Steerpike Steerpike

Esther McVey’s curious new alliance

Peter Summers/Getty Images

Whether it’s Labour and Plaid in Wales, the SNP and Greens in Scotland or Red Wallers and free-marketeers within Westminster, it’s an interesting time for political alliances at present. But Mr S brings news of a fresh new cross-party effort to raise the eyebrows of even those cynical veterans of the ChangeUK years. Esther McVey – the true-blue Tatton Tory torch-holder of the Thatcherite flame – is spearheading calls to regulate music streaming under the auspices of the #BrokenRecordCampaign.

The former Cabinet minister has been drumming up support for the initiative, penning enthusiastic op-eds for the Times and rounding up 44 Conservative MPs to co-sign a letter calling on Boris Johnson to ‘level up’ the music industry. A self-avowed free-marketeer, McVey has nonetheless emerged as a critic of the music industry’s ‘huge and often foreign-owned multinational corporations’ for threatening ‘treasured areas of our national life.’ Intrigued, Mr S thought he would look into the Blue Collar Tory’s new-found allies on the campaign, which was founded and fronted by former musician Tom Gray.

Unfortunately, despite McVey’s ardent support of his campaign, Gray does not appear to be a fan of McVey’s Brexit-enacting government, judging by a quick-look at his social media pages. Among his greatest hits include suggesting that the government ‘couldn’t give a monkey about suicidal kids, fascism etc,’ criticising ‘mainstream Conservatives’ for ‘deal[ing] in nationalist bunkum’ and being ‘an obscene watered-down version’ of Nazis and calling Johnson a ‘blitherin’ blowhard’ ‘talking shite.’

Mr S awaits with interest to see if such utterances will convince the government to change its mind, given Jacob Rees-Mogg said less than a fortnight ago that ministers believe more research needs to be done. 

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