Conservative Home’s backbencher of the Year

It was a pleasure on my return home from a New Year week-end celebration to read on my website that people had kindly voted for me to be nominated as backbencher of the Year by Conservative Home.

I was also pleased to see Douglas Carswell, Philip Davies, Jacob Rees Mogg and David Nutall had done well in the poll. Parliamentary campaigns on the EU and the economy have been team efforts where a number of MPs have made important contributions.


  1. Iain Gill
    January 1, 2012

    Well done

    You deserve it!

  2. Kevin Ronald Lohse
    January 1, 2012

    A very well deserved award. Mr Redwood.

  3. Andy
    January 1, 2012

    Congratulations, hope that you are soon off the backbenches! Forgive my ignorance, but if you were to take a ministerial position, would that effect this blog?

    Reply: As a Minister I could not express an opinion on government policy directly critical of that policy!

    1. Single Acts
      January 1, 2012

      Are Nick Clegg and Vince Cable exempt from this

      1. alan jutson
        January 2, 2012

        S A

        Nice one.

      2. uanime5
        January 2, 2012

        Well it’s not like David Cameron can fire them without destroying the coalition and losing his majority in Parliament.

    2. English Pensioner
      January 1, 2012

      Why Not?
      Clegg does!

    3. dan
      January 1, 2012

      so, would you take a Ministerial job in this god awful coalition?

    4. A David H
      January 1, 2012

      Hopefully, government policy would improve if you were inside the tent. In the meantime, please keep pissing on the outside of the tent.

    5. Disaffected
      January 2, 2012

      The sadness is that you should not receive this award because you should not be on the back benches. When we look at thew quality or lack of quality in the cabinet at the moment it is depressing.

      Ministers in cabinet do and have criticised government. How about Huhne briefing against his ministerial colleagues? Cable and his outbursts? How about Clegg undermining Cameron recently. It will only get worse as the next election draws closer. LibDems are history and if they have not worked it out yet it appears from Clegg’s sycophantic behaviour that he is looking to Europe for his next job.

      Reply: Lib Dem MInisters get away with breaking the rules of collective responsibility for decisions in a way most Conservatives would not.

    6. Rebecca Hanson
      January 2, 2012

      I suspect you could, however, still run a very valuable blog simply by posting information, making points which invited discussion and interacting with commentators as you do to correct serious misconceptions and acknowledge and encourage people.

      I think it would be very interesting if you could make the transition into a ministerial role while continuing to blog and would do whatever I could as a blog commentator to support you in making that transition.

      Is there a rule against criticising government policy if it’s you who’s in charge of it – e.g. if its the area you have ministerial responsbility for?

      Reply: In which case you do not criticise but change it.

  4. alan jutson
    January 1, 2012

    Well done, and well deserved.

    Shows some people take notice of you John, more than twice as many votes as your nearest candidate as well.

    Keep up the good work.

  5. Kenneth
    January 1, 2012

    Well done on being awarded backbencher of the Year by Conservative Home. Just reward for some superb speeches and interventions in the House and common sense blogging.

    It’s a pity that the BBC has restricted your appearances to a few minutes here and there, though it was good to see you on Question Time and Newsnight.

    A good right winger speaks from the head and a good left winger speaks from the heart. A statesman speaks from both head and heart and I would put you in that category.

    Happy new year!

  6. lifelogic
    January 1, 2012

    Richly deserved too.

  7. Catherine in Athens
    January 1, 2012

    Bravo, John!

  8. Rebecca Hanson
    January 1, 2012

    Congratulations on both the quality of the contributions you have made to areas of policy John and also on your work in pushing back the frontiers of democracy.

    I continue to blog on they ways in which mass online discussion will positively transform the nature of democracy and some of the practical issues which need to be overcome on that journey here if you are anyone else are interested:

  9. zorro
    January 1, 2012

    Congratulations on your award, and you have my respect for the fine effort you show in creating at least one post every day come rain or shine, notwithstanding your constituency work and private business. I enjoy reading and commenting on your posts and those of others, and appreciate your interaction with us which helps stimulate debate. I wish that I had the time (often I comment late in the evening) to develop some of the points I raise but unfortunately work and other responsibilities do not afford me this opportunity.

    I often wonder if you use a smart phone to moderate the comments or whether you stick to a computer. I tend to use my phone for convenience but I get frustrated when it spells words incorrectly!

    ‘Work is the curse of the blogging classes’

    Oscar Zorro

    Reply: I stick to a computer, including a laptop that can be taken with me.

  10. Gordon
    January 2, 2012

    Mr. Redwood,
    Congratulations, an award thoroughly deserved.
    May it provide encouragement to you, and your like minded parliamentary colleagues, to win the battles that are yet to come.

  11. Reaguns
    January 2, 2012

    Redwood for chancellor.

  12. Martyn
    January 2, 2012

    Super, congrats to you and the other MPs on the list who keep their feet on the ground and unlike many do not look at the real world through ‘on-message’ rose-tinted spectacles!

    Please keep up the good work – I eagerly await your cogent observations and comments as events unfold in 2012, a year that promises to be, shall we say, more than a little interesting?

  13. Mazz
    January 2, 2012

    Conservative Home:

    …John’s blog, in particular, is so regular and so thoughtful that he has emerged as one of the country’s most important economic commentators. I was talking to old friends at the Bank of England a few weeks ago and they all said that it was widely read at Threadneedle Street. …

    You deserve the win, John, congratulations!

  14. Gary
    January 2, 2012

    Daniel Hannan lets the cat out of the bag. As I suspected the anti-eu virtriol has much (or everything) to do with the Atlanticists wanting a MONETARY UNION(you can’t make it up) , with the USA .

    1. Denis Cooper
      January 2, 2012

      Where in that article does Daniel Hannan say that he wants a monetary union with the USA?


      You say:

      “You can’t make it up”

      but that’s exactly what you did.

      “Just for the record, what we Atlanticists want is not a merger, but a free trade area. We’d like an organic, not a governmental union; ties between citizens, businesses and civic associations, not a combination of state structures. And we aim for it to embrace, not just Britain and the US, but the community of free English-speaking democracies – the Anglosphere. In fact, by coincidence, Iain Murray and James C Bennet explain how it would work in today’s Wall Street Journal.”

    2. Martyn
      January 2, 2012

      I was only very vaguely aware of the Atlantacists, but being always willing to learn something new (though not necessarily being fond of being taught!), I followed your link to the Hannan article. On reading it I thought that I must have missed something, finding no reference within the article as to a monetary union.

      I did see, however, something I have long held in mind as to the economic and other advantages of bringing together the English-speaking nations of the world. Of course, I have no idea as to how that might be done or, indeed, what might be the outcome, but it is something that I would like to see happen.

  15. Denis Cooper
    January 2, 2012

    Congratulations on your well-deserved top spot!

  16. Bill
    January 2, 2012

    Well done. Keep the analysis and the courteous tone going.

  17. Barbara Stevens
    January 2, 2012

    Well I hope you win, it needs a decent Conservative to win, some of the party leave a lot to be desired, but that’s their fault not yours. Good luck.

    reply: I did win, thanks

  18. Geoff M
    January 2, 2012

    Congratulations for all your hard work, you are a true statesman and such a shame there are not a lot more like you in this coalition.

    Had the privilege of listening to you address a luncheon when you came down to a meeting in Devon prior to the 97 election. Great stuff!!!.

    Reply: Thanks. There’s plenty more to try to put right!

  19. uanime5
    January 2, 2012

    Congratulation on being Conservative Home’s backbencher of the year.

  20. figurewizard
    January 2, 2012

    Congratulations! Hopefully this result will be read learnt and inwardly digested by others in the party. They are fools if they don’t.

  21. John Moss
    January 2, 2012


    I am a Chartered Surveyor with over 25 years experience in regeneration and the one thing which Ms Portas’ report fails to recognise is the basic need for a sufficient level of demand for what the local high street offers from the local population.

    I am sure you will agree that those town centres which work have a range of shops, both national chains and independents, selling branded goods as well as more esoteric offerings, usually mixed with a range of coffee shops and restaurant serving a wide cross section of demand. Those which fail are largely down market with few nationals or quality independents, largely offering discount goods or cheap fast food.

    The better centres survive because there is a reasonable supply of people nearby who want to buy with reasonable incomes to support th ebetter offers.

    Our high streets and town centres have suffered in large part because of housing policy which has driven more affluent, middle class families out of town centres and inner suburbs. This is then compounded in many places by anti-car policies in terms of both parking charges and traffic management, something Ms Portas does recognise, but the root cause is a lack of local spending power and local demand.

    I am afraid the drive to higher rise, higher density, smaller unit housing in town centres and inner urban areas – most of which is also “affordable”, ie directed at people with limited spending power – is at the bottom of this problem. It is not BiS who need a policy, it is DCLG and that policy should be to build houses with gardens for families.

  22. electro-kevin
    January 2, 2012

    Well deserved and a Happy New Year

  23. Richard
    January 2, 2012

    Congratulations, a much deserved recognition for you as a first class Parliamentarian and patriot.
    It is a priviledge to be able read your views each day and even more so to see you make a speech in the House- my favourites were your response to a recent budget debate and your contribution to the recent historic EU referendum debate- both master classes in public speaking.

    My other vote would go to Dan Hannon as being the best MEP, who is another fine public speaker.

  24. Bean Counter
    January 2, 2012

    Good to see you get the recognition you deserve for all your hard work and commitment.

  25. Frances Matta
    January 3, 2012

    Thank you for all your hard work. Long may it continue.

  26. The Realist
    January 4, 2012

    Well done – one of the very few with a sensible grasp of what needs to be done!

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