Ex-chair of young Tories: “Should the unemployed be allowed to vote?”

The former chair of Conservative Future has suggested that the unemployed should not be allowed to vote. Tom Bursnall, who recently defected from the Tories to UKIP on Windsor and Maidenhead Council, specifically targeted the unemployed people on his Pro Capitalist blog, asking:

“Should people on benefits be allowed to vote?”

And it gets worse — when “Batsh*t Bursnall” goes on to suggest that rich people should receive more votes than the poor:

“It would be terribly ‘unfair’ of you to give equal representation rights to the chap who contributes 50 times more than the next person.  In the same way as if you own 60% of shares of a company, you’ll get 60% of the voting rights at the Annual General Meeting.”

With Tom and his councillor wife trousering more than £14,000 from the taxpayer, Scrapbook wonders how many more votes the Bursnall household would receive.

55 Comments

  1. simon bayley says:

    So let me see, a soldier who fought for his country but is now unemployed possibly due to post traumatic stress wouldn’t be able to vote, but a banker whose greed had contributed to getting this country into the mess it’s in, would recieve more than one vote.

  2. Dan T says:

    And this is why the poorly veiled fascists at UKIP shouldn’t be voted in.

  3. Jon says:

    Tell you what Tom, you’re on, providing you agree that Tories should not be allowed to procreate.

  4. Jon says:

    or UKIPers for that matter…

  5. Ash says:

    Youre kidding right? They cause the closure of many industries and workplaces , make it difficult for new businesses to get anywhere.. make no effort with education improvements, cause huge unemployment then create apprenticeships to “FIX” unemployment figures that are worthless… cheaper to employ a temp minimum wager with no experience than a qualified experienced applicant..
    THEN say we are not entitled to vote… so they just PUNISH the PUNISHED even more…

  6. Holden says:

    That’s right, nobody has a right to self-determination unless things have already been determined well for them. Not a terribly radical idea mind: Isn’t his broader proposition just what lobbying and party donations are?

  7. Ash says:

    They’ve done nothing to help the 2.67 million (and growing) unemployed.. and now they want to EXCLUDE those annoyed citizens from voting.. GREEEAAAAT IDEA!! of course, If you don’t want people that you’ve annoyed from voting for someone more competent

  8. Charlie says:

    This man so lacking in any understanding of history (1867 Reform Act) or in democracy (comparing voting for shares to political elections) and so removed from reality as to think he is entitled to taxpayers’ money while demanding they’re disenfranchised is, perhaps, the one and only example of someone who really shouldn’t have the vote.

  9. Justine Brown says:

    I had a terrible experience at an NHS dentist because the impression all set, and they said they couldn’t get it off for 2 weeks.
    It would have been terribly unfair if I couldn’t vote,
    because I wasn’t able to work during that period.

  10. mike cobley says:

    Ah, got it! – why dont we just turn the unemployed into slaves, then we can move them around to any company we like to work for free, with the coercion that the miserly pennies they get will be taken away if they dont behave…

    Oh, wait…

  11. Lucky says:

    You’ve got to love those of the Tory mindset, you really do. Because otherwise you might start to realize how very much they despise everything that makes this country democratic and civilized. How those born into comfortable, wealthy homes assume that they in some way earned that background. How those born into affluent and wealthy families are in some way more entitled to their success than a poor person who has struggled to gain any form of employment (if they managed to find any at all).

    Wealth does not equal intelligence in the UK, it does not always indicate success, unless we count happening to be pushed out of a wealthy cervix to be success…

  12. Mauginog says:

    Typical crackpot Tory! We have a Government full of them, unfortunately. But only for the next three years.

  13. Geraint says:

    Didn’t Alan B’stard suggest this in the tv sitom/documentary about the Tory party? I think it was called “The New Statesman”

  14. Geraint says:

    Is he confusing himself was Alan B’stard?

  15. Ceiliog says:

    Telegraph bloggers have suggested that anyone who pays less than £50 p.a. in income tax should not get a vote.
    Also, these Gleephart wankers think that multinational corporations should have block votes in Parliamentary elections.

  16. JohnH says:

    I’ll try again = Personally I think votes should be weighted by IQ – that would keep the Tories out.

  17. Paul Robinson says:

    you question whether the unemployed should be allowed to vote, while wanting to give the vote to prisoners, you defected from the Tories to UKIP and i would hope that they have the common sense to kick you sorry backside out of that party, you worthless piece of garbage.

  18. Tom Heathfield says:

    What an obnoxious statement. Clueless, bigoted and utterly arrogant. Much like most of the overprivileged idiots on the right of politics these days. If I was a client of his recruitment business I’d ditch him right away.

  19. twoseventwo says:

    I encountered this person at university. At the time I thought his libertarian ultra idiocy was at least partly to do with youth, but here we are ten years later and life experience doesn’t appear to have taught him a thing. His spelling appears to have improved, mind you.

  20. [...] I’m not the only one to notice it seems. Share this:StumbleUponDiggRedditTwitterEmailPrintFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to [...]

  21. John Loftus says:

    So this moronic fascist is getting a platform for his shit.Fuck him & all like him!! Anders Brehvik did a good jod,according to cunts like him.Sorry for the uncotrolled rhetoically raving.But ask the families’s of the 77 dead people who have had to suffer their grief ,all because one prick thought he waqs right!!!!

  22. dean says:

    Where does this prick live. If he wants to force the shit that comes out his mouth on every1 else i am gonna force the shit that comes out of my ass down his throat

  23. democracy says:

    risible individual.

  24. Scary Biscuits says:

    Democracy is not traditionally simply the rule of the masses. It is only very recently that a universal franchise and a democracy have been thought to be the same thing, most notably in the EU (not a good example if your looking for stable places with reducing poverty).

    Debate over the 1867 Reform Act was dominated by considerations of partisan advantage. Despite what Charlie says above this is not a particularly pround moment in the development of Parliament. It was generally thought that it went too far. Historically, the purpose of Parliament had always been to decide how taxpayers’ money was spent by the executive so it is not unreasonable that taxpayers should vote for it. If you let people vote for a free lunch, guess what they do?

    Historically, decline, increases in poverty, excessive wealth and political instability have been closely related to not letting taxpayers decide how their money is spent. A universal franchise with 60% of the population on benefits or employed by the government is no more a democracy than a dictatorship.

  25. Adam says:

    What is this? UKIP member turns out to be a crypto-fascist moron shock!? I’m eagerly awaiting news of just exactly which religion the Pope is, and what the bears are doing in the woods, and so on.

  26. alan moore says:

    I think Mr Busnall should only be given the right to vote after he has put in at least one day’s real graft where he bent his back until it was sore. That will never occur so disenfranchise him. He strikes me as being everything that is wrong with Britain, a pompous, preeening, overpaid parasite, a pissquick of the first water….

  27. Andy says:

    I can only assume that he has been misquoted. It would be hard to imagine that anyone could be quite such a cock.

  28. Anne Jarvis says:

    This is the best reason I have ever heard for drowning at birth. What a silly boy he is, doesn’t realise that the reason he can spout such rubbish is because many of those unemployed have fought for his right to have such a vile right wing outlook on life. What a wanker!

  29. Beverley says:

    So just because through the Tory/Lib Dem cuts I’m made redudant, so I loose my vote it’s not right. I suppose it’s so that those of us unemployed this way then we wont vote them out.

  30. Free Thinker says:

    @Scary Biscuit: Given parliament’s reluctance to give the vote to Catholics and, until as recently as 1918, women – perhaps a venture back into suffrage history may be a little… misguided?

  31. [...] sooner had I published this blog then someone pointed out to me this blog post (and reported on here) by a tory defector to UKIP who suggests that poor people and people on benefits shouldn’t [...]

  32. Pilgrim says:

    Is that the smell of books burning,too?

  33. Nicola-rose says:

    Nazi Wanker!!!!!!!!! What a twat! ….. Can’t wait to vote those Tory Tossers out!! Grrrr…

  34. Jan says:

    Couldn’t make it up eh barking mad……

  35. Scary Biscuits says:

    @Free Thinker, no. The Catholics were banned from voting at a time when the Pope claimed temporal power over all of Europe. Catholics were excommunicated if they did not put the Pope before King and country. This was no idle threat, the Spanish Armada, for example, was officially a crusade against us and it was arguably only luck it was defeated. So, in the circumstances, I don’t think the ban on voting was unreasonable. Nobody wanted a return to bloody Mary. The way the Protestant majority treated the Catholic minority despite sore provocation is a credit to this country. Most other nations would have simply wiped them out, not debated readmitting them.

    Also with women. In the 18th century most weren’t even allowed personal property; they were personal property. That said, he treatment of women in Britain compares very well with the rest of the world. Where else was better?

    In your dissing of Britain you forget that we did it better than anybody else. When the French revolted against the Bourbons they didn’t do it because they wanted some theoretically perfect state or a Jacobean Terror; they simply sought the freedoms that ordinary people enjoyed on the other side of the Channel. The US constitution is based on ours at the time of independence. To varying degrees, the whole world has copied our ideas of freedom and is very much the better for it.

    We put that inheritance at risk with ideologically extreme positions such as the universal franchise. This dates only from 1948 in Britain, 1965 in the US and 1968 in Northern Ireland. None of these examples have done markedly better since introducing this reform. All of them were better democracies before.

  36. Sio says:

    Ahahahahaaaa! What a grade A pr&ck!

    So people are unemployed through choice therefore they should have their right to vote taken away from them? Nice logic there. I suggest everyone votes me in for Prime Minister where I will then proceed to take all their ill gotten gains off them and give them back to the people that they were taken off (us) then I shall proceed to make them all unemployed, take their votes off them and make them live in their own s%#~ like the swine that they are. Fair deal?

  37. Robert says:

    UKIP……huh…. Just another Tory party but more to the right again. Perhaps people earning over a certain wage bracket shouldn’t be allowed to vote instead….This may keep the tories and ukip out next time round. UKIP are just a party living in the past. Wake up and smell the coffee

  38. Anthony P says:

    @Scary Biscuits – you have no idea how much cognitive dissonance I’m suffereing trying to understand your position. We’re putting our inheritance of slighter less harsh treatment of the disenfranchised by comparison to other countries in the past at risk by giving every individual with a mind and opinion the right to vote since 1948 which is supposedly idealogically extreme? Do you not think the centre of politics has shifted a bit over the past half a century?

    Also doesn’t that simplisitc free lunch point you made before require that everyone who can’t afford lunch is thick as shit?

  39. David says:

    I agree with the above (think that sums it up)

  40. Cris says:

    This is what happens when a kid misses too many Sesame Street chapters. Always astounded about the incredible among of idiocy among people who are paid for governing us, is there really no way at all to prevent logical reasoning impaired citizens to get to such positions? (or would that be discrimination?)

  41. Bill says:

    beware the power of stupidity

  42. jennie says:

    There is so much that could be said about the comments of the arrogant and ignorant Tom Bursnall. A book could be written referencing the history of the UK, about the struggles and tragedies of those who fought and died for our right to vote, our right for equality and dignity, and we still would not be able to educate Bursnall. Bigots open their mouths and spew forth self interest and lack of conscience. He won’t be, but he should be ashamed!

  43. [...] an extraordinary piece by Daily Telegraph leader writer Robert Colvile, following on from comments made by a former chairman of Conservative Future and current UKIP councillor, Tom Bursnall, in [...]

  44. [...] this disgraceful prejudice, expressed with equally disgraceful clarity, in a blogpost titled “Should people on benefits [...]

  45. Anonymous says:

    These morally worthless arrogant sobs are going to see their nasty self serving rhetoric blow up on their face when their complacency ends up fomenting a consciousness shift from the middle classes downwards – I can feel it starting to happen albeit slowly so just keep on pushing you moronic ,bean counting soulless inbred disgusting arrrggghhh life’s too short to waste on negativity….

  46. Sarah says:

    God we so need to get in DECENT Politicians who actually know about how it is to be working people and not just people who live off the millions daddy or mumsy left them, people who realy know what life is like when you do not have so much money to live on – And when you didnt get daddy and mumsy to send you to eton!

  47. rich says:

    Much worthwhile and salient has been said here, but please don’t make the mistake of taking this imbecile seriously.

  48. [...] But UKIP also drag the centre ground dangerously to the right. UKIP want to repeal the Human Rights Act. UKIP argue against multiculturalism. UKIP areagainst pensions justice. They are anti-immigration, anti-clean energy, and anti-gay-marriage. For many years UKIP have been attacking  maternity leave and other fundamental workers rights. One UKIP Councillor recently questioned whether people on benefits should have the right to vote. [...]

  49. A Reid says:

    Maybe his UKIP colleague is correct; forced abortions – for the likes of him (and his type in ALL parties cose they ARE all just variations of facist these days. We have only a very, very few decent, concientious, normal minded people as MPs strewn throughout the various parties now who have to struggle with both hands tied by the putrid and corrupt).

  50. greg says:

    To all those saying the likes of “typical tory” bursnall is UKIP. Yes he was elected as a tory but if these views were acceptable or common in the MAINSTREAM of the tory party he wouldn’t have felt the need to jump ship.

  51. Jack says:

    It would break human rights laws to stop the unemployed from voting is he some kind of idiot

  52. nicktheface says:

    UKIP just lost my vote

  53. I’m an Ex UKIP member, I am unemployed but I’m also a euro-skeptic.
    Of course the unemployed should be able to vote! I doubt many UKIP members dispute that but there are some idiots in every party.

  54. As there are around 44 million people eligible to vote in the UK, and according to this govt stats, only about 2.5 million unemployed, it’s hardly going to make much difference to the overall result of an election weather they vote or not is it? and it seems unfair to lump the unemployed with criminals in jail, who are the only other group denied a vote at present, as being unable to find paid work at any given time is hardly a crime? this idea is just petty and regressive, and all those involved in politics of any persuasion would be better off putting their energies into getting this country back to full employment, with good solid well paid jobs, so people could pay their way and not have to rely on govt hand outs, instead of wasting time demonizing those who have to rely on benefits, in this vindictive way!

  55. Allan says:

    Erm… yes the unemployed should be allowed to vote because unemployment is a big issue so the unemplyed have every right to look through a manifesto to see who they think will bring the most jobs to their area.

  56. Strangely says:

    ….and when it becomes time for war, these two will expect everyone, including those without a job, to er… fight and …er …die to uphold these er… freedoms to er…not vote…er….

    Their disjointed world view is feudal to say the least.

  57. Ed Woods says:

    I think Mike Cobley is going along the right lines. The idea that would appear to be held by some in the Tories and UKIP is to strip poor people of as many rights as possible, so they no longer pose a threat to the ruling classes. Strip the unemployed of the right to vote, make a rich person’s vote count for more than a poor person’s, remove the minimum wage, remove benefits, restrict the right to strike, etc.
    If this was based on wealth, a wealthy elite of about 2% of the population would have half the votes. Want your party to stay in power and to stop any party that represents the working classes getting in? Make loads of people in manufacturing unemployed and thereby disenfranchised.

  58. Ed Woods says:

    I’ve had a quick read of the blog.

    Should people on benefits* be allowed to vote?
    “No Taxation Without Representation” a phrase coined by Reverend John Hampden with complaint regarding colonial taxes on the U.S back in the 18th Century British Empire.
    Most people in the modern day would regard this point as a central tenet to a healthy functioning democracy. That is, if you want to tax us for common goods (the army, police, roads etc), then we should have the right to stand for election and the right to vote for someone who will represent our interests, ensuring we voters have input in how our money is spent.

    What “No Taxation Without Representation” means is that people who have no political power shouldn’t be taxed. He’s reversed it to “No representation without taxation”, but seeing as everyone pays taxes such as VAT that is a nonsense. Even JSA is classed as taxable income.

    Why, then, should those people who are not net contributors to the government bank account be allowed to decide on how the money is spent? Would you mind if you neighbour ‘Bob’ came round to your house and told you how to spend your most recent pay cheque?

    You would reply, “Bob, sorry it’s my money, i earnt it, you should not have any input in how it is spent…”

    Furthermore, what if Bob suggested, because he has mild eczema, you give the money to him in the form of a weekly incapacity allowance? Your reply may be: “Bob, you are out of your mind my friend – you would be free-riding on my earnings without contributing to them. Go home”.

    The situation in the UK is perhaps more ludicrous than the above example – for not only does ‘Bob’ get the opportunity to vote for political parties that will increase his share of your income, the parties complicit in this state sanctioned theft have been only too happy to increase the amount of cash allowances/benefits given to ‘Bob’.

    A ridiculous comparison. Because it doesn’t say whether ‘Bob’ is actually working or not and no-one gets IB for eczema. Additionally unless this twit Bursnall actually wants unemployed people to live outside of government control, then they will still be affected by government policies. This isn’t just to do with how the government spends taxes, it’s to do with how government policies affect citizens, regardless of their financial status.

    So, if we re-phrase Reverend Hampden’s notion, then we could assert with equal confidence that ‘no man should get representation without taxation’.

    Hampden was complaining about people being taxed without having political representation. It was the paying of British taxes that Hampden was objecting to. Unemployed people will supposedly be denied the vote, but will still pay taxes on goods and other services, which really would be “taxation without representation”.

    But what if we take this idea to its logical conclusion. That is, if someone contributes substantially more to the government ‘pot’, then shouldn’t they be allowed to get more than one vote?

    It would be terribly ‘unfair’ of you to give equal representation rights to the chap who contributes 50 times more than the next person? In the same way as if you own 60% of shares of a company, you’ll get 60% of the voting rights at the Annual General Meeting. People with no financial stake in a company cannot turn up to the meeting and determine who the board representatives (the purse holders) are. Even some of the couscous eating tent-frequenting anti-capitalists would find such a concept somewhat laughable. Why do we accept one person, one vote then?

    Given the top 1% of successful hard working earners in the UK contribute 27% of all income revenue – would it not be ‘fairer’ if they were given 27 times the number of the votes? Fiscal qualified majority voting if you like.

    These “successful hard working earners” would include the bankers who wrecked the economy, but wouldn’t include people who put in long hours for little pay. Earnings are based almost entirely on the worth attached to a particular job by the market. You get some quite brilliant minds in jobs that pay very little because they aren’t considered important by free market economics.

    This is a poor comparison all round, because in order for the statement, “People with no financial stake in a company cannot turn up to the meeting and determine who the board representatives (the purse holders) are”, to actually be true the following would have to apply.

    1. The person who wasn’t from the UK (the company) turning up and voting on the UK Government, would have to be a foreigner from outside the UK.
    2. Unemployed people would have to have no stake in the UK and be totally unaffected by UK Government policies, so therefore there’s no need for them to vote.

    Perhaps a system would foster a culture whereby those without the vote would be encouraged to find work in the hope of gaining full citizenship’. The result may also re-balance the government spending into a more sustainable financial model: no deficits, no borrowing, a smaller welfare state, and a proportionate public sector relative to the wealth creating private sector.

    OK, so there are about 500,000 jobs available for over 2.5 million unemployed people: where are they going to find these jobs? A smaller Welfare State but no attempt to generate jobs to balance cuts in the Welfare State? The “wealth creating private sector”, part of which has caused the biggest recession since the Great Depression.

  59. Rob says:

    We’ve already been through this argument. 376 years ago, and only about 20 miles from the ward Burnsall represents, Henry Ireton was arguing that “no man hath a right to an interest or share in the disposing of the affairs of the kingdom… that hath not a permanent fixed interest in this kingdom.”

    As Thomas Rainsborough’s said in response, “the poorest hee that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest hee; and therefore truly, Sr, I think itt clear, that every Man that is to live under a Government ought first by his own Consent to put himself under that Government; and I do think that the poorest man in England is not at all bound in a strict sense to that Government that he hath not had a voice to put Himself under.”

    “Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”

  60. Thomas Evans says:

    Always makes me wonder when a short snippet of a quote is taken out of a larger statement in this manner.

    If people really think this is what he was saying and that he wasn’t making a broader point than they are very wrong.

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