Much fuss in the Conservative Party's internal newsletter over the (lack of) activities of so-called `bed-blocking' older Tory MPs. Apparently, the Conservative Chief Whip is,
Michael Mates, a member of Lord Butler's committee, voted in only 30 per cent of divisions, the worst record of any Tory MP. Stephen Dorrell, the member for Charnwood and once secretary of state for health, asked no oral questions and voted in only 33 per cent of divisions.
To be honest, this story sounded like bollocks when I read it and a little work demonstrates that I was right. They Work For You collects `performance' data for individual MPs: the number of speeches they make and written questions they ask, the number of divisions (votes) they attend, and what fraction of messages sent them through Fax Your MP are answered within a fortnight. The Tories' own site has biographies of the individual MPs, which usually mention their dates of birth. (I couldn't find the dates of birth of 16 of 169 Tory MPs; this won't significantly affect the results.)
The ages of Conservative Parliamentarians are (slightly surprisingly) approximately normally distributed with mean 52.6 years and standard deviation 8.5 years. This tells us that `young' is a relative term here; picking an arbitrary cut-off, I've assumed that `young' Tory MPs are those aged 50 or less.
With outliers -- like John Bercow MP, who asks hundreds of written questions per year -- excluded, there are no statistically significant performance differences between `old' (>50 years) and `young' (<50 years) Tory MPs.