Result of bail out vote

 

          The House was denied a vote on the Mark Reckless motion. We got instead a vote on the amendment to dilute it. That amendment carried by 267 votes to 46. Labour abstained, with a few notable individual exceptions to the whipping.

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57 Comments

  1. White Wednesday
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    And some Conservatives wonder why former colleagues have left the party!

    The Conservative Party is the party of the status quo – the clue’s in the name. It just happens to contain a small band of eurosceptics but “twas ever thus”: it has had such a band for the last 40 years but still euro-centralism has gathered speed.

    Face it, the Conservative Party will not stop this juggernaut. I put my money on the Germans stopping it for us.

    • R Whitehand
      Posted May 24, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Good comments. I agree.

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 24, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      A small band? 46 is just a tiny band who can do virtually nothing with “Cast Iron” and the (we promise you an EU referendum and no tuition fees) Liberals in charge. We probably face 9 more year of an appalling ever bigger government, pro EU, pro mad green religion and totally undemocratic government.

      Leave now so they cannot rob you to pay their, tax and waste, debts back seems to be the message. Unless you work for the state at 43% over the going rate and with an inflation linked pension – But will they have any tax payers left in order to be able to pay these pensions?

    • Kenneth
      Posted May 25, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

      Either Germans will be sick of bankrolling everyone else, or, if it continues Germany could be the head of the Eurozone and the de facto ruler of much of Europe. I think many Germans will feel uncomfortable at the prospect and therefore, on both counts, I think you may well be right.

      It will be interesting to see if we end up with one of:

      (i) Peripheral countries reverting to own currencies leaving richer countries with the Euro
      (ii) Germany reverting to the Deutschmark with other countries muddling through
      (iii) Euro A and Euro B, (and Euro C?)
      (iv) Back to individual currencies with no Euro at all…in which case we can put it all down to a bad dream.

  2. Andrew Campbell
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Disgraceful outcome. Most of Chris Heaton-Harris’ arguments would have made more sense if they were made in favour of the original motion and not the amendment he tabled.

    Kudos though to the MP who, whenever Heaton-Harris paused for breath, shouted “Whips Narc!”

  3. Scottspeig
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Its a shame it wasn’t the full amendment. Why was it diluted? For what purpose? I don’t understand why they did it. I thought the whole process was for the Executive to hold the Legislative to account (I hope I’ve got that the right way round?)

    Anyway, nice to see that the amendment was passed (I really don’t see how 46 could vote against it, I’d personally see it as a treasonable offence!)

    Reply: I was one of the 46, as we wanted to keep the original motion which was stronger.

    • Scottspeig
      Posted May 24, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      Got it wrong way round – Legislature holding the Executive to account.

    • Deborah
      Posted May 24, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      For non-politicians:
      The original motion said the government must do something.
      The whips organised an amendment to “the government might want to think about doing something”
      The sheep voted for this revised wording.

      Now the government only has to “think about doing something” it doesn’t actually have to do it

      • Tim
        Posted May 25, 2011 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        Very true. But I don’t have to think who I will be voting for in the Euro elections as the Conservativers have just proved, with the exception of the 46, that they cannot be trusted. Shame on them.

    • Scottspeig
      Posted May 25, 2011 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Oh – I think I misunderstood the whole think John, apologies.

      I think I now support the 46!!

      So if I get this right, before Mark Reckless’ amendment, there was a vote on amending the amendment? Which passed and so the diluted amendment was brought to Parliament which was undivided? Clever whips – shame though. I rather liked the original amendment.

      Reply: Mark Reckless moved a motion. Heaton-Harris moved an amendment to the motion, supported by the whips. We wanted to vote pro the Reckless motion. We were unable to do so because they carried the amendment first, so only the amended motion was the standing.

  4. Winston Smith
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    The theory of influencing Conservative Policy from within looks ever more ludicrous as influencing the EU from within, for EUsceptics.

  5. Eric Arthur Blair
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    “The House was denied a vote on the Mark Reckless motion.”

    John, please could you give us a full breakdown on how and why that occurred?

    It really is important that as many of us as possible understand the functioning (or otherwise) of our democracy (or otherwise) – and of the ability of our elected representatives to hold the executive to account (should they be politicians of principle in the first place).

    Reply An amendment was tabled to dilute the motion. That was voted on first and carried so it was no longer possible to vote on the original motion. The House merely agreed to the amended motion without division, as there was no point in voting on that.

  6. alan jutson
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    John

    Yes I viewed most of it on TV, seems the backbenchers were out manouvered on proceedure. But do you know what really stuck in my gut.

    The fact that during the debate, about 60 at most, MPs were present in the chamber to listen to it (if TV pictures are to be belived) but then 250 MP’s who had never heard a word crawled out of the woodwork, (and yes Mr Moderator I mean the woodwork, as the chamber is panelled inside and out) for the vote.

    I listened to some of the arguements in disbelief, the common thread seemed to be we have not given any money at all, all we have done is acted as a guarantor for loan against a possible default.

    Do these people live in the real world !

    If countries do not think they are going to default on their position, then why do they ask for the default position to be underwritten with future loans in the first place.

    Those Mp’s who supported this position need to ask themselves if they would ever act as a personal guarantor for someone who was threatened with Bankruptcy, if they would not with their own money, hen why should they with mine.

    Given the present bailout proceedures on which we are committed to contribute, end sometime in 2013, when we would then seem to be off the hook. Please advise if what we have guaranteed so far, and until then would then be no longer live, and we could breath a sigh of relief.

    All of your comments over the years and particularly of late have proved correct once more this government is euro supportive and it would seem no matter what the cost. The opposition by and large abstained, so it clearly does not care about the taxpayers one way or another.

    Thanks for your efforts John, one day the majority may wake up !

    • sm
      Posted May 24, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Issuing guarantees probably does cost real money – its hidden in the overall rate the country gets charged when it needs to borrow. Makes you wonder about their intellect, honesty and educashun.

      A marginal change in interest * a humungous debt = real money.
      e.g. 1 pip (1/100 of 1 %) * £1 trillion of debt = £100 million

      • lifelogic
        Posted May 25, 2011 at 8:01 am | Permalink

        Indeed immediate costs to the UK guarantor in higher interest rates, less borrowing scope and lower credit ratings (and quite likely the guarantees will indeed be called upon, as if this were not likely they would clearly not be needed).

        It also gives the borrower more power to extracting the next bailout. You do not want us to default and call on the guarantees do you so lend us a bit more or else mate.

  7. EJT
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    I posted a few days back my translation of “Osborne **appearing** to rule out bailouts”. Yeh. Right.

  8. Damien
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    JR: I would count that as a success by drawing attention to the issue.

    Meanwhile I note that toady a Chinese ratings agency has downgraded UK debt and also today Moody’s have given formal notice to 14 of our largest banks and building societies that they are “on review for downgrade”. What will happen if foreign investors loose confidence in the coalitions ability to control the budget?

    As you so so often discuss the public spending seems to be increasing and tax receipts are falling. Add to this the news that Goldman Sachs have increased the forecast for Brent Crude to rise this year to $120 a barrel. These are strong headwinds for any economy never mind the current state of affairs bequeathed by the last government.

    Reply: When markets lose confidence in a country’s finances – as with Ireland and Portugal – the cost of borrowing shoots up. This in turn worsens the public accoutns ,as mroe has to be spent on interest charges, leadign to more worries over unsustainable borrowing.

  9. Chris
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Well, I watched some of this debate on the Parliament channel and, despite having carefully followed the discussions on here and other blogs during the past day or so, became totally confused as to what had gone wrong. At least Mr Redwood has explained it here. It is no wonder that the public are disinterested in all these things; dilution of motions, denial of votes, etc etc……. it blows the brain-cells out.

  10. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    The original backbench Motion and the government-inspired wrecking amendment can both be read on the Order paper here:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmagenda/ob110524.htm

    The original Motion:

    “That this House notes with concern that UK taxpayers are potentially being made liable for bail-outs of Eurozone countries when the UK opted to remain outside the Euro and, despite agreement in May 2010 that the EU-wide European Financial Stability Mechanism (EFSM) of €60 billion would represent only 12 per cent. of the non-IMF contribution with the remaining €440 billion being borne by the Eurozone through the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), that the EFSM for which the UK may be held liable is in fact being drawn upon to the same or a greater extent than the EFSF; further notes that the European Scrutiny Committee has stated its view that the EFSM is legally unsound; and requires the Government to place the EFSM on the agenda of the next meeting of the Council of Ministers or the European Council and to vote against continued use of the EFSM unless a Eurozone-only arrangement which relieves the UK of liability under the EFSM has by then been agreed.”

    Note that this Motion:

    a) accepts the view that “the EFSM is legally unsound”; and

    b) “requires” the government to take certain actions at the next EU meeting.

    If that Motion had been passed, as I understand it would have been the first time that the House of Commons had directly instructed the government to take certain actions at an EU meeting (as distinct from pre-approving actions proposed by the government).

    The government’s spoiling amendment diluted the last part to:

    “urges the Government to raise the issue of the EFSM at the next meeting of the Council of Ministers or the European Council; and supports any measures which would lead to an agreement for a Eurozone-only arrangement.”

    which seem a clear indication that the government didn’t want this Motion to set the precedent it must accept uninvited and unwanted instructions from the House of Commons.

    However while passing the amended Motion means that MPs have only URGED the government to raise the issue of the EFSM and not REQUIRED it to put the EFSM on the agenda, and have only expressed support for a certain outcome rather than insisting that the government must vote to get it, there is the consolation that the House of Commons has now passed a Motion which still

    “notes that the European Scrutiny Committee has stated its view that the EFSM is legally unsound.”

    As one MP said towards the end, if the EFSM is legally unsound then obviously ministers should not have agreed to it.

  11. Corin Vestey
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    It fills me with despair that only 46 MPs are prepared to vote to force the government to address this slow-motion disaster which is unfolding before us. The market view is going to overcome the desires of politicians sooner or later. The only question is: how much of the wealth of ordinary people will be deliberately sacrificed through bailouts, and the inflation that is used to pay for them, before the wheels come off?

    I am inclined to think that a) it would be better to start unwinding the mess now before the crisis truly hits and we still have some credit and b) before ordinary working people (rather than the payroll vote) take to the streets across the eurozone (and elsewhere).

    Did anyone see the suggestion Allister Heath reported on? Bilateral debt write offs anyone? While we still can? Uncommunitaire, certainly. Workable?

    • EJT
      Posted May 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      Bilateral debt write offs ..etc.

      Yes. Absolutely.

      The only constructive moves are decoupling moves to isolate the difficulties and deal with them. Our rulers are taking the opposite route, upping the ante at every stage by increasing contagation. Kicks the can down the road, diffuses responsibility into the tranzisphere, fosters the delusion that the system as a whole is too big to fail so it can’t fail. Wrong ! That’s the endpoint if thyey don’t change their policies – total systemic collapse.

  12. Acorn
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Who decides when a dilution of an original motion, becomes a negation of that original motion; and, in other forums, would be ruled out of order by the Chair?

    I missed which MP said it, but he questioned the procedure of the vote. I think he was saying it was different to normal HoC treatment of motions. I will check Hansard tomorrow.

    One thing that was obvious is that there are circa forty MPs that actually understand what is at stake here. The EU “European Stabilisation Actions” process, has liabilities of Euro 750 billion with its equivalent of the US QE/TARP programme. When the s**t hits the fan, which it will do soon; The EU will make sure that all the EU 27; not just the Eurozone 17, will have to pony up for the bailout of the EU 27 banks. Redwoodians should be seriously concerned about what occurred in our Parliament today.

    For those who don’t know their EFSM from their EFSF or ESM, have a look at:-
    http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/eu_borrower/european_stabilisation_actions/index_en.htm .

    Reply ON days when the Opposition is allowed to table motions procedure allows us to vote on the original motion before voting on the government amendment, to avoid what happened to the motion yesterday. Some of us want the same to apply to backbench motions. Yesterday the amendment was tabled by another backbencher with government support.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 25, 2011 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Bernard Jenkin and Kate Hoey raised this in points of order before the debate started, and again at the end, Column 842 here:

      http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm110524/debtext/110524-0003.htm

      Bernard Jenkin said:

      “On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. May I put it to you that the Backbench Business Committee is in fact not being allowed to operate as was clearly originally intended when it was established? Because the motion was amended, the Committee was unable to allow the House to vote on the motion that it had selected for debate. What advice can you give to the House on how that matter might be rectified so that in future, as on Opposition days, the motion is voted on before the amendment is taken? What advice can you give to enable that to happen in future?”

      Two points strike me here: firstly, the failure of the Speaker to defend the rights of backbench MPs, and secondly the failure of backbench MPs to defend their own rights.

      Given that this was “Backbench Business [28th Allotted Day]” one might have imagined that the Speaker would have refused to select what was self-evidently a government-inspired wrecking amendment to the backbench motion, and equally one might have imagined that backbench MPs of all parties would have rallied round to defend their rights by voting down that amendment irrespective of its content.

      The word which immediately springs to mind is “supine”.

      Reply: The Heaton-Harris amendment had more than 50 names on it and appeared to be another backbench contribution to the debate. That I suspect is why the Speaker felt he had to allow it. It was supported by 267 when it came to a vote. The Speaker’s job is to let the House come to the view it wishes.

  13. JR
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    John,

    Your in a useless Tory party. Why don’t those like minded go the other way to UKIP with Hannan. I bet you could be a very large third party at the next election.

    • BobE
      Posted May 25, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      You would get my vote. I already vote UKIP but its a forlorn hope.

  14. A.Sedgwick
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    If you are against our membership of the EU or in favour of a referendum to have the matter decided for the next generation the only route is to vote UKIP. Why anyone should expect anything different from today’s parliamentary charade on the subject is wildly naive.

  15. Catherine in Athens
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Why am I not surprised?

  16. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Actually it’s not just the €60 billion European Financial Stability Mechanism, EFSM, which is illegal under the EU treaties, so too is the €440 billion European Financial Stability Facility, EFSF.

    It should be understood that bonds issued by the EFSF only have a AAA credit rating because each participating country is required to guarantee 120% of its share of the obligations.

    So if one country, for example Portugal, was unable to meet its share of the repayments, then other countries, for example Germany, would step in and make up the shortfall.

    From the first link given below:

    “A14 – Would the EFSF default if one of its member countries defaults?

    The credit enhancement mechanisms under the Framework Agreement are designed to avoid such a situation. If a country were to default on its payments, guarantees would be called in from the guarantors and payments could be made from the cash buffer. If a guarantor did not live up to its obligations, guarantees from others could be called in to cover the shortfall.”

    And page 4 in the Framework Agreement, second link:

    “In respect of Funding Instruments … each Guarantor shall be required to issue an irrevocable and unconditional Guarantee … in an amount equal to the product of (a) the percentage set out next to each Guarantor’s name … (b) 120%, and (c) the obligations of EFSF… each Guarantor shall issue its Guarantee to guarantee all Funding Instruments … ”

    Clearly this “credit enhancement mechanism” cannot be reconciled with Article 125 TFEU, part of which reads:

    “A Member State shall not be liable for or assume the commitments of … another Member State.”

    When the national parliaments approved the present treaties prior to final ratification they did not authorise their respective government ministers to agree to the establishment of any such bailout fund, and in fact to the contrary they only approved the treaties on the basis that they included “no bailout” clauses which specifically prohibited any such bailout measures.

    In our case, this means that the government not only lacked any lawful authority to agree to this fund being established but did so in direct contravention of our national law, the Acts of Parliament which approved the EU treaties as they had been negotiated and signed and including the “no bailout” clauses, and by doing that the government breached the constitutional law which is fundamental to our parliamentary democracy, the 1688 Bill of Rights.

    It’s telling that the two Decisions dated May 10th 2010 relating to the establishment of the EFSF, third link given below, cite no legal base in the treaties for either the agreement between the eurozone countries that they would set up the Special Purpose Vehicle, or the agreement by all 27 EU member states, including the UK, that “the Commission will be allowed to be tasked by the euro area Member States in this context”.

    http://www.efsf.europa.eu/attachment/faq_en.pdf

    http://www.efsf.europa.eu/attachments/efsf_framework_agreement_en.pdf

    http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/10/st09/st09614.en10.pdf

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted May 25, 2011 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Thank you for this information – I can’t say that you have made my day.

  17. Jon Burgess
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    This is from an earlier thread:
    (George Osbourne) ‘did seem to rule out the UK making any contribution to a further Greek bail out’
    Hmmn, we’ll just see what actually happens then, but don’t be surprised if this turns out not to be the case…
    Do you honestly believe him then?

    Reply: I have no reason to disbelieve him, but I also know that the UK governemnt is not in sole charge of its own destiny on these European matters.

    The conservative members of the cabinet say one thing in public on the EU and do another when it matters, much like they have done since taking us into the blasted thing.

    I don’t know how you can stomach them.

    • EJT
      Posted May 25, 2011 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      If Osborne did want to rule out UK contributions, the original amendment would have been very helpful for him. ” Sorry chaps, my hands are tied”.

  18. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Personally I am bitterly disappointed with the so called free schools being taken over in great detail by the DfE.
    I also notice that the NHS reforms are being put on hold and probably going for dilution too.
    Then there is today when all the savings are simply going to be thrown away.
    Meanwhile Scotland is breaking away from our country and the House of Lords, already terribly debauched by the Labour government, is up for a hand over to the Prime Minister of the day.
    The EU and the national bureaucracy are like a cancer in the body politic. They have both got to be cut out fast. They stultify this very clever country and stamp out money with revoltingly high taxation.

    So why should I vote Conservative? They seem to be totally out of touch and to be actually going in the wrong direction.

  19. Javelin
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Hmm, back in the real world – that is the chaps who lend us the money, rather than playing games of mutual back slapping and threats – the UK has been downgraded. As I understand it, huge political pressures are being put on the EU and US rating agencies not to downgrade sovereign debt from the UK and US. A friend at Fitch said it “more than impossible” to raise the issue of a UK downgrade. Reality is slipping away under us.

    BEIJING (Dow Jones)–Chinese ratings provider Dagong Global Credit Rating Co. said Tuesday it downgraded the local and foreign currency sovereign credit rating of the U.K. from AA- to A+ with a negative outlook.

    “The downgrade reflects the true status of the deteriorating debt repayment capability of the U.K. and the difficulty in improving its sovereign credit level in a moderately long term in the future,” Dagong …

  20. WitteringWitney
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Having watched the debate on line, it made me proud to see democracy in action!

  21. Alastair Smith
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    @alan jutson Totaly agree with you re the chamber being sparsely filled until the vote. This happens often so why not just have the vote without the pretence of meaningful debate? Surely in a democracy the MPs are there to represent the view of the people who elected then and not the party whip! disgraceful!
    The more I learn about the politics in our country the more disgusted I feel towards the system.

    The outcome of the vote this afternoon was a forgone conclusion so I wasted a couple of hours watching it and the MPs who were actually present wasted taxpayers money by sitting there when they could have been away doing something useful. (the fault of the whips) Most MPs will know the way they are going to vote from the outset on most issues so how about 1 hour of free debate then a random timer will set off a buzzer sometime after the first hour and only the MPs present in the chamber at that point will be allowed to vote.

    • alan jutson
      Posted May 25, 2011 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Alastair

      I have blogged several times before about the farce of debate verses votes.

      Whilst I understand that it may hinder slightly the efficient running of government, I am getting more and more convinced that only those who attend for a full debate should be allowed to vote on it. The chamber should be locked at the start of he debate, and only unlocked after voting has taken place.

      Reason:
      You have then actually listened to the argument of both sides before making your decision.

      The whips are destroying any semblence of real democracy in this Country.

      What we actually have is an elected dictatorship.

      And we preach at great cost, democracy to other Nations!

      Reply: You do need to let MPs out for a variety of reasons, including meeting constituents and others who turn up for meetings, to attend committees meeting elsewhere in the Palace, and to refresh themselves. Alkl elected MPs were elected for a party – no independent got elected – so the whips have a right to tell their MPs how they would like them to vote because there is a party view. I agree sensible backbench MPs want to understand the arguments and sometimes wish to disagree with their party leaders.

      • BobE
        Posted May 25, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        The whip should be abolished it is totally antidemocratic. It means the government is run by a few at the top. Dictatorship by a small cabal.

        • A.Sedgwick
          Posted May 25, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

          Agree, it also says a lot about the mentality of being an MP these days. When Labour was Labour and Conservative was Conservative and the Liberals nowhere commitment to policy was more straightforward. Now there are so many areas where the public disagree with the three parties, you would think a few of them would ignore the Whips, but that would mean the end of a career and a good livelihood for most. Our PM apparently let it be known to a dissenting new MP that his future was zero if he voted according to his own judgment – silly boy.

          • lifelogic
            Posted May 28, 2011 at 10:01 am | Permalink

            Indeed the logic of MP’s position is to respond to party first voters a poor second at best. That is what most clearly do.

            The oldest democracy 0r just no real democracy?

      • Andrew Johnson
        Posted May 25, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        There you have it John. “So the whips have a right to tell their MPs how they would like them to vote because there is a party view.”
        The three main parties put enormous pressure on constituencies to select the person of their choice from a short list provided by them. Effectively you have no political career ahead of you if you vote against your party. Add to this neutering of MP’s, the fact that the majority of legislation emanates from Brussells and has to be enacted, lots of Westminister voted legislation doesn’t apply to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, although their MP’s can vote on purely English matters, and MP’s don’t even have to hear the debate in order to vote. The Mother of Parliaments has become a very feeble sick old lady.

        • lifelogic
          Posted May 29, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

          Spot on where is the democracy in this, self selecting and perpetuating structure I cannot see much.

  22. Man in a Shed
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    This is deeply troubling. Loyalty is being stretched and abused here.

  23. APL
    Posted May 25, 2011 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    JR: “That amendment carried by 267 votes to 46. ”

    And China, CHINA, downgrades UK sovereign debt.

    Cameron has wasted a whole year.

    • Andrew Johnson
      Posted May 25, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      Why so disparaging of China? It is the world’s banker now. We in the West gave them our money and many of our jobs and they gave us the very cheap goods we desire so much. This huge country has been brilliantly managed by the architects of its unique brand of capitalist/communist authoritarianism. Bit of a shame this has been so detrimental to the rest of the world, especially poorer countries.

      • APL
        Posted May 28, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

        Andrew Johnson: ” Why so disparaging of China?”

        China and the West are in a deadly embrace. The West outsourced jobs to their near slave economy, they sell us poor quality cheap goods. But this dynamic relies on the western economies not keeling over before the domestic Chinese economy can take up the strain, that looks like it has failed, and secondly that the West can take the Chinese government statistics at fact value, personally I don’t believe we can.

        Hugh Hendry* reported back from China a year or so ago, they have built whole cities with the infrastructure; roads, rail, subways that are practically empty. They built them on prime agricultural land too.

        And thirdly when every economist in the West is preaching the miraculous benefits of the Chinese tiger, like a boat with everyone all on one side, the other side of the boat is shipping water, the Chinese economy is like that. Everyone is lauding Chinese economy, but that tends to mean they are being carried away with the hype and not performing due diligence.

        By the way, what due diligence can you perform in a communist/fascist state?

        *I suppose he could have been talking his own book.

  24. Duyfken
    Posted May 25, 2011 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Well done to the valiant few in keeping this and other EU issues alive. 46 votes is not a bad number in defying the whips – I wonder how many more this would have been had a free vote been allowed.

    Of course, the over-riding power remains with the government, with so many Tory MPs a) occupying govt posts, b) hoping to occupy govt posts, or c) frightened of losing their seat at the next GE.

  25. Gary
    Posted May 25, 2011 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    We require direct democracy. Go directly to the people. Most politicians are whipped into line like cattle, few are interested in principle. This is no democracy.

    • APL
      Posted May 25, 2011 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Gary: “Most politicians are whipped into line like cattle, few are interested in principle.”

      Not satisfied with the base backbench pay putting an MP in the top decile of the population by pay, excluding still very generous expenses. An MP wants that ministerial portfolio. So much more lucrative don’t ya know?

      • lifelogic
        Posted May 28, 2011 at 10:05 am | Permalink

        Well above the top decile with pensions contributions of circa £50K PA on top of salary and tax free expenses for what are normal living costs too.

        • APL
          Posted May 28, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

          lifelogic: “Well above the top decile ..”

          Yea, but being an MP is such a difficult job. You know, you have to do that extensive expensive university degree then an apprenticeship somewhere useful like Industry, and then you are effectively running a country a bit like those wallahs in the big banks, yea!

          So MPs need those six figure salaries.

          It’s not like a doctor or surgeon where you can just walk in off the street pick up a stethoscope and scalpel and get down to carving people up.

          MP’s are skilled.

  26. javelin
    Posted May 25, 2011 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    I would characterise the last week as the realisation there are no more lifeboats left. Banks and Soverigns are on their own in one big ship that was once considered unsinkable – with all the maths telling us there is a potentially disasterous collision ahead between bond holders and Governments.

    1) Moodys banking review is being done on the basis that banks will be able to be wound down now they have been working on their living wills. Even so I dont think the UK tax payers has an appetite for a further bail out. It was good to see HSBC avoiding the review, esp as I was looking after the CDS area.

    2) Despite what can only be called embaressing wind from EU finanical leaders they have been shown to be complete fools – by rigging the preferences of bonds to secure their own bond bail out – now the markets dont trust them as far as they can throw them. They are now in a sorry state where they can’t tell which will be worse the fall out in the CDS market or the bond market from a default.

    3) The German banks are tied up with Greece, Spanish banks with Portugal and the UK banks with Ireland – yet I dont believe the political appetite is there in Spain or Germany to support a further bail outs. I think the taxpayers can still be mugged in the UK, they are passive, but the rating agencies will downgrade the UK Government when (sorry if) Ireland goes pear shaped because growth and banks will severely deteriorate.

  27. Johnnydub
    Posted May 25, 2011 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    This is rapidlybecoming the worst of all outcomes…

    Having been continuously shellacked by the BBC, Guardian for cutting when they haven’t – the Tories are now going to be in charge when out credit rating gets savaged, our debt interest shoot through the roof and the economy goes well and truly tits up.

    My god you’re starting to make Labour look competent….

  28. BobE
    Posted May 25, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Greece,
    Public Power Corporation employees have announced their intention to stage 48-hour rolling strikes affecting electricity supplies, possibly starting from 5 May.
    A demonstration is expected at Syntagma Square in central Athens at 18:00 on 25 May. Demonstrations are expected at central squares in the cities of Thessaloniki and Patras at the same time. A demonstration by civil service trade unions is expected on 4 June at Klafthmonos Square, central Athens.

  29. Robin
    Posted May 25, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Why do we, or should I say the bbc, persist in refering to our dictatorship as a democracy?
    Carry on Dave, you are making a good case for voting UKIP !

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 28, 2011 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Because the BBC know where the overpaid BBC staff interests lie. They lie in promoting the pro EU, pro green, pro big state government lefty agenda. They expect to be rewarded for taking this line and would be punished should they not.

  30. Martin
    Posted May 25, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Did anyone bother to ask what the anti-inflation for the UK policy is these days?

    Inflation looks like a serious visible threat and yet it seems ignored by the UK authorities. Maybe we have a government of inflation deniers and an opposition of deficit deniers.

    Incidentally the ECB has raised interest rates slightly while worries about Greece stop the Euro getting overvalued. Good news for Euro denominated exports.

  31. Spud
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Sadly, Conservative voters are running out of Conservatives to vote for.
    Well done to the principled few.

    I fear that the opportunist Labour Party will fill the eurosceptic void. There are enough real Tories that would vote for an electable eurosceptic party even if it was that lot!

  • 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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