Anna Mary (don’t you just luv me) Soubry Tory MP – Media, Media, Media, I love it
Anna Mary Soubry is a British Conservative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Broxtowe since the 2010 general election and Minister for Small Business since the 2015 general election. Born, in Lincolnshire, she studied law at the University of Birmingham in the 1970s and was involved in student politics, becoming the only Conservative member of the National Union of Students’ executive committee. She graduated in law from the University of Birmingham in 1979. She left the Conservatives and joined the SDP soon after its formation in 1981.
She was a journalist from 1981 until 1995 and also reported on and presented several regional and networked TV programmes, including Grampian Television’s North Tonight in the North of Scotland and the East Midlands regional news programme, Central News East. She also presented and reported Granada Television’s This Morning in the late 1980s. She returned to Liverpool’s Albert Dock in October 2013 for the This Morning 25-year anniversary party. She was called to the bar in 1995 and is a member of the Criminal Bar Association.
She was the Conservative Party candidate for the Gedling constituency in the United Kingdom general election of 2005. During the campaign, she said she was “ashamed” of living in Nottingham as it had a bad reputation for crime. She said she wasn’t ashamed of the people of Nottingham, but, instead, was ashamed of what had happened to the city. She was chosen as an “A-List candidate” and in 2006 was selected for the nearby Broxtowe Parliamentary seat. In a debate in front of sixth formers in 2006, she said an honest debate was needed to stop people taking Class A drugs and she supported the legalisation of cannabis. Soubry was one of the 49% of Conservative MPs who entered parliament in 2010, she is regarded as “one of the most formidable communicators of the new intake” but is not a ‘Thatcherite.’ It is said of her that: “she has a record of unusually free speech”.
23 February 2012: NHS Reforms – Soubry at it again
As PPS to Health Minister Simon Burns, Soubry appeared on the Daily Politics show to discuss the controversial NHS reforms with the chair of the Royal College of GPs, Dr Clare Gerada. Burns had previously claimed that Gerada’s opposition to reforms did not represent the views of GPs.Gerada rejected this saying that despite 18 months of “endless consultations” in a recent survey 90% of the 44,000 GPs had asked for the Bill to be withdrawn. Parts of it were good, putting GPs in charge of finance, putting patients first, addressing health inequality but in its totality the Bill was a mess and would not achieve its objectives.
Soubry said Gerada was wrong. She had talked to GP constituents who had formed a consortium before the election and they were already putting into operation what the Bill was trying to achieve (one local GP is a Conservative Councillor). Another GP constituent had “actually begged her” to get the bill through so he could deliver the treatment that he wanted to give his patients.
However she agreed with the presenter Andrew Neil that this was anecdotal evidence whilst Gerada’s evidence came from surveys and conferences. Gerada said the experience of Soubry’s local GPs wasn’t reflected in what she was hearing through the Royal College.
Neil then questioned Gerada saying her opposition to competition and further choice appeared to be based on ideological grounds and she appeared to be suggesting the Bill was an attempt to privatise the NHS along American lines. Gerada agreed the bill did seem to be an attempt to privatise the NHS, turning it into a mixed funding system.
GPs were not against competition where it added value to patients, but they were against full fettered competition where any qualified provider could compete to treat the same hip.
In March 2012, a group of 240 doctors, including 30 professors wrote to The Independent describing the Bill as an “embarrassment to democracy” which had no support from professional healthcare organisations. They blamed the Bill’s supporters for putting the Coalition survival “above professional opinion, patient safety and the will of the citizens of this country”.
They pledged to stand as candidates against MPs who backed it and Soubry was mentioned as a likely target both because of her tiny majority and because she told her constituents the bill’s opponents were exploiting people’s heartfelt support for the NHS.
In response to a local newspaper article which referenced the Independent article, Soubry reiterated that there had been no complaints from her local GP consortium and claimed that many local GPs couldn’t wait for the Bill to be passed.
The Bill received Royal Assent on 27 March 2012.
In April 2012, an independent poll carried out on behalf of the BBC by ComRes showed that the number of GPs believing the NHS reforms would noticeably improve patient had fallen from 23% in September 2010 to 12% in March 2012 though there were still around 33% “Don’t knows.” The chairman of British Medical Association’s GPs’ committee said GPs were unconvinced by the changes and were worried about being blamed for the consequences of meeting the £20 billion Government savings target.
8 September 2012: The Dept of Health and the Ministry of Justice distance themselves from Anna Soubry’s comments on the right to die.
Newly-appointed health minister Anna Soubry has delivered an outspoken attack on the laws governing assisted suicide. She told The Times: “I think it’s ridiculous and appalling that people have to go abroad to end their life instead of being able to end their life at home.” Her intervention coincides with legal appeals for new guidelines, following the death of locked-in syndrome sufferer Tony Nicklinson. Ms Soubry admits she is unsure about that particular case, conceding: “You can’t say to a doctor or a nurse you can kill this person.”
Nonetheless, the high court judges referred to the “terrible predicament” of Mr Nicklinson, and described the case as “deeply moving and tragic”. And Mr Nicklinson’s solicitor has said it should be referred to the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court. A former keen sportsman, Mr Nicklinson was paralysed by a stroke in 2005. He subsequently described his existence as “pure torture” and sobbed in front of cameras when the court ruled he could not end his life. In the event, he died naturally, and, according to his wife, “heartbroken”. His funeral was held last week.
However, both the Department of Health and the Ministry of Justice have distanced themselves from Ms Soubry’s protests. They said in statements she was expressing a personal view, and that any new legislation would be a matter for parliament, not government http://news.sky.com/story/982607/govt-distances-itself-from-soubry-comments
10 September 2012: The high-heeled, foul-mouthed Minister for Death
Suddenly, a new ministerial shooting-star is born. Or should that be rather a new ministerial shooting-herself-in-the-foot-star, aka David Cameron’s latest self-imposed headache? Until a few days ago, the most likely reaction to the name Anna Soubry would have been: ‘Who?’
Ms Soubry is the Tory MP for Broxtowe in Nottinghamshire. Brought up in the county where her father ran petrol stations until he went bust, Ms Soubry, a former TV presenter and union shop steward, has been divorced twice and brought up her two daughters as a single mother.
In last week’s government reshuffle she was appointed a junior health minister, and is said to be tipped for the Cabinet.
Almost instantly, however, she started making waves. First it was noted that, as a prospective Conservative parliamentary candidate back in 2006, she had told a group of sixth-formers that she thought cannabis should be legalised because ‘certain types of cannabis were less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco’. Even back then, this was an ignorant and irresponsible statement.
There were already mountains of evidence of the devastating effects of cannabis on the brain, including provoking the onset of psychosis. Since then, a slew of further research has demonstrated the grave dangers of cannabis beyond any doubt.
If selecting a person with such callow and dangerous views to be a prospective Tory MP was enough to raise an eyebrow, appointing her as a health minister suggested that the Prime Minister hadn’t done his homework. Maybe in order to find out whether her views on cannabis had now changed, the Times sought out Ms Soubry for an interview — and doubtless got more than it had expected.
With a knowing smirk at the camera, she came out with a stream of raunchy, swaggering attitudes and one provocative and outrageous statement after another — all liberally laced with distinctly laddish language. So she was keen to tell us gleefully how she drank too much when celebrating her promotion, and how she likes gin, champagne and especially beer.
Presenting herself as an incorrigible rebel, she described sitting on the ‘naughty bench’ in the Commons, heckling the opposition and yet blowing kisses at the Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls.
We also learned that she loves shoes and owns ‘beautiful ones covered in sequins’ and five-inch heeled boots. Well indeed — what else can one wear, after all, in Whitehall’s corridors of power? But excuse me — this attention-seeking creature is a health minister? Maybe she mistook the Commons for the set of Absolutely Fabulous?
As for the foul language, this was apparently adopted as a defence mechanism for little middle-class Anna against the local oiks at school. Well, isn’t it about time that Ms Soubry, 55, finally grew up? But wait — our besequinned, stilettoed, ex-cannabis advocating, foul-mouthed, flirty provocatrice is driven, she tells us, by a social conscience.
For she gave up the media to become a barrister — ‘a social worker with a wig on’ — defending the most disadvantaged. Indeed, with her declared fury at communal powerlessness, her passion to ‘make stuff better for the poorest’ and her rage over the ‘s****y lives of the unemployed’, you are left wondering why on earth Ms Soubry didn’t join the Labour Party. Read more: http://www.melaniephillips.com/the-high-heeled-foul-mouthed-minister-for-death
14 September 2012: Anna Soubry, a health minister, has said that the Coalition “screwed up” over its controversial reforms of the NHS, the Daily Telegraph can reveal.
Miss Soubry, a junior health minister, made the frank remark in a private discussion with health service managers about reforms that will give GPs control of £80 billion of health spending. It is the second outspoken statement Miss Soubry has made since her appointment ten days ago.
Last weekend, she angered some Conservative MPs by suggesting that euthanasia laws are “ridiculous” and should be changed to make it easier for the sick to end their own lives.
David Cameron surprised some MPs last week when he made Miss Soubry, a former television presenter and barrister, a parliamentary under-secretary at the Department of Health.
Days after her appointment, Miss Soubry spoke at a conference held by the NHS Leadership Academy, which trains senior health service managers and medical professionals.
27 January 2013: Public health minister Anna Soubry: ‘They [the poor people] just sit in front of the telly and eat.
It’s a funny thing, but when you turn on your radio or television and hear someone say something breathtakingly ill-researched and insulting, you can almost tell straight away that the speaker is a Tory politician. Obviously, not everybody responsible for obtuse and patronising nonsense comes from that kind of background but that is where the propensity lies.
Who should we blame for this? In my experience, which includes many hours listening to Radio 4 in the kitchen, the people most likely to deliver unfounded claims or accusations backed by comically incomplete evidence, almost always come from families where it was considered quite normal to sit round a table for a meal they call “kitchen supper”, apparently a 25-course banquet served by bewigged footmen and consumed by flickering candlelight, at which it is customary for the participants to compete to see who can say the most preposterously offensive thing.
The tragic result is that at least one in three, if not more, Tory politicians is now at risk of making a complete arse of themselves on a regular basis, with the obvious risk that even their most abject pronouncements may influence public policy.
Although this idiocy epidemic is, admittedly, a growing problem afflicting all political parties, there is no doubting its alarming prevalence in the Tory cabinet.
It is becoming routine, in fact, to see a Tory minister rush out and, instead of constructing a conventional argument, backed by at least some research, emit a succession of outlandish assertions and anecdotes whose authority, if any, is most likely to rest on the speaker’s conviction of his or her superior understanding.
Thus, in her already celebrated speech to the food and drink industry, the public health minister, Anna Soubry, began with some remarks about fat people she had seen when out and about. “When I walk around my constituency, you can almost tell somebody’s background by their weight,” she said. “Obviously not everybody who is overweight comes from a deprived background but that is where the propensity lies.”
Leave aside the catastrophic condescension, and the thought of Ms Soubry roaming round Broxtowe with a pair of mental calipers, the better to establish social class by BMI (compared with which hobby Gladstone’s prostitute-rescuing missions sound almost normal) and what is most remarkable about this observation is the speaker’s conviction that it would advance her argument.
Of much less importance, it appears, were numbers, or authorities even greater than herself, to make the case that “primary responsibility lies with the individual”. Anyone serious about public health, you gathered, would be satisfied with such insights into proletarian life as have, during her career as a barrister and MP, been granted to Ms Soubry. “What they don’t do is actually sit down and share a meal around the table,” she disclosed to stunned food and drink operatives, convinced until that moment that every Quaver is eaten with a knife and fork. “There are houses where they don’t have dining tables,” the minister persisted. “They will sit in front of the telly and eat.”
Before dismissing outright Ms Soubry’s considered response to this depravity, we cannot, of course, rule out the possibility that, taking on the mantle of Henry Mayhew, the minister has indeed followed the fatties, or “them”, to use the technical term, back to table-less tenements that have never seen a John Lewis linen-feel napkin, or to offices where slovenly workers indulge in the “disgusting” – she finds – habit of eating at their desks. But in the intellectual climate of the current Tory cabinet she could be excused for thinking such investigations a complete waste of effort.
Given current trends in ministerial evidence, Soubry’s allusions to living people she has definitely heard about may soon come to look, along with Osborne’s analysis of lowered festoon blinds, positively scholarly. Before long, it may be enough for a minister to validate a policy that it came highly recommended in a vision, in the bottom of a teacup or, like the mayor of London last week, via an epiphany in his back garden. Noting the thick snow on a flowerpot, the putative Tory leader wondered if we have entered a “mini ice age”.
True, standing on giants’ shoulders, Boris Johnson’s snub to the scientific establishment owes much to an earlier challenge from the Daily Mail columnist Tom Utley, who famously deduced the impossibility of rising sea levels from the way ice behaves in his gin and tonic. But most columnists can only dream of the freedom to create mischief, some of it lasting, that is still enjoyed by the bolder Conservative politician, unshackled by readers’ editors, corrections columns or vestigial social conditioning.
There has been, for example, neither correction nor explanation from Maria Miller, who last autumn insisted that the abortion law needed changing, “to reflect the way science has moved on”. Though she was immediately challenged, media attention soon wandered to Jeremy Hunt’s claim that “the evidence” actually indicated a limit of 12 weeks, and by the time a new BMJ study had formally undermined Miller’s version, there were fresh errata to correct, from waffle about elite sport and gay marriage to more specific claims, such as Eric Pickles’s definition of all library campaigners as “luvvies”, or Nadine Dorries’s (erroneous) belief that her abortion debates had featured in broadcasts of I’m a Celebrity… Get me Out of Here.
That online fact-checking outfits, invaluable as they are, can barely keep up with the misspeaking, was confirmed last week, when Ms Soubry’s speech coincided with a rival outburst from Cameron’s adviser on childhood, the MP Claire Perry, previously a financier. She urged parents to spy on their children’s mobiles as a guard against sexualisation, a long-favoured pretext for political alarmism since nobody can prove that our seven-year-olds are not being groomed for the white slave trade by trends in advertising, toys, airbrushing, sexting, videos and skimpy tops featuring vile slogans unfamiliar to all but members of the Mothers’ Union.
It is not even clear that enhanced internet filters, occasionally promised by Cameron, would be any more effective than Ms Perry’s pleas to parents she presumably knows to be deficient in this respect, to “sit down with their kids and say, ‘Are you aware of what’s out there?'” For homes with no chairs as well as no tables, the advice, apparently, is to have the conversation standing up.
But what, in turn, can be done for the ministers? The first step is to keep them away from places, like government, where the temptation to mislead is just too great. Failing that, one can only hope for vigilance from Dame Sally Davies, the impressive chief medical officer.
Last week, she managed, in a single appearance before the science and technology committee, to rubbish homeopathy and assure politicians that, on drug decriminalisation, with which she sympathises: “I will make sure that the truth – the scientific evidence, peer reviewed – is published… even if it is uncomfortable for me.” Before that, however, Broxtowe could use a visit.
17 March 2013: MP Anna Soubry told off by Speaker Bercow for sniping from the sidelines at other MP’s.
Anna Soubry had been loudly heckling other MP’s in the chamber when she was pulled up short by the Speaker of The House, John Bercow.
Comment: I’ve seen this woman on television a few times, and I’m convinced she’s absolutely mad …she mutters and mumbles …she must never be put in a position of power.
13 July 2013: Letter to Anna Soubry MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health
I am writing to urge you to halt the acquirement of Plasma Resources UK by Bain Capital or, at the very least, to put in place strict restrictions on the way the company buys and uses blood products in order to safeguard the health of people in the UK.
There have already been many documented examples of serious damage to public health from an insufficiently regulated trade in blood products. As I am sure you will be aware, the 2009 Archer Report into the widespread contamination of blood supplies given to those affected by haemophilia noted that profit-driven companies have an incentive to keep their costs down by being insufficiently discriminatory about donor selection.
In Canada, social unrest was triggered when an estimated 30,000 patients caught hepatitis C and 1,000 contracted HIV from transfusions and blood products, thanks to an unregulated, profit-driven market. How can citizens trust a Government they see putting private profit before their own safety?
The purpose of Plasma Resources UK is to provide a safe, reliable source of plasma for UK residents, not to make a profit for a private American company with an abysmal track record, at the potential cost of the health and lives of UK citizens. My constituents are concerned about its potential sale and I hope your Department will be willing to reconsider. Read more: http://www.carolinelucas.com/caroline/parliament/letter/letter-to-anna-soubry-mp-parliamentary-under-secretary-of-state-for-0#_ftn3
17 July 2013: Anna Soubry Ignores Select Committee providing support to a EU directive Westminster had not agreed to
Junior Health Minister Anna Soubry and her civil servant the Head of Tobacco Policy, sniffy Andrew Black, were appearing before the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee (ESC). The Chair is Bill Cash and the committee’s role is to “..scrutinise draft EU legislation on behalf of the House of Commons and assesses which proposals are of particular political or legal importance.” What transpired was a reckless and distasteful undermining of British democracy.
Cock up or conspiracy? We saw Ms. Soubry and Mr. Black fidgeting as if their underwear had been ignited by napalm. Their gurning, discomfiture was equivalent to a battleship run aground on the Goodwin Sands with two torpedoes heading amidships. Ms. Soubry is the UK’s representative as Health Minister to the European Union for the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). The move, much discussed in the British media as of late, is set to introduce a wide range of controls on tobacco and electronic cigarettes.
Ms. Soubry, with advice from her civil servants had negotiated the TPD without any reference to Parliament and especially not the ESC. Between January and June 2013 she had not written or communicated with the ESC and Bill Cash did not mince his words. “The reason for our scrutiny process… is to ensure that no decision is taken in the Council of Ministers until that debate has taken place… What you did was effectively to prevent any such debate taking place at the time.” It seems the European democratic deficit is transmittable and approaching pandemic proportions.
Ms. Soubry also shows her ignorance on electronic cigarettes, whether they were part of the Directive or not. It still is, despite some valiant lobbying from e-cig users known as ‘vapers’, who have persuaded many MEPs to support their cause with much of the intellectual input from former Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Director Clive Bates.
There’s also a planned ban on flavourings for cigarettes such as menthol and “slim” cigarettes as they “appeal to women.” Never mind that this study found menthol smokers had over 30 percent reductions in lung cancer compared to non menthol smokers.
Other outstanding pearls of wisdom including the banning of packets of ten, and smaller pouches of tobacco. Ireland did so with ten packs in 2007 and this coincided with an increase in smoking of 27 percent to its current 29 percent of the population. Finally, more graphic images covering 65 percent of the packet. Scare tactics which ignores the fact that most (97 percent) of smokers can already name at least one fatal disease associated with smoking.
This isn’t for education’s sake. Help is at hand though. Fresh from her victory heading up the Hands Off Our Packs campaign, Angela Harbutt is in charge of No Thank EU, a new group which will be fighting for consumer rights and persuading people to write to their Member of the European Parliament, asking them to oppose the legislation.
When you bear in mind the apparent contempt for Parliament and the electorate by junior ministers, without a shadow of shame from the European Union, this is a campaign that deserves God’s speed. What vestiges of accountability the EU has to us should be prosecuted with vigour. Scandalous beyond imagining! She admitted that the directive would not have gone forward without UK support and so it would not have gone through in this presidency, and it was because of this that she overrode Parliament’s supremacy. Incredible!
11 November 2013: Royal Navy Support Ships Built in South Korea As Jobs Lost In Portsmouth
The £425m order for four 37,000-tonne military tankers that will allow the Royal Navy to refuel at sea has been placed with Korean shipbuilder Daewoo. Hearing this from Nigel Farage the other day on the BBC’s Question Time (Video below) was to say the least shocking, especially when you consider the recent loss of 940 jobs at Portsmouth. Anna Soubry MP, the government’s Under-Secretary of State for Defence, was an absolutely shocking example of how poorly staffed the Coalition government is. Ms Soubry admitted on-air that she did not know that Daewoo in South Korea is building tankers for the Royal Navy.
Reacting in astonishment, UKIP’s Leader on Hampshire County Council Ray Finch said: “For a government minister to show such a basic lack of knowledge of her brief is thoroughly shocking and both Ms Soubry and Mr. Cameron must surely now consider her position as a Minister.
“The truth of the matter is the UK Government last year refused to allow a rival bid to build the tankers, with one of them built in this country, in favour of the Daewoo bid on cost alone, after BAE refused to bid for the contract. “The entire story of the tanker order leaves question marks over BAEs near monopoly position as a UK navval shipbuilder and its too-cosy relationship with the MOD.
“This mixture of incompetency and penny pinching by this administration that knows the price of everything and the value of nothing has caused the tragic potential loss of a 500 year tradition of shipbuilding in Portsmouth and the end of large scale naval shipbuilding in England. “ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5PIfvvnXjk http://www.ukipeastbourne.com/tag/anna-soubry/
This woman should be forced to work on minimum wage for 12 months whilst raising a family. Only then will she see the harm immigration is doing to the UK. She has previously employed those who advocate the return of slavery. She is a nasty snob.
It creases me up each time I see Anna Soubry when she tries to act as if she has a serious brain with brows all furrowed up. I suppose it comes of trying to compete with men. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K-XFpNZVa0
Taxpayer funded career offence seaker Trevor Phillips versus Conservative MP Anna Soubry versus UKIP party leader Nigel Farage on “racism” and immigration. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ti7bBORQ25Q
22 December 2013: Anna Soubry apologises to Ukip leader for ‘finger up bottom’ remark
The Conservative defence minister, Anna Soubry, has apologised to the Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, after suggesting that his facial expressions made him look like someone who enjoyed a person putting their finger up his bottom.
Soubry made her remarks on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show while sitting alongside the impressionist Rory Bremner, Lord Mandelson, and the business secretary, Vince Cable. Both politicians looked on astonished as presenter Andrew Marr tried to stop her.
After Bremner had impersonated Farage, Soubry – who has clashed with the Ukip leader before – said: “I always think he looks like somebody has put their finger up his bottom and he really rather likes it.” Bremner asked: “Are you allowed to say that?”, at which point Marr said: “It’s too late. She has said it.” Lord Mandelson commented: “Anna, please, it’s too early.”
The comment provoked an immediate reaction on Twitter, not least from Farage himself. “Perhaps [Anna Soubry] should spend less time investigating digital rectal insertion and more on her brief?” he tweeted.
Farage added: “She is rude and incompetent. I would expect an apology – but I won’t be holding my breath.”
In a statement, he said: “This is a woman who was proven to not even have a grip on her portfolio back in November when on Question Time she showed she had absolutely no idea about the Royal Navy support ships being built in South Korea.
“She also launched a vile attack on me then, claiming I was ‘putting fear into people’s hearts’ by raising concerns over unrestricted immigration. The same concerns that today her party are so desperate to try to address.
“But this latest, remarkable foul-mouthed attack is utterly incredulous. Soubry has stooped to the levels of crudity that any politician would spend a lifetime apologising for.
“This is supposed to be a professional woman representing her political party on a national television programme on a Sunday morning. Well, I am astonished, and I would imagine the rest of her party is too, as well as deeply embarrassed.”
With Downing Street unimpressed by the language and insults, Soubry later apologised. “If he is in any way offended, I apologise unreservedly. It was a lighthearted remark,” she said.
The pair’s previous run-in came last month, when Soubry said on BBC Question Time that Ukip had published a leaflet in her constituency suggesting that 29 million people would be coming to the UK from Romania and Bulgaria, The joint population of the countries is only 28 million.
Soubry told Farage: “I do not like your tone. You don’t talk facts, you talk prejudice, you scaremonger, you put fear in people’s hearts.” She said Farage was trying to turn foreigners into a menace, adding, with reference to the 1930s, that history had taught Britain the danger of such an approach. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyRjyHLwKTo http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/dec/22/soubry-nigel-farage-finger-bottom
4 March 2014: Same Sex marriage Debate – Anna Soubry treats Christian concerns with “supercilious disdain”
This debate is interesting for the way that the Ministry of Defence Minister Anna Soubry treats those of a Christian conscience, in this case Sir Edward Leigh (Roman Catholic) and Sir Gerald Howarth (Church of England), with utter contempt and rudeness. Those who witnessed the exchange were shocked and appalled at the Minister’s arrogance. His Grace reproduces the whole exchange because context and primary reasoning are important.
The transcript is a typical Hansard version of the truth – the words are correct, but they cannot show the disdain and sheer nastiness of the Minister. For that, you need to watch the video above. Like them or not, both Gerald Howarth and Edward Leigh make sense of the world through the lens of Christianity: the Church is woven into their lives, and Christ provides their moral compass. While many may believe that compass to be skewed – or, rather, that it does not point in a ‘progressive’ direction – at least they have a moral sense. Ms Soubry is a relativist and a modernist, and in this her third career (after TV presenter, and criminal barrister) as a politician, she is being used by others to do their dirty work – in both the House and on TV. She is personally quite charming, but with a majority of just 389, she is fighting for every vote, and if that means trimming her ‘conscience’ to the secularising zeitgeist and slapping aside a few pesky Christians, that’s exactly what she’ll do.
But it may, of course, be more than that. Perhaps, as with so many of her ilk, she simply does not recognise for a second that someone who disagrees with her might be right. And certainly not a Christian. http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/anna-soubry-treats-christian-concerns.html (includes video)
30 April 2014: Anna Soubry, Government minister slams Armed Forces culture of ‘drinking to oblivion
Anna Soubry made the comments as she faced calls to scrap subsidised alcohol in military bars. She said her deep concerns about the impact of booze had been heightened by the suicide of one serving member. She told MPs she was not a “killjoy” and recognised from her time as a barrister that people with stressful jobs needed to let their hair down.
But she said the “vast amounts” consumed by the armed forces were unacceptable and must be scaled back. “I am not convinced that we couldn’t do more about the culture of drinking in our armed forces,” she said during a hearing of the defence select committee. “I’m not some killjoy. But sometimes there has been an attitude in the past that it was acceptable, as part of that de-stressing process, to all go out and consume vast amounts of alcohol as part of that camaraderie and that letting down of the hair. “There is nothing wrong with some of that, but the levels of drinking to the point of oblivion and all the rest of it is a culture which I don’t welcome in any workforce. “The incidence of binge drinking, the quantities of alcohol, across society are beginning to diminish. I would hope that would be the same in the armed forces.”
She suggested that her determination to act had been strengthened by the death of a serving member of the armed forces. “I read the coroner’s report recently into a very sad suicide case of a serving person. There were many things in that report that concerned me. “One of them, quite clearly, the culture of heavy drinking,” she said.
Pressed on what specific action she would take, she said a senior commander’s guide to alcohol was to be refreshed in the light of research into alcohol abuse in the armed forces which was due to be published soon. But she acknowledged that a cultural shift could not be encouraged purely by rules and regulations. “You can’t just put out edicts to change a culture,” she said. “You can have all the most wonderful guides and manuals in the world but what’s most important is the implementation of them and that is something that I am looking at, I can assure you of that.”
Labour MP Madeleine Moon said ending the “high level of subsidy” enjoyed at military bars would contribute to curbing consumption. She said she got the “fright of my life” when she was charged only £1 for a triple gin and tonic while visiting forces in the Falkland Islands two years ago. “One thing that could be done about alcohol problems in the armed forces is tackling the high level of subsidy in bars in military units – perhaps so they were the same price you would pay in town.”
Labour MP wants to end a “culture of drinking to oblivion”, but sees nothing wrong in ordering herself a triple gin… Perhaps it’s not just charity which begins at home?
Judging the behaviour of MP’s and Lords’ if the MP’s really wish to stop cheap subsidised boozing perhaps they should set a good example to the troops and start with the bars in the House of Commons.
2 June 2014: Another own goal for Tories: The minister who says her constituents are racist
A senior Tory sparked a fresh row about immigration yesterday after branding some of her own constituents ‘racist’ for raising concerns about it. Defence minister Anna Soubry, who is tipped for promotion to the Cabinet, said many voters were ignorant about its ‘hugely important’ benefits – while others were ‘frankly racist’. UKIP last night seized on the remarks as evidence that senior Tories still fail to understand public anger over the issue.
Miss Soubry’s comments came as Chancellor George Osborne suggested David Cameron would fail to keep his pledge to cut net immigration to the ‘tens of thousands’ because of the difficulty of controlling the numbers arriving from Europe. She added to doubts about whether the target would be hit – but called on the Tory leadership to be more positive about the benefits of immigration, claiming migrants come to Britain ‘overwhelmingly to work – they do not come here to scrounge’.
Miss Soubry, who is defending a majority of just 389 in her hyper-marginal constituency in Broxtowe, Nottinghamshire, told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show: ‘When you make the case with people who come and see me in my constituency surgery who say, “I’m really worried about immigration” you say really, why? ‘This is Broxtowe.
We don’t have a problem with immigrants. When you explain that to them, they get it. Not all of them – some people have prejudices, some people are frankly racist, but there are many who just don’t know the argument.’ Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2645720/Another-goal-Tories-The-minister-says-constituents-racist.html
4 June 2015: Tory Minister Anna Soubry takes umbrage over ‘Behave Yourself, Woman’ remarks by Alex Salmond
Conservative minister Anna Soubry has hit back at Alex Salmond, accusing him of sexism after he told her to “behave yourself, woman” during a debate in the House of Commons.
The former SNP leader and Scottish first minister, who was elected as MP for Gordon in May, was speaking during a parliamentary debate on devolution on Wednesday evening.
Salmond, arguing about how many Scottish and English MPs should sit on the Scottish affairs committee, accused Conservative Party of trying to “stuff the Scottish select committee with English Conservative MPs”.
During the debate, Salmond appeared distracted by Soubry, the small businesses minister. He told her across the chamber: “The Treasury bench should behave better in these debates, she should be setting an example to your new members not cavorting about like some demented junior minister – behave yourself, woman.”
On Thursday morning Soubry responded on Twitter. “Salmond can dish it out but he can’t take it,” she said. “Alex Salmond seems to think women should be seen not heard. His attitude belongs firmly in the 19th century.”
It is not the first time Salmond and Soubry have locked horns. During the election campaign, the pair had a feisty debate on the BBC’s Sunday morning Andrew Marr programme. Soubry, who was then a defence minister, branded the prospect of a Labour government supported by the SNP “terrifying”.
Soubry, who is known for her combative manner, also once had to apologise after saying Nigel Farage “looks like somebody has put their finger up his bottom”. Salmond isn’t the only parliamentarian to have faced questions over comments made to a female MP in the Commons. David Cameron was blasted for telling then Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Angela Eagle to “calm down dear” during a heated debate in 2011. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/06/04/anna-soubry-alex-salmond_n_7510164.html
Comment: I’m not a fan of Alex Salmond or the SNP but to accuse him of sexism…definitely not! Salmond was the man who supported, nurtured and mentored the inexperienced Nicola Sturgeon throughout her rise in Scottish politics. When he resigned as Scotland’s First Minister following the ‘NO’ Vote last November he immediately threw his considerable ‘weight’ behind Sturgeon, endorsing her as his replacement! Had Soubry been a male I’m absolutely certain that Salmond would have said, “behave yourself, man.”