In office – but are they in power?

 

         I see my question in Parliament recently has also been raised by week-end commentators. Ministers in this Coalition government are finding on many occasions that they cannot make the decisions they wish to make, owing to EU Directives and regulations, Treaty agreements, the European Court of Human Rights or some other quango that can override or set the policy.

        On Friday night we held the Annual General meeting of the Wokingham Conservative Association. Both Dan Hannan MEP and I spoke to the meeting. In his remarks Dan reminded us of the way there have been a couple of quiet “coups” in the EU, with the substitution of unelected officials in government for the politicans the countries originally elected. He reminded us there is not a single elected person in the Italian government. As he pointed out, Signor Monti is both Prime Minister and Finance Minister, a new definition of the full Monty.  I explained the growing frustrations of many Conservative MPs in Parliament, who now want this government to get powers back from the EU, to withdraw from the extremes of the ECHR, and to assert  Parliamentary democracy again.

           In responses to my assertion yesterday that England is more Eurosceptic than Scotland or Wales, several of you have asked me to supply evidence, as you do not agree. I judge voters by their actions, more than by their words. That’s the way many of you assess politicians.  If you look at the last General Election, you see the following pattern:

Scotland    Conservative  16.7%,  UKIP 0.7%

Wales   Conservative 26.1%    UKIP 2.4%

England   Conservative 39.6%    UKIP  3.5%

               Practically all the other votes in Scotland and Wales went to parties that proudly support the EU as it is, and welcome further Treaties to strengthen the law making and powers of the EU. The Conservative party campaigned on a platform of repatriating powers from the EU, and UKIP campaigned to leave the EU altogether.

                It is quite clear from these results that there is a very strong majority in Scotland and Wales, in the ballot box, for parties that favour federalism. In England there is a stronger wish to vote for moderate Euroscepticism come election time.

               UKIP recognises this by running its better candidates in areas where there are already good Europsceptic Conservative MPs, rather than trying to do something  useful by seeking to knock out federlaist MPs elsewhere. Mr Farage clearly thought Buckingham was more Europsceptic than  anywhere in Scotland in the last election, though he managed to come behind a strong advocate of more EU, as well as well behind John Bercow. He did not run against one of the damagingly federalist well know figures like Mr Brown or Mr Darling, despite the fact they had pushed three federalist Treaties through the Commons against Conservative votes and voices.

              It is high time those who say they want to change the UK’s relationship with the EU  recognise that so far UKIP  is just a wrecking movement that tries to get Eurosceptic Conservatives thrown out of Parliament to be replaced by Federalist Labour or Lib Dems, instead of making common cause and grasping that it is a growing group of Conservative Eurosceptic MPs who make the arguments and cast the votes in favour of more UK democracy.  Anyone who thinks Scotland and Wales are Eurosceptic based on the last election must have misread the results.

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87 Comments

  1. lifelogic
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    I tend to think Scotland and Wales vote on other issues than Europe. If asked just to vote on Europe the vote may be different. But the strong parties loyalties would probably still steer them to be less sceptic than the UK.

    I can few reasons for not being EU sceptic. Either you do not know what is going on, you dislike democracy and would like to see a huge socialist, regulated, dis-functional, command economy in power for ever more or you are just keen to get an EU job. Or perhaps you believe all the BBC pushes at you without question.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Indeed the system of government where Ministers cannot do anything due to a conflicting, and hugely uncertain, legal framework (caused by the absurd EU, the ECHR, equality directives, competition laws, movement of goods and people, subsidy laws (needless to say ignored for “green” energy) and the need for (usually sham) consultations with nearly everyone before action (save the private sector, tax payers and voters usually).

      It is not democracy if your vote merely selects which actors are put in place to read the lines given to them. Usually resulting in them doing the opposite of what they promised at the election to get your vote. Anyway they have no scope to change anything substantive due to the legal restrictions above.

      Why bother to vote seems to be the real question to ask. When the vote will clearly change so little?

      • Disaffected
        Posted March 19, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        Most people lead busy lives and do not have the time to check politicians sophistry, deceit and lies. Gone are the days when MPs were people of honour and could be trusted to act on what they said or resign.

        Moreover, a lot of MPs do not know what the Government is doing and those who do are being castrated like John’s select committee blog highlighted.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      People support the EU because unlike the UK Government it is run for the benefit of the people, not those in power and private companies. If it wasn’t for the EU employees wouldn’t have any rights.

      • lifelogic
        Posted March 19, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        Are you mad? “The EU is run for the benefit of the people, not those in power and private companies. If it wasn’t for the EU employees wouldn’t have any rights.” how on earth do you work that one out!

        Maybe fewer pointless rights – but they might actually have a job, a decent income and know they could walk into another job if they wanted too.

        • Disaffected
          Posted March 19, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

          No he is not mad, a Lib Dem socialist perhaps.

    • Disaffected
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      John, once more, you place your interpretation on last election figures after Tories were in the wilderness for 13 years I am afraid that is where the party will return. I do understand that you want to stop people thinking that it would be good to vote for an alternative.

      You are wrong in your interpretation of the public mood to explain the figures. Most people voted Tory to get Labour out, not to vote Tory in (Lord Ashcroft was right, it was a very poor campaign and no one knew what the Tories stood for- they now understand. Most feared voting for a small party would allow Labour back in. The last two years have clearly demonstrated Labour might as well have stayed in government and it would have saved Mr Cameron asking Labour ministers to write reports for him rather than Tory ministers- EU, budget, mass immigration, crime and disorder, Education, NHS all worse under Tory led Coalition.

      I, like many others, would rather vote UKIP and know that at least one of their policies I agree with, rather than voting Tory and get nothing. Cameron talks a good job but has consistently failed to deliver on every front. No one believes a word Mr Clegg says and Mr Cameron is now reaching the same point with his cast iron U turns. Tories had a chance and they blew it. Your only saving grace will be to change your leader and have a few Tory ideas back in the melting pot.

      I loathed Labour, but at least you knew what they stood for. I think I have nearly come to the point I would rather vote for them than see Cameron’s shower back in office- let alone a Coalition.

  2. Colin D.
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    With regard to your comment on UKIP ‘wrecking’, I seem to remember Farage offered to not fight seats where the Conservative candidate was clearly Eurosceptic. Cameron turned down the offer. If Cameron had shown a modicum of common sense, the Conservatives might have ended up with a clear majority and we would not have to tolerate the LibDems who clearly are ‘the wreckers’ now.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Indeed had Cameron put a proper sceptic, small government agenda to the country and made the moral case for small government and real growth then he would have beaten the sitting duck Brown clearly. Anyway why on earth did he give Clegg equal TV billing?
      I and anyone sensible would have told him what a mistake it would turn out to be after a seconds thought. How stupid can one be.

      Did he actually want no overall majority?

      • Disaffected
        Posted March 19, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think TV had any benefit for the LIb Dems. They got fewer votes and less MPs in parliament than they did before. The first TV appearance polls showed Clegg to have done quite well. But come the second and third he stated his policies on EU, Immigration and defence and people switched immediately. Unfortunately Cameron has taken on board his views and, to everyones surprise, is implementing them.

        • lojolondon
          Posted March 19, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

          I think you are wrong there – it made a massive difference. The high point of Lib Dem support over the last 30 years was the last election – just after the debates. Clegg had the advantage that he could say anything he liked, secure in the knowledge that he would never be in power, so never have to deliver. How the mighty are fallen!

        • lifelogic
          Posted March 20, 2012 at 6:52 am | Permalink

          I this it did but why did Cameron take the risk he should have insisted in a lower profile for the Libdems it was very stupid not too. Any to put his silly soft labour, bigger state, fake green agenda to the nation.

      • John Coles
        Posted March 19, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        A very good question, Lifelogic: I have long since felt that Cameron did not particularly want an overall majority. This Coalition enables him to legislate along lines far more acceptable to his liberal tastes. He is no Conservative.

        • lifelogic
          Posted March 20, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

          It certainly seems to suit Cameron rather well.

  3. Caterpillar
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    With respect to “making common cause”, will the Conservative Eurosceptics develop an open relationship then and offer support to UKIP (or other Eurosceptics) against less sceptical Conservatives, in return for being given a freer run in General Elections? Since I have no understanding of the internal machinataions of politics, without this I cannot see what alternative UKIP would have but to stand in constituencies of the sceptical to help maintain focus on the issue, presumably if the Euroscpetic Conservative doesn’t stay sufficiently on that message then votes would leak to the UKIP candidate. To an outsider, this doesn’t sound like wrecking, this sounds like ensuring.

    (I have no allegiance, but as an aside UKIP wish to simplify the tax codes with a flat rate and combine with NI, I could be persuaded by that as a policy.)

    Reply: No, the strategy is wrecking – e.g. David Heathcote Amory who resigned from a Conservative government in the Eurosceptic cause then lost his seat owing to UKIP intervention so that seat had a federalist Lib Dem.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      I can appreciate that the approach can result in wrecking as clearly evidenced, and perhaps that is the motivation, but I can also see that it might not be the motivation. Do/will the Conservative Eurosceptics reach out a hand?

  4. zorro
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I see that Cameron appears to be adopting some bastardised version of your private roads policy except that he’s still keeping the road tax or a good portion of it. He’s damning you with faint praise….Of all the policies you espouse he goe and chooses that one!

    Anyway….I tend to agree with you regarding UKIP’s strategy. Whilst they can’t manage a seat in Westminster, they should concentrate their tresources on federalist Labour and Conservative MPs. It would put the wind up them and they could see how Eurosceptic Tories could offer more practical cooperation in a spirit of unity of purpose.

    Zorro

    Reply: Yes, my scheme starts with the abolition of Vehicle Excise Duty, which the government scheme retains, so they are completely different.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      VED is clearly a pointless, unneeded, additional & complex tax (far better to get rid of all the civil servants who run this) and just charge per mile through fuel, car insurance taxes or road charging with electronic systems by route and time. That is the way to manage congestion and to improve the road network and capacity.

      Put insurance discs in windows instead if needed.

      • lifelogic
        Posted March 19, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        We need a financial incentive to get road providers to to provide good roads rather than ration them as now.

        The same applies to the free, at the point of queueing, rationing and far worse NHS.

        Charge for both at the point of use – not tax now and ration or just fail to deliver later.

        Let us hope Cameron gets the road structures right so they actually work his record is not good.

        • uanime5
          Posted March 19, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

          Given how bad the rail industry is expect the privatised road industry to require huge subsidies just to provide the same level of service.

      • Disaffected
        Posted March 19, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        We will end up paying more VED and road tolls under Cameron’s proposal. When will he learn to stop spending and have the courage to make spending cuts like you proposed John?

  5. Richard Ede
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    If a Federal Structure for the Europeans finds favour with so many of the British why is it not being proposed for the British?

    Were a Federal Republic of the British Isles to find favour throughout the Islands as whole not only would it secure the existing Union but by including all the Irish would produce an even greater Union of the British.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      A federal structure for Europe does not find favour with many Britons, once they realise that a federal structure would entail the legal subordination of the British Parliament and government to the federal European institutions. As Martin Howe QC pointed out at the time, Article I-6 on “Union law” in the EU Constitutional Treaty was characteristic of the federal constitution of a sovereign state such as the USA, Germany, Australia or Canada, not of a treaty between sovereign states to establish an international organisation.

  6. backofanenvelope
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Personally I cast my vote for UKIP because that is a wrecking vote. At the moment the three main parties have identical policies on almost everything. Even if they say different things, in power they are all the same. In my lifetime (I am nearly 76) there has been only one prime minister who has said what she meant. And tried to carry out the policies she was elected on.

    Now the Tory party is back in the hands of the Heathites. We need the system to be broken so that it can be remade to reflect what most of us think.

    • Stephen Almond
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Well said, sir!
      Voting UKIP may be a wrecking measure to some. To me it represents a way to attempt change.
      How did voting Conservative last time turn out?

      – EU budget cut?
      – Reduced immigration?
      – EU powers repatriated?
      – Government spending cut?
      – Quangos bonfired?
      – regulation slashed?

      Vote UKIP – what have you got to lose?

      • BobE
        Posted March 19, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        Agreed

    • Graham
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Continuing as we are will guarantee no change becuase the weak politicians that we have are self serving and very few relect the wishes of the general population.

      If UKIP only ruffle the feathers of the smug encumbants then they will have served a most useful purpose.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Me too, UKIP chances of winning a Commons seat under FPTP are zero. I had my doubts about Cameron from the start in 2005 and he has turned out far worse than I feared. It beggars belief that we shoud be exhorted to support a party that is inept and denies its core beliefs just because the new kid on the block can’t win.

    • Disaffected
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      Hear hear.

  7. Mike Stallard
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Look, this isn’t a question of popularity. It is a question of us electors desperately facing destruction unless we get some proper leadership from you (present company always excepted) politicians.

    UKIP, – OK Nigel Farage and Dennis Skinner are equally good speakers – and as equally disregarded. Good old Roger Helmer is a nice chap too who writes an excellent blog. The rest is silence. And politically they are simply not a viable choice except in a European Election when they get my vote every time. Because it really doesn’t matter much. Power lies elsewhere.

    Conservatives: OK – an old, experienced party which I have been brought up to support. But it is in no way able or willing to do anything about the relentless siegeworks of the European Union. Meanwhile, our industry, our manufacturing, our labour relations, our civil servants and our parliament are carefully and relentlessly undermined from within.

    Labour: I go on Labour List every day. They are saying the same sort of things as the Conservatives about Europe. And I am really not interested in their internal politics.

    So please would you tell me how to go about us getting out of Europe? To me it is like a cancer – it is almost time for an “open and shut” (as they say in Holby City).

    • Disaffected
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      John is disregarded by Cameron as being too right wing. Could anyone tell me the difference between Cameron and Blair?

  8. alan jutson
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the present system needs to be wrecked before it is able to be rebuilt, with some new politicians who are going to be honest about their true feelings and policies, instead of just being a slave to the Party machine.
    (Present company excepted).

    Yes UKIP has had a complicated and messy track record, but it exists as a protest vote, especially at Euro election time.
    The fact that many still vote for it, despite its variable track record, is surely a statement that all other Parties have failed/lost voter confidence with their own policies.

    If the UKIP vote grows substantially at the next Euro election, never know, perhaps it may send a message to the more traditional Parties.

    I agree UKIP are perhaps rather short sighted to put up candidates where Eurosceptic Mps already exist, but they did not choose the system.

    • alan jutson
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      In Office – but are they in power ?

      Clearly not if George Osbourns statements are to be believed, when he said he was constrained on what he could do by EU law and regulation over tax changes he wished to make, but would not be allowed to do so, in his last Budget.

      For a so called money man (in charge of the Country’s finances and financial policies) you would think the penny would have dropped by now, and he would be seeking to change the situation.

      Immigration and the free movement of labour, another disaster.

      Increasing annual contributions to the EU with no linked benefit, another disaster.

      Underwriting bailout after bailout, another disaster.

      • Disaffected
        Posted March 19, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        But Osborne had a good jolly in the US. Most thought he should concentrate on the dire finances of the country- no, he lets the civil service get on with it and reads the script he is handed.

  9. lojolondon
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Wow, John – I bet this is your most commented on post ever – and I was planning to write about the socialist foolishness of privatising roads!

    In the last election, many people who wanted to vote UKIP voted Conservative instead, because they could not face more Liebour, and especially Gordon Brown!

    I promise you that will change this time around, because even though you are adamant that the conservative commitments did not include a referendum, they certainly did include removing ‘uman rights, a substantial reduction in EU law, action against the CAP and fishing quotas etc. and NONE of that has happened.

    I saw an article that says that more LibDem supporters like Cameron than like Clegg, the reason is that Cameron is the first truly LibDem prime minister we have ever had, and the LD supporters know that!

    But as he moves to his natural position on the left, he has to lose his support on the right, and that is where UKIP is going to come good. What we need for the next election is to transfer the fact UKIP has more votes than LD’s into seats, a very tough call. BUT we can INFLUENCE far more seats than before, as the Right wing of the Conservatives is mislead and disappointed time after time, they will look for someone to speak for them, and only UKIP fulfils that function.

    One correction, UKIP does NOT stand against Eurosceptic MP’s – that was made very clear in the last election. In fact, they offered not to stand at all if David Cameron would make a proper commitment (not cast iron!) commitment to hold an EU referendum. History shows that Brave Dave refused and the Tories lost about 20 seats and a clear win as a result.

    Two more points, failure to take control of the BBC’s biased production, and failure to redress the inequities in voting areas will put the Conservatives in danger of fluffing the next election.

  10. Duyfken
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    You refer to “Eurosceptic Conservatives” but make no mention of the “Federalist Conservatives”, and it is the latter whom I refuse to support. Your suggestion is that the “ECs” have increasing clout in persuading the “FC” government to institute some reforms about the EU. That may be so as the next GE aproaches, but only in minor respects and after that, what?

    The “ECs” are fooling themselves that Cameron will divert from his present “FC” course except in unimportant matters. To receive voting support from a Eurosceptic public, the Conservatives need to change their leadership and do it now. Fat chance.

    Should I and others vote for an EC, knowing that such a vote will only assist in getting an FC government? Despite your blandishments, my answer is no and it is up to the Conservative Party to sort itself out – not blame us the voting public.

  11. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    As I understand it, you tell us that the Conservative party is Eurosceptic but because you failed to win an overall majority the Commons has a majority of Europhiles and consequently nothing can be done to change the relationship with the EU. What evidence is there that this would be any different if there were a Conservative majority? I fail to see any – in fact I don’t accept that the Conservatives in cabinet are the least bit interested in changing that relationship. I don’t think it helps when you continually attack UKIP instead of embracing them. Your criticisms only serve to show that your loyalty to the Conservative party is greater than your desire to change the relationship with the EU. Those of us who are not paid up members of the three dominant political parties don’t feel the need to play the tribal game when we use our votes and increasingly it has been shown that none of those parties will do anything to change our relationship with the EU other than take us further towards the federalist vision.

    Reply: On the contrary, my main aim is to change the relationship with the EU, but I am frustrated by constantly facing friendly fire.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      Would that “friendly fire” be from your party’s cabinet members? It must be as clear to you as it is to us that your none of the three main parties is remotely interested in doing anything which might be construed as unwelcome by the EU let alone withdraw from membership. As such, those of us who regard EU membership as disastrous for the UK have no choice but to vote UKIP. I’m afraid your party has had enough chances and fallen short each time.

  12. Brian A
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    You may well be right in your claim that UKIP is operating a wrecking strategy, but I guess they would argue that although a number of Conservative MPs are genuine Eurosceptics any Conservative government, whether in coalition or not, would not be Eurosceptic in practice (Hannan’s Law). Accordingly, a UKIP strategy of doing the maximum harm to the Consevatives in England offers the best hope of getting the Conservatives to strengthen their Eurosceptic credentials or face electoral losses. After all, UKIP votes in Scotland or Wales would have little or no impact on the number of Conservative MPs, however, it is reckoned that the UKIP vote was a decisive factor in a number of Conservative losses in England. If this strategy leads to a Labour majority, or Lib-Lab coalition, at the next election then UKIP could argue that we would still have a EU favouring government little different to what we have now. It would require a genuinely Eurosceptic Conservative party to neutralise the UKIP threat in England.

  13. oldtimer
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    The YouGov poll you referred to the other day was revealing on national attitudes to the future of the EU. In it, of UK respondents, 14% wanted more integration, 13% would veto more integration, 40% wanted a looser arrangement which provided for opt outs and 20% wanted to withdraw completely. In the EU core countries of France, Germany and Italy the aggregated responses to these alternative futures were 38%, 18%, 21% and 10% respectively. The results for Sweden and Denmark were roughly halfway between these positions.

    Clearly there is a strong majority in the UK for a looser arrangement and more opt outs. Getting there will be difficult given attitudes in the rest of Europe. You are right to say that Conservatives and UKIP would make more progress if they made a common electoral cause with each other. But this seems unlikely given Cameron`s publicly expressed opinion on UKIP. So long as Cameron is perceived, by his actions, to be a closet federalist the Conservatives will continue to leak votes to UKIP. The solution lies with those in the Conservative party who wish and are able to change his stance, namely Eurosceptic MPs.

    • forthurst
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      It would be interesting to analyse the actual policy options favoured by those for a ‘looser arrangement’ as opposed to ‘withdraw’. When people are asked specific questions about fishing or bankrolling French agriculture or having their English law replaced by EUSSR law, there might not be much difference.

    • Disaffected
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      I am not convinced it is UKIP, I think Cameron’s unwillingness is his desire for more Europe and is very pro-European. His cabinet and advisors reflect his pro European stance.

      Mitchell gives away our money as if there is no tomorrow, Osborne continues to borrow and spend in the same way, more EU laws introduced, EU payments up and above what the UK can afford for nothing in return (£45 million a day), no defence of the country, borders wide open and the inability to kick out terrorists when we are being spun that it is necessary for our military to be in the Middle East. Business is being bashed on a daily basis, tax increased on everything and to top it all it is a Tory led Coalition. Any different from Labour??

  14. AJAX
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Describing UKIP as solely a wrecking movement which has an agenda of covertly removing “Eurosceptic” Conservative MPs is not a serious statement, no one who knows the nature of this new entity on England’s political stage can reasonably depict it thus.

    UKIP is not ‘Eurosceptic’ about the nature of what the EU is, they are Eurodiametric & want out England out of it

    They are targeting any parliamentary constituency now where they think they can advance with the intention to develop into a party with a broad agenda for government to transform England’s political landscape, having given up on trying to pursuade the Conservative Party of the error of its ways after many years of trying vainly

    The Conservative Party sold England into the EU in ’73, & at each stage of the process has ever chosen to take it further down that doubtful road with a troubling horizon whenever the next treaty is put foward on its governmental watch proposing such a course, disguising this process with a few trivial “opt outs” to fool the unwary or endless noises off talk of “getting some of England’s sold sovereign power back” – power which they transferred to a foreign dominated authority to begin with, & have continued to do so for decade after decade

    Clearly the Conservative Party’s agenda is to oversee the orderly management of decline, UKIP offers England the chance once more of steering another – & more hopeful – course.

  15. Andrew Duffin
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    “The Conservative party campaigned on a platform of repatriating powers from the EU…”

    Indeed they did. And in government they have done precisely nothing to deliver on this, and show no signs of ever doing so. Based – as you say – on what people DO rather then what people SAY, it’s quite clear that we have three (or possibly more) enthusiastic pro-EU parties – the Conservative party being one of them – and only one party that stands for independence, national sovereignty, and democracy.

    I don’t mind in the least that my vote for UKIP damages the conservatives and might prevent their man getting in: their man is not going to support my views anyway.

    Reply: You also need to remember we do not have a Conservative government, but a Coalition one. As I always have to remind readers, there is a federalist majority in the Parliament because the Conservatives are in the minority on EU issues.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      And the Conservatives like yourself who want to “assert Parliamentary democracy again”, in defiance of the party whips, are in an even smaller minority.

    • Deborah
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      The critical point is that we voted for Conservative candidates because they promised to do away with labour policies and implement change, but the majority of those elected are simply carrying on business as usual.
      Faced with a choice between seeking the change they promised and maintaining their position in a cosy coalition government, leading Conservatives have opted to renege on their pre-election promises in order to hold on to power.
      UKIP may be just a protest vote, they may not have a lot of chance of success, but we have tried the Conservative alternative and been completely shafted.
      Trust in politicians was low before the coalition, it is now non-existent.

  16. sm
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    I judge voters by their actions, more than by their words. That’s the way many of you assess politicians.

    I think there is a time lag involved and the direction of events. Politicians cast iron promises are issued, (all parties), the MP’s make pledges and get elected. They then on the instructions of the party whip and no doubt in conjunction with various influential groups, renege on the compact with the voters. The voters then must for years for the next chance. As we have just experienced all parties deny UK democracy and self determination.We have been misled and are in dangerous times,nothing can be taken for granted or on trust.

    Maybe the office holders do not realize sovereignty and power have to be seized and used. The truth is most of our party systems, parliament and MP’s are collectively not fit for purpose.

    Trust is not an option.

    (The words,venal, banks and politicians come to mind)

    Lets have manifestos which are legally enforceable. Lets have recall rights on MP’s,lets have referenda.

    They say technology can disintermediate or bypass banks? Some ask why cant technology be used to disintermediate or bypass politicians.

    Perhaps crowd funding and the internet will change things from the bottom up.

  17. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    The data you quote is based on General Election figures that are almost two years old! Welsh voters are as fed up with the EU as anyone in England.

    It is also understood that EU funded projects in Wales is simply the recycling of the UK’s financial contribution to the EU in the first place.

  18. ChrisXP
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    The impression I get with some people around my area is that, come election time, they never seem to think any further than what is important in the immediate local area. The main candidate could be as europhilic as you like, but if he/she’s perceived as being a pillar of the community, always seen around and actively engaging with this and that event, then the populus is more likely to overlook the europhile tag and vote for them. As a result, personality trumps policies; not always, but dealing with voter psychology is a tricky business.

    Thankfully my area has a mildly eurosceptic MP; but you can see that many folk are heavily influenced by the “celebrity” angle. Maybe things are changing, now that the EU is revealing its true colours; but tribal voting is a very very hard thing to break down.

  19. fake
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Saying UKIP are just a wrecking movement just comes across as a rather childish “I can’t stand competition” rant.

    Now I know better than that with yourself Mr Redwood, But too many people will not give you the benefit of doubt.

    To many of them will remember that it was the conservatives that have taken us into so many EU initiatives, and continue to do so, however much braying they make about the issue.

    And Cameron is clearly an EU supporter, you are going to have an uphill battle to convince me that someone like Cameron gets voted in as leader, and he DOESN’T represent the average Tory MP.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Cameron clearly is at heart (but not his mouth) a Europhile and clearly, alas, represents the Tory mainstream view it seems.

  20. fake
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    **Reply: You also need to remember we do not have a Conservative government, but a Coalition one. As I always have to remind readers, there is a federalist majority in the Parliament because the Conservatives are in the minority on EU issues.**

    From memory 80 out of 300 conservative MPS voted for an EU referendum in regards to the ho ha rebellion last year.

    Colour me unimpressed.

    • AJAX
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      …. & that was when it wasn’t a vote that the executive was dependent on, let alone a motion of confidence, if it was either of those that figure voting against would melted away to a single digit, & those would mainly be those quitting at the next election so they didn’t care anymore about the consequences

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Indeed just 80.

  21. Bob
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    “Practically all the other votes in Scotland and Wales went to parties that proudly support the EU as it is,”

    I don’t recall Cameron “proudly supporting the EU as it is… at the General Election.

    Rather the opposite, wasn’t it?

    I’ve yet to hear you disagree with UKIP on policy, you appear to be criticising them rather for partisan reasons.

    A few Tories make “Eurosceptic” noises, and this helps them to maintain the appearance of being a conservative party, which I guess is why Cameron allows them to carry on expressing their opinions in public.

    The Tories took us into the EEC, and then the EU and would have taken us into the €uro if George Soros hadn’t intervened, so it’s absolutely clear that the Tory Party is totally committed to the EU project despite expressed opinions of a small handful of Tories to the contrary.

    As for the voting patterns, it’s rather a stretch to believe the voters were voting in favour of more EU, as the three main parties will try to avoid the subject at election time whereever possible, and if they can’t avoid it they just lie. The reality is that the electorate are so disillusioned with what’s on offer that they don’t even bother to vote, hence the appallingly low turnouts.

    Also:
    • The public have been conditioned to believe that a vote for anyone outside of the main three parties is a wasted vote. We hear it all the time including on this blog, and the BBC do their level best to reinforce the belief that it’s a three horse race and that there are significant differences in policy between Labour, Tory and the Libdems, when in fact there is virtually no difference.

    • A huge number of people are inclined to vote for socialist policies as they have been induced to do so by generous handouts, which far exceed what they could earn through their own effort, thanks to the dumbing down and deskilling brought about by years of socialism. This is something UKIP will not compete with as it is clearly a destructive and unsustainable policy designed only to achieve a totalitarian outcome, at which point the non-working class will find life under the oligarchs less comfortable.

    The people that could make a difference sadly are being marginalized and many have left the UK and many will follow taking their capital (tangible and intangible) along with them. It brings to mind the exodus from China after the communists took control (and once in control they would kill before relinquishing it). Our electoral system is stagnant and needs reform, but of course the incumbents want to keep it because it works in their favour.

    I hope you will stop the UKIP bashing and join the fight for freedom and democracy.

    Reply: I hope you will understand the role sopme of us have played in preventing this country joining the Euro and losing even more power to Brussels. I myself voted No in 1975; advised Mrs Thatcher not to surrender the veto for the single market issues on completion of the 1992 programme; resigned from the Cabinet over the refusal of the Major government to rule out joining the Euro; helped make it Conservative policy to rule out the Euro and to vote against Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon as a Parliamentary party; helped make it party policy to demand powers back at the 2010 election; voted for a referendum in Parliament recently. As a result all some Euroscpetics can do is claim I am not a proper Eurosceptic. It’s time to unite and to stop attacking each other.

    • Bob
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

      I notice that this contribution has been held in moderation.
      I had multiple browser tabs open with different blog articles, and I posted this to the previous article by mistake, but you can see by the content, it was a response to this thread.

  22. peter davies
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Im not sure that aligning these assertions with political parties are the best yardstick apart from UKIP of course as they seek votes purely on that single issue.

    Whilst the leadership of each group may be inclined to a certain direction, ie federalists/non federatists you can be sure there will be significant groups in labour/lib dems/plaid/SNP that are anti Europe Fed so the figure represenation may not be as it seems were the issue to be put to a free vote with no WHIP or other interference – and you cant tell me that every Tory is an anti Federalist.

    Indeed you dont have to dig deep to hear senior tories like Kenneth Clarke wanting the Euro, or even Lord Heseltine talking sometime ago that he was sure we would join it one day.

    Credit where credit is due, the tories are the only party out of the big 3 willing to have these debates, can you imagine a labour government tackling this issue, I seem to remember them signing over powers quietly with no proper debates.

    This whole issue could be put to bed with one referendum, with both cases put to the people in an open an honest way.

    Then if Scotland go their own way later and decide that’s what they want, let them do it.

  23. Acorn
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    JR; what happened to the “81 Group” of sceptics; formed after the EU referendum vote last October? Does it have any chance of getting bigger?

  24. Susan
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    I cannot speak for Wales but as as English person living in Scotland, I can say that the Scottish do support the EU project much more than the English do. This is particularly true of SNP voters. However, the real reason the Scottish voted for Alex Salmond was because they thought that he would be able to squeeze more money out of the UK Government under the threat of separation. Desperate Unionists in the UK Government, such as Mr. Cameron, trying to keep a dead Union alive, would therefore ensure that Alex Salmonds unreasonable demands would be met. Should Scotland stay in the Union the English will continue to be disadvantaged and the Scottish will again have their cake and eat it. Scotland will end up with all the advantages of being a separate Country, when they are given more powers, yet will still be able to fall back on the Union for financial support should they need to. This is indeed the real settlement Alex Salmond wants and on past record will most likely get. Was having to stand behind the Scottish banks when they failed not enough of a lesson to learn? as I have no doubt that Alex Salmond has no intention of taking on his share of the debt.

    As Alex Salmond makes much of getting Scotland free from the yoke of the English, maybe he could reflect on giving freedom to the Shetlands from the yoke of the Scottish, who have no right to hold them in the first place.

    As to the EU, I would imagine many people like myself have lost faith that anything will ever change. I voted for the Conservatives with the great hope of a new future after the dreadful Labour years and to gain freedom from all the restrictions that the heavy hand of the EU had placed on the UK. This has not happened, indeed I am wondering what difference it would make anyway as we seem to have a Coalition in power that is as determined as the Labour Party to push through policies which restrict our lives. I have worked hard, saved for old age and never taken unaffordable credit, yet it is people like me that are being continually punished for the financial crisis, whilst those who have acted with irresponsibility seem to prosper under handouts from the Government. Indeed, the right to call yourself a Christian seems now to be under threat in what is supposed to be a Christian Country.

  25. ian wragg
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Cameroon has to go.

  26. forthurst
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    If the Conservative party wants the support of its traditional backers, it needs to adopt Conservative policies.

    We did not vote for Cultural Marxism: we did not vote to have the English language replaced by Newspeak, with any diversion from which being treated as thoughtcrime. Men are not the same of women; marriage is between a man and a woman; members of different sexes have differing strenghs and weaknesses; furthermore they are not the same as us, because they don’t look like us, and more importantly they don’t behave like us because they were not melded like us over the centuries stretching back to the last ice age into a single successful compatible group.

    We did not vote to have our country abolished and we did not vote to fight wars of choice on behalf of other countries.

    If the Conservative party wishes to go into the next election being Conservative in name only, then it deserves to lose.

  27. Posted March 19, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Why does Scotland elect more europhile politicians if it is not more eirophile? That is a reasonable question with complex and I admit not entirely satisfactory answers.

    I suggest that “right wing” parties are generally seen worldwide as more patriotic than left wing ones & thereby increase their approval. This works for the Tories inn England but in Scotland and Wales the Tories, with their historic opposition to devolution, are sen as anti-patriotic to our local patriotisms. This tends to go in sopades for UKIP. I don’t say that this is a correct view but politics is not always fair.

    There is also the rather greater proportion of people in Scotland and Wales feeding off the government teat, who form the class & activist base of the Labour & Green parties. And to be fair, at least in Scotland, the Tories are more the traditional landed gentry, which does not go down well with most of us.

    I suspect that SKY has less penetration here and thus the BBC’s monopoly position, as official state broadcaster, is more monolithic. Also newspapers to a greater (Guardian) or lesser (Mail) extent depend on government advertising and where the government is 60% of the econiomy it inevitably has massive control.

    None of these however influence how we feel about the EU. Few people vote for a party because of one policy (in many cases policy is irrelevent and they simply vote Labour, or sometimes Tory, because they always have).

    I regret that Murdo Fraser’s attempt to reform a free market polciy out of the Scots Tories and others failed. I think it would have solved the first of these problems. UKIP in Scotland could rename itself Scukip

    More fiscal autonomy where the money government has to spend is directly connected to what it raises, rather than lobbying for a central grant, would help towards the second. It would also help in council politics.

    Stringing everybody at the BBC from the nearest lampost, or perhaps something less spectacular and legally requiring government advertising spending to be given proportionately to the paper’s relevant demographics would solve the 3rd.

    • Bob
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

      @Neil Craig
      “the BBC’s monopoly position, as official state broadcaster, is more monolithic”

      I was reading this article about a North Korean who was born in a prison camp and knew nothing of the world outside. It’s worth reading:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/mar/16/escape-north-korea-prison-camp?CMP=twt_gu

      +++

      • Posted March 20, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

        Fortunately, no matter how intirnsically totalitarian the BBC would like to be we live in a country which still has an appreciatio9n of freedom.

        However since such appreciation can be snuffed out in a few generations, we are even more fortunate to live in the age of the internet.

  28. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Regarding the percentage of votes received by UKIP in different parts of the UK.

    When UKIP was founded in 1993 its initial members were mainly ex-Tories, and predominantly located in areas of the country where there were still enough Tory members to break away and join and help organise a new party.

    Nearly two decades later UKIP has still not managed to sufficiently broaden its membership base from the right of the political spectrum to the centre and the left, and it has still not managed to achieve high penetration in parts of the country where there are relatively few Tories who can be induced to defect and where it must compete against long-established nationalist parties such as the SNP and Plaid Cymru.

    In fact in the 2010 general election UKIP only contested half of the seats in Scotland, and I guess that may reflect difficulty in finding people even to stand as candidates as well as recognised limitations on the resources available to fight election campaigns.

    As a point of detail, when you write:

    “Scotland Conservative 16.7%, UKIP 0.7%”

    in contrast to:

    “England Conservative 39.6% UKIP 3.5%”

    have you adjusted the %’s to take into account that the UKIP vote was zero in the half of the Scottish seats where there was no UKIP candidate?

    Which would mean that in the half of the Scottish seats where there were UKIP candidates they got on average 1.4% of the votes, with the ratio of Tory votes per candidate to UKIP votes per candidate not far off that in England.

    Taking either the Tory vote or the UKIP vote as a measure of anti-EU feeling in different parts of the country is far less reliable than the findings of studies on attitudes, such as this:

    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/163772/0044574.pdf

    Page 5:

    “There is very little difference between Scotland and the UK as a whole on attitudes to Europe.”

    Page 7:

    “It is often believed that within the UK, Scotland is one of the most pro-European areas. The evidence within this review suggests that on the whole this is not the case, with people in Scotland reporting broadly similar Eurosceptic views as people in Britain as a whole.”

    Page 8 – Tables 3 and 4.

    Once again you don’t mention Northern Ireland, where unlike Scotland and Wales there was no Conservative and Unionist party to foolishly throw away its own popular support and so cloud the issue of popular support for the EU, but which despite not being England returns some of the strongest and most vocal critics of the EU to Westminster.

  29. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    “Mr Farage clearly thought Buckingham was more Europsceptic than anywhere in Scotland in the last election, though he managed to come behind a strong advocate of more EU, as well as well behind John Bercow.”

    But that strong advocate of more EU did not present himself as such to the Buckingham electors; instead he masqueraded as the independent candidate for the “Buckinghamshire Campaign for Democracy”, motivated by concern that the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties were not offering the voters a proper choice; he skipped over inconvenient parts of his political history in his election literature – the defection from the Tory party to form the Pro Euro Conservative Party, and then when that bombed the transfer of most of its leading members to the Liberal Democrats – and in one of his campaign videos he even had the gall to go into a shop and ask for “Two pounds of humbugs, please”, knowing very well that thanks to people like himself it would have been illegal for the shopkeeper to have sold him humbugs by the pound.

  30. JimF
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    On the basis that actions count for more than words, would you say that a Conservative majority government would have

    a) ordered an immediate EU referendum, abiding by the result?
    b) treated all home nations equally, whether England Scotland Wales or NI, rather than differentiate their governance?
    c) insisted that QE was a dangerous financial strategy, and that as a Country we have to live within our means now, and not at some future undetermined date?
    d) None of the above?

    The only way your strategy could work, then, would be if there were sufficient Eurosceptic Conservative candidates to lead to a majority in power, which there isn’t, and that they voted out the present leadership, which they won’t. If that ever were the case, I’m willing to bet that UKIP would actually stand back or disband.

    Even if the Conservatives had received 100% of the national vote at the last GE, we’d still be on the same course, give or take a bit of Libdem fancy footwork.

  31. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    I certainly don’t regard UKIP as “a wrecking movement”, but I do think there’s a chronic lack of basic strategic thought, or at times even common sense.

    When planning for elections UKIP members should ask themselves a series of questions:

    Who would we most want to remove or block from the House of Commons?

    If we did succeed in removing or blocking a particular person, who would be the most likely replacement, and would the replacement be better or worse?

    If for the sake of completeness we indiscriminately put up candidates in all these constituencies, could we inadvertently change the composition of the House of Commons in the wrong direction, ie towards stronger support for the EU?

    Is it the best use of our very limited resources to challenge a particular MP who we know to be strongly and genuinely eurosceptic, or should we instead think about how to help him keep his seat?

    But I’m not expecting this to happen; I’m sure that UKIP will carry on helping to knock out people like David Heathcote Amory, who could be useful to their cause, and helping to instal people like Chris Huhne, a very well-known eurofanatic who should never have been allowed anywhere near the levers of power.

    • Tom William
      Posted March 20, 2012 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Absolutely correct and why I resigned from UKIP (having been an office holder) many years ago.

  32. RDM
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I think you present a snap shot that does not reflect the reality.

    The last Election; It was there for the winning!

    I would say, for Wales, what they really wanted to know was a coherent idea/policy that answers the individuals first priority. How do we build a life for themselves, their family’s, etc …

    And as a Conservative, I have no doubt, we failed to offer a Coherent Whole. We need to offer a Framework that ensures everyone can take what ever opportunity life offers to People, and the most fundamental part of this offering must be access to the British Banking system, or some way to facilitate getting long term loans/finance to Risk takers!

    The Coalition should not use this “snap shot” as an excuse to give the Regional politicians more Money!!! The Federalist within the Coalition supporting Regional Federalists!

    And there is not the support for a Federalist Britain! Just Progressives who would like you to think/accept that. i.e BBC Wales!

    Federalists want to align a federal Britain to a Federal EU!

    So, you can ignore stabbing the Welsh Conservatives (And some Labour voters who saw how fiddled the Welsh Referendum was, 38% turnout, not 53%. Illegal!) in the back, but soon the English Conservatives will want support?

    Euro-skepticism is a negative, however Right or Wrong!

    Trickle down Economics is Top-Down, and does not present everyone with an equal opportunity! It’s about time the British Conservative Party re-unites around an Ideology that serves all the People within this country.

    And DevoMax, in Scotland, is not an Answer! In or Out? It is hard to see why the benefits of Union are so blurred? Are the People of Britain benefiting? Are the regional Politicians looking for more money?

    I believe one thing; We need a Coherent whole, and a strategy with a vision for the future!

    Regards,

    RDM.

  33. i.stafford
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    The reason Westminster ministers are frustrated in finding that their wishes are being thwarted by the EU is that they have not adapted their minds to the European reality. The classic view of the supremacy of Parliament as set out in the 1688 Revolution and expressed by Dicey has been changed and Westminster must, like the Scottish parliament, be viewed as a legislature of limited competence. Instead Ministers must stop thinking about areas over which they have no competence because of EU law. I am in favour of leaving the EU but the reason for this is precisely that it has so changed the constitution. Unless people accept that Westminster’s hands are tied they ought to support succession. One of the worst features of EU supremacy is the doctrine of the occupied field which means, to use a simple analogy of a slice of Gruyere cheese, if Europe legislates in the area of the cheese, competence over the area of the holes also passes to Europe. It is not like our traditional ultra vires rule.

  34. Adam5x5
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    I was under the impression that UKIP tended not to stand in areas where the sitting MP was Eurosceptic…

    They certainly didn’t stand in my consituency where the MP has a proven record of voting against EU rubbish.

    As for not standing against Brown or Darling, they are in Scottish seats where the only real players are [s]Communist[/s] Labour and the SNP. Not standing against them is, I would imagine, more a case of being a small party, they do not have the funds or capacity rather than will, so will concentrate their efforts where they stand a better chance.

    UKIP being a wrecking movement – I’m with an earlier poster, a wrecking movement is what’s needed to shake the system up. Maybe if Cameron loses enough votes to UKIP because of his failure to do as promised wrt the EU, the Conservatives will give us what we’ve been crying out for – Euroscepticism.

  35. Posted March 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    On the point of UKIP being a “wrecking movement” – I believe we should have a PR system, in which case splitting the vote is not a problem. If you don’t believe in PR then you cannot properly complain about any effects it has and call on those who do support this reform to give up in case they split the “eirosceptic” vote. In fact Iabour has a marginally better record than the Tories on euroscepticism.

    Remenber also that UKIP did make an offer to the Tories not to fight them at the last election if the Tories would promise a referendum. Fortunately Cameron turned it down – I do not believe he would have kept his word if he had made the promise & do not believe enough Tory MPs would have demanded he do so.

    However, Cameron having done this one cannot say that UKIP was wrecking any eurosceptic alliance. Perhaps the Conservatives should stand down in favour of UKIP, at least in half the seats. That makes as much electoral sense and considerably more ethically.

  36. Posted March 19, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood makes a fair point concerning UKIP’s election strategy. If UKIP is to make a serious entrance into the arena it must take on one of the Mandarins of Euroland operating in the UK. Darling is a very attractive target that might fold under serious pressure.

  37. David Saunders
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    There should be a better relationship with UKIP by Eurosceptic ToryMPs, helped by more focussed attempts by UKIP to concentrate their candidates against federalists of all Parties. It is unhelpful for Cameron to describe UKIP voters as fruitcakes or racists and to appear. like Heath, to be more comfortable with EU regulations than most of his own MPs, although this is concealed by the buffer of the payroll vote

  38. uanime5
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    “He reminded us there is not a single elected person in the Italian government.”

    What about the elected Italian President who approved all the people in the Italian Government? Also the composition of the Government is largely irrelevant as they can can’t pass any laws without the approval of the democratically elected Italian parliament.

    In other news it seems that in Wednesday’s budget those on low incomes will benefit from the Lib Dem’s raising the income tax threshold to £10,000 and the Government’s plan to raise minimum wage by 11p per hour (those working a 40 hours a week will earn an extra £4.40 per week and an extra £228.90 per year before taxes). Though if you live outside of London or the South East, and work in the public sector expect your incomes to fall because the envious private sector hates how the public sector pays a decent wage and is starting a new race to the bottom to ensure they can always find cheap labour.

    For the wealthy they will get a tax cut from a 50% tax rate to a 45% tax rate; which will on average give the wealthiest £8,000, tax free, every year. You also don’t need to worry about more council tax bands or the high-rate pension relief being scrapped.

    And the Conservatives wonder why they’re considered the party of the rich.

  39. Barbara Stevens
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Well UKIP may be a recking party, but they are doing well. The polls consistantly put them up not down. Today Cameron has talked, again, of new systems for our roads, but what he hasn’t said is that this is in line with EU policy. They want all roads electroniclly labeled so they have control of them, and this policy Cameron is proposing will encourage foreign companies to buy into them, thus have control over our roads and funds. They already have control over major utilities, what is there left? Cameron is not telling the whole truth, and as blinded they the whole subject with the usual waffle. We should be concentrating on coming out of the EU not obliging them by introducing their policies. Cameron won’t oblige the electorate here, nor will Clegg, for they know we would vote for out. That is cowardly. This new system would be fine as long as foreign companies were not allowed to compete for the roads, and only British ones allowed to pursue them, that might be more acceptable. We wouldn’t get ito the situation of being allowed to buy their roads I bet, only the stupid English government allows that. We have been sold down the river with gas, electric, NHS, Water, and now the very roads we travel on. Have faith in any government, who would, have faith in this country now, who would. I’ve none left. This will become the dumping ground for all the EU’s rubbish eventually, and politicians won’t be able to do a thing about it, for they sold our soul to all and sundry. That’s how I feel, and today’s annoucement is another grain of our soul being eroded. What is there to celebrate, nothing. UKIP is not a wrecking party at all, its a party that gives hope enough people read, listen and vote for them. They’ve got my vote.

  40. Matt
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Dan Hannan is very impressive guy, gets his message across well

    I would like to see him in Westminster where he would elicit more media attention.

    • AJAX
      Posted March 20, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

      Hannan’s an insufferable (etc) who’s not quite as clever as he thinks he is

  41. Max Dunbar
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Well if you leave a gap in the market it will be filled; and UKIP have done that although not very effectively. Your Party is lucky that UKIP are not better organised and motivated. I note from the figures which you quote that UKIP Scotland trail proportionally way behind their colleagues in England and Wales. Not a surprise having seen them in “action” at close quarters.

  42. James Matthews
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, but he theme of this post really won’t wash. The voting figures in general elections do not reflect public opinion because the first past the post electoral system gives a huge advantage to the large established parties and hugely disadvantages small parties who seek to break the triopoly. Most of the electorate vote for parties they think have a chance of being elected under the existing system even if smaller parties better reflect their views. That is why most people in the two largest parties were so determined to hold on to FPTP.

    That is not to say that a vote for UKIP is a wasted vote. Just as the referendum party was largely responsible for keeping us out of the Euro, so UKIP, even if it wins no seats, can make the Conservative party see the merits of a more eurosceptic stance.

    I do not write this with any pleasure. I would like to vote for a Conservative party. Unfortunately, because the nominal Conservative Party is willing to make almost any compromise if it (wrongly) believes it is necessary for the sake of office, the nearest thing we have to such a party is UKIP.

  43. Tom William
    Posted March 20, 2012 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I only recently learned that Cameron’s speechwriter used to be chief Guardian leader writer. Need one say more?

  44. Posted March 22, 2012 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    Many people are realising-actually have realised since the last General election. THAT ALL THREE MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES, WANT TO REMAIN IN THE EUROPEAN UNION. In other words, they want the position, the ‘wages’ and vast expenses, but they too have to obey all the same EU orders like the rest of us.

    Some, like me, see them deliberately either ignoring our own long standing Common law Constitution, or destroying it in every way possible. Mr Cameron has just given himself the means to divide and thus destroy the Nation and Country of ENGLAND up in to REGIONS. EU REGIONS for they will eventually be governed directly by the EU’s Committee of the Regions. This through the Localism Act that started its Journey in the EU, it is also noted in the UN.

    However, if the Government held a TRUE and FAIR referendum on the EU and acted upon the outcome, some good MP’s would certainly keep their seats, as it is?–who knows? Will the people be able to afford all these extra layers of Governance? Regions with elected Mayors all have to be paid for. Will there really be need of a British Government as well?

  45. Christian Wright
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood does not believe that the drive for Scottish independence is not borne of hatred of the English or love for the EU.

    He will not hear of it that an independent Scotland might eschew the EU in favor of EFTA (certainly, that is my preference), nor that his charge of racism is but the eye seeing not itself but by reflection.

    He surely will have considered using Scottish independence and therefore England’s consequent status as a successor state, as an opportunity to decouple England from the EU by the backdoor (since some form of renegotiation would be required with the EU to continue permanent membership as that successor state).

    This is the Euroskeptics best hope of cutting themselves and their country off from all those foreigners across the channel, perhaps.

    There seems no reason then, why we (the Scottish Nationalists) could not join with them in common cause to put this moribund Union out of its misery.

    Politics makes for strange bedfellows, and both camps are best served by uniting against the colonialist establishment at Westminster.

    The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

  46. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 25, 2012 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    I attended the AGM of the North East Hampshire Conservative Association on the same evening and Dan Hannan gave the same speech to us before driving off to Wokingham. He’s an extremely articulate and busy man but the interesting thing was his challenging tone – this is what needs to happen and only you the members can make it happen.

    I want to agree with everything Mr Redwood has said about UKIP but he has to realise that there has to be a quid pro quo from the Conservative Party going into the next General Election. We want a genuinely Eurosceptic manifesto with specific commitments to radical renegotiation of our agreements with the EU – so radical that it will lead to a two ring (federal and non-federal) Europe.

    I for one am not prepared to be fobbed off any more. The majority of Conservative MPs are Eurosceptic and it is up to you to show that you have the Will to Power, the determination to prevail. You will be able to make waves after the 2013 Finance Act is safely delivered because we won’t need the LibDems after that.

  47. Chris Williams
    Posted March 25, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    John – I’m afraid that very many Conservative party supporters who, like me, are completely disillusioned by Cameron. He has renaged on every major promise made prior to the 2010 election. Furthermore, had he not U-turned on an EU referendum before the election I believe that we would have been returned with an overall majority. I won’t bother to ask “what’s he up to”, because apart from wanting to be prime minister I don’t think he’s got a clue.

  48. Chris Williams
    Posted March 25, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    John – I’m afraid that very many Conservative party supporters are, as am I, completely disillusioned by Cameron. He has renaged on every major promise made prior to the 2010 election. Furthermore, had he not U-turned on an EU referendum before the election I believe that we would have been returned with an overall majority. I won’t bother to ask “what’s he up to”, because apart from wanting to be prime minister I don’t think he knows himself.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. 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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