colleague management.

“And moving people in and out of the shadow cabinet is very difficult, but it absolutely has to be done. You must not dodge it, you must not duck it.”

He continued, citing Osborne’s surprising survival of the yachtgate scandal as, “not because he is a friend, not because we are godfathers to each other’s children, but because he is the right person to do the job”.

The Tory leader added: “I know he knows that, if that was not the case, he would not be there.”

Please Dave, don’t sack him, he may be a total liability but it would cause too much of a fuss and make your party more electable. Ken Clarke would be a terrible replacement.

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Alan Johnson knows it’s not just the class of the drug that matters…


Alan Johnson knows that class matters in drugs and politics

The sacking of David Nutt has caused sensational headlines, media frenzy and middle class scoffing.  Dr Nutt’s advice to the government, that cannabis was not as harmful as other Class B drugs and should be downgraded, is reasonable, but just because he says so does not mean the Government is duty bound to take his advice.

Liberal Democrat members, and voters, are generally people who have received a higher quality education, come from professional backgrounds and are generally, what Alan Johnson would call, middle class.

As such they speak, and think, like middle class people, and on drugs policy they tend to be, unsurprisingly liberal, seeking the decriminalisation of activities that they seem to be relatively harmless.

Importantly this is one they, themselves, have almost certainly indulged in.

All this seems very reasonable.

But, with respect to Liberal Democrats, Alan Johnson is not speaking for middle class people, or to the people who vote Liberal Democrat; he is speaking to his constituency.

Alan Johnson knows that drugs policy is a totemic issue, and one that people are more concerned about in less leafy suburbs.  These are areas that see the detrimental social impacts of drugs, of whatever class, and lump them together as being a negative effect on their area.

These are areas in which Liberal Democrats are campaigning hard to unseat sitting Labour MPs, and are areas that are more receptive to a tough stance on drugs.

By his sacking of Dr Nutt he has, however unsubtly, raised awareness tha the Government is tougher than their Liberal Democrat, and modern Conservative, opponents.

The failure of the Conservatives to be quite as vocal as the Liberal Democrats on this subject might have something to do with this article, about David Cameron,  in today’s Times.