Some journalists get it wrong – I have offered no advice to people hit by budget

Some have been suggesting I have been giving post budget advice about family budgets. Far from it. I have offered no such advice.
Well before the Budget I was talking here about the state cutting down its middle class lifestyle – too many foreign trips and consultants. I drew an analogy with what middle income shoppers have done if their income falls. I made it clear that if you are on a low budget you cannot cut easily.
They should try reading it instead of twisting it.

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24 Comments

  1. steve
    Posted June 24, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    You clearly wrote "The UK state has been living a middle class lifestyle" ie the government. The Mail piece is ridiculous, but I assume the BBC will latch onto the story asap.

  2. AlanT
    Posted June 24, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    I remember the article………….I have tried to post on the Daily Mail site to straighten the record………………Interesting to see if it gets published…………….this is the reason my son refuses to read the Mail, though sadly I can't get him to ditch the Guardian…………..Mail has good TV pages though!

  3. RogerRoger
    Posted June 24, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Well, I actually agreed with the advice in the paper. I tell my better half to do that when the weather is cold. When I was really skint for a winter I used to have to sleep in Jumpers and track suit bottoms.

    I'm now supporting my partner and baby son on a single income (around about average for London) and we won't be holidaying and we don't have a lavish life style, but we live with in our means, try save a little and try and take responsibility for our own actions. I know not everyone can do this, but it annoys me when people say how tough life is, but they have a Sky Sports package or other genuinely luxury items.

  4. Patrick Gray
    Posted June 24, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    You should start giving people advice. You are the government. You are here to lead and set an example. The British public are reasonable people and are sick of politicians telling us that "we can have it all" and not have to suffer any consequences. A politician actually telling the truth would come as a welcome change.

    Don't simply cater to the lowest common denominator, those people now so helplessly dependent on the state or on the acquisition of material things to make their lives happy. People are ready for some tough times and, like during the war, would not necessarily suffer for it in the long run.

  5. AlanT
    Posted June 24, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Me again………….interesting. The Mail seems to have missed my input……….to paraphrase, I said that I had read your aricle, if it was the one posted some months ago. I understood it to suggest that government could learn from the good housekeeping of the individual family. Hardly guillotine stuff. Bodes well for intelligent

  6. AlanT
    Posted June 24, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Surprise…………..Mail seems to have missed me. To paraphrase, I suggested your article, some months ago, did nothing but suggest that government could learn from the good housekeeping of the individual family. Hardly guillotine stuff.

    Bodes well for intelligent discussion of the issues.

  7. AlanT
    Posted June 24, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    In fairness, retract my second post………….my comment has appeared on their site, with a few others who have obviously read the original article. Don't always agree with you, but you have been shafted with this one!

  8. Collis Gretton
    Posted June 24, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    That's the Mail for you. Frequently gets it wrong

  9. Olly Garchy
    Posted June 24, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    The Mail gets a lot of things wrong.

    They don't appear to comprehend analogies (which it clearly was).

    Or they deliberately 'misunderstood' to get a cheap headline.

  10. Geoff not Hoon
    Posted June 24, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood, very sad to read the 'twisted' story but you know if they had read it properly it woudnt have made the sensational rubbish it did.

  11. Caledonian Comment
    Posted June 24, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    So the Mail got it wrong ? Pity, because I wanted to use their story to pillory you on my blog ! Imagine though …… the Mail getting something wrong.

  12. Robinson
    Posted June 24, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    It strikes me as the kind of thing you would think, if not actually say (I've just come from the Daily Mail website, where you're front page news). However, I do remember as a student living on bread and soup for most of a term, and on a trip home telling my grandmother how hard up I was. Her response was something like, "Bread and soup? That won't do you any harm!". As she lived through the war and post-war austerity, I could hardly reply. Of course my real complaint was not being able to afford 3 pints of Stella, 1/2 ounce of Golden Virginia and five frames of pool in the student union every evening. Now I can afford it, but the expiry date on my union card says 1998. Such is life….

  13. Andrew Johnson
    Posted June 24, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Since when have truth and facts been a major feature of our media?
    Your reputation as an incisive forensic political and economic analyst whose facts can be relied upon and who obviously cares about people, will survive the Daily Mail's distortions.

    • Geoff not Hoon
      Posted June 25, 2010 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Brilliant.

  14. michael read
    Posted June 24, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Story has disappeared from the Mail when it was the lead item in the afternoon.

    Sue, Grabbit and Run?

  15. Kevin Peat
    Posted June 24, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    The Daily Mail also ran a story today about a man and his family on £50k pa and how " … I look at what I earn and wonder where on earth it all goes. We don't have proper holidays or anything like that and yet we are struggling."

    I hear ya, buddy ! Middle earners are most definitely NOT well off. In fact for quite a while it's been counter productive to take a promotion or put in the extra hours. And to be able to earn £50k in the private sector you really have to be worth your salt.

    I'm thinking of jacking my job in.

  16. Ian E
    Posted June 24, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Actually, I thought the basic idea behind your analogy would apply well at any time. It always amazes me how wasteful many, perhaps,most people's lifestyles are – why not turn out lights when you leave a room, wear an extra jersey instead of turning up the heat, close windows when the central heating is on etc etc?

  17. StevenL
    Posted June 24, 2010 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    It would help if you linked to the relevant pieces. As much as everyone who comes here likes hearing what you've got to say, I certainly wouldn't go hunting around the web to see what you are talking about on this one.

  18. Bill
    Posted June 24, 2010 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    Disgraceful article by the “Mail” you’ve always made a point of declaring, when commenting on a commercial issue, that you weren’t offering financial advice.

    Shameful journalism.

    PS what’s your tip for BP….at £3.25 has it reached the bottom yet?

  19. nonny mouse
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    With friends like the Daily Mail who needs enemies?

    Good to see Lib Dems like Mark Thompson defending you though.

  20. @JohnnyNorfolk
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Its quite disgusting how the Mail has done this. They owe you an apology.

  21. theroyalist
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    The Scottish Daily Record also made heavy weather of this and it was reported John Redwood said the middle classes should wear an extra jumper if they're cold. Gullible members of the electorate believe these stories and John should press for an apology.

  22. Ion Popescu
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    You (unpleasant abuse)! I live in Romania and I have spent ten years of my life in Communism. Shut up and do not give any advice!

    I have lived in darkness, hunger and cold.

    Nowadays I am a graduate of Law and working as a civil servants. We have forecasted budgetary cuts of monthly wages of circa 25 percents.

    My monthly income is 700 euro and after 25 percents cut it will be….

    Put another sweater huh? Eat less or eat vegetables? What luxury trip to abroad countries? I am not able to live decently in my own flat.

    You should think more and speak less.

    Reply: try reading what I wrote, which said nothing about Romania, and said nothing about people living in poverty.

  23. christina sarginson
    Posted June 26, 2010 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Isnt this what all media people do twist and distort the message. I have always said that anyone in the public eye should be prepared to have what they say mis quoted.

  • About John Redwood


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

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