Aggregated UK political opinion content, stakeholder research and policy consultations.
Jerry Hayes

Hello (This is my first post so go easy on me)

May 26th, 2010 by Jerry Hayes

Jerry HayesSome of you will have heard of me, others not. From 1983-1997 I was the Tory MP for Harlow, until the New Labour Tsunami swept me aside. Luckily I had a life raft, namely writing, broadcasting and the criminal bar. But best of all, I was helped by some really great journo mates. Some may remember me on the James Whale Show, others as political editor of PUNCH. Sadly, Al Fayed pulled the plug. Now I’m full time at the bar, but really miss my column. So cases permitting, I’m going to have a crack at blogging. For anyone that’s mildly interested I’m on the independent left of the Conservative Party. During the Thatcher years I was regarded as a rebel. Heaven knows why, I just believed in social justice and pragmatism. But in those days that was about as popular as a rat sandwich. On one occasion I reduced our majority from 140 to 4. I was not always popular with the right.

So here it goes.

The fellow who advised David Cameron to take on the 1922 Committee without bothering to read the rules should be easy to spot. He’d be the one hobbling from the Cabinet Office back door with a one way ticket and unlikely to make a donation to the National Sperm Bank for a considerable time. Backbenchers should be hugged close. Clegg and Cameron should learn from the mistakes of Blair, Brown and Heath who treated them with barely concealed contempt. They must wander the bars, the Tea room and the lobbies pressing the flesh. Peter Walker once persuaded Ted Heath to chat to some of the boys in the Smoking room. “You remember Reggie”, said Walker, “made a speech yesterday”. Dear Reggie, a knight of the Shires, a face carved from Spam and whose gene pool you would not drown, leaned forward for a compliment. “Yes”, said Ted “and bloody awful it was too”. Heath was never invited to press the parliamentary flesh again. In politics bullshit only works when you lay it on with at trowel. Cameron and Clegg ooze with charm and bonhomie. There won’t be a dry gusset in the tea room The guys will love it.

An early lesson Cameron must learn is that the right take no prisoners. The corpse may twitch, but it can come to life and bite you in the leg when you least expect it. When John Major was first installed in Downing Street he received a visit from George Gardner, the leader of the powerful 92 group. “Prime Minister if you do things our way your life will be so much easier”. “Thank you George” said an ever polite Major “now kindly fuck off”. The rest is history.

No matter how well this coalition does, the right will feel betrayed and use any excuse to cause trouble. Like the left they need a totem pole to dance round. They need certainty, they need blind faith and most important of all, a craven image to worship. They had all that in Thatcher and their bereavement at her political death still runs deep. So don’t wage war on them, there is no need as the coalition has a good working majority. And don’t treat them like Mrs Duffy. Their views may seem strange, provincial and sometimes bigoted, but quite a lot of the grass roots share them. It’s difficult to teach an old dogma new tricks. But with tender loving care it can be done.

And finally, three words of warning for the twelve newbies who some might say, have had the arrogance and mind blowing stupidity to put themselves up for election to the 22 executive. “You’re being used”. Forget all this nonsense that you are there to be independent minded. That’s Hattie’s line and she is up to mischief. The Whips only want you for your bodies, not your views. They need to get government business through and not be messed around by the kindergarten. My advice to them is if they want to rebel chose the issue carefully, be sure of your facts and consult with everyone, particularly the old hands. If not glittering careers will transform into parliamentary road kill very quickly indeed.

  1. Laura Laura says:

    Mr Hayes; welcome and good luck with your blog. Anyone who so casually quotes that delightful Dorothy Parker line regarding dogma and tricks is someone I suspect I will enjoy reading more from.

  2. Nigel Nelson Nigel Nelson says:

    Jerry Hayes? Never heard of him

  3. Welcome to blogging. Hope you enjoy it! I’m sure I will enjoy reading it.

  4. William H William H says:

    Nice stuff, Jerry, and I do remember you – you were one of the genuine losses to the Tory ranks in 1997.

    A couple of minor criticisms: George Gardiner, not Gardner – I also remember that dreadful man. And I think you wanted to say graven rather than craven. I’m not a great admirer of Thatcher but I don’t think anyone would describe her as craven.

  5. Dear Mr. Hayes,

    I am the founder and editor of Blue Youth, a blog platform for young conservative-minded people in the UK. I think you follow our Twitter feed.

    It’s great that you are blogging. I am loving it (although a little bit distracted for the next 10 days by university exams!).

    Anyway, I am also looking to do the occasional piece of journalism (around a full-time job, which I will be starting in September). Looking to try and break into journalism a little bit over the summer…if possible – it seems like a hard nut to crack!

    I was wondering if you had any advice about how to go about getting newspapers/websites interested in me writing for them?

    Here are a few of my pieces for Blue Youth, if you get a moment to look!

    A piece about BNP support and how to combat it:

    A critique of the term “progressive”:

    An analysis of the Lib Dem £10,000 tax policiy:

    And finally a futuristic hypothetical:

    I have also done quite a lot of other pieces too. If you like what I have written and have any advice about how to go about getting some pieces published, would you be able to email me? My email address should be visible to you?

    Thank you very much. Any advice would be gratefully received!

    Welcome to the blogosphere!


  6. Seamaster Seamaster says:

    Great to see you blogging, Jerry. You have always been an entertaining voice in political punditry and I’m sure will bring the same fresh perspective to the blogosphere.

  7. Paul Marsden Paul Marsden says:

    Dear Jerry,
    Great first post and excellent advice to the new PM and Deputy PM. As one of those in 1997 who (I apologise) swept yourself and others from power, I too understood the party machinery when I rebelled over the war in Afghanistan in 2001. The over reaction by the Whips pushed me into the hands of the Lib Dems. After three years I had enough and exited in 2005.
    Blair was very poor at mixing with the backbench infantry and ultimately was forced to give way to Brown. To be fair Kennedy seemed to stay in touch to a degree. However, his own frailties led to him stepping down and demonstrated that he did not command the support of his own troops as he was pushed out.
    Every week Cameron and Clegg must ‘work’ the tea rooms and listen, otherwise when times get tough the knives will be brought out by those fed up of being ignored and used.
    Best wishes and stick at the Blog!

    Paul Marsden
    Lab MP 1997-2001 and endorsed Labour in 2005
    Lib Dem MP 2001-2005

    • Jerry Hayes Jerry Hayes says:

      Hi Paul I entirely agree with your analysis.As one of the principled few who suffered from the bullyboy tactics of the whips & the venom of a party that secretly agreed with you I sincerely hope that the coalition as a role for you. Good luck

  8. Paul P Paul P says:

    An excellent read. I look forward to more.

  9. grahams grahams says:

    Enjoyed your blog and have bookmarked it, but your photograph, 13 years after, left a nagging question. Do your natural assets enable you to appear in court without a wig yet in full seemingly bewigged formality?

  10. Savonarola Savonarola says:

    Not sure I can trust a man with curly hair(laced with peroxide)who sports a well trimmed beard.
    Excellent piece. Good luck with the blog although I suspect that blog viewing figures will decline overall. Likes of Guido and other populist bloggers of the right will see numbers fall sharply.

  11. Lorna Spenceley Lorna Spenceley says:

    Good grief! You’re back! Welcome to the world of blogging – I shall follow your musings with interest.

    Lorna Spenceley
    (Jerry’s Liberal Democrat opponent in Harlow, 1992 and 1997)

    • Jerry Hayes Jerry Hayes says:

      Hi Lorna. How good to hear from you! We had fun times in Harlow. What are you up to now?

      • Lorna Spenceley Lorna Spenceley says:

        I’m now in beautiful Fenland, in North East Cambridgeshire. I was the Liberal Democrat candidate here earlier this month, standing against Steve Barclay – your new chappie*, replacing Malcolm Moss who stood down at this election. (*Or should I say ‘our new chappie’ in this brave new world of coalition government? Even MPs from the two coalition parties are ‘my honourable friend’-ing each other. Takes some getting used to!).

        • Jerry Hayes Jerry Hayes says:

          But I do think it is very exciting. It should bring to heel the mad right and barmy left! Well, in theory

  12. JamesW JamesW says:

    I remember seeing you on the James Whale show. Watching TV well after midnight sloshed on Guinness – the joys of university!

  13. InLikeFlint InLikeFlint says:

    Excellent first post. Clear, concise, and above all, interesting. Look forward to reading more in the future.

  14. Jerry,

    Greeting from Ireland. As a fellow bearded centre-righter (Heavy on the centre) welcome to the fraternity, and well done on a first blog that managed to be politically interesting, entertaining and most of all written by a functioning human being. I actually do recall you from the telly, where you always struck me as being on the non-headbanger wing of the Tories. Will be bookmarking the blog.

    All the best,

    Jason O’Mahony

    • Jerry Hayes Jerry Hayes says:

      That is so kind. I spent many happy and very drunken years on the Anglo Irish Parliamentary Body!

  15. PaulW PaulW says:

    Thanks for posting. I had to read the first two lines a few times, disbelieving that you were ever a Tory MP. From memory, I was damned sure you were one of the more urbane Labourites who didn’t last, simply because they hadn’t drunk the Kool-Aid. Sorry about that! PW

    • Jerry Hayes Jerry Hayes says:

      That’s because I had a beard and a yellow tie. The yellow tie used to annoy Thatcher so I threw it away when she ascended into heaven

  16. Weston Bay Weston Bay says:

    Bloody hell, Jerry. I thought you’d disappeared without trace! I always remember that fetching waistcoat you used to wear on the James Whale thingummy. On eBay now is it?

    Good luck with the blog. Here’s hoping you have something interesting to say…

  17. niall paterson niall paterson says:

    Is there anyone who DOESN’T blog these days?

  18. dizzy dizzy says:

    A rebel? Surely the correct term is wet?

  19. Pete C Pete C says:

    It was a telly highlight to see yourself and the dearly missed Gary Jacobs on Mr Whale’s magazine programme all those years ago. It’s a delight to see you have popped up on the interweb.

    Consider yourself bookmarked.

  20. That That's News says:

    I do remember you from the James Whale Show. Very useful contributions and some snazzy waistcoats.

    If you can keep this standard up, your blog will be a joy to read.

  21. George George says:

    Hi Jerry,

    My mum was your election agent back in ‘97 and I seem to recall pounding the streets of Harlow. Anyhow delighted to see you Blogging as I enjoyed your articles in Punch.

    • Jerry Hayes Jerry Hayes says:

      Hi George I remember you well. Are you in good Heath now? do send my love to Marion

    • Jerry Hayes Jerry Hayes says:

      No George remember you well. Are you in good health now? Do send my love to Marion a great agent and friend

  22. Jez Jez says:

    Welcome to blogging Jerry. You were my MP back in the 80’s and 90’s. In fact you still live on in North Weald as a member of the cricket team looks so much like you he is still refered to as Jerry Hayes. Even more amusingly he was a member of the Tory party! Best of luck with the blog.

  23. Paul Barnes Paul Barnes says:

    Hi Jerry – great to see you back …… I remember all the wonderful work you did on our social equality issue …… much appreciated and it made a great difference to many people’s lives ….. I’m living in the South of France now taking life easy – paradise :) Looking forward to reading more

  24. Paul Barnes Paul Barnes says:

    Definately up for lunch – in town twice a month – u have my emaila ddress… let me know how to get in touch with you to arrange something

  25. Simon Broadley Simon Broadley says:

    Hi Jerry

    We worked together on Whale On… and The James Whale Show some 15 years ago.

    In idle moments I still treasure the idiocy of an item you devised called ‘Mystic Mog’ in which you swung a toy cat about on the end of a fishing line and made predictions based on where it landed on a strange zodiac-like diagram on the floor. Your cheery but unfortunate observation that ‘we all like a bit of black pussy’ resulted in an official complaint from the regulator. Happy days, indeed.

    That’s a very entertaining blog you have there. Glad to see you’ve still got some lead in your pencil.

    Best wishes

    Simon Broadley

    • Jerry Hayes Jerry Hayes says:

      Hi Simon. I remember those happy days with great affection! I’d totally forgotten about Mystic Mog and the complaint. Now you have jogged my memory I recall that the complaint was not of bad taste (which it was) but racist (which in no stretch of the imagination was it). But hay Ho. Nice to hear from you.

    • Jerry Hayes Jerry Hayes says:

      Simon, did you get my reply this morning? Apologies if not, but sometimes the technology is above my head! What are you up to nowadays?

      • Simon Simon says:

        Hi Jerry

        Still working in TV, though it’s been a while since I booked anyone who’s been sexually assaulted by an alien, can resuscitate dead animals or drinks their own piss for fun. Do you have an email address that isn’t public?


  26. Harjinder Samra Harjinder Samra says:

    More more more scribing and get back on tv! This Country Needs You!

Leave a reply