We cannot afford five more years of socialism

The latest poll showing Conservatives on 33%, Lib Dems on 30% and Labour on 28% may just be post debate froth. Canvass returns do not show such a Lib Dem surge. It does, however, serve as a reminder that in this election socialism comes in various guises and could do better than Labour’s record and progress deserves.

Labour, the Lib Dems, Welsh and Scottish nationalists and the Green party all want to tax more, to regulate more and to build a bigger state. They all imply that cutting publlic spending would make things worse rather than stave off national bankruptcy. They unite in opposing a caricature of the Conservatives, revealing their deeper antagonism to individual freedom and to the belief that people are often better off being allowed to make their own choices and spend their own money. All but the Greens also wish to see the EU have more powers over our lives, liking their back door extension of the undemocratic regulating state, alied to the growth of a wholly needless regional bureaucracy to help eclipse our freeedoms. They pursue an agenda against success and enterprise, killing the geese that lay their golden eggs for the ever growing public sector.

Ironically UKIP, the English Democrats and other parties which oppose more EU bureaucracy help the socialist parties. They make the cause look unpopular so the socialists can ignore it, whilst taking some votes away from Conservatives who could otherwise win in some seats, allowing pro EU big staters to win instead. The Greens try to do the same thing to the Lib dems, but not on a scale to offset the work of UKIP and the others on the anti federalist wing.

In Wales and Scotland the Nationalists have in the past won seats because their small percentage of the national poll is concentrated in their own areas. They tend to be a bigger threat to Labour, as Labour has most to lose in those places.

In the next couple of weeks it is vital all freedom lovers unite to expose and counter this threat to our remaining liberties and right to self government. The so called Liberal Democrats could be more accurately be called the Illiberal anti democrats. They want more decisions taken by unelected officials in Brussels and Frankfort, more decisions taken by much disliked regional government, more decisions taken by government of all levels instead of by individuals and families.
They propose a whole new raft of regulations to make driving, working and running a business more difficult. They propose £17 billion of new taxes, some of them unspecified, whilst offering a tax cut. Do not aspire to a nice home or a smart car if the Lib dems have anything to do with government. They propose a local income tax, which would mean more tax hikes for the hard working.

You would have thought it was obvious that the UK cannot go on like this. After 13 years of more tax and more regulation, leading to a boom and bust on a huge scale, surely we can get over the message to enough people that more tax and regulation is not the answer but is the problem. Of course Conservatives want good schools and hospitals, free at the point of use. We also know that to afford them you need a flourishing enterprise economy. To get that you need less regulatory cost and lower tax rates. You cannot cut the deficit by increasing the tax rates on hard work and enterprise – you may make it worse by damaging the productive economy further.

Labour got elected in 1997 by pretending to understand the need for balance and the need to let the private sector get on and pay the bills. It promised no more nationalisation,no increases in income tax rates, and better regulation including some more deregulation. Instead in office it invented a load of stealth taxes before finally putting up Income Tax for the higher payers, it nationalised banks and railways, extended public activity in child care and media, and unleashed an avalanche of new regulation. Its extra regulation in banking proved especally ineffective, but very costly.

Switching from a failed socialist party to an older Lib Dem party which really believes much of the same mantra will not get this coutnry out of debt and will not grow the economy quickly enough to save the public services. Follow them and you will increase the risk of national bankruptcy. You will make large panic cuts in public spending more likely, as the current situation is simply unaffordable and incredible. The Uk needs to put all its eforts into rebuilding an enterprise economy, if it wishes to maintain and grow its living standards and public services again.

Promoted by Christine Hill on behalf of John Redwood, both of 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU

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57 Comments

  1. Posted April 18, 2010 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Funny you write as if the the Conservative party were actually offering a real alternative.

  2. Lola
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Give that post to DC to read out at the next debate.

    • APL
      Posted April 19, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      This will pan out as follows:

      Cameron and his advisers will become increasingly paniced. They will do the following in the closing weeks of the election campaign:

      1. Start talking more about immigration.
      2. Mention the EU a little more, in mildly disparaging terms. Oblique hint about Lisbon.
      3. Yap a lot about crime and punishment.

      This is the pattern we saw during the last election, when it became apparent the Tory strategy was rubbish Howard reverted to dog whistle politics in an attempt to summon up core Tory voters to bolster the failed strategy of attracting Liberal, Green and dissafected Labour voters.

      That will allow people like John Redwood to say that we fought the last two elections on 'right of centre' policies and were rejected by the British people.

      Of course, a panic knee jerk reaction in the remaining three weeks of an election campaign cannot be described as a coherent policy based right of centre election strategy laid in place over a period of years.

      The British people would be inspired by BOLD leadership, looks like we are not going to get it.

  3. Posted April 18, 2010 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    "Labour, the Lib Dems, Welsh and Scottish nationalists and the Green party all want to tax more, to regulate more and to build a bigger state. "

    As do the Tories John. Considering even the blessed Thatcher did not manage to cut the size of the state then how the hell do you expect us to believe that the Boy Cameron, an unashamed social democrat, will somehow manage to do so despite showing no genuine distaste for authoritarian statism?

  4. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Given this, and the fact that the election arithmetic is getting tight, we need to identify our allies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. They are campaigning under various Conservative and Unionist banners (not the Northern Ireland DUP – they too are 'big state'). There may be as many as 12 MPs in this category.

    So not too much English nationalism, please.

    And if the worst should happen – a LibDem Lab pact – then there should be no pairings, no co-operation, no all party agreeements. They won't have a clue what to do. Just let them twist in the wind.

  5. Alan Wheatley
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    I suggest it would help to state the cost of the deficit in quantitive terms, rather than qualitatively as has been done so far. It is a simple argument to show bigger deficit means higher debt giving rise to larger interest payments resulting in less to spend on services.

    I think the message would be clearer for all to see if shown as a graph: this would show the impact over time of delaying deficit reduction; but it does seem that these days the argument has to be made without visual aids.

    • Posted April 19, 2010 at 12:09 am | Permalink

      Alan,

      This is a good question, but one that is not easy to answer as it depends on your assumptions.

      Let me give a couple of examples to illustrate.

      1. Assume the structural deficit (the bit that will not be eliminated by a strong recovery) is £70bn. The plan is to eliminate this over 4 years starting a) Now b) In One Year. The extra cost in terms of national debt will be £70bn plus interest – say £75bn. Compare this to the budget forecast of National Debt of £1400bn in 2014. And that is not the peak, as the UK will still have a substantial deficit in 2014.
      2. If part of the plan is a combination of wage freezes and job cuts, the cost of one years delay might be more than a year of extra pay freezes later and/or more job cuts. For instance, if this year’s total public sector pay award is £2bn, this is equivalent to about 50,000 jobs at average pay (including NI & Pension).

      This cost of delay is small beer in comparison to the compound effects of deficits run up in the boom years. From 2001 to 2007, Gordon Brown let the National Debt rise by about 15% of GBP. We entered the recession with a structural deficit of around 4% of GBP. On a crude calculation the recession years (2008 to 2014) we will carry that deficit. That is another 28% of GBP in debt. In all (using 2007 GBP) that adds £600bn to the deficit. For a graph see http://manicbeancounter.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/

      NB – There are two faults with the national debt graph. First, it did not include compound interest on the extra debt (add £150bn). Second, it was pre-budget. I have the debt peaking a little too low.

      • Alan Wheatley
        Posted April 19, 2010 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        Thank you for your reply, Manicbeancounter.

        The Lib/Lab arguments seems to be starting to cut the deficit now has a downside, cutting it later does not. A graph showing the debt interest under those two circumstances would should there is a down-side to delaying cutting. The same assumptions should, of course, apply to both. In terms of simplifying the message it is not so much the absolute numbers as the trend.

        I appreciate that there are many other factors that will affect the UK economy, but if you start with a simply illustration of the basic situation then the alternatives can be argued on top. They will all, I guess, in the end boil down to balancing investment and return: "investing" now in more debt on the basis that returns will in future be so much higher as to be able to pay off the debt sooner.

        Perhaps another illustration would be taking out a second mortgage to fund a continuation of the lifestyle to which you have become accustomed. Unfortunately you do not have enough income to cover your increased costs, so you take out a third mortgage to do so. And so on. You hope (expect) things will get better and it will all come right in the end.

        We live in hope.

  6. Ian Jones
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Why oh why did Cameron agree to the debate? Why did he think all the previous attempts were turned down by those in the lead? You have to question his decision making if he could not see this coming.

    As for socialism, please point out that the Lib dems would remove higher rate tax relief from private pensions thus reducing my pension contributions by 20%. It would seem they only want people to work in the public sector with their defined benefit pension.

  7. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Readers of your blog will no doubt agree with most, if not all, of what you say. What a pity that your party, even at this late hour, is failing to get across this message to voters in a simple and easily understood way. All your expensive spin doctors seem to have spun your leaders so much that they can't think straight.

  8. JimF
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    No.
    By wavering and dissembling on a referendum, using expenses to buy duck-houses, not admitting to the scale of the debt problem they didn't even help to create and being out-manouevred in almost every possible way, your leadership have lost the opportunity handed to them on a plate.
    Don't blame the voters for going to UKIP. Blame your leadership. Bring Boris in now to do the business.

  9. alan jutson
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    John

    Yes you are correct, the Liberals have a sort of socialist type of policy.

    The problem is, the general public are so fed up with Brown, and so fed up with the little opposition that the Conservatives have put up for the last 13 years, that it is almost anyone else but these two.

    Clegg has pitched himself just right, at the right time, given he has now gained equal exposure with Brown and Cameron.

    Vince Cable has been given a very easy ride when in the media spotlight (has appeared many more times than Osbourne who one tends to feel has been hidden away) and is thought to be the answer to most people prayers on the economy, as he has used a little more of basic comparison type of language that people are familiar with, and respond to.

    I fear unless both Labour and the Conservatives can nail the Liberal Policies, the momentum that they are generating will be difficult to now stop, and they may well be a big influence on the result.

    Whilst the debates are not the be all and end all of the campaign, Cameron has to come across in a far more stronger mode than in part 1, where he was very weak on the economy argument.

    But the real problem is the range of wishy, washy policies of the Conservatives, presented in a wishy (we are nice people really)washy way.

    Yes either Labour, or Liberal, or a combination of the two will result in more control to the State and less choice for its population, but you only have yourselves to blame.

    Labour have created a huge percentage of the population who are reliant on State benefits of one sort or another, the Liberals will not dismantel any of it. The system will only collapse when we run out of money, and or the wealth makers leave.

    A very worrying time for everyone who tries to be self sufficient in a financial sense.

    • Simon D
      Posted April 18, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      The Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats are both part of the same Left-Liberal consensus which dominates the country. You can have the ugly version (Brown, Ed Balls, Charlie Whelan etc.) or you can choose the designer version (Nick Clegg and Vince Cable). The school teachers, university professors, the BBC and other media hangers on have done a great job in indoctrinating millions of people for the benefit of the Left Wing cause. On the positive side, the LibDems split the left-liberal vote thus enabling the Conservatives to hope that they might attain a majority and form a government.

      However, my reading is that the British public is not minded to hear unpleasant truths about the economy nor to vote for those who enunciate them. What we want is cushy jobs in the public sector or in big private bureaucracies plus a return to the instant wealth of house price increases. The three main parties all sense this and are not talking about real issues. When tackled about the UK becoming another Greece on This Week, James Purnell assured viewers that the UK was a 'rich country' and there was no possible chance of it happening.

      I think we are bust, overtaxed and our civil society is broken. We don't make very much or grow very much but we know how to import masses of foreign goods. Somehow, the solution to all this does not seem to be to vote Liberal Democrat.

  10. david
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    So John, sharpening up the knife, your time is a-coming, won't be long now.

    I hear the Tories are going to attack the Libdems as Euro-fanatics, will Ken Clarke be leading the attack?

    'They call the Libdems a bunch a Euro-fanatics, compared to me they're not'

  11. Cliff
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    John,

    I watched Mr Brown's "On the road" speech from Milton Keynes yeaterday and heard him describe his vision for the future…..It was basically world socialism….A truly frightening thought.

    I wonder how much "Anti EUSSR" noise Mr Cameron will actually make at the next leader's debate, which is being hosted by Sky with Adam Boulton in the chair. I am sure he will be able to get some support from the general public regarding the unwanted mission creep and power grab by our unelected real government in Brussels. I just fear that Mr Cameron is not as anti EUSSR as you would like us to believe.

    John, something else has intrigued me recently; UKIP has stated that they will not stand against anti EUSSR Conservative candidates and yet, as far as I can tell, we have a UKIP candidate standing here in Wokingham, why would they put up a candidate against you, I would never describe you as anything other than anti EUSSR?

    I was going to vote for UKIP as a protest against Mr Cameron's version of Blu Labour, even though I believe you have always served Wokingham well and I had always voted Conservative during the past four decades however, with the polls so close, I feel it is necessary to vote for you, just as I normally would, just to ensure we have a chance of ousting Mr Brown et al and not ending up with a hung parliament…..I still remember the last one!!
    As I have mooted on here before; I wish there was a way to vote for a local MP without, by implication, backing a presidential style party leader, perhaps this could be something that is looked at when the constitutional reform debate takes place in the new parliament.

    I felt the historic first leader's debate was rather dull and sterile, mainly because of the number of conditions laid down by the leaders and although the viewing figures were high, I suspect many people were turned off by it and won't bother to watch the next two.

    I felt surprisingly, Mr Cameron looked very ill at ease during the debate and Mr Brown came across better than I thought he would have…..I feel Mr Cameron will need to display more of the passion he has shown during PMQ's and I suspect both Mr Brown and Mr Cameron need to spend a little more time and effort in pulling apart the FibDem's(sic) policies.
    Mr Cameron will need to decide how he will counter the questions, mainly from the FibDems, about the support he and the party's MPs gave to the government in relation to Iraq. I feel he may well be between a rock and a hard place to some extent. Will he claim to have just been nieve in his support for the war, fully supportive of the war or just lied too by a government one would have expected to have been honest, given what was at stake and how serious the implications of waging war would have been for our country.

    Good luck on May 6th John, not that you need it in my opinion!!!

    Reply: I have no idea why UKIP put up against me – I must assume because they wish to stop me campaigning and voting in Parliament against the EU and help put in my place a federalist. I am grateful to all who are not tempted down such a road!

    • APL
      Posted April 18, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      JR: "I would never describe you as anything other than anti EUSSR?"

      I guess John is considered a 'useful idiot'* by the EUro mainiacs. He gives the EU cause credibility (1) because he provides muted criticism of the EU, and (2) does not come out to criticize the pro Euro policies like for instance Ken Clarke has done whenever an pro British policy has been articulated by past Tory party leaders.

      By the way, I have no idea how the UK independence party has arrived at its position.

      Whereas Ken Clarke for example, is prepared to collaborate with the Socialists(**) to further European integration, and puts the interests of the EU ahead of those of the UK.

      Redwood will in the interests of 'party unity' attenuate his criticism of the Socialist and International socialist policies persued by the Left and their outright supporters within the Tory party in the interests of Tory unity.

      Far better to have had a huge bust up ten years ago, expelled those who lost and rebuilt a rightist grouping from the ashes.

      Instead we have had a sort of pretense of a Tory party. The main policy of which is that the Socialist ratchet should be increased by one notch instead of two.

      Pathetic!

      ——-

      *Not a term of abuse leveled at John Redwood personally, rather an allusion to Lenin's usage of the term to describe to people who knowingly or unknowingly furthered the cause of the USSR.

      ** Clarke and a number of other prominent Tory Grandees were very happy to collaborate with Blair at the begining of his administration.
      Lord Strathclyde undermined Hague on the House of Lords reform and abolition of the Hereditary peers.

      That Socialist reform has served us well – I think not. But it was facilitated instead of opposed by a Tory grandee.

      Reply: Try reading what I have written and listening to what I have said. I voted No in 1975, and have continued to make the big arguments against the Euro, the European army,common borders loss of sovereignty etc etc. It is why the Eurosceptic movement has done so badly in the last 13 years, because its followers criticise each other instead of uniting to fight the federalists.

      • APL
        Posted April 18, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        JR: “I would never describe you as anything other than anti EUSSR?”

        Apologies, the quote should have been attributed to 'Cliff'.

      • APL
        Posted April 18, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        JR: "I voted No in 1975, and have continued to make the big arguments against the Euro, the European army,common borders loss of sovereignty etc etc."

        All agreed.

        JR: "It is why the Eurosceptic movement has done so badly in the last 13 years, because its followers criticise each other instead of uniting to fight the federalists."

        I think there is my point, many of the Federalists are IN the Tory party.

        We have over the years seen a number of 'right wingers' expelled, but I cannot easily recall any recognized as being on the left of the party having the whip withdrawn.

      • James Morrison
        Posted April 20, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        Spot on, and with any luck a Tory defeat at the next election might invoke the end of the party as we know it and the forming of "a rightist grouping from the ashes."

  12. no one
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    its not socialism

    its nothing the jarrow marchers would recognise

    socialism was born to some degree to fight for the unemployed, the miners, the shipyard workers, the real hard working manual workers and the terrible conditions they suffered

    this lot wouldnt know a sink estate or building site or factory floor if it landed on their head and they have certainly done nothing to improve the conditions for folk suffering this every day

  13. Barry
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Whilst agreeing that we cannot afford 5 more years of socialism, will not most people of the right and centre-right think that your leaders pursuit of the middle ground to poach wavering border-line socialists mean more votes are lost to UKIP than found from Lib-Dems? The decisions to decontaminate the brand may well have lost the election.
    I for one find the lack of differentiation between the Conservative party and other socialists means there is not a strong enough reason vote conservative again.

    • APL
      Posted April 19, 2010 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      Barry: "The decisions to decontaminate the brand may well have lost the election."

      Let us understand what 'decontaminate' means in this context.

      It means that many top Tories decided not to put the case for market economics and Toryism, rather adopt Socialist policies, and follow the mainline socialist parties but one step behind, always offering a slightly watered down version of the red blooded Socialist policy.

      If a voter wants Socialism, they have the choice of:

      Labour, Lib-dems, in Scotland the SNP, in wales PC. in England Blue Labour under Cameron.

      Where can right thinking voters place their X?

      • James Morrison
        Posted April 20, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        There is no obligation to vote – and with the absence of a "None Of The Above" option on the ballot paper, right-thinking voters can of course keep their "X" firmly in their pocket if they feel there is no-one who represents them.

        It's a shame all these polls we're seeing don't offer a "none of the above" option. It would be interesting to see how many people there are who do not intend to vote due to lack of options!

  14. ThousandsOfMilesAway
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    The UK is already bankrupt. The dominoes are falling across Europe – France is next for the Greece treatment if CDS traders are anything to go by – and Britain will not be far behind.

    So the other parties are proposing more taxes and a bigger state. I really can't see that the Conservatives will be any different, regardless of any election rhetoric now – the macro environment will ensure higher taxes *and* lower public spending, with a more intrusive, authoritarian state to quell the resulting disquiet and protect the ruling classes in their beds.

    So what, exactly, is the choice on offer?

    • JimF
      Posted April 18, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      Stay or emigrate?

  15. Norman
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    If only this was being espoused 3 years ago by everyone in the Conservative Party what a position we'd be in now! Certainly not looking at a three way tie where large swathes of the population can't tell one party's policies from another.

    Still, we are where we are and there's no doubt that Labour / Lib Dems will do untold damage if either Labour gets in or they manage to form a coalition.

  16. APL
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    JR: "The latest poll showing Conservatives on 33%, Lib Dems on 30% and Labour on 28% may just be post debate froth. "

    Nick Clegg and Gordon Brown together on TV and denounce David Cameron for splitting the Socialist vote.

    In a joint statement they said, 'Cameron should try to appeal to his natural Supporters instead of trying to steal our socialist voters.'

    And went on to say:

    "If either of the Labour or Liberal parties fail to get an overall majority it will be as a result of Mr Cameron's inherently anti democratic policies of attempting to attract the socialist and 'Green' vote, rather that trying to galvanize his natural party support, many of whom have not bothered to vote for the last fifteen years."

    Ken Adams: "Funny you write as if the the Conservative party were actually offering a real alternative."

    Doesn't he just.

    noone: "its not socialism"

    Oh but it is. Socialism might start off as an outsiders force, fighting injustice and inequitable treatment. But once it becomes the establishment then it moves to entrench its position, becomming ever more vicious and coercive eventually totalitarian.

    The tragedy for us it the Tories have failed over the last fifteen years to put the alternative case. They have always argued for a little less socialism rather than the full dose the Socialists have planned for us.

  17. Pauper
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    "Men go mad in crowds, and recover their senses slowly and one by one." It seems the public may be coming to a consensus: they despise Mr Brown enough to dump Labour, still have little love for Tories, and think an alternative is as good as a solution.

    The polls show a substantial Leftist, statist majority. How would a small-state, low tax, high personal responsibility, libertarian government cope with that?

    Had a Tory government sought office with the record of this Labour one, what would have been sufficiently bad to say about it?

    The public will put a Conservative government in only when they have no other choice. They will hound and barrack you every day you are in office. They will strike in the public services and riot in the streets. They will blame you for every one of Labour's disasters, make your lives a misery, and throw you out as soon as they dare, which will be the second the country's back on its feet and ready for another binge.

    The mood seems to me sullen, peevish and ungovernable. Why not let someone else suffer?

    Is this such a bad election to lose? There'll be another one along in a minute.

  18. Kevin Peat
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I'm under no illusions that we've been living under a socialist regime for the past decade. It's difficult to explain to people who were convinced that Blair was son of Thatcher. It's even more difficult to explain that Brown was the architect behind the redistribution of wealth which has taken place. It manifests itself quite clearly in my personal life and this explains why I always appear so angry – because I am.

    The next-door neighbours do not work and never have done for at least the five years that I've lived here. Up until recently they ran two cars. They live in an identical house to me, they smoke cigarettes and have mobile phones – most of their daughters have fallen pregnant out of wedlock and rely on the state for their livelihood. They gather daily with prams in the local town – some of them have been known to cause trouble with neighbours (poor sods who work, like me.)

    Similarly a very close relative on mine has married into a welfare dependant family. He is off on disability for an illness which would not have been classed as a disability a few years ago. Their children have spawned children (whilst under age I might add) and now live on the state – the usual accoutrements (Sky, mobiles, fags, housing …) apply.

    I work in a highly responsible job – working the most arduous of shift patterns – which is considered to be well paid. I can't afford to have Sky, can't afford to smoke (even if I wanted to) We do without holidays and have done for most of our married life. We can't afford school meals and yet don't qualify for free school dinners, we can't afford holidays and yet our kids don't qualify for subsidised school trips … nor will they qualify for the £30 per week supplement paid to those under a certain threshold. Doubtless my pension will be robbed from me as will my house in old age.

    What is the point ? What is the b****y point, John ?

    When I explained our financial straits to my relative (he hasn't worked for over ten years) he said "You'd better cut up the credit card, mate."

    To which I replied, "What ? And have a standard of living that is actually LOWER than yours ????" For all their faults the banks are still doing more for us than the government.

    So my wife and I – by no means profligate and similar to many others – made the decision to go into debt and hang the consequences. Life's too short and equity in old age in Britain is not an asset, it's a liability.

    The worst thing is the disrespect shown to us by the welfare dependants. They'll front you out rather than say sorry for something they've done wrong. They know full well that you have a job and a home to lose and that you're more scared of the law than they are – rightly so.

    The Tories are failing utterly and abjectly to connect with millions like me. The facts are on my side on this. You had an open goal. A Tory victory should be a done deal under the circumstances – as we can all see it most certainly isn't.

    • alan jutson
      Posted April 18, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      Kevin

      Your thoughts "Whats the point"

      Sums up the thoughts of many who are trying to be self sufficient.

      Certainly if you are on the margins then the future does look bleak, other than from a self respect point of view.

      Unfortunately you cannot go shopping offering to pay with self respect.

      The problem now is that those who are living a Benefit culture lifestyle seem to be having more children than those who are not (Press reports today) in some areas of the UK it is predicted that 75% of births will be to single mothers in 2015.

      We really have lost the plot.

      • Kevin Peat
        Posted April 18, 2010 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

        Alan,

        I don't expect a lot in this harsh world – least of all an annual holiday or Sky TV. But I don't expect parity (or less) with these people in the eyes of our politicians – especially since they don't even bother to use the copious amounts of spare time they have to get involved with charity work or making the community better. As ever that's down to us on our days off too.

        The 75% of births to single mothers doesn't surprise me one bit – it's not only the quickest way to get accommodation at an early age, it's the only way someone so young can afford to have children nowadays.

    • JimF
      Posted April 18, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      All I can say is that at some stage it has to either go on to Communism, with everyone excpet the aparatchiks are in the same boat, or turn back to full-blown Capitalism in which case your experience in self-sufficiency will keep you alive longer than those around you.

  19. Question
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Are you saying you wouldn't have nationalised the banks hit by the credit crunch, and would have let them go to the wall?

    Reply: I would have taken different action to avoid a banking crash as I set out before the crisis and during the crisis.

  20. R.Rowan
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    The only changes that would make me vote conservative again would be a promise of a referendum on Europe and a stated figural limit on immigration,there would then be oceans of clear blue water between the parties.

  21. Antisthenes
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    It seems that politicians can tell lies either by design or accident, obfuscate and act and sound like snake oil salesmen and very few of the electorate give a damn. Political parties can put forward policies that are at best questionable and at worst barmy and nobody puts them under any intelligent scrutiny. The majority of voters know that there is a serious problem facing the UK with the economy, erosion of civil liberties, widespread corruption and incompetence and either ignore or accept it as nothing better than to be expected from a modern society.

    The reason the voters put up with this is either the majority are very stupid or they do not want to face up to the truth. My belief is they are both and they are clutching at straws, the surge in Lib-Dem support and the reasonable standing in the polls of Labour confirms this. Labour still maintaining a reasonable standing in the polls is due to them promising not to inflict pain this year but to put it off to another day. The Lib-Dem support surge is like a people awaiting the arrival of a messiah and believing that Clegg is the one. The relatively poor standing of the Conservatives is due to them saying that they will inflict the pain now.

    The party that wins this election will be the party that says what the voters want to hear not what they need to hear. That is why the liars and false prophets are in the ascendancy. Further, the 13 years of Labour misrule has corrupted the British people and has dragged them down to their debased level

  22. Posted April 18, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    John,

    The LibDems don’t make much (for obvious reasons) of how they would pay for their £10K tax allowance. The biggest funding source is an elimination of tax relief at higher rates for pensions. This is meant to do £5.5 billion per annum of the heavy lifting.

    I assume that this figures implies £27.5 billion of pension contributions put in question every year. A large chunk of this is going to leak into consumption rather than savings every year.

    Surely such a large change is going to further damage the UK’s already heavily damaged pension system and stoke consumption at a time when we all seem to think that (real) investment is what is required?

    At the same time the biggest purchaser of gilts has to be the UK pensions industry which is suddenly going to see £27.5 billion a year of contributions put at risk!

    As attractive as the £10K proposal is (I have suggested it myself in the past) paying for it this way will further damage pensions and could precipitate a debt funding crisis.

    • JimF
      Posted April 19, 2010 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      John, this is an important LibDem policy to attack.

      Thier assumption is fatally flawed because the assumed taxes received from people who blithely go on making pension contributions just won't materialise. Money will either stay inside Companies (ok, Corporation Tax payable, but they will have a fight on their hands to keep that at above 20%) or go to Offshore Trusts, or indeed into good old fashioned property, whatever good that does. The very thing we need, (tax-efficient investment in corporates and manufacturing) and that HMG needs to feed (Bonds) will end up being more starved than at present.

  23. Antisthenes
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    A suggestion for the strategy to be employed by David Cameron in the next debate. When Clegg and Brown put forward an opinion or policy David Cameron says "I agree and I would love to be able to do that" then demolish the whole argument by pointing out the dire consequences of implementing such a policy.

    It will put Clegg and Brown on the back foot and make it difficult to counter attack as Cameron is agreeing with them even if he is pointing out their short comings. It will also make Brown's "I agree with Nick" strategy look ridiculous and it will point out to the voters that there is more to the election than pretty faces and shallow promises and they had better look at the small print before they vote.

  24. JimF
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    53 lies.

    I counted 53 lies and statistical perversions by Brown in the Marr interview this morning "we didn't know what was going on in the Banks" "front line troops have all the equipment they need" "immigration isn't such a problem, Australia has more migrants than the UK".

    This man is clearly both delusional and barking mad. Why aren't the Tories eating them alive?

    • alan jutson
      Posted April 18, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      JimF

      Only 53 !

      Clearly he was not on air for too long.

      Shows how bad presenters are top swallow all this tripe.

      I say PRESENTERS because they are not INTERVIEWERS

  25. Wealth Fanatic
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    It is normal for a Prime Minister seeking re-election, especially in times of economic difficulty, to have to defend his Government's record in office.

    For some reason we are not seeing that this time. Is it because DC is worried about "negative" politics?

    We need to remind the country that GB promised to stop "boom and bust" and used to use the word "prudence" like it was going out of fashion – it now has. Remind me, prudence used to be about controlling the national debt.

    He took responsibility for the economy when it was doing well and now it is in trouble, he has got away with blaming everything on greedy bankers. His admission that he made a mistake by not regulating the bankers – is nothing short of a cynical, dishonest attempt to gain votes.

    It seems to me GB is quite happy to come third in a large part of the country, because he believes that he can control a hung parliament.

  26. Posted April 18, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Surely with the 3 parties roughly level pegging it can no longer be claimed that a system that gives absolute power to one of those 3 is either democratic or likely to produce a government people will respect. On that poll the largest party, in terms of seats, would be Labour, the smallest in votes, though it would not have a majority & the smallest would be the LibDems with the most votes. Whatever that is it is not democracy. It isn't even fascism because when Mussolini took over he changed the Italian voting system to give a majority to the biggest party – but at least they had to be the biggest party.

  27. Posted April 18, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    John, Don't tell us this – tell Cameron. He was abject on Thursday and gave no positive reason to vote Tory. He showed no steel and laid not one finger on Brown.

    Even I am now wondering if he has the balls for the job.

  28. Rich
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    "We cannot afford five more years of Socialism"

    The UK's had 65 years of socialism already, much of it under supposedly Conservative governments. What difference will five more years make?

    The present party leader is indistinguishable from all the other fake Conservatives like Major and Heath who have done so much to destroy Britain as an independent country.

    Do you think we have forgotten the ERM fiasco? Maastricht? Who took us into the EU?

    The Labour Party sprang from an international totalitarian conspiracy, so I can excuse the damage it has done to Britain. You don't expect the enemies of everything your country stands for to improve the situation there, after all.

    I find it much harder to forgive the Conservative party, which while pretending to be in opposition to Labour, when judged on its overall record, is little different.

  29. Mike Stallard
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Very, very well said, Mr Redwood, or is it Christine?

    Reply: You should know better than that. I always write everything I put out myself. The Promotion rubric is just part of the Election regulations.

  30. Steve Whitfield
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Please pass on these views to David Cameron. I suspect he won't listen and just re-double his efforts to promote his "positive message". He has failed in his duty to warn the electorate of the dangers of socialism.

    Of course Cameron & Osbourne's strategy will fail – they have been banging they're heads against a brick wall and believe they just have to bang them harder and harder…fools

  31. Posted April 19, 2010 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    Looking at the Lib-Dem manifesto on the economy, it can probably claim to be more redistributive than under Labour. There is also a huge risk. Raising taxes on the rich can have diminishing returns. Sometimes that can even decrease revenue. The adverse is certainly true of the UK and USA. Cutting the top rates actually increased the tax take from the top earners. So Lib-Dems, may actually make the deficit problem worse. Certainly their £230m contingency in £17,000m on calculations should be at least 20 times that.

    For more detail see http://manicbeancounter.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/

  32. Stronghold Barricade
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    It is important to harness this mood rather than attack the lib dems

    If, as you say the conservatives offer the real alternative, please for a minute consider all those people who idealogically could never vote Tory

    The lib dems offer an alternative to those incumbant safe seat Labour people, all those parachuted in Ex-Union men who would be the new face of a re-elected Labour party.

    It surely must be the first objective of any campaign to gain a victory, but to be able to deal a death blow to the Labour Party from it's own self inflicted wounds would surely also satisfy.

    If the electoral system is stacked against you, then could you not use the ineptitude of Brown's "love bombing" of Clegg against them.

    The Lib Dems may be the only alternative to a Labour Voter that would otherwise consider the BNP.

    After the election, the winners can ensure that no other party can run on a "whiter than white" policy

  33. TCD
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Couldn't agree more. If only Cameron would espouse these views.

  34. Winston's Black
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I watched Question Time and a question came up about Cameron's idea for parents to set up schools. A gentleman asked whether a grammar school would be acceptable? Gove, to his credit and unlike most politicians, gave a straight answer NO! He then proceeded to come up with all the usual anti grammar school propaganda one expects from socialists and Lib Dems.

    Cameron's Cast-Iron Conservatives are anti grammar school, pro man made climate change scam and pro EU dictatorship.

    Why are you a member of the Conservative Party Mr Redwood? You come across as a largely sensible, right-thinking sort of chap unlike those at the Vanguard of your party I'm afraid!

  35. Chris
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    See ORB survey favouring the Conservatives. http://www.opinion.co.uk/Newsroom_details.aspx?Ne

  36. Mike Fowle
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Agree with you completely. I find some of the responses very worrying. What tears apart left wing parties so often is arguments about doctrinal purity. Let's not go there. Surely the vast majority reading this blog dearly want to see the back of this wretched government. That's the priority. We can argue about replacement policies afterwards.

  37. Warwick
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    John,

    What has happened to the Conservative campaign?

    As someone looking in from abroad (and who would be on the doorsteps if back in the UK) I, and almost everyone Brit that I speak with, am looking on in abject despair. This election has always been The Conservatives' to lose and it looks like it is happening. It is time to stop making vague noises and to stand up and make bold statements. Everyone knows what the issues are and politicians, of all hues, seem to be scared to say anything:

    Immigration – It is my understanding that this is pretty much the most common subject raised on the doorsteps
    Crime
    The economy
    Public spending
    Europe – we know that we are stuck with it but at least make a promise that there will be no further integration without a referendum.
    Benefits – should be a safety net not a viable option

    What the heck is 'Big society'? This is the most important election since 1997 with some of the biggest and toughest issues to face in living memory and the party is campaigning on 'big society' and marriage allowances? Get a grip please and, quite frankly, Cameron et al need to have the balls to stand up and set out their policies in these areas otherwise they only have themselves to blame for a hung parliament and, more than likely, Brown continuing as PM. If that is the case then I, and many others that I know, will be unlikely to come home any time soon.

  38. Dan H.
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    One way to get a landslide victory for the Conservatives is as follows:

    1) Point out that whereas the Labour Party has stated in court that manifesto pledges are "not subject to legitimate expectation" (i.e. aren't worth the paper they're written on) the Conservative Party will stand by manifesto pledges; just make sure you can achieve what you say.

    2) Offer a national referendum on membership of the European Union, with the proviso that if the nation votes for withdrawl a trade agreement will have to be hammered out; a trade agreement which will not permit UK ministers to give away sovereignty nor permit an unaccountable foreign power to interfere so greatly in UK lawmaking.

    3) Reduce the number of MPs dramatically, and re-order the Parliamentary system such that only one set of MPs get elected over the entire country. On matters of local importance the Scottish ones sit in the Scottish Parliament, Welsh ones in the Welsh Parliament, English ones in the English Parliament in London, and Northern Irish ones in Stormont.

    When matters need all to sit in the British Parliament, link all four Parliamentary Seats via internet links using London as the hub (logical, since London is where the Internet links mostly join up for the cross-channel link-up).

    This has the advantage in that the total number of politicians is greatly reduced (reducing costs), the system complexity goes down and becomes more logical, and England gets a Parliament. It also resolves the West Lothian Question neatly.

    Point 3 will be bitterly opposed by the regional parliaments, since it effectively makes most of their members redundant by reducing them to what they actually are: minor members of the Uited Kingdom. However it resolves a great many logical deficiencies and saves us money into the bargain.

  39. Posted April 25, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    It is important to harness this mood rather than attack the lib dems

    If, as you say the conservatives offer the real alternative, please for a minute consider all those people who idealogically could never vote Tory

    The lib dems offer an alternative to those incumbant safe seat Labour people, all those parachuted in Ex-Union men who would be the new face of a re-elected Labour party.

    It surely must be the first objective of any campaign to gain a victory, but to be able to deal a death blow to the Labour Party from it's own self inflicted wounds would surely also satisfy.

    If the electoral system is stacked against you, then could you not use the ineptitude of Brown's "love bombing" of Clegg against them.

    The Lib Dems may be the only alternative to a Labour Voter that would otherwise consider the BNP.

    After the election, the winners can ensure that no other party can run on a "whiter than white" policy

  40. Posted April 26, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Agree with you completely. I find some of the responses very worrying. What tears apart left wing parties so often is arguments about doctrinal purity. Let's not go there. Surely the vast majority reading this blog dearly want to see the back of this wretched government. That's the priority. We can argue about replacement policies afterwards.

  41. Posted May 2, 2010 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    "In the next couple of weeks it is vital all freedom lovers unite to expose and counter this threat to our remaining liberties and right to self government."

    Aye right. All freedom lovers? Who are those people that hate freedom again? Weird that I never hear anyone saying they hate that.

    Ask the BNP and UKIP and they won't say they hate freedom.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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