Tag Archives: Deadhead MPs

Deadhead MPs, An Occasional Series: the Selaine Saxby story

Foreword

The General Election of 2019 has washed up an almost embarrassing number of new deadhead MPs onto my golden shore. I have now an even wider choice than heretofore. Out of that mass, I have now chosen Selaine Saxby [Con, North Devon].

I have to admit that I had never heard of Selaine Saxby until yesterday. The material available online about her is sparse, but I think that one can come to an outline understanding of her character and background from what can be found.

Selaine Saxby has very recently been in the news, with others, for her truly stupid and unpleasant intervention in the “free school meals” debate: https://www.northdevongazette.co.uk/news/north-devon-mp-makes-statement-after-social-media-post-1-6899273; https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/tory-mps-ben-bradley-crack-den-brothel-free-school-meal-vouchers-a4572832.html;

Twitter has had much to say about Saxby, mostly critical:

What I find extraordinary about Selaine Saxby’s original comment is not only that it shows a complete absence of any compassion for the poor and struggling, but that it also attacks the very people most likely to vote Conservative: business people, company directors etc.

Selaine Saxby’s background

I had not previously encountered the Christian name “Selaine”. My brief researches have discovered that (unlike, say, Sharon, Sarah, Selena) “Selaine” has no classical or other meaning. There is some suggestion that it might be of French origin, but I have discovered that, in the whole of the past century, and in the whole world where records are available, only 80 girls were named Selaine, almost all between the years 1970-1990, and mostly in Brazil. A mystery.

Selaine Saxby was born in November 1970 in Coventry, and will be 50 within a few weeks. Her father was a school headmaster. Her school education is not, apparently, in the public domain; she then read Mathematics and Management at Cambridge.

I saw a tweet to the effect that Selaine Saxby is “a lawyer”, but that seems to be wrong. I can find no trace of her ever having qualified as either solicitor or barrister.

Having been born in 1970, Selaine Saxby probably graduated in the early 1990s, about 1991 or 1992. The years between then and 2000 are blank, it seems. What was she doing in those ~8 years? Sitting on a beach? Surfing? Working for MI5? We do not know.

Selaine Saxby started an online sport bra company (Lessbounce Ltd) in 2000. It seems to have been modestly successful, but was liquidated in 2016, with debts.

Other activities have included raising money for charity (though she seems to have done that as a “consultant”, i.e. she was paid, so there is no need to look upon her as having been particularly altruistic…).

Her Lessbounce (Lesbounce?) company was obviously no more than modestly successful. When it collapsed in 2016, she had already been working for a year as salaried Chief of Staff (big title for smallish job?) for gay Conservative Party MP, Ben Howlett [Con, Bath, 2015-2017]. As to Ms. Saxby’s own private life, Wikipedia, the several profiles of her online, and the MP’s own website, are silent.

After Ben Howlett lost his seat at Bath in 2017, Ms. Saxby’s job disappeared, so she became a schoolteacher (mathematics) at a state secondary in Bideford (North Devon) for what seems to have been only a few months, until a date in 2019. She had previously fought a doomed campaign at Llanelli (Wales), in 2015, in which contest she finished last out of four candidates.

Ideology

Nothing much is known of Ms. Saxby’s ideological stances except that she voted Leave in 2016, and was elected on the “get Brexit done” basis. Her recent comments seem to reflect unthinking “Daily Mail” views on social welfare. She seems to have said nothing publicly on questions of race and culture.

Attitude to money

I note that, since her election, Selaine Saxby has claimed expenses which have been not huge, and I find it odd that her “staffing costs” seem to have been only £885 in the past year (the maximum claimable is something like £165,000). She claims to take “a packed lunch” to Westminster! If true, rather silly and almost vulgar in view of MPs’ pay and expenses, especially when MPs get excellent restaurant food at Westminster for a few pounds, i.e. heavily subsidized, like the old Soviet “Kremlyovsky payok” (Kremlin ration).

I wonder whether she is not basically a bit of a skinflint. That would seem to explain her comments about both hungry children and struggling businesses.

Ms. Saxby is, incredibly, a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee in the Commons (she gets extra pay for that).

Conclusion

Selaine Saxby’s recent comments well qualify her as a deadhead MP. I have read her own website and what has been written about her online by Wikipedia, in the Press, on Conservative Home, the House of Commons online resource etc. Phrasing this in the colloquial, I do not detect a lot going on there…

Having said that, she is not going anywhere. North Devon has alternated between Conservative and LibDem for decades, and before that, Liberal, in toto for over a century. Nick Harvey held the seat for the LibDems for 23 years (1992-2015), and Selaine Saxby took over the seat from another Conservative Party MP in 2019.

The collapse of LibDemmery nationwide has meant that a number of their former strongholds are now safe Conservative seats. North Devon is one. It seems, therefore, that Ms. Saxby will be around for some time.

Deadhead MPs, An Occasional Series: the Jared O’Mara Story

Jared O’Mara [Lab, Sheffield Hallam] finds his way to these pages not, as have previous MPs so honoured, merely by being stupid or ignorant (sometimes and in fact usually combined with arrogance and dishonesty) but by expressing his mental and physical afflictions through his behaviour.

I suppose that most people feel, or feel that they should feel, sorry for those born with or otherwise suffering from physical or mental disabilities. However, my view is that, notwithstanding those feelings, I do not want such people entrusted with, inter alia, flying passenger aircraft, carrying out the duties of a surgeon, or helping to rule the United Kingdom.

According to Wikipedia:

O’Mara was born in Sheffield.[1] He has cerebral palsyhemiparesis and is on the autism spectrum.[10][11] He was educated at Tapton School, in the city’s Crosspool suburb,[12] and graduated from Staffordshire University with a first class honours degree in Journalism.[13]Before entering politics, he was a local school governor and had volunteered for Sheffield-based disability information services and charities.[13]

With friends, he ran West Street Live, a bar and music venue in Sheffield.[14]

O’Mara had stood as a Labour candidate in various Sheffield council elections.[13][15][16][17]He supported Jeremy Corbyn‘s election as Leader of the Labour Party in 2015 and 2016,[18]was a Momentum supporter and was backed by them during the 2017 election.

O’Mara graduated from Staffordshire University, one of the least convincing of the new wave of “universities” in the UK. I have no idea what a degree in journalism involves or consists of, but I do know that since the proliferation of courses in that subject, thousands of semi-literates have been let loose in the msm, with the result that one now sees egregious errors in spelling and grammar everywhere, but especially in the online versions of the old print newspapers. The Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror are among the worst offenders, replete with sentences including “he was stood at the back” and “she was sat at the back of the bus”. As for real knowledge of history, geography etc, forget it.

These new “journalists” often have no idea how to report accurately, either. Often, one has to scan a newspaper report several times before locating the salient facts. That is especially true of the court reports.

Enough of my discontent. Suffice to say that Jared O’Mara graduated in journalism, with a “first-class” degree, whatever that now signifies (my opinion: not much). He did not attempt to do any actual work as a journalist, however; he started, with friends, a bar with music, in Sheffield. He was engaged in that activity, it seems, for more than a decade until the 2017 General Election. At any rate, there is no other work or activity known, except for attempts at local elections and a stint as a local school governor.

At the General Election of 2017, O’Mara, with 38.4% of the vote, unseated Nick Clegg, the then LibDem leader (and 2010-2015 Deputy Prime Minister), who received a 34.7% vote share. The Conservative came in a moderately-strong third, with 23.8%.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheffield_Hallam_(UK_Parliament_constituency)#Elections_in_the_2010s

Labour whip suspension over offensive online comments

O’Mara became a member of the Women and Equalities Select Committee in September 2017.[3] Following revelations of offensive comments he had made before becoming an MP, he resigned from the committee the following month.[34]

A series of derogatory comments about women and gay men posted by O’Mara on websites over a decade before he became an MP were revealed by the Guido Fawkes blog on 23 October 2017.[35][36] He commented about the Girls Aloud pop group: “I advise you to sack Sarah and the remaining four members (NicolaCherylNadine and Kimberley) come have an orgy with me”; and he said that the 2003 winner of Pop IdolMichelle McManus, had “only won because she was fat”.[6][35][37]

He has also been accused of making homophobic comments including referring to gay men as “poofters” and “fudge packers” and referring to jazz musician Jamie Cullum as a “conceited cunt” who should be “sodomised with his own piano”.[6][38][39] O’Mara apologised “if his comments caused offence” and resigned from the Women and Equalities Select Committee.[6][39] In a later speech, O’Mara said that the homophobic words he used were part of an Eminem record he listened to at the time.[40]

The following day, O’Mara was accused by Sophie Evans, a Sheffield bar worker whom he had met through an online dating app, on BBC Two‘s Daily Politics of having “made transphobic slurs” towards her in March 2017, and of saying in the same incident that she was an “ugly bitch”.[41][42] O’Mara denied the allegation.[43] On the same day, it also emerged that he had been posting derogatory comments about children in Sheffield and appeared to advocate corporal punishment to deal with delinquent youth.[44] Following the emergence of the comments to Evans, the Labour Party announced an investigation into O’Mara’s conduct, but stopped short of suspending him from the party.[45]

Further revelations were made public on 25 October 2017. On a Morrissey fan site in 2002, he was found to have made xenophobic insults, saying that Danes were “pig shaggers” who “practised bestiality” and referring to Spaniards as “dagos“.[46] O’Mara, when reviewing the Arctic Monkeys in November 2004, made several sexual comments including how “sexy little slags” danced to the band’s songs.[47] These revelations resulted in O’Mara being suspended from the Labour Party and therefore having the party whip withdrawn.” [Wikipedia]

Recently, it has emerged that the now “Independent” MP has completely abandoned any constituency work, does not bother to answer enquiries from his constituents, and has no staff, having sacked some, while others quit, unable to bear O’Mara and his behaviour. The most recent (and last?) staff member, the “chief of staff”, left very publicly, tweeting that O’Mara was “the most disgustingly morally bankrupt person I have ever had the displeasure of working with“, and “a selfish, degenerate prick“. The employee had only worked for O’Mara for 8 weeks! He added:

We’re left with a situation where there’s people in Sheffield Hallam who are not being represented, there are people who are waiting on their immigration status, there are people who are not getting houses, there are people having their benefits stopped and all these things stopped just because he’s not prepared to do his job properly.”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jul/24/jared-omara-aide-uses-sheffield-mp-twitter-account-to-quit-in-angry-tirade

O’Mara is also, it seems, some kind of alcoholic, downing a bottle of vodka in the mornings (even before breakfast) on some days. It just gets better…

Below, the tweets the “chief of staff” sent out under O’Mara’s own Twitter account:

Despite the above, O’Mara has stated that he intends to stand again at the next general election. Some idiots have been defending him. The tweet below is typical of modern Britain, not just because the tweeter is non-white and painfully politically-correct, but because she seems to have no understanding of the fact that an MP is supposed to be there to serve his constituents, not use his status as a well-paid holiday or mental and physical therapy opportunity:

https://twitter.com/a_leesha1/status/1153798835669352449

Pathetic. At least most people (see below) seem to understand why MPs even exist…

So there we have it. For me, the most important part of this story is how it has somehow come to be expected that, if an MP is disabled or mentally unwell, then the House of Commons should change to accommodate that, or if a woman has a small child, then the procedures of the Commons should be interfered with in order to make her daily life easier. Maybe mentally-ill, addicted or incapable people should simply not be MPs? Same with woman MPs who have small children. They serve the country better by dealing with them, not by grandstanding in the House of Commons.

What about Sheffield Hallam, the unfortunate constituents of which now have even less help from their MP than is the norm? They must await a general election. There is no prospect of Jared O’Mara standing down, not while he can get about £80,000 a year plus expenses (London flat, utilities etc) paid.

Obviously when there is an election, O’Mara is gone, even if he makes some quixotic attempt to stand as Independent. The LibDems are probably in a good position to recapture the seat now. The Conservatives will be weakened by their national situation and by the Brexit Party (which threatens to stand in every English and maybe every UK constituency). Labour has little chance. O’Mara was the first and may be the last Labour MP elected for Sheffield Hallam (the seat was created in 1885). The Conservatives held the seat until 1997.

The present House of Commons; look upon its members, ye confounded…and despair.

Notes

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/18/jared-omara-labour-mp-sheffield-hallam-defeated-nick-clegg

Update, 25 July 2019

Statement from Jared O’Mara MP:

Statement regarding my mental health and recent events

In a few weeks, I will be making a follow-up statement regarding my position, until then I will be taking time out to receive professional help to deal with my mental health and personal issues regarding self-medication. During this time I would appreciate you could give myself and family privacy.

This is what I would like to say in the meantime:

I would like to start by apologising to my family, my friends and my constituents. I have not been honest with you about the depths of my depression and self-loathing. When I started this job in 2017 I was a different man: a confident and passionate man that wanted to help others. Sadly, I was unable to do that because very quickly I was bullied and mistreated in a harsh and unforgiving environment and that led me to be weak.

I wasn’t even meant to win the election. I stood because I wanted to give my time to support the democratic process and because I was inspired by Jeremy Corbyn and everything he had to say. Particularly about “Equality and Fairness”. I voted for him twice, was a member of his group ‘Momentum’ and practically idolised him.

But I got no support from him or the National Labour Party during the campaign. The previous Labour candidate Oliver Coppard (who I think should be the MP for Sheffield Hallam and I think is a top bloke) got funding and support nationally but I did not. The efforts of a small group of dedicated grassroots activists working to help me with the campaign I lead won that election for us. I will always be grateful to those amazing volunteers and all who voted for me. I don’t get many people backing me, helping me and supporting me in my life so it means so much when you do.

One person who constantly snubbed me and treated me less favourably than other people was Jeremy. He was the biggest shock of that election; not my victory. He has not been the man I thought he was nor that he appears to be. To the point that he and his team lied to you all last year. I was never let back in the Labour Party as they said. Nor was I ever ordered to go on training or “warned”.

They wanted me to act like I was when I was not provided with any details in writing about anything and they wanted me to act like I was guilty of those allegations from the two women from the pub when I had submitted hard evidence and witness details that showed I was not. So I had no choice but to leave the party I loved.

Within months of my appointment as MP for Sheffield Hallam the smears happened and I fell into a self-destructive nosedive. During my suspension Sam Matthews his team were consummate professionals but then Jeremy’s office took over the case and I had to get a solicitor involved because of disability discrimination in order to get it back on track.

The discrimination made things even worse. My mental health deteriorated further and I isolated myself from family, friends and constituents. My actions became erratic and my thoughts became incoherent to the point where most recently I suffered a delusional episode.

In May this year, I sent an email to Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn asking them for help with getting Equality in parliament. Some MPs were parents who were not getting support and Maternity/Paternity cover and I wasn’t entitled to my rights under the Equality Act for adequate support for my disabilities and as such was not provided with the safe and necessary environment for me to speak in the chamber. This was to serve as my olive branch to Jeremy for the bullying he and his staff had put me through which caused me to leave the party in July last year.

Jeremy and his office then offered me a meeting by letter and by my parents’ observations I was visibly excited. Jeremy’s office then promised to get in touch with me and offer a selection of dates on a certain day but did not fulfil their promise, so I emailed the next day and let my disgust at their disrespect be known. Jeremy’s response was to make false reports about me being a mental health danger around parliament with a delegation of Labour safeguarding representatives and his staff. I know this because I have it in writing from the parliamentary doctor.

I was not then a mental health risk at that point but such gaslighting ultimately made me one.

About two weeks ago I told a staff member I was in love with her during the aforementioned delusional episode. I’d been paranoid for weeks that if I was mad like Jeremy and his team said I was then I’d do something like that. The messages I said that were not of a sober or rational mind and felt like an out of body experience when I sent them but I know that does not excuse my actions because I should not have been self-medicating with a drink to get into that state. It was my lowest point and I will be apologising personally to her and her family.

I want to become a better person again; like I was. I feel I’ve become unrecognisable and I want to make amends. I need treatment for my mental health and rest first though. I will make a further statement about my future in a few weeks.

Lastly, to my dear, old friend – the Noel to my Liam – Gareth: Thank you for sticking with me like I am sticking with you. How anyone put up with for this long is a mystery! That’s what mates should do. I wish you a good break, you have earned it.

I am so sorry to everybody for everything. You have put up with so much; all of you all my staff, my family, friends and constituents.

Thank you so much,

Jared O’Mara MP

https://www.jaredomara.co.uk/recentactivity/2019/7/25/statement-regarding-my-mental-health-and-recent-events

Update, 28 July 2019

Well, only a day or two after I blogged, another twist in this story: O’Mara has now indicated that he will stand down as MP for Sheffield Hallam when the Parliamentary Summer Recess is over (3 September 2019).

So I was wrong in assuming that O’Mara would cling on as MP for financial reasons. He has done the right thing, or promised to do it. Credit where due. He has made the honourable decision to fall on his sword.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jul/27/ex-labour-mp-jared-omara-to-resign-from-parliament

If only other MPs who have lost all legitimacy would follow O’Mara’s lead: Anna Soubry, Fathead Chuka Umunna and the other “Change UK” defectors, sex pest Israel lobbyist John Woodcock etc.

As to the by-election which will now occur in Sheffield Hallam (and which the LibDems must, even speaking so far in advance, have a good chance of winning), that will probably be held in October. I shall blog about it once the candidates are announced, which will probably not be until some time in September.

Update, 23 August 2019

Seems that my general suspicion might not have been quite so wide of the mark after all…

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/aug/23/sheffield-mp-jared-omara-arrested-on-suspicion-of

Update, 4 September 2019

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7424617/Controversial-MP-Jared-OMara-postpones-plan-resign-Commons.html

Now O’Mara wants to “postpone” his standing down until the next general election! He may be a “fuck-up” mentally and physically, but he is cunning about money…

So now, O’Mara is going to keep getting the pay, “expenses” (inc. free London housing or hotel costs, utilities, food, taxis etc) for further weeks or even months. He has already said that he will not be doing any further actual MP work (not that he has ever done much), so all the money he gets will have been extracted on a basis of total dishonesty (regardless of whether he is ever charged with fraud as such).

Update, 23 December 2019

Well, in the end, this particular deadhead MP did not stand at the 12 December 2019 General Election. Labour put up a new candidate, a former Sheffield councillor, Olivia Blake, and she managed to hang on to the seat for Labour (just*): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheffield_Hallam_(UK_Parliament_constituency)#Elections_in_the_2010s

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olivia_Blake

* Lab majority in 2019 was 712; O’Mara’s majority in 2017 was 2,125. LibDem leader Nick Clegg’s 2015 majority was 2,353; his 2010 majority had been rather better— 15,284!