The Damian Mc Bride Memorial Budget

Just as I feared, they have learnt nothing.

It was budget of posturing . A tax on the “rich “to test the Tories – which won’t raise much revenue and may even reduce the revenue. More public spending for Labour areas under a cloak of “doing what it takes”. And enough red ink to launch an aircraft carrier, if they ever get round to building one.

In my post budget speech in the Commons I concentrated on the three forces that have wrecked the public accounts – Bank nationalisation, a violent cycle, and grotesque excess in public spending.

The trick was to conceal some of the borrowing, and then to claim the economy will be off to the races in 2011, apparently bringing the deficit down.

Dream on. We will paying these bills for years. They plan to borrow more in two years than all previous governments combined have borrowed in 1000 years. That is going to be painful to repay.


  1. Bardirect
    April 22, 2009

    Good speech but a little too much arm waving.

  2. Will S
    April 22, 2009

    Damn, I wanted to see your speech. I’ll have to watch it later. Thank God for on-demand parliament footage 🙂

    This was an outrageous budget, I’ll let you know how our anti-budget demonstration this evening goes and what the reception is.

  3. Donitz
    April 22, 2009

    “They plan to borrow more in two years than all previous governments combined have borrowed in 1000 years. That is going to be painful to repay.”

    This is a great slogan.

    Why don’t the Torries print this on large Billboards around the country as you did with the great poster/slogan “Labour isn’t working”.

    Let the public no what Socialists lead them to.

    1. Sarah
      April 22, 2009

      Excellent idea!!! I just wish the Tories would let rip with some witty posters/billboards/t-shirts (how about a weekly witty one-line-whip??!) that could be ordered on-line from Cons Home site etc etc…

      Need to up the aggro a little – the natives are getting restless and would like to get behind a legitimate set of leaders rather than mob rule!

    2. Anthony M
      April 22, 2009

      Another excellent slogan, if I heard him correctly, came from Kenneth Clarke during an interview this afternoon: “Gordon Brown has done more damage to this country than the Second World War.”

      1. StevenL
        April 22, 2009

        I’m not sure denegrating people who suffered in WW2 is a good slogan.

    3. APL
      April 22, 2009

      Donitz: “Why don’t the Torries print this on large Billboards around the country as you did with the great poster/slogan “Labour isn’t working”.”

      Talking of Billboards, I thought of the ‘Demon eyes’ posters, updated to include Brown (not Darling – he is too pathetic),

      Demon eyed Blair in the background, Demon eyed (singular) in the forground. caption:

      “We told you so ..”


      “You were warned.”

      1. Donitz
        April 23, 2009

        Now that, would be funny…………

        1. Margo
          April 24, 2009

          Don;t be silly. Nobody likes clever clogs. T

  4. alan jutson
    April 22, 2009

    We had the build up.
    We had the leaks.
    We still await for the real cure.
    The result.
    Labour are still in denial.
    The next two Governments (at least) are handcuffed by debt.
    Do the figures include the Public Pension defecits.
    Do the figures include the toxic Bank debt insurance plan risks.
    Do the figures include all of the PFI schemes.
    The good news given:
    The economy is going to pick up at the end of this year.
    It will grow at 3.5% next year.
    Who really believes this is likely, other than Mr Darling and Mr Brown.
    What a very sad day for UK PLC, and every one of its Citizens.

    1. Andrew McDonald
      April 22, 2009

      The next two governments ?, I’d be surprised if our debt is paid off this century

      Just the interest only is going to drag the country down, and there’s no running for to the yanks for a loan like we did in the second world war

      We’re fubar’d

      1. Henry Crun
        April 23, 2009


        It is probably worth mentioning that the loan for the war effort was only paid in full just a couple of years ago.

        Now compare that with the current and future debt levels and I seriously doubt it will ever be paid off even in my onw children’s lifetimes.

      2. alan jutson
        April 23, 2009

        I was being cynical about 2-3 terms.
        I agree it will be more like 23 terms.

      3. Greychatter
        April 25, 2009

        I think the bill for WW2 was £50 billion which took 50 years to pay off.

      4. Greychatter
        April 25, 2009

        A few words from Margaret – 1981 – We will have to get back to these principals in Politics as well as everyday life.

        ‘My politics are based…on things I and millions like me were brought up with. An honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay; live within your means; put by a nest egg for a rainy day; pay your bills on time; support the police.’ (1981)

  5. A. Sedgwick
    April 22, 2009

    A tour de force – your delivery and expertise is in stark contrast to the economic buffoons on the government benches.

  6. Basil Brown
    April 22, 2009

    Scorched Earth.

    Nulabor are utterly shameless.

  7. mikestallard
    April 22, 2009

    Mr Brown looks mad when he smiles. I find this seriously worrying. the rest of the front bench looked as if someone had farted.

    1. alan jutson
      April 22, 2009

      Yes and followed through.
      Still Darling had some paper in hand, so not all lost.

      Just heard Lord Mandy on TV.
      The Scrappage scheme he says is to be funded with £1,000 from Government and £1,000 from the industry.
      So its only half the cost to UK PLC, the manufacturers will put up the prices by £1,000 as they are selling at maximum discount now.

      Scheme to run until all airfields are clear of cars in March 2010, then what are the manufacturers going to produce, more for stock, or cut back on volume as they have already.
      Guess much more small print to come out before the real situation is realised.

      1. Windsor Tripehound
        April 22, 2009

        This budget has just put the price of a second-hand 10 year old car up by £2,000.

        Guess which sector of society tends to purchase such cars? (Clue: not those earning > £100,000 p.a.)

        1. alan jutson
          April 22, 2009

          Also reduced the value of a nearly new car.

  8. toby
    April 22, 2009

    we’ve had a government in the UK for 1000 years..?

  9. Stop Common Purpose
    April 22, 2009

    Labour are evil.

  10. J Pesach
    April 22, 2009

    You wanted less regulation during the neo-liberal boom, Mr. Redwood. This would have left in us exactly the same position, if not worse, and the Tories would have “doubled the debt”.

    It’s all political posturing, and slightly depressing. If only someone would be intellectually honest.

    Being that Tories have unveiled no policies whatsoever (except an inheritance tax cut… not ideal at this time), I think it is a little rich to criticise. Whoever forms the next government will have to make tough decisions, can David Cameron do that?

    Reply: I wanted and asked for stronger regulation of cash and capital and higher interest rates, so don’t lie about me. Try reading this blog for an alternative policy which would work.

    1. Adrian Peirson
      April 22, 2009

      Light regulation does not mean allowing the city to engage in reckless Gambling with savers money.
      When most people put their money in the Bank, they assumed it was safe and secure in a Vault somewhere when in fact the Bankers took it to the Casino and were wiped out by bigger Bankers ( aided by ‘light touch’ Regulations.

      This was No accident, the bankers on trial now are sacrificial lambs, the real culprits are much higher in the Banking system.

      The Obama Deception

    2. David Shipley
      April 22, 2009

      Mr Pesch you are talking nonsense. Can you name one piece of regulation that has saved this country a penny in the last 10 years? It is not a question of more v less regulation, it is a matter of simple, effective regulation v posturing. Mr Brown destroyed the regulatory framework when he removed oversight of banks from the Bank of England. So how would the Tories have doubled the debt? They certainly would not have p***ed away money on the ID scheme, and might not have been quite so profligate on armies of consultants and the NHS computer.

    3. Ian Jones
      April 23, 2009

      As far as I can see the problem was not caused by regulation or the failure of. It was the end result of a monetary policy based on out of date assumptions namely that you can use the overall inflation rate as a measure of demand in the economy.

      This worked in the 80’s and early 90’s but once China really opened up it meant the economy was skewed with massive deflation in imported manufactured goods. As the monetary policy was based on the overall inflation rate, interest rates had to be slashed in order to get domestic inflation roaring to offset the deflation from manufactures.

      This would only work until the deflation ran its course which it did by 2006. Unfortunately the end of imported deflation meant the end of domestic inflation so rates had to be hiked. As the Govt had told everyone that the steady state was with massive domestic inflation the banks set out their policies to work within this guidance.

      It was wrong so when rates shot up their models crashed. The real asset values were much lower than their models showed so they became insolvent.

      There was incompetence in the banks but ultimately the man to blame is Brown with his no more boom and bust (and globally Greenspan with super low rates). It was a mirage and obvious to anyone with a grasp of economics.

      In fact the central banks knew it would happen, look back at speeches by and on Ben Bernanke (fed chairman) and you will see continued discussion on his study & understanding of the great depression. How fortunate to get this man just when we hit another great depression…….

  11. Will
    April 22, 2009

    “They plan to borrow more in two years than all previous governments combined have borrowed in 1000 years.”

    I’d be interested to see how you worked this one out. Can anyone post the figures backing this up?

    A truly mindboggling stat, if true.

  12. Acorn
    April 22, 2009

    Good speech JR, on the money, literally!

    Redwoodians may want to read (the devil in) the debt detail of this busted flush socialist budget published today with the budget.

    The bit that does not get mentioned are the liabilities this country has in foreign currencies. (Slightly lower than the US with an economy one seventh the size.) Our current account deficit is financed by foreigners and has been for some while now. That means that foreigners currently own a lot of UK assets.

    Keep praying that these foreigners don’t loose faith in dear old Blighty. Not just not buying all our government’s IOUs, (a guilt strike); but also the property and factories they own. No matter what those assets are earning, who wants to be paid in a currency that is going south!

  13. Watervole
    April 22, 2009

    Dreadul budget, written by Brown, delivered by a puppet, ruinous for the UK. As you say, McBride’s epitaph and probably the UK’s too.

  14. robert doughty
    April 22, 2009

    Just to say I replied under ‘what you want’. I very much liked your address in the House today. Regards Robert Doughty

  15. roger parkin
    April 22, 2009

    Excellent speech. I assume your analysis on misspending is shared by all of the shadow front bench. In which case they must start, as you did, in identifying the enormous waste in the public services. Taking action on it will be one of the first challenges of the next Conservative government. The present Labour one will continue to avoid the issue.

  16. Ollie
    April 22, 2009


    Gordon’s ‘smiley’ video has been spoofed., and yes, he does look mad.

    See Gordon Brown on Britain’s Got Talent

  17. kevin
    April 22, 2009

    why are labour allowed to borrow and borrow and borrow and ruin the public finances cant the conservative pass a law to stop future governments borrowing over a certain amount of money so when economy growing governments can borrow more when economy contracts they can borrow less that way they can never ruin our public finances again, also what things are the conservatives going to cut all the spin doctors and civil servants and id cards and government waste like adverts on telly telling you how to keep fit and eat healthy all tax payers money wasted why are labour allowed to waste our future away and why doesn’t UK create its own energy instead of importing it from abroad John Redwood do you support win farms for solo energy what things could we do so we can produce our own energy in UK and maybe we could sell it aboard instead of having to import it all the time how do we STOP our currency from devaluing.

    1. Paul Embery
      April 22, 2009

      ‘…cant the conservative pass a law to stop future governments borrowing over a certain amount of money…’

      I think that’s what they call having the dead control the living.

    2. alan jutson
      April 22, 2009

      This is the real hub and truth of the problem THEY HAVE SPENT THE MONEY.
      Its now too late to stop what has gone, you can only hope to restrict what is left to spend (which they have already mortgaged) in the future.
      When the Labour lot say with a grin, “what are the alternative policies” as they are waiting for an answers from the other Party’s for a solution.
      There is not much to say, because the only way now is to either raise taxes and/or cut spending, and they know it !!!!.
      The question is by how much.
      Take the pain now for a shorter term, or spead it out over a longer period.
      Any Company Director who had behaved in this way, would now be behind bars for trading in an unsolvent manner at the very least.
      The answer to why they did it, was because they could.
      The Parliamentary system that we have prided ourselves on for centuries, has been seen to be wanting when a (authoritarian -ed) has gained power for idealistic reasons.
      All of this without a proper debate and vote in Parliament.
      Labour should never ever be allowed to gain power ever again.
      The sad fact is it has happened with them before, will we never learn.
      Who ever takes over from this lot will have very real problems for very many years before UK PLC can effectivelly turn the corner.
      For the last 11 years the Public have been sold a pup, only now have most of them realised the cost.

  18. Susan
    April 22, 2009

    I hate to say it but it seems we are scr*wed.

  19. oldrightie
    April 22, 2009

    I wait and I wait and I wait. Still the no real anger erupts from the snoozing populace. What will it take? DC was excellent, I’ve still to watch your speech, John. Hopefully something will turn up to jolt the slumbering hordes. (words left out)

    1. Mike
      April 22, 2009

      The delightful thing is, the Labour party is now being recognised for what it is good for. It is expert at throwing money, our money, down a number of pits. They have sold all out gold reserves; they have discarded vast sums to computer companies to produce pointless systems for the NHS and ID systems which cannot work; they have sold off assets like our tax office blocks to firms which are based in tax havens; they have created new talking shops in politics with regional committees which are staffed solely by Labour people.

      They have successfully pulled the police along a more para-military route, destroying confidence. Their system of ‘sofa government’ meant no minutes of meetings and no responsibility. Their removal of age-old rules preventing politicians and civil servants from taking jobs in industries they had looked after for some time, has meant a deepening corruption of governmental values (removed references to individuals)
      They have overseen the despicable harrassing of Dr David Kelly, the BBC, and others for reporting actual events. Whitewash is surely the only expanding manufacture in the UK.

      And in terms of sheer unadulterated greed – (names some Ministers) and others claiming unnecessary expenses may not have broken any actual rules, but if the politicians concerned didn’t realise what they were doing was wrong, they are so incompetent, they clearly should be turfed out.

      Oldrightie, I think the anger is mounting rapidly enough. Don’t forget Bliar never won as many popular votes in any election as John Major in 94. The myth of his popularity has grown whereas in reality his success was due to the collapse of the opposition parties.

      Just off for a cold bath now.

      1. oldrightie
        April 24, 2009

        An excellent and soothing reply! Thank you, Mike.

  20. J Mitchell
    April 22, 2009

    Messages for the Tories:

    1) Every Labour Government goes bust.
    2) They are deliberately poisoning the well.
    3) The borrowing announced today equals over £10,000 for every person in the country on top of what they have already committed us to.
    4) They have borrowed more than all governments ever combined.
    5) Abolishing pet projects e.g. ID cards, Big Brother Surveillance, etc. is the way to save money.
    6) Borrowing in the hope that something will turn up is Micawberism.
    7) We’re all doomed!

  21. Sara
    April 22, 2009

    This is seriously frightening. Brown’s growth estimates have been seriously awry for many years, which partly caused the mess we are in. As a pensioner on a very basic state pension I fear for my old age – I have a disability and have never been able to build up capital.

    There are going to be a lot of premature deaths in the coming few winters from malnousirshment and cold, if these wicked fools can’t be stopped from borrowing on this scale. I can forsee there being no money to pay our pensions.

  22. Ross Warren
    April 22, 2009

    Wave your arms more John and you will take off. These wicked Labour clowns have really made a mess of our economy. Plus we have yet to really work out the impact of the oil shock. Scrap cars yes, build something better to replace it. Why should we encourage the buying of car models that are simply not good enough. Honda could return to producing small high efficiency motor cycles. Brown and Darling think that we are going to go from deep slump to overheating growth, its a nonsense. I know this increase in tax rates is bad idea but it would be crazy to imagine that teh begging bowl isn’t going to play a part if we are going to stop the headlong rush to the cliff edge.

  23. rik
    April 22, 2009

    So labour will follow their dogmatic ideology to the death then. The problem as i see it for the conservatives, is that labour have created a society where so many people rely on the state including the public services that they now have a very large self interested voting base!

    I also agree with the comment above about the slogan on the billboards. People have to realise that the welfare state can only exist if it is affordable. The conservatives really have to drive this message home.

  24. chris southern
    April 22, 2009

    Once the gilt market bubble bursts (and it’s very close to doing so) we will have the second dip in this nightmare.

    The people are nothing more than assets to the current goverment, and they showed that today.
    They borrow on our future labour, they try to use a budget (finacial plan) for political gain.

    If that’s not a sighn that parliment needs a complete over haul, then i must be blind. We pay, the goverment takes, it takes a lot and then gives a little back and expects us to be greatfull (it’s our bleeding wealth in the first place!)

    Looks like another seventy years of goverment debt that people will be expected (forced) to pay back. It’s a joke, goverment spending needs to be restricted, goverment interferance needs restricting.
    It will never happen though, will it.

  25. Ross Warren
    April 22, 2009

    Welfare state isn’t half as big as problem as bloated town halls and endless quangos. Government spending on many “pet” labour departments has to stop dead. We simply cannot afford to employ every graduate in the public sector. The Likes of Cafcass should be high on the list to be trimmed and reorganised. What do all the psychologists do in the NHS? How many do we really need? We should be fairly confident about offering many the chance to set up their own business’s after all they have had education. We need front line staff yes, but a lot of the background thousands can be cut without any real impact except to the Unemployment budget. Yes the welfare state is in need of a big broom, but it doesn’t end there and cannot end there. So much waste may have been good when boom was the order of business. I want to see a society where welfare is a service that is bought in just like any other. We must not loose site of the relation between National insurance and provision of welfare.
    How much does it cost to employ a senior psychology major?
    How much does an unemployed person cost?
    I rest my case.

  26. Adrian Peirson
    April 22, 2009

    Look, here’s what is going on.

    Our country has been taken over by Globalist Bankers.

    We are being Robbed, Westminster is in on this scam, certyasinly the Cabinet though many MP’s have no idea how corrupt our Monetary system is.

    They do this by Lending us our Money ( We should coin it ourselves FREE of charge ), we pay back these loans as income tax.

    Since they have a monopoly on our Money supply and it is Lent to us AT INTEREST, where does the money come from to pay off the Loan AND the Interest each year.
    Well of course, we have to Borrow more from them, this is why Public Debt grows each year, IT HAS TO..

    It’s really very simple.

    We should coin our own money and issue it into our economy FREE OF CHARGE.

  27. Susan
    April 22, 2009

    This has always been the Hegelian way: a little to the left, a little to the right.

    It does the country no good at all. This is no democracy Mr R.

  28. Archie
    April 22, 2009

    Excellent speech, Mr. Redwood. Now, our leader really has to raise his game and stop pandering to the PC lobby, by savaging Social Security for the workshy and diverting the money to the temporarily out-of-work and truly needy, like pensioners. Slash “Foreign Aid” Oh, and get us out of the ghastly EU while he’s about it. How much could we divert to worthwhile causes with those two measures alone? Finally move a certain John Redwood to the front benches.

    1. SJB
      April 22, 2009

      Archie: “… get us out of the ghastly EU …”

      I think PM Harold Wilson (?) explored the option of a free trade area with the US … but was rebuffed. My understanding is that the US want the UK in the EU to act as their gateway. Therefore, if the UK left so perhaps would a lot of US investment.

  29. Paul Embery
    April 22, 2009

    John Redwood’s is a typical Tory response to an increase in taxation on the well-off. ‘It’s the politicis of envy, and, what’s more, it won’t raise a bean, because the rich will find ways around paying,” they protest.

    Of course, a major contradiction lies at the heart of this argument: if it won’t raise a bean, then what on Earth are they complaining about?

    ‘It will disincentivise our wonderful entrepeneurs,’ they also claim. Well, that could also be used as an argument against any form of taxation at all. Would they support demands to abolish tax in its entirety on such grounds?

    Their ‘politics of envy’ – which others might call the ‘politics of fairness’ – argument also shows double standards. Do they use this line when trade unions call for decent pay increases for their members? Do they say that such pay rises should be awarded, becauase to do otherwise is to be ‘envious’? Do they argue that to reject union pay claims will lead to the ‘disincentivisation’ of ordinary workers? Do they hell!

    The fact remains that a chasm exists between those who own and control most of the world’s wealth and those who slog their guts out creating it. The John Redwoods of this world don’t care a fig that this chasm continues to widen, with all its pernicious effects on our social fabric.

    Pay your share, and stop whingeing.

    Reply: Wait and see how much damage this scorched earth policy based on jealousy does. I recommend policies which mean the rich will pay more tax, and a bigger proportion of the income tax, because I am after more wealth for all, not after revenge on success.

  30. Brian Tomkinson
    April 22, 2009

    Excellent speech. When is the vote of NO CONFIDENCE?! We can’t do on like this.

  31. Brian Tomkinson
    April 22, 2009

    Excellent speech. When is the vote of NO CONFIDENCE?! We can’t go on like this.

  32. George
    April 22, 2009

    Where do you stand on fractional reserve banking Mr Redwood, wouldn’t we be better off if Banks were only allowed to lend money they actually had.

    Don’t we have a fundamental problem with a money supply that is lent into exsistence by private institutions whereby we must always have an exponential rate of growth of that money supply in order to avoid collapse.


    Reply: I want stricter controls on the gearing levels of banks by regulating cash and capital as they were regulated successfully before 1997

  33. Fox in sox
    April 22, 2009

    What will be the final straw that calls in the IMF? That maybe humiliating, but if this budget passes may be the only way that financial sanity is restored. It would mean deep cuts, much more than the Tories have mooted so far.

    A gilt strike? A sterling crisis? Both?

    It may be the only way out.

  34. […] Romulan Ambassador to the Court of St James, John Redwood, has a post on his blog which is well worth a read. His observation on the size of the UK’s debt is particularly […]

  35. richard lilley
    April 22, 2009

    Excellent speech Mr Redwood. I cannot believe this Government is going to last another 14 months but its not March 1979.

  36. Chris Lingard
    April 22, 2009

    Well done Mr Redwood. An excellent speech. Unbelievable Labour Debt Response. I especially liked the interventions by the lady member for St Albans. Let’s get her fired up or else her well-heeled home counties voters will. As the old rock n’ roll song shouts “LET’S RIP IT UP!!”

    In the meantime could you possibly send me a transcript of your Damian Mc Bride Memorial Lecture to forward to friends and relatives?

    Let’s get rockin’ n kickin’ Nu-labour into Oblivion!! Up the Blues!!
    Sorry got a bit carried away there. I’m afraid words cannot adequately describe the deepening & simmering sense of injustice with the incompetant Lefties lying their way out of it again.


  37. MrSpiggot
    April 22, 2009

    Spot on as ever.

    The scale of our projected debt is truly terrifying, and makes me wonder why the Conservatives actually want to win the next election at all.

    1. Derek W. Buxton
      April 23, 2009

      Looking at the attitude of the opposition, do they want to win? There is certainly no fight in them, with the odd exception who just happens to be on the rear seats.


  38. Jaded63
    April 22, 2009

    The more the details of this budget sink in, the more terrifying it appears. I think there is a real danger of tue country becoming bankrupt. The level of borrowing is simply unsustainable.

    It is also my perception that, au fond, Brown and Darling no longer have any idea what they are doing, and are probably past caring. What underlines this budget is a naked, desperate bid to cling on to power with a last mad borrowing gamble, combined with a return to Old Labour petty spitefulness. The country could pay for this gamble by being ruined.

  39. Robert
    April 22, 2009

    Look at the length of the queues at Australia House and the Canadian High Commission this morning. They are the true measure of Browns utter incompetence.

  40. KC
    April 23, 2009

    I concur with all that it was an excellent speech. A few points to raise though. If we can leave the realm of PC I might add that mass immigration, both legal and illegal, have added to unemployment a drain on resources and will continue to do so until we get it under control. Foreign aid needs to be cut until we can afford our own needs. And, foreign wars that are of no concern to Britain need to end.

    I noted your quick swipe at the money pit, namely Europe. Well said, needs more. I also noted that you constantly used the term Britain and British. How refreshing, thank you. These terms now banished by most politicians and all of the mass media, replaced by our European State designation as the UK. In fact I know of one Labour Council that has banned the word British as it is offensive and can be taken as a racist remark.

    Finally, I am saddened by your speech. It reminded me of better days when these wonderful speeches such as yours, were delivered from the front benches. Of course that was before New conservatives. A pale blue, user friendly, PC kind of new Labour type Conservative. Where as you sir are indeed a true blue Tory.

  41. Peter
    April 23, 2009

    Now surely is the time that the Conservatives (DC are you reading) started to bang the drum so loudly it will scare the ghosts of Labour past from the hallowed halls of Westminster and equally drive this miserable, self seeking, money lining bunch of hypocrites from office or, is it time we the real people of this once great country rose up and established yet again a Parliament of the People. Its been done before and I’m beginning to think it needs doing again.

  42. Peter Mills
    April 23, 2009

    Thank you for an excellent speech.

  43. Dr Nick Ashley
    April 23, 2009

    I think I’ll have to send a shirt into No.10 before he rips it off my back. I could weep when I see the mess this bunch of posturing spivs have wrought in this country.

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