I had meant “Deadhead MPs” to be indeed “occasional” in these blog pages, but the “democratic” deadheads are so prevalent now, and so prone to getting themselves into trouble and into the newspapers, that I have had to write more often about them than I had at first intended.
Gavin Williamson’s background
So we move to Gavin Williamson. Where to start? At the beginning, I suppose: Williamson was born in 1976, in “bracing” Scarborough. His parents were both public sector office workers. Comprehensive school was followed by the University of Bradford, where he read Social Sciences. He was involved with the rowdy and eventually shut down Conservative Students organization, of which he was penultimate Chairman.
Williamson must have graduated in 1997 or 1998. The next we hear of him is in 2001, in North Yorkshire, where he was a county councillor for a while. He is also at that time involved in Conservative Party activities in Staffordshire and Derbyshire.
There is an obscurity about Williamson. We do not know what non-political jobs he has done, save for having been Managing Director of a fireplace manufacturer, Elgin & Hall, for a while (until 2004) and then Managing Director of and shareholder in Aynsley China, a Stoke on Trent china manufacturer founded in 1775 and which was dissolved in 2014. It seems, again, obscure as to when Williamson’s connection was severed, but between 2005 and his election as MP in 2010, he was also Managing Director of an architectural design firm or company. So we are told.
Am I missing something here? Williamson came from modest origins, his academic background seems to have been at best mediocre, there is no evidence in the public domain (that I have seen) of family wealth, yet here is Williamson, still in his twenties at that, becoming managing director of three separate companies in three different industries or areas of commercial activity, despite the fact that his academic background was in Social Sciences, nothing to do with business, industry, china manufacture, pottery, architecture or design. He is even described as “co-owner” (major shareholder?) of a china manufacturer. Where did he get the capital? Very odd.
It is likely that Williamson is a freemason, but all the same, his being appointed to those jobs (all seemingly within about 5-6 years) is a little strange, somehow.
Williamson made a racing start in the House of Commons from election in 2010. He became a Parliamentary Private Secretary or PPS to a minister in 2011, again (this time to a Cabinet minister) in 2012, then made another career leap in 2013, becoming PPS to the Prime Minister (David Cameron-Levita).
In 2016, he supported Theresa May in her leadership bid, mainly (we are told) in order to stop Boris Johnson. In return, upon her victory, May made Williamson the Government Chief Whip.
In 2017, following the resignation of drunk and sex-pest Michael Fallon as Secretary of State for Defence (I feel another blog post in this series coming on…), Williamson was appointed to replace him.
Secretary of State for Defence
It was after having been appointed to Cabinet that Williamson’s lack of serious academic, political and intellectual background began to tell, resulting in a series of blunders and gaffes. The Sun “newspaper” reported that “
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has ‘lost the plot’ over barmy plan to put guns on tractors
Other crazy ideas include disguising mobile missile defence systems as Coca-Cola lorries and transforming old commercial ferries into beach assault craft”
“DEFENCE Secretary Gavin Williamson has stunned military chiefs with crackpot ideas to solve an equipment crisis — including fitting tractors with guns. Williamson‘s department faces a shortfall of £20billion in its budget for new equipment.”
“A source said: “The man is out of his mind. No one knows what to do.”
As the MoD struggles to deal with a budget black hole, Williamson has been accused of hatching a series of crackpot schemes to solve an equipment crisis.
According to several senior sources they include:
- MOUNTING “really expensive guns” on tractors and disguising mobile missile defence systems as Coca-Cola lorries;
- BUYING old commercial ferries and transforming them into beach assault craft, and;
- WASTING thousands of hours of civil service time on plans to launch his own medal“
“One insider said staff are at their wits’ end with Williamson, who insists on keeping a pet tarantula called Cronus in his MoD office.
The source added: “We need billions and serious ideas to tackle serious problems.
“Yet Williamson is mucking about with his spider and coming up with crazy suggestions. The man is out of his mind.
“His behaviour is totally bizarre and no one knows what to do.”
“Williamson took over at the MoD in November. The source added: “Everyone had so much hope in him. It all looks so misplaced now.”
Defence chiefs now fear Williamson’s bizarre regime has torpedoed any hope of the MoD getting desperately needed extra money out of the Treasury.
It needs £1billion more a year just to keep the armed forces at their present size — and it has to somehow fill a potential £20billion budget deficit in its £179billion ten-year equipment plan.
But sources say ex-furniture salesman Williamson’s failure to grapple with the detail and refusal to heed expert advice is proving disastrous.”
“It is feared he also scuppered any chance of a financial aid package by briefing against the Treasury and boasting he could “make or break” Theresa May as PM.
Williamson’s idea for armed tractors is said to have come at a summit on the equipment budget.
A source said: “Gavin just came out with it. He said, ‘Can’t we buy tractors and put really expensive guns on them?’ People were open-mouthed. Others didn’t know where to look. It was totally bizarre.”
Williamson has since denied making the comment.”
“But insiders say it was just one of a stream of nonsensical suggestions.
He allegedly outlined the disguised missile trucks during a meeting with his Polish counterpart to discuss the renewed Russian threat.
A source said: “The idea was to have an HGV with the livery of the Coca-Cola brand — but inside would be a missile defence system.
“His plan was missiles systems disguised as soft drinks delivery trucks. No one really knows why.” [The Sun]
- Williamson thought that a proper way to respond to the Spanish government over Gibraltar was to fire paintballs at Spanish Navy gunboats;
- Williamson responded to Russian comments about the Skripal affair by saying that “Russia should just shut up and go away”, hardly a suitable response, neither tough (bearing in mind Russia’s alleged behaviour) nor intelligent (bearing in mind Russia’s enormous and growing strength!);
- Williamson “threatened” to send a warship (one of maybe a dozen or so that the UK now has) to the South China Sea, to intimidate China…That would really frighten a country that has 512 large ships, about 800 naval aircraft alone, and a quarter of a million sailors! (see the link in the Notes, below, for details of the truly fearsome Chinese order of battle on the high seas).
In Williamson’s very silly mental landscape, throwing around schoolboy remarks about paintballs, shutting up nuisances with a throwaway remark and disguising mobile missile-carriers as Coca-Cola trucks serve as brainstorming, I suppose…
Now, of course, Williamson has been sacked for supposedly having leaked secret talks in the National Security Council (NSC). He denies having done so. As Mandy Rice-Davies said, in another context, “well he would, wouldn’t he?”
What can we learn from this farce?
For me, there is much that could be learned, were there politicians with the ability to learn.
First of all, I am concerned less about the leak, or who did it, than the fact that a mediocre little careerist like Williamson could ever become an MP, let alone minister, let alone Cabinet minister. It must be something to do with freemasonry and/or the Israel lobby (is Williamson a member of Conservative Friends of Israel? Odds-on…).
Secondly, I am concerned that the now-ex Secretary of State for Defence has so much time on his hands that while in office he can spend a quarter of an hour telling his contact at the Daily Telegraph all about his day (or whatever). Also, was that mobile telephone secure?
As soon as the leak scandal blew up, I thought “either Williamson or Fox”. Fox probably learned his lesson when Cameron-Levita caught him leaking years ago.
South Staffordshire is one of the safest Conservative seats. Williamson got 69.8% of the votes cast in 2017.
Williamson has been replaced by Penny Mordaunt, though the reason remains obscure. Surely her stints as naval “reservist” sub-lieutenant were not taken into account? Rory Stewart MP, arguably a better candidate, was also elevated, but to another ministry.
As to Williamson himself, there are now calls for him to face police action and possible prosecution. Theresa May would rather avoid that, in the runup to the EU elections, but time will, of course, tell. Watch this space.
Update, 6 May 2019
I doubt whether Williamson can ever recover from this whole situation, though he will be able to stay on as MP unless sacked by his local Conservative association. He will not be seen on the Conservative front benches again, though.
Update, 2 August 2019
Well, I was wrong. Not about Willamson as such, but the parting comment that his frontbench Conservative career had finished. Incredibly, Boris-idiot has appointed Williamson as Secretary of State for Education! So this twerp is actually posing as a Cabinet minister again! At first I was incredulous, but there again, you have a complete idiot as Prime Minister, and a bunch of total fuck-ups as Cabinet ministers anyway: Priti Patel, Matt Hancock, Sajid Javid, Liz Truss, Grant Shapps (!), that little pissant Robert Jenrick, Dominic Raab, Michael Gove, Andrea Leadsom, Amber bloody Rudd, the idiotic James Cleverly, Liz Truss (!), Theresa Villiers (a doormat for the Jew-Zionist lobby even in a Cabinet stuffed with Zionists and pro-Zionists) etc…
…and…among those who sit in on Cabinet without being members, Nadine Dorries (I mean, how lowbrow can you go?) and even, on occasion, apparently, ah…the fellow who runs the Wetherspoon’s pub chain! Who is not even an MP!
Among the rest of the Cabinet and the occasional attendees, I suppose that Williamson does not stand out as impossibly half-witted. No, he fits in just fine…
“Ian Millard has left the building”…
Update, 4 March 2022
Williamson was dismissed as Education Secretary in 2021; also dismissed from Cabinet and Government.