When I first thought about inducting soon-to-be Lady Mone, I was a tad conflicted. Isn’t Michelle Mone just an East End girl come good? A self-made millionaire who’s been a frequent target for online bullying? Mone spoke at my school prize giving, telling us not to bother staying in school, much to the horror of the Headmaster – and also once keyed her ex-husband’s car and put laxatives in his coffee when she found out he was having an affair. Is this not exactly the kind of trolling we’d normally applaud?
Then I remembered no amount of skitter based revenge makes up for there being another unelected Tory peer at Westminster. And that Michelle Mone made her cash exploiting cheap labour overseas while prattling on about her love of Scotland, bullied former employees from their positions and frequently threatened to do a runner if Governments and the electorate didn’t bow to her demands, before fucking off to London anyway.
Many have suggested Mone is being made a peer due to her outspoken intervention during the referendum, in which she said she would flee the country in the event of a Yes vote. Responding to a barrage of abusive comments following her threat, Mone claimed, “I’m a good person who employs a lot of people in Scotland, both Yes and No supporters, and we all get on.” But do these claims stack up? Well, that depends on what qualifies as “a lot” – and what your idea of all getting on is.
A report from 2012 references the 1,200 workers employed making Ultimo bras via an outsourcing firm in China, the company was said to employ only 42 staff in Glasgow. At least they’ll be protected by some basic employment rights unlike the Chinese workforce who, according to a 2004 newspaper report denied by Mone, got 1 day of holiday a year and were paid around £1 a day, a chunk of which went to pay for space in tied accommodation, which they were prevented from leaving by guards.
Still, it’s nice to know all her Glasgow staff get on so well, whatever their views on the constitution. Except the former employee who won £55,000 in his unfair dismissal case, after it emerged he was bullied out of his job and even had his office bugged. Mone used media coverage of the trial to point out that the numbers of tribunals and the amount of protections now available to workers had “gone way over the score.”
A lifelong Labour supporter, Mone announced back in 2009 that she was contemplating…wait for it…leaving the country over Labour’s plans to increase the top rate of tax to 50% and would now be supporting the Tories. Despite the reversal of the 50p rate, and Scotland voting No last September, Mone finally buggered off last year but not before yet another dig at “SNP muppets” who’re “slowly eroding free speech.” Ironically, she found herself on the same side as the actual muppets during the referendum, who also came out in favour of a No vote.
M’lady will doubtless use her absolutely no mandate to defend civil liberties, having been so keen to speak up for human rights following the English riots a few years ago:
So spare me the nonsense about trailblazers. Mone joins a House of Lords full of other people who’ve also “earned” their spot by doing favours for the powerful and/or exploiting labour overseas. Cameron’s Government-in-exile now has another exile to add to its rancid ranks. No moulds have been broken, instead a broken state has rewarded someone for being a total pain in the tits.