So will Manchester have to vote again?

People are so often great. This time they have voted down the Congestion charge in Manchester. They dared to vote down a £1.6 billion “bribe” – more public spending which of course would all be borrowed and which the people of Manchester and elsewhere would have to pay back with interest sometime. Great news.

All this will come as a huge surprise to many of my MP colleagues who still bellieve people want all this public spending on the never never, more than they want more money in their own pocket to pay the gas bill, the mortgage and for the family car. Labour especially is always complaining if Conservatives do not approve every extra penny of borrowed money, even when it is being wasted in a most obvious way as with the VAT cut, unelected regional government, ID computers and the like.

They need to think again. Or will the people of Manchester have to vote again, as they got it wrong.? Will Labour adopt EU style democracy, where you have ballot by exhaustion till they get the result they want? Or will we have Lab style democracy, where you vote down regional government one day, and are told they will keep it on an unelected basis the next !

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4 Comments

  1. Will S
    Posted December 12, 2008 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    No way. Manchester is one of the only areas of the country where the Labour vote is still solid. I know that from my weekly phone canvassing. Labour won’t dare to alienate voters in Manchester by trying to force another refrendum or bring it in on the sly. This proposal in my view is truly dead and buried 🙂

    (P.S. Have you seen your entry on uncyclopedia?
    http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/John_Redwood)

  2. Susan
    Posted December 12, 2008 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    You’re right of course. We now have eight regional development agencies despite the one and only referendum in the North-East voting overwhelmingly against it and none of the other areas being offered a choice. It’s a bit like the Lisbon Treaty and, no doubt, entry into the Euro will be offered the same ‘choice’. Do MPs, elected to represent their constituents, actually know how frustrated people are becoming?

  3. Freeborn John
    Posted December 12, 2008 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    My thoughts exactly. As someone who lives in the South East but grew up in Manchester and normally spends some time around Christmas working out of our office there, it always strikes me how much better the road network in Manchester is compaored to London, and how much better the traffic flows. Manchester does have a lightweight public transport infrastructure compared to London’s Underground, but this has much to do with it being a city that grew up in the industrial revolution when surface train lines could be laid.

    If the UK ever has a referendum which is re-run then it will really be all over for democracy in this country. I sincerely believe the people of this island would never tolerate that.

  4. mikestallard
    Posted December 13, 2008 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Me, I live in the Fens where the free bus pass has filled the buses (usually very reliable and efficient) with grey/bald heads. The government really did get this right.
    But I think they have forgotten something.
    In the gym I was listening to a builder who had “made a lot of money in Dubai”. There are no taxes there. He told me that, what with one thing and another, he was paying 50% of his wages in tax here. “Mind you, you could still make a lot of money.”
    Raising taxes must be political suicide. Even classic periods of over taxation – the 18th century in France, the end of the Roman Empire didn’t take more than half a person’s income away.
    And, (whisper this), if you lessen tax, some people are saying that you actually collect more money. It isn’t worth their while, you see, to swindle their way out with clever accounting……

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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