Doomsday scenario for Eurosceptics

The next three weeks could be crucial for Euroscepticism. The polls make consisently clear by a huge margin that there is not going to be the UKIP breakthrough that some crave. The new House of Commons composition is still unclear, but no serious commentator or pollster thinks there will be a single UKIP MP, let alone a majority UKIP government able to take us out of the EU as they promise.

Instead there is a possibility now that once again a largely Eurosceptic country could end up with a Commons with a majority of federalist MPs, if Labour, the Lib Dems and the Nationalists prevent the Conservatives having a majority.

Worse still, given Labour’s desperate plight in the polls, they may now be ready to do a deal on a different voting system with the Lib dems, to keep the Conservatives out of government and to change the shape of all future elections. If the Lib Dems go along with the Alternative Vote system Labour has proposed, not itself a system of Proportional Representation, we could end up with even more skewed Parliaments in future where Conservative representation was even smaller than the First Past the Post system has delivered in the last three lop sided Parliaments.

The Alternative Vote system has two advantages for Labour. It would be likely to give them even more seats than the present system, and it prevents minor parties from getting representation, as it reallocates the second preference votes of those voting for minor parties in each seat to the main party candidiates to work out who has won. To the Lib Dems it could be the best fig leaf they can grasp in order to get a few Ministerial jobs for themselves after an absence from government of ninety years.

Any such deal would be allied to further transfers of power to Brussels, as the Lib Dems have always favoured. Expect enthusiasm from such a regime for common security and defence policy, for consolidation of common citizenship and borders, and a common criminal justice policy, whilst they ready themselves for eventual Euro membership.

Systems of proportional representation shift the power to change governments from the electorate to the politicians. They mean parties campaign on manifestos they have to amend or surrender when it’s time to construct a coalition government. It helps the political class at the expense of the electors. Is that what we really want?

As a Eurosceptic who wants self government for the UK under a UK democratic system, I think the only course of action is to vote Conservative to secure a Conservative majority. At least the Conservatives have promised to start to get powers back, to stop the passage of any more powers to the EU, and to reassert Parliamentary sovereignty through legislation. It is not all some Eurosceptics want, but a change of direction and intent would be so welcome after the federalist drive of the last 13 years.

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

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50 Comments

  1. Norman
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    I know we’re in a post-Christian age but there’s a passage in Revelation which states He’d rather someone was hot or cold, if you’re lukewarm He’ll spit you out.

    After 5 years of lukewarm conservatism and euroscepticism probably a bit late in the day to start turning up the heat and hoping for results. Even the tax cuts are lukewarm and half hearted.

    You’re right though that once the voting system changes that’s it for the Conservatives. Some good may come of it though, other countries have PR and still have centre-right coalition governments, maybe a strong dose of socialism until the country collapses will work out better in the long run.

  2. Jonathan
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    It's not just the EU, we'll be stuck with ever higher taxes, no change in the useless school system and a transport infrastructure which is an embarrassment.
    If that happens I can envisage more professionals leaving the country and the pound sliding further.

    • Y Rhyfelwr Dewr
      Posted April 20, 2010 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      How very true. My wife is American, my daughter half-American, and oh, how tempting emigration is looking right now!

      I know I'd miss home, and my wife would be deeply reluctant to abandon her adopted country. Besides, all our American friends (Republicans, to a man) assure us that Obama is no different and America is going to hell in a handbasket, just perhaps a little more slowly than Britain.

      But I can't deny the temptation to drop everything and run like hell. Before the debate, I thought there was a strong chance of a Conservative victory. Sadly, I don't think there's any possibility now. Short of a miracle, we're screwed.

  3. Mike Stallard
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Looking at the offerings on TV, where voting is being called in to boost the viewing figures, I sometimes despair. Nick Clegg has had the benefit of a superb upbringing by a Banker, expensive education at Westminster and Cambridge, and the financial gains of being an MEP.
    Of course he is presentable!
    And he is also able to promise the earth because he knows he will never have to honour his promises, however ridiculous.
    The media love him!
    The big question is this: Are the British People really that silly?
    "……….that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth….." (Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address 1863)
    "Remember, they are 10." (Wall poster in a major newspaper.)

  4. JimF
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Or the other way of looking at it is that if your prediction comes true, a period of Europhilia, accompanied by a debt bomb might be the short sharp shock needed to change the public mood. An "Après moi le deluge" moment.
    It might also change the mealy-mouthed middle-way muddled thinking of the bulk of the Conservative Party.

  5. Mick Anderson
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Many of us are unconvinced by any of the "big three" parties.

    There are individuals within all parties who stand out from the crowd, but there is no leader or set of policies that we trust enough to support.

    Mr Brown has lots of history against him, Mr Cameron diluted his promises when his bluff is called (Lisbon), and Mr Clegg wants to raise taxes to pay for a wish-list rather than reduce the deficit.

    I see Mr Cameron as being the least bad of the three options, but that's a long way from wanting to cast a vote for the MP wearing his colours….

  6. Iain
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Trouble is Cameron has given us a really lame policy on the EU, and has completely failed to make the EU an issue, or argue why the dominance of the EU in our affairs is damaging our democracy and disenfranchising the electorate. This along with the Conservative party’s failure to properly respond to the West Lothian question has gifted Clegg the role of the person to represent ‘change’ rather than being part of the establishment that has brought all these ills on us.

  7. Simon D
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    People must vote Conservative not UKIP. A UKIP vote is not just a vote thrown away – it helps Labour hang on to power.

    We are in the final days of a last-chance saloon for the Conservatives. If the country votes the wrong way there will be a Lib-Lab pact and a change in the voting system. Brown, Mandelson and Balls will do and say virtually anything to cling to power.

    We have already turned one corner – game show politics. You vote for Nick Clegg now because of his easy manner and the way he combs his hair that day. The next corner to turn is proportional representation.

    Imagine the outcome. Labour and the Lib Dems fighting in the sack as 'partners'. Inadequate public expenditure cuts, a falling pound and a tsunami of strikes and agitation from the public sector unions cheered on by the BBC and the rest of the left-liberal media.

    The bond market will be bemused and sceptical and gold will be the commodity to buy.

    I believe in facing the consequences of your own stupidity and self harm. If potential conservative voters put Labour in again by voting UKIP or Liberal Democrat or Green or by staying at home, they cannot blame others for what will be the highly unpleasant consequences of what they have done. The outcome of a UKIP vote could be Brown, Balls, Mandelson, Clegg and Cable in office and consolidation of support for the European federalist project – the total opposite of what such voters want.

    • JimF
      Posted April 20, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      Look to the post below for your reply. It's in the hands of Cameron and Co. Don't blame the voters for being honest! Blame the politicians who aren't!

  8. Colin D.
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    if Cameron, even at this late stage, were to commit to an 'in/out' referendum on Europe, he would win the election. He would be giving the majority, who have reservations about Europe, a democratic voice at last. He would probably get most of the UKIP vote. Allied with his 'small government' message, he would set this country back on a free and democratic path. He CAN do it, but has he got the vision and the courage?

    • Amanda
      Posted April 20, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      I quite agree.

  9. Alan
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    The possibility of getting a more democratic voting system is about the only thing that might stop me voting Conservative in the coming election. Mr Cameron's support for the First Past the Post voting system has always seemed to me to be anti-democratic, and based on a desire to ensure that the electorate can only chose between Labour and Conservative. It has meant that people like me, who live in a 'safe' seat, have no say in selecting the government. I don't like that. In fact I don't know anyone here that likes it, not even those who support First Past the Post.

    Voting Liberal Democrat won't get me a Liberal Democrat MP – and I don't want one. But it will add my vote to the number of those who vote Liberal Democrat. If Labour gets the most seats and the least votes of the three main parties, which is quite possible under the First Past the Post system, the pressure for reform of the voting system will be very strong.

    The Alternative Vote system is not democratic either, but it would change the constituency I live in to a marginal one. My MP would not depend on some obscure selection committee and the favour of the Conservative Party to hold his position, he would be subject to the electors, and that would be better.

    In short, the resurgence of the Liberal Democrats is offering me an opportunity to vote for a more democratic system, when the Conservative's opposition to this is one of their worst policies. We need a profound change in the way our political system is run, and ignoring this has been one of Mr Cameron's major errors.

  10. James D
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    The worst issue with AV is that it isn't even a particularly fair way of counting ranked ballots in a single-member constituency. Here is a (very simplified) illustration — imagine a constituency where the votes were cast as follows:

    40% 1: candidate A, 2: candidate B, 3: candidate D, 4: candidate C
    25% 1: candidate B, 2: candidate D, 3: candidate C, 4: candidate A
    20% 1: candidate C, 2: candidate D, 3: candidate B, 4: candidate A
    15% 1: candidate D, 2: candidate C, 3: candidate B, 4: candidate A

    FPTP says that candidate A wins, despite being the least-preferred candidate of 60% of voters. AV produces an equally unfair result: it eliminates candidate D, and then proceeds to give his second-preference votes infinitely more weight than anyone else's second-preference votes, bumping candidate C up to 35%; candidate B (who finished second) is then eliminated, with the result that by a selective consideration of preferences, candidate C wins.

    If we are to move away from counting single-member constituencies as FPTP, it is much better to use a Condorcet method (with clone-proof sequential dropping for practical reasons). In this case there is a Condorcet winner — candidate B beats every other candidate pair-wise (60-40 against A, 65-35 against C, and 65-35 against D). The FPTP winner's second-preference votes are thus given equal value to the FPTP loser's second-preference votes.

    For a fuller explanation of how to apply this method of counting see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schulze_method

    Suffice it to say that it is either ill-informed or disingenuous to advocate AV on the grounds of fairness.

    • rob webster
      Posted April 20, 2010 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      The British public would reject AV hands down in a referendum. Under AV elections would become a farce. How can you ask people to stand in polling booths and grade 7 or 8 candidates ranging from Tory, Labour and Lib Dem, through to UKIP, the BNP, single issue independents and the Monster Raving Looney Party? My worry is that Labour and the Liberals will try to force a change through without consulting the public.

    • Posted April 20, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      Another problem of AV is that it encourages nastiness. It encourages parties to attack their main opponents, by encouraging voters to vote negatively. You have two (or more) stabs at voting against, only one for voting for.
      The whole thrust of Labour since last June is to encourage voters to despise the Tories. Every time a Government Minister is asked a question on what the Government policy, they get instead a throw away remark on what they presume the Tories are doing. It is this nastiness that the Conservatives have tried to put aside in their manifesto with a positive vision of the future.

  11. Jim
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    I think it is too late. Cameron finally abandoned Conservatism with his 'big society' idea, doesn't he know Conservatism was supposed to be about incremental change, rather than grand utopian plans? But he has just carried on from Heath and Thatcher, with their various betrayals of our sovereignty over the years. If either of these two hadn't loved power so much, perhaps they would have built some checks and balances into our system, which might have prevented some of Labour perversions, but they didn't.
    No, it looks like we are going to take a giant leap backwards into socialist poverty. Perhaps a real conservative party will rise from the ashes ten years from now, if we are lucky. As Plato said though, democracy degenerates into tyranny. We're nearly there, just a few more steps.

  12. James Sutherland
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    "The Alternative Vote system has two advantages for Labour. It would be likely to give them even more seats than the present system, and it prevents minor parties from getting representation, as it reallocates the second preference votes of those voting for minor parties in each seat to the main party candidiates to work out who has won."

    I suspect not, particularly in the long term, because of the current "wasted vote" issue. If I vote UKIP – or indeed Labour, in my constituency, which is a close SNP-Conservative race – I am simply wasting my vote: I might as well not bother visiting the polling station. Obviously, I'll be voting Conservative instead. Under AV, however, I could usefully put UKIP as first preference then Conservative as second: my vote still gets counted towards the Conservative candidate, but the obstacle to voting UKIP no longer applies. Of course, in the present system minor parties in any constituency get no representation at all: their votes are effectively reallocated to the dustbin, leaving only the 2-3 dominant party votes to have any impact at all.

    As I think we've seen in the last week or so since the first debate, the chicken and egg problem of "wasted votes" is a powerful disincentive to supporting any minor party; once it looks as if that no longer applies, support jumps.

    Perhaps, at least in the short term, the increased left-wing votes for Labour/LibDem or vice versa would dominate, but I wouldn't be so sure; long term, I would expect it to boost minor party influence considerably.

  13. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    The outlook for our democracy is bleak. Apparently Labour comes third in the general election and Brown stays as Prime Minister supported by Labour's cousins the LibDems. They then change the voting system to ensure they retain power in perpetuity. Their masters in the anti-democratic EU will be proud of them.

  14. lola
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    'First past the post' is wrongly named. It should be 'the system that lets people kick out politicians they hate' system.

    • BillyB
      Posted April 20, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      Not really – it just allows a switch from red to blue and back again.

  15. Chris H
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    I have a devil of a job understanding these proposed new voting systems. As far as I'm concerned, if my X beside the name of my chosen candidate eventually goes to count as a vote for someone else, then you can sling the idea. I would never mark a voting paper with a second choice anyway. I see a lot of spoilt ballot papers happening and probably even less people turning out to vote; after all, if the new system effectively creates a form of government that cannot be statistically overturned, then what is the point of voting at all, in the future?

    The whole thing is disgusting and a prime example of evil political manipulation, designed to keep socialism in perpetual power. I can't believe the stupidity of the public, with their hero-worship, following the Tv debate issue….do they not read the Liberal Democrats' policies? Ultimately they will get what they deserve, unfortunately they will drag the rest of us with them.

  16. Stuart Fairney
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    I simply don't believe all this Clegg nonsense. Maybe I associate with sane people (or maybe we are all insane and don't realise it!) but I don't know of a single person who is impressed by Clegg, much less going to vote for the Lib-Dems.

    Incidentally, you may not believe this, but I have a friend I was talking to in 1997 the day after the ghastly Blair had just won, and he proceeded to outline the next 15-20 years in politics, correctly predicting the next two tory defeats, then predicting a hung parliamant this time and the introduction of PR in a Lib-Lab pact before a genuinely libertarian tory party wins in 2013/4 when the lib/lab pact collapses.

    • Chris H
      Posted April 20, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Lets hope he's right….about 2013, that is! Until then, we're entering the valley of death.

      • Stuart Fairney
        Posted April 20, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

        The only hope I take out of this whole debacle is that whilst the business climate is hostile, some people make money in Greece, Zimbabwe etc still, so the country might be (is) going to hell, it's not impossible to spot opportunities.

  17. alan jutson
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    As you are (were until Parliament went into election mode) my MP John, I do not have such a voting problem.

    You are the best candidate for a National Parliament by a mile, given your experience and financial expertise. Your actions in the past over local affairs, and the speed of response you give to your constituants should put you streets ahead of any of your competitors.

    I have made a protest vote for UKIP in the past, in Euro elections, and I have on occassion voted for an independent in local elections, but for National Government only one option, Conservative, because of Labour and Liberal socialism(creeping hidden communism in some cases) policies.

    Our voting system has thrown up a real problem over the past few years mainly due to the Whippping system, where the vast majority of MPs slavishly follow the leader, no matter what their thoughts, or the thoughts of their constituants.

    I have mentioned cardboard cut out MPs in the past, and for the system as it is being abused at the moment, they would certainly be cheaper.

    No longer do most people vote for their local MP, but for a Party under a Party leader (who is not even standing in their area)

    Thus we have the worst of both worlds, people are voting as if they are voting for a President and Party, but are not getting a Presidential type of system.

    I think the present system needs some change, but exactly how, and what would replace it is not an easy choice.

    If local MPs were allowed to have a mind of their own we may have less polarised politics and a more general consensus for Government. Perhaps a proper secret ballot by MPs for all Government bills and legislation would work, and I mean secret.

    Parliamnet as is being operated at the moment is failing, has been for years, so you only have yourselves (or your leaders) to blame really.

    The Country has been falling behind its competitors for years, it is now failing faster, and falling down the World league tables, more socialism/communism is the last thing we need, but I fear it is what we may get.

    Reply: Many thanks for your kind words and support

  18. Peter Stroud
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    I am sure that Colin D is correct. A promised in or out EU referendum would not only give we Eurosceptics a chance to show how we feel but would certainly call Clegg's bluff. After all this is exactly what he proposed when criticised over his refusing a Lisbon referendum. Mind you, we are unlikely to win such an extreme proposal.

    • BillyB
      Posted April 20, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      What if we had a referendum and we voted to stay in the EU? Would you then keep holding referendums until we voted no?

      🙂

  19. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    The Conservative Party will never get anywhere in Europe until it reasserts the UK's fundamental constitutional position, that no treaty is for ever and that no parliament can bind its successor. It is then in a position to repeal whatever it wants to repeal.

    We want William Hague to look Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkosy straight in the eye and state that the Lisbon Treaty is not a Treaty but a Constitution, one that has been explicitly rejected by the electorates of France and Holland. It is therefore null and void in ALL member states.

    This will provide the perfect platform for us to renegotiate our relationship with the EU, because it will mean that we have the right to paralyse the EU unless they take our renegotiation seriously. Possible measures include vetoing expenditure on the 'permanent' president and foreign minister, voting down the entire EU budget, filibustering in European parliament etc.

    Don't worry, they won't expel us, otherwise Germany and France will have to pick up the tab. They will compromise. We have all of the aces, we just need to play them.

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted April 20, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Indeed if Greece doesn't get kicked out for the near destruction of the euro as a credible currency and completely disregarding it's loan to GDP obligations (even if we take their formal accounts seriously, it's actually worse), we certainly wouldn't be for re-asserting our basic right of self-determination.

  20. Posted April 20, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    A Hung Parliament would certainly mean some form of PR – Labour's alternative vote or the top up system in existence in Scotlan & Wales or some other. Indeed the present polling which suggests Labour would get the least number of votes & most seats & LibDems most votes & least seats itself totally discredits the current system (& any party that continues to support it). I suspect most of the support for the LibDims comes from people who do not support windmillery & joining the Euro but do support getting a just & democratic electoral system – this must include a lot of UKIP & indeed BNP supporters – remember that at the Euro election more people voted for PR supporting parties than for Tories & Labour combined. If that election means anything then an election which produced proportional results would see the LibDems fall to 4th place & the Conservative & UKIP partiies of the "right" gain an overwhelming majority.

    The Conservatives should now acknowledge both the justice & inevitability of a proportional system & put their efforts towards the top up system (which would end the advantage Labour get from having less populous constituencies & is favoured by UKIP & most LibDems) & for another immediate election as soon as this reform is in place.

    The alternative John suggests is to give the Cameronians a majority in the hope that they will be eurosceptic & that, with nothing approaching a popular mandate, will solve all our problems & reconcile the public to electoral politics as usual.

  21. JT
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Europe … Tories blew it after withdrawing euro referendum.
    Since then, the polls have dipped lower
    And the euro message is lost … well its more that the message seems be that tories will sit with the fringe and squeal.

    Reform .. house of Lords .. it's 2010 afterall .. how can there be an unelected chamber in 2010 ….

  22. Derek Buxton
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Just one quibble, don't blame the voters, the blame for the present disaster lays squarely on the lib/lab/con-spiracy. They are all agreed on one thing, the EU is a good thing but we must not give the people the details. Since the days of Heath nor one politician has told the truth about that evil entity, for evil it decidedly is. It rules us all through a gang of beaurocrats, penpushers and worst of all our very own craven MPs. It is unaccountable, non democratic, actually anti democratic and corrupt beyond even Brown' ambitions.

    "But they are honourable men", they say so often, too often. I fear for my Country and more for those, like my family, who are stuck with it, governed by the corrupt in a derelict Country of which I was so proud.

  23. pipesmoker
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    The Liberal Democrats should be reminded that they were the ones that promises a vote on our membership of the EU whatever.

    I am still minded not to vote in the comming general election because I think that is the only message that will in time have the desired effect.

    Things will have to get a lot worse before they get better John. I have waited since the mid 1960's for a proper say on the EU/Common Market etc and can wait a little longer.

  24. Freeborn John
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Cast-iron Dave is a fake; the change we can’t believe in. His November speech on Europe was full of tissue-thin chicanery that amounted to a complete acceptance of Lisbon (and Nice and Amsterdam) whose ambition was limited to a partial re-negotiation of the 1992 social policy opt-out from the Treaty of Maastricht. Cameron never ‘sealed the deal’ because he never had the courage to go out and make and win the arguments, on Euro-federalism and other issues. He hoped he could say and do nothing and win power on the back of Labour unpopularity alone. But come the election it is the LibDems (despite their half-baked but never-debunked policies) that are reaping the benefits of Labour’s unpopularity and are seen as the more likely change-agents.

    It’s too late for Cameron to seal the deal now. After near 5 years as leader his image will not be undone in two weeks. The relevant question is when the election after this one will be (October 2010 if you are lucky; 2015 if not), and whether the Conservatives will have a more authentic leader prepared to give their customers the innovative new products they want and invest in the marketing needed to win new customers over. If not, then your fate will be that of any other long-established business that thinks it has some God-given right to market-share.

  25. Will Rees
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    I think you have found the nail, and as much as it is of significance to me, so is another far bigger hammer – how do we the public purge the corrupt under PR?

  26. Simon Holloway
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    John

    If the Conservative party were truly eurosceptic, I would be looking forward to casting my vote in an EU referendum three months or so into the incoming Cameron government. What's more, for the first time for all of us born after 1957, a governing party would have allowed the electorate to vote on whether we wanted the UK's sovereign powers to be transferred to unelected commissioners in Brussels.

    I don't fully accept the argument that now Lisbon has been ratified we cannot have a post-ratification referendum. It didn't seem to stop Harold Wilson offering one in 1975 on Ted Heath's European Communities Act of 1972. What's the difference? Equally, whatever happened to no parliament being able to bind its successor?

    If Cameron wants to offer the clear blue water he needs to distinguish the Conservatives from the Lib/Lab Party, he needs to offer the referendum we were promised by all three parties in 2005. It could yet win him the election.

  27. Lavrentiy Beria
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    What does iDave stand for?

    Tax cuts? No

    Defence cuts? Yes

    A referendum on the EU? No

    Keeping up foreign aid? Yes

    Opposing Green idiocy? No.

    The "Big Society"? Oh God!

    Wht is the point of this man?

  28. Peter
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    While you may be right about the voting system proposed by Labour – this is surely the exact same system used by Australia without change since 1901. I.e it was designed and sanctioned by Westminster. It produced Messrs Curtin, Menzies, Hawke, Keating, and Howard – all giants. I'm conservatively minded, but would be happy to import the proven Australian system unchanged. Neither has PR harmed Europe or NZ (think Lange). UK have slid down the economic ladder all my lifetime – look at the exchange rates. Neocons may not like it, but who cares.

  29. Winston's Black
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    I see no fundamental differences between the 3 main parties.

    They are all pro EU, pro man made climate change scam and anti grammar school.

    The Conservatives withdrew the whip from Lord Pearson for suggesting people voted UKIP in the European Elections yet Kenneth Clarke was on Cameron's shadow front bench despite campaigning for the single European currency when it was supposedly not Conservative policy!

    Cameron reneged on his Lisbon Referendum pledge and is allegedly taking the Conservative MEPs back into the EPP!

    Why should a genuine Eurosceptic vote Conservative given Cameron's track record?

    The arch federalist Kenneth Clarke endorsed Cameron as leader!

    That one act alone tells you how much credence to give any opportunistic Eurosceptic noises that might emanate from Conservative mouths in the run up to May 6!

    I will be voting UKIP in the marginal where I live. If that means the incumbent Labour MP returns to Westminster so be it. Cameron has lost all credibility for me with his Blue Labour nonsense!

  30. Posted April 20, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    The bigger issue of a Lib-Lab coalition is on the deficit.

    A coalition between
    – a party that steers the middle ground.
    – a party that is lead by a leader who both dithers AND tries to bend reality to political expendiency.

    Such a coalition would not bode well for tackling the the deficit. A few dozen public sector workers on the streets about even the tiniest cut in their annual increase, will be cause a delay of another year. Growth will slow and the National Debt continue to soar. This will make the necessary cuts much larger and therefore much more painful.

    Extra power to the EU will simply exacerbate the situation.

  31. Steve Whitfeld
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 2:24 am | Permalink

    The trouble with democracy is that stupid people are allowed to vote.

    Is it not hugely depressing that so many of the electorate can be influenced, so heavily, by a 90 minute appearance on TV ?.
    70 years ago this nation fought a bloody war to remain independent from foreign rule.So I find it odd that we allow smiling creeps like Mandelson and Clegg , who want to change this country beyond recognition so much influence.

    What a fickle, ignorant and shallow nation we have become.

    How small a percentage of the voting population knows that if the liberal/labour stitch up happens at the election, left wing socialist policies will be tested to the destruction of this country.

    Support for the Euro, mass immigration and taxes has no popular support, so why are these parties that support these causes so popular. ?

    We are already almost bankrupt and our manufacturing base is dieing.
    Why can't people grasp that Brown, Clegg and his ilk, DESPISE this country, it's history, freedoms and the ordinary English people. What has happened to this great country cannot be explained by incompetence alone.

    We get the government we deserve

    • James Morrison
      Posted April 21, 2010 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      "We" don't grasp it because despite the blatant wickedness of LibLab, we have not had an effective opposition for the last 13 years to challenge them properly.

      This is also why Cameron must (and hopefully will) lose the election.

  32. adam
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    why cant your party see that its leadership is europhile
    everyone else sees it
    Reply: Why can't you see that the Conservative party is a Eurosceptic party that can win, and that people like me – there are many of us – if elected can take the necessary action on renegotiation, restoration of powers and reassertion of UK sovereignty to get things moving in an anti federal direction. What other way is there to do that? It is cloud cuckoo land for someone to write to this site saying a hung Parliament will mean a referendum on the EU – it will mean keeping the federalists in charge because they will still have the majority.

    • Posted April 21, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      John why, after PR had been achieved, do you think the British people would vote for the LibDems ahead of UKIP? The last PR election we had, the European one, shows the opposite. It would also become much nore difficult for the BBC to give more airtime to the LDs & even the Greens than to UKIP if popular support rather than Westminster seats was the measure..

    • adam
      Posted April 22, 2010 at 12:42 am | Permalink

      I can see thats its eurosceptic and climate change sceptic. That is what frustrates me.
      Why is the Tory Reform Group being allowed to make all the running, in a party where they are the minority. If they want to be progressives let them set up a progressive party.
      Taking the Conservative party back is the only way to even challenge these peoples new Empire. I see nobody doing that.
      Only a few of you turned up to debate the Lisbon treaty. There is a couldn't care less attitude among the ones who didnt turn up.
      I dont know how to change that

  33. Derek Buxton
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Sir,
    Much as I admire much of what you write, I find your response to Adam just a tad strange. Like many who read your words, I find it hard to believe that the Party as now run is in any way Eurosceptic. We would all like to believe but the evidence is against it. Both Cameron and Hague have actually said they want to be in the EU, several times, and refuse even to debate it amongst what should be their supporters. Were it true, then they would both talk of the problems it causes, the cost for no return, how it came about,…but they don't. Their only response is they don't do Europe. That in itself condemns them, we are not wanting to talk about Europe, we like it….for holidays, it is the EU that is the problem and unfortunately the MPs who will accept it without question.

  34. Posted April 24, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    To believe that Camerons "changed" Conservative party is best for the UK citizen is to put it mildly disengenious. Personally I would not believe Camerons utterances or that of his boy George as far as I could throw the Palace of Westminster.

  35. Posted April 24, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Moderation? OK – I DO NOT TRUST YOU OR ANY OF YOUR CONservative colleagues.

  36. Posted April 27, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Sir,
    Much as I admire much of what you write, I find your response to Adam just a tad strange. Like many who read your words, I find it hard to believe that the Party as now run is in any way Eurosceptic. We would all like to believe but the evidence is against it. Both Cameron and Hague have actually said they want to be in the EU, several times, and refuse even to debate it amongst what should be their supporters. Were it true, then they would both talk of the problems it causes, the cost for no return, how it came about,…but they don't. Their only response is they don't do Europe. That in itself condemns them, we are not wanting to talk about Europe, we like it….for holidays, it is the EU that is the problem and unfortunately the MPs who will accept it without question.

  37. Posted May 7, 2010 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    If that happens I can envisage more professionals leaving the country and the pound sliding further.

  • 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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