UK Election – Random Observations

We’re all still a little bit in shock here after the election. As this is published, I am on my way to Prague for the SAP Ariba event, but let’s make a few more observations about this amazing outcome.


Ben Gummer lost his seat in Ipswich. He was the Cabinet Office Minister with responsibility for public procurement, amongst other things, and he has been identified as an author of the Conservative manifesto. He was tipped for promotion to Cabinet and seen as a rising star – that star has fallen to earth, for now at least, although he is young enough to come back in another seat perhaps or next time around. He did not have a particularly visible impact on public procurement policy as far as we could see, but as always a new Minister means that Gareth Rhys Williams, Malcolm Harrison and their teams will have to explain everything again to a new boss … that's always fun!

The new Cabinet Office Minister is Damien Green, previously DWP Minister and apparently an old friend of May. He has always come over to us as a “decent bloke”  but he will also apparently act as (in effect) Deputy Prime Minister, so hard to see that he will have much time for more mundane matters. One of his deputies may take the lead though on procurement issues.


I’ve heard people talking of the young people and how they turned out to vote Labour because they “care about society” and all that fluffy stuff. Nonsense. I don’t blame them but they were bribed in good old fashioned election politics fashion via the Labour policy of abolishing student fees. The Tories have been bribing old folks for years so you can’t blame Labour for going after the students, and it is anyway good to see more young folk engaged in the process.


There is a very good article on the NHS here from David Lock QC, a healthcare expert and previously an MP too. He sees the results in places like Canterbury – Labour winning on the back of fears about local hospital closures - leading to less change in the NHS as politicians will be scared of controversial measures. And the 2012 Act that enshrined purchaser / provider competition in the system will stay.

First, there will be no major NHS legislation.   NHS Bills are hugely controversial and divisive. There must be virtually no chance that a minority Tory government will try to legislate to sort out the messes left over from the disastrous Health and Social Care Act 2012. Hence the NHS will have to continue to muddle through with the present unsatisfactory state of the law”.


I downloaded the Labour and Tory manifestos to write about them on our websites. To get the Labour one I had to give my email details. I then got regular emails – but not annoyingly frequent – from “the Labour Party”, “John McDonnell” and even “Jeremy Corbyn” in my Inbox. I rather liked that. They weren’t so frequent as to be a nuisance and I thought it was a rather well-done campaign, which was also used to drive donations.  Got nothing from the Tories, whose manifesto was freely available.


If you don’t know the book The Peter Principle it is recommended as both amusing and perceptive. It argues that everyone gets promoted until they reach their level of incompetence. That explains why so many people appear to be pretty useless in their jobs, and useful work is done solely by those who have not yet reached their level. It is a humourous book but with more than a grain of truth contained within its pages. So post-election, a friend who lives in Maidenhead was telling me what a good local constituency MP Theresa May has been (in some ways at least). We agreed she was a decent Home Secretary – I know you can pick her record apart but it is a tough job and she wasn’t a disaster anyway. But Prime Minister? The Peter Principle strikes again!


And looking desperately for positives from the election, our congratulations to the new LibDem MP for Oxford East and Abingdon, Layla Moran (pictured above a few years ago, as I couldn't find a current pic that was definitely copyright free). She won with one of the biggest gains of the night. Her mother is a Christian Arab from Jerusalem, and she is a Physics graduate of Imperial College. A future leader of the LibDems we predict, and good to have more clever, articulate, scientific women with diverse backgrounds in the House!

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  1. Mark Lainchbury:

    re “they were bribed”………………..
    Is it even possible to troll your own website ?

    Anyway this may be a better explanation for the oldies

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