Luke Graham appointed Hammer of the Scots by Boris Johnson
Luke Graham, of the Conservatives, had only been MP for Ochil and South Perthshire since 2017 and faced a return to accountancy and business in Swindon or to somehow keep going with politics in the hope of an eventual return of fortune with the electorate.
He said: “I am still an accountant, I can still go back to that world but I don’t feel I’m finished with politics yet. I hope to be re-elected to be an MP. I haven’t lost my passion for politics and I think I have still got something to give. It is a setback and a gutting experience but it is what you decide to do with that next that’s important.”
That decision was not long in manifesting. Boris Johnson has employed him as a “Special Advisor” working out of the Policy Unit in 10 Downing Street.
His remit is the “Union” which vests him with a powerful yet unelected influence over Scottish affairs.
A hardline Unionist he will rapidly remove many powers from the Holyrood parliament making life very uncomfortable for Scots over the next few years.
Scots wishing to break free from the political stranglehold of Westminster will need to abandon any hope of another referendum and devise a new strategy framed around the constitutional right of Scots to decide their own government.
His Political dogma regarding Scotland – in his own words
On 18 September 2014, the people of Scotland voted to reject independence from the United Kingdom. More than 2 million people voted to remain part of the UK, which is more than the number of people who voted to remain in the EU and more even than those who voted for the SNP in 2015 or, indeed, in any election since.
It is therefore clear that remaining part of the UK is the principal constitutional choice of people in Scotland. To be clear, Scotland is not just part of the UK—it is the UK. It was a Scottish king who united the crowns, who made the lion and the unicorn stand together and who commissioned the union flag. He recognised the value and opportunity of Britain, and so do the majority of our constituents.
The fact that a petition opposing a second referendum was signed by nearly 200,000, more people than signed the petition supporting a second referendum makes clear the true voice of people in Scotland.
Indeed, the petition in support did not even reach the 100,000 signatures that it needed to be considered for debate and had to piggyback the 220,000 signatures opposing a second referendum.
All polls indicate that a second referendum is not welcome. A recent (2017) poll showed that only 39% of Scots support another referendum, compared with 52% who now oppose one—not just now, but next year or even in five years. That is two of Nicola Sturgeon’s generations.
Supporters of Scottish independence may ask why that is.
First, there was the breaking of the promise that the referendum would be a once in a generation, once in a lifetime event.
Secondly, there is the benefit of the Union to Scotland. The most recent Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland figures—the SNP Administration’s own figures, I might add—revealed a Union dividend worth £1,750 per head in extra spending for Scotland. Meanwhile, as we know, Scotland exports four times as much to the UK as to the EU, making the UK single market the most valuable barrier-free single market to Scotland.
Thirdly, the threat of a second referendum is creating damaging uncertainty for the economy, and most people in Scotland do not want our country plunged into another divisive campaign. That is borne out in the statistics. Business investment is down 7.6% on the last year, and growth in quarter two of 2017 was just 0.1%, versus 0.3% for the UK as a whole.
I am an optimist, but unfortunately, I do not expect the SNP to give up its quest to separate Scotland and end the UK. However, the SNP can surely see that the uncertainty and division is not helping our constituents while the key devolved areas of education and healthcare need serious attention to return Scotland to No. 1 in the UK for education and to reverse the fact that Scotland has the lowest life expectancy of all the nations of the United Kingdom.
To put it simply, people want us to move on. They want politicians to offer positive solutions to the problems we face in education, transport, agriculture and international trade, and to move our country forward, not continually question its very existence.
The constitution stirs passions, but this divides our community and does not move forward our conversations.
We have heard talk of how fantastic the 2014 referendum was, and many of us were engaged in that campaign, but it was not entirely positive.
I know of one story from a now Conservative party member in my constituency, who is now a councillor but who at the time of the referendum was not. He went down to the polling station with his wife, actually undecided; he did not know whether he would vote yes or no. He was asked in the polling station, “Which way will you vote, sir?” He said, “I haven’t decided yet; I intend to keep this private.” His wife was asked the same question, and she repeated his answer—she was not sure. But when she said that with her English accent, the campaigner at the door of the polling station said, “When we win, we will take you back to the border and kick you back to England.” That was a real comment—it comes directly from one of my constituents who is now a Conservative councillor in Clackmannanshire. He had to endure that.
Although I am sure that SNP Members always encourage a positive tone of debate, they have to recognise that the referendum and the constant constitutional wrangling is divisive for our constituents and does not help unite us as a people.
We already have a major constitutional change on the horizon, and at this moment we need to focus on getting the best possible deal for us all across the United Kingdom.
In 2014, the Scottish people decided on a legal, fair and decisive referendum to remain a strong part of the UK.
The Edinburgh agreement in 2012 committed both the UK and Scottish Governments to respecting the outcome of the Scottish referendum, which is why people are clear that now is not the time for a second referendum.
If SNP Members stuck to their words, they would agree that it should not be the time any time soon, either—perhaps not even for a real generation.
My abiding memory of Luke Graham
Graham was branded a “cheapskate” after he charged £36.63 to his House of Commons expenses account to pay for him and two staff to attend a charity fundraising village fete in his constituency.
Commentators deplored his conduct saying his penny-pinching was “not the done thing” for a senior backbencher earning £79,000 a year. One said, “Shame on him. He has deep enough pockets on an MP’s wage to chuck a few quid towards a fundraiser for a local charity. Apparently, he is only serious about supporting good causes if the taxpayer is footing the bill. What a cheapskate.”
Luke Graham – Special Agent
He is a political carpetbagger who conned the constituents of Ochil and South Perthshire using them as a stepping stone to glory within the Tory party at Westminster.
This guddle of a constituency, grouping traditional Labour voters in the old mining communities, farmers in Crieff and the rich people of Auchterarder often throws up weird election results from time to time. and the success of Graham surprised political pundits who considered the SNP candidate to be a shoo-in.
Graham, whose home was and still is in Swindon, had contested the seat at the 2015 General Election and although he had been swept aside together with the Labour and Lib/Dem candidates in the SNP tsunami (Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh won the seat taking around 19% votes from Labour and the Lib/Dems). But the warning was there. He retained almost the same voting base as he had gained in the 2010 election. The Tory vote in the northern part of the constituency was solid but in the south, voting was volatile with three parties in the mix.
The EU Referendum – Britain Stronger In Europe Campaign
Graham, an avid supporter of Britain’s membership of the EU took on the duties of finance director of, “Britain Stronger In Europe”, dubbed “Project Fear” by sections of the media.
The group, launched in London on 12 October 2015 unsuccessfully campaigned in favour of the United Kingdom continuing membership of the European Union in the 2016 British referendum.
Ochil & South Perthshire voted to remain in the EU recording a strong 60% in favour.
03 May 2017: The 2017 General Election
Selected as the Tory candidate, he notified the Electoral Commission his place of residence was Stables Cottage, near Crieff. But his permanent home was in still in Swindon.
His candidacy was sponsored by Alistair Mair the multi-millionaire Tory whose son Hamish was the Chairman of the Tory party in Scotland.
Stables Cottage is owned by Mair who rents it to Tory MSP Elizabeth Smith, MSP, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education. Graham was a lodger.
The Tory Party was on a high after a good showing in the Scottish local elections earlier that year and the fight for the hearts and minds of voters in South Perthshire was between the SNP and the Tory’s, the other parties were reduced to fringe voting status.
Tactical voting aided by a relentless and ultimately successful dirty tricks campaign was perpetrated against Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh by the Unionist supporting media and Graham soon after electioneering began and it worked. He gathered swithering Labour and Lib/Dem voters in the south of the constituency to the Tories.
His appalling record as an MP
Graham’s performance as an MP was vintage, unionist. His campaigning commitments to the voters was abandoned. His support of the Tory government in Westminster was absolute.
Together with the other Scottish unionist MP’s he voted:
Against an energy price cap.
Against a properly resourced industrial strategy.
Against maintaining the benefits of the European Single Market and Customs Union.
Against maintaining the existing rights of EU nationals living in the UK and EU nationals living in the EU.
Against increased funding of public services.
Against scrapping university tuition fees.
Against restoring Education Maintenance Allowance, maintenance grants and nurses’ bursaries.
Against ending the public sector pay cap.
Against increasing the minimum wage.
Brutal measures from a government determined to continue with the imposition of harsh austerity measures, rewarding the rich minority of society whilst destroying the will to live amongst the many.
Graham the turncoat europhile voted to remove all aspects of EU Integration from Statute
A formerly self-declared, “die-hard” europhile and ex-Finance Director of “Britain Stronger In Europe” he became a hardline Brexiteer against the express will of his constituents who voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU.
His voting record exposed him and his lying rhetoric. Talk about a somersault. Ochil and South Perthshire voters were conned by a political charlatan.
- On 11 Sep 2017: He voted to end the supremacy of EU law over UK law; to convert EU law into domestic law on the UK’s exit from the European Union and to give ministers the power to correct deficiencies in retained EU law.
- On 14 Nov 2017: He voted to end the supremacy of EU law in domestic law and to remove the mechanism enabling the flow of new EU laws into UK law.
- On 14 Nov 2017: He voted not to require courts or tribunals to have regard to anything done on or after exit day by the European Court, another EU entity or the EU.
- On 21 Nov 2017: He voted against requiring the UK Government to report on changes to EU legislation which form part of UK law, and against requiring the Government to consider adopting such changes to ensure that the rights of workers and employees in the UK are no less favourable than they would have been had the UK remained a member of the EU or EEA.
- On 21 Nov 2017: He voted against the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights remaining part of UK law on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
- On 21 Nov 2017: Luke Graham voted against retaining general principles of EU law derived from EU treaties, direct EU legislation and EU directives, as part of UK law after the UK leaves the EU, and voted to only retain those general principles deriving from European Court [of justice] case law.
- On 12 Dec 2017: He voted to allow laws which were required by the UK’s membership of the European single market to be weakened, removed or replaced by Ministers after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
- On 13 Dec 2017: He voted to allow ministers to withdraw the UK from the European Economic Area, the European single market.
- On 20 Dec 2017: He voted against the UK retaining the EU’s common customs tariff and common commercial policy.
- On 13 Jun 2018: He voted against making the UK’s withdrawal from the EU conditional on seeking, as an objective for the UK’s negotiation of the withdrawal agreement, full access to the internal market of the EU rather than merely European Economic Area membership.
- On 13 Jun 2018: He voted against largely retaining the EU “Charter of Fundamental Rights” as part of UK law following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
- On 13 Jun 2018: He voted against steps designed to ensure that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU does not result in the removal or diminution of any rights, powers, liabilities, obligations, restrictions, remedies and procedures that contribute to the protection and improvement of the environment.
- On 17 Jul 2018: He voted against making retaining membership of the European medicines regulatory network a government objective.
Promotion to the Tory Government Head Office in Downing Street
Brown nosing has its rewards. His unqualified support of the Tory government at Westminster was recognized through his early promotion to the Cabinet Office as a parliamentary private secretary, (PPS).
His remit included responsibility for the constitution and civil service and he was also appointed leader of communications and relations between Westminster and Holyrood.
The latter role required him to focus on Brexit, concentrating on constitutional issues.
18 Mar 2018: Graham to lead Young Conservatives Campaign to Win Over Millennial Voters
The campaign is yet another relaunch of the much-maligned Young Conservatives following nearly three years in mothballs after bullying, sex scandals, suicide and other scandalous behaviour.
It is being developed in conjunction with Tory activists of the recently formed and very well funded “rust-belt Tory” group operating in Scotland and the north of England and is aimed at appealing to a generation of young voters who the Tories claim are not as left-wing as portrayed.
Tory Party chairman Brandon Lewis said the youth arm of the party would seek to engage with “thousands of young people who keep being told they must be “Corbynistas” but aren’t.
His roles, leading the Young Conservatives while completing the heavy workload of a PPS in the Prime Minister’s cabinet office begged the question: “Where did he find the time for constituency matters?”
Clearly, the constituents of Ochil and South Perthshire were short-changed yet again by a carpetbagging special agent from England.
And in his own words – My home
Reflecting on his short time in Scotland he said:
“I’m proud of Swindon. It is where I come from and I think people see that. I have always felt very strongly about being British and my parents still live in Swindon so when I go to see them, I feel like I’m going home.”