Wokingham Times

It’s been a frustrating week at home with no Parliament to go to. Parliament is taking a recess whilst the three main political parties hold their conferences. The trouble is the world does not go away for three weeks whilst UK politicians meet to mull over what they have done and need to do next. Whilst the UK argues about domestic issues the Euro crisis rages. Meetings at the IMF, the World Bank and amongst the Finance Ministers are watched and commented on as markets plunge and fear stalks the financial world.

It was pleasant last week to be recognised favourably in Peter Oborne’s book on the guilty men who tried to take the UK into the Euro. He praised the few of us who made the long argument against Euro membership, and forecast that it would lead to a debt and economic crisis. It was always the case that if you want to share a currency with another country, you need to share a government with them. I used to make speeches explaining that joining a single currency meant taking out a bank account with the neighbours. All would be well until you fell out over how big the overdraft should be and who got to spend the money. We are now in the midst of a full blown Euro family row about that overdraft. Should the German savers have to send money to Greece to pay the bills? Should the Greek be able to use German credit worthiness to borrow more? It’s a tragedy for all of us that the EU didn’t work out these elementary issues at the start, before they locked themselves into such a scheme.

The aim of my speeches, interviews and website commentary is now to keep the UK out of having to pay the bills for the mess they are creating. The UK was right to stay out. I see no reason why we should have to pay to help clear up the mess. We may find Euroland can import less from us in the years ahead, owing to the damage the crisis is doing, but that’s no reason for us to try to bail them out, or to lose a fortune on loans that go wrong. There is talk now of a mega package of new loans to keep the overborrowed countries and the weak banks afloat. It’s not more borrowing they need. They need a work out, spending less or bringing in more income. You do not get out of a debt crisis by finding new lenders to offer you more debt.

There has been a lot of interest in www.johnredwod.com, recently voted best MP website. It’s my main way of telling you what I am thinking and doing to represent you in Parliament. Most of the contributors want us to spend less on the EU and be governed less by it. If Euroland is serious about wanting to create a single economic government for the area, the UK can be no part of that. We need a new relationship that makes sense for us, based on trade and friendship, not on a united government of the EU.

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One Comment

  1. Posted September 29, 2011 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Don’t you feel that your pieces for the Wokingham Times should be used for matters directly affecting your constituents, on a local scale? If they’re interested in your Euroscepticism, then they can find it in the national press, or on this blog.

    Reply: The Euro crisis is the most important thing affecting my constituents, and is a matter I am spending a lot of time on. We will all have to pay the bills if the UK puts money at risk in this hair brained scheme, and I and others are needed to warn the government off buying Euro country bonds through RBS, committing Uk taxpayer money to further bail outs, and accepting further transfers of power over our economic affairs. The mishandling of the Euro crisis on the continent will be another obstacle in the way of decent economic recovery which my constituents want. My constituents elected me to Parliament to express views, influence and vote on the national matters that come before Parliament. They did not elect me to the local Council. That’s why I mainly talk to my constituents about the job I do.
    We elect 54 Borough Councillors in Wokingham to deal with local matters. They do not appreciate the MP second guessing them over all the local issues they deal with. I usually make my representations for constituents on Council matters directly and in private, a way more likely to get those views considered than through the press. As I point out to constituents, it is best to go direct to your Councillor rather than try to go through the MP on Council matters.

  • 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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