Ranking Tory politicians in terms of how bad they are is a bit like picking your favourite torture method. Sure, sleep deprivation for 72 hours is bad, but on balance, it’s a lot better than having your fingernails removed or losing an arm. In many ways, maybe sleep deprivation is fine! I mean, you’re still alive, right?
These are the words you’ll be repeating when the Conservative party eventually elects its new lizard Quee– I mean, leader. Leaving the EU without a deal becomes far more likely, as do tax breaks for the wealthy, harsher time limits on abortions, and further cuts to welfare funding…but, hey, at least you’ve still got your fingernails!
To get real insight into exactly how terrible the Tory leader front runners are, we went deep on the final ten candidates’ voting history, looking at housing policy, the NHS, LGBTQ+ rights, drugs, immigration and asylum, education, corporation tax and their general propensity to starting wars, as well as how much they hate poor people.
Obviously, former voting patterns depend on many things – including time spent in Parliament, as well as whether the politician is a backbencher or cabinet minister – so the Dickhead Ranking System™ isn’t 100-percent watertight. Nonetheless, it’s always nice to be reminded of how truly fucked we are in numerical form (100 being hellfire, zero being “just quite bad”).
Ironically, for the Tory party’s current Environment Secretary, Gove has historically voted against measures to prevent climate change, including to sell of many of Britain’s state-owned forests. Plus, he took a bunch of coke in his youth, which we all know is absolutely terrible for the environment. He doesn’t hate gay people as much as some of his colleagues, having campaigned for same-sex marriage during the vote, but that’s probably the only silver lining here. Gove wants to dismantle the NHS, as it “fails to meet public expectations,” according to a book co-authored by him, and has consistently voted against increasing benefit spending in line with inflation.
DICKHEAD RATING OUT OF 100: 77
Former Technology Secretary, now Health Secretary, Matt Hancock as potential Prime Minister is more akin to being stripped naked in a cell than, say, losing an arm in the custody of a military dictator: bad, but not like, bad. As Health Secretary, Hancock voted to privatise the NHS, but did want to replace some hospital fax machines while Minister for Innovation and Technology. He has declared himself a feminist but also voted against raising welfare benefits, despite austerity disproportionately affecting women. Funny that. In 2013, like Gove and 31-percent of his party, he also showed his disdain for our lovely public forests.
DICKHEAD RATING OUT OF 100: 75
Mark Harper’s record as an MP is sort of entertainingly terrible, despite being a largely low-profile figure in this race. As MP for the literal Forest of Dean, he once described selling off public forests as “an exciting opportunity”, but then had to be escorted by police from a public meeting on the subject in 2011 to avoid the angry, egg-wielding public. As Immigration Minister, Harper launched a campaign involving buses emblazoned with the words, “Here Illegally? Go Home or Risk Arrest.” He then found out that his house cleaner did not have permission to work in the UK, so resigned from his post.
Harper generally votes alongside his colleagues, so in favour of invading places, hiking university fees, killing badgers etc. He also claims never to have taken illegal drugs, which just makes him extremely wet as a candidate, voting record aside.
DICKHEAD RATING OUT OF 100: 73
Jeremy (C)Hunt, will forever be known as the destroyer of our health system, ravager of junior doctors and hater of nationalised health care after his implementation of a widely criticised junior doctors contract that prompted the first industrial strike by doctors in 40 years. His voting record is similarly heartless: privatise the NHS, raise university fees and cut welfare spending.
Despite all this, Hunt is often considered more liberal than his fellow leadership contestants – voting to stay in the EU, as well as abstaining from a vote on our precious forests. He has also pledged 1.5 million new homes for “generation rent” in an attempt to pull in votes from young Tories (all 12 of them). This alleged liberal attitude seems to stop at women, however. This week, Hunt announced his personal belief that the abortion limit should be reduced from 22 weeks to 12 weeks, but later ruled out making changes if elected after widespread backlash. Stay woke!
RATING OUT OF 100: 74
While Javid has generally voted in line with other Tory MPs, his damning record comes from views on asylum and immigration. He recently questioned whether asylum seekers risking their lives to cross the Channel to the UK are “genuine,” and earlier this year, revoked the British citizenship of Shamima Begum, who left the country to join ISIS at the age of 15 but requested permission to return. Javid also voted for stricter asylum policy and stronger enforcement of immigration laws, including a ban on the immigration detention of those who are pregnant. Alongside stripping people of their citizenship (a potential human rights violation), Javid also voted – yep, you guessed it – to sell our forests.
RATING OUT OF 100: 75
Often called “Boris” or “Bojo”, rather than referred to by his last name (a clever tool to appear endearingly familiar), Johnson manages to woo the right wing of the Tory party, while appearing foppish and inoffensive to the general public. In reality, he is a power-hungry wet wipe, voting whichever way will get him closer to the top (see: his flip-flopping on the EU).
Johnson voted in favour of gay marriage but also wrote in 2001, “If gay marriage was OK – and I was uncertain on the issue – then I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men, or indeed three men and a dog.” He also voted against welfare increases and in favour of stronger enforcement of immigration laws, as well as leaving the London housing crisis significantly worse off after his two terms as Mayor. He once said that women who wear burkas “look like letter boxes.”
As the front runner, he is campaigning on leaving the EU with a no-deal Brexit, something Parliament has voted against. All in all, a spineless manifestation of Britain’s elitism.
DICKHEAD RATING OUT OF 100: 79
One of only two women running, Leadsom scores reasonably high on the dickhead scale. She has been open about her scepticism of LGBTQ+ rights, saying that parents should be able to decide whether children are “exposed” to education on the subject. She abstained during the gay marriage vote, saying that it hurt Christians. She has consistently voted for welfare cuts, and in the last leadership race, said that as a mother, she would make a better candidate than Theresa May (that childless wench). Dislikes gay people, dislikes women without kids, dislikes welfare. Bin.
DICKHEAD RATING OUT OF 100: 79
I’m sure Esther McVey has a questionable voting history, but the only thing worth mentioning is that she is currently embroiled in a bizarre public dragging by Loraine Kelly. Kelly, when asked if she got on with her former colleague (McVey used to be a television presenter), looked straight down the camera and said, “I don’t remember, love. I don’t remember at all, it was an awful long time ago.” When pushed, a day later, Kelly said she objected to McVey’s stance on LGBTQ+ issues as she voted against gay marriage. Fair.
As well as voting against gay marriage, McVey was also a key player in the introduction of Universal Credit, and forced to step down from her role as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions after mistakenly advising the government to speed up the rollout of the controversial benefits system, despite a report from the National Audit Office stating it should be paused. Predictably, McVey has also consistently voted to reduce welfare spending.
RATING OUT OF 100: 79
While Dominic Raab has only been in Parliament since 2010, therefore having less opportunity to show his inner evil than most, he’s hardly a background character in this shitshow of a race. Recently, Raab hit the headlines for refusing to describe himself as a feminist (he previously referred to them as “obnoxious bigots”), and in 2015, voted in favour of criminalising women for ending a pregnancy on the grounds of foetal sex. Raab also consistently campaigned to leave the EU, voted for stronger immigration laws and falsely claimed that migrants coming to the UK had increased housing prices by “something like 20 percent.” Alongside voting for use of military forces overseas, he has pledged to double defence spending if he were to be elected.
Raab is currently refusing to lift an NDA on a woman former colleague. He was also mentioned in a Westminster dossier that alleged sexual misconduct of MPs last year (though he has denied the accusation of “inappropriate behaviour with a woman.”) What a catch, ladies.
DICKHEAD RATING OUT OF 100: 80
Weird guy, Rory Stuart. Along with his gawky Twitter videos and insistence on sitting like someone with a difficult bout of thrush during interviews, the MP for Penrith and The Border has come up with some unusual proposals for his potential leadership, including the introduction of a form of national service. If we look backwards, Stewart supported the Remain campaign and voted for gay marriage, but was absent for the vote to extend that to the armed forces. As Environmental Secretary, he introduced the plastic bag tax, which has, arguably, been useful in reducing single-use plastic pollution in the UK. However, he also voted against measures to prevent climate change, like financial incentives for low-carbon electricity.
Gets a straight up 1/10 (the least awful ranking) for admitting to smoking opium though, the hardest drug consumed by any of the leadership candidates. We stan a largely terrible candidate…who once got high.
DICKHEAD RATING OUT OF 100: 64